Torisha Dozier is a graduating senior studying political science with a concentration in law and justice from Beaufort, North Carolina.
Serving as a justice on the Housing Student Conduct Board has afforded me the opportunity to ensure that in rendering decisions I’m fully evaluating the situation to ensure fairness. This position allows me to help create a safe and respectful community by holding peers accountable for their behavior. Being an AYA ambassador for the African American Cultural Center has exposed me to diverse events in which I become authentically engaged while becoming more culturally competent. Additionally, I’m a part of the Scholars Program, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society and I serve as a peer mentor. These extracurricular activities have all contributed to my college experience by allowing me to encounter students who come from various backgrounds. They offer a new perspective on how to view the world. My diverse involvement with various organizations has allowed me to delve further into exploration and engagement to become a holistic student.
Would you like to name a specific individual(s) who has mentored you, and describe how they have helped you?
The women in the African American Cultural Center have been instrumental in mentoring me throughout my collegiate experience. Mama Thorpe, the program coordinator of the AACC, has been influential in affirming me as confident and courageous in whatever endeavors I pursue. She is the voice of reason and provides immeasurable wisdom. Her smile truly brightens any bad day and her hugs provide comfort in the most chaotic situations. Mrs. Angela Jenkins, the library coordinator at the AACC Library, is the kindest person I have ever encountered. Her helpfulness and humility have truly inspired me to become a better individual. Mrs. Donna Battle, the intern counselor, offers a fresh perspective on how to handle the stress that college students have to balance on a daily basis. Her guidance has empowered me to self-reflect, overcome challenges and implement self-care. Through their unwavering support, I have grown personally, intellectually and spiritually.
How do you define “giving back” and how do you see yourself giving back, now, and in the future?
To me personally, giving back does not have to be a big instrumental act but can be reflected in small gestures. As Mama Thorpe eloquently stated, “We’re not great independently. We’re great based on what’s been poured into us, and that’s why we have a responsibility to give back.” Giving back is an act of philanthropy that demonstrates that your ancestors have paved the way for us, so it is only fitting that we pay it forward. I currently give back through my role as a mentor with the Peer Mentor Program. I have served as a peer mentor for the last three years, and it has allowed me to give back by fostering a network of support for culturally diverse first-year students. Through providing emotional and academic support, I have been able to help make the adjustment and transition to college smoother for my mentees. Recently, I participated in Blacks in Wax, which is a live museum hosted by the AACC. Students portray prominent African American figures who have made contributions to our rich history. Through this, I was able to give back to the youth within the community and educate them about individuals whom they may not learn about in their history books. After graduation, I plan to continue to give back through joining the Black Alumni Society and be actively involved with events on campus.
In what ways would you like to see NC State becoming an even more welcoming community?
NC State could become even more welcoming through exploring different ways to improve the racial climate and ways to increase cultural competency. I believe it is essential to consistently have open conversations about current issues present on campus that affect student life. Also, creating more interactive programs such as Respect the Pack and Tunnel of Oppression are ways to actively engage students in having mutual respect for the diverse community. The goal is to ensure that the university moves beyond discussion only to create strong action-based solutions that teach the value of a university that stands for justice. These efforts could help foster a learning environment in which all will feel united and truly part of the Pack.