Follow Your Passions
Graduate Profile: Sharva Hampton-Campbell
Sharva Hampton-Campbell already had a significant number of years experience in direct practice social work and in higher education. But she decided to pursue her doctorate degree so she could continue to accomplish her career goals. Post-graduation she will continue her work supporting and elevating former foster youth who are attending four-year universities, work that began in the Interdisciplinary Leadership (INLD) program here at Governors State University. Her advice to others is to pursue your goals and aspirations no matter how far-reaching others think they are.
GSU Newsroom: What conversation(s) that started at GSU will you continue into your workplace?
Hampton-Campbell: A critical discussion I had with my peers in the INLD program was about the impact of the imposter syndrome on our ability to complete the doctoral program successfully. We supported each other through regular communication via a virtual accountability group and text message groups. From my experience, when you face obstacles and roadblocks, it opens the door to second-guessing yourself and your ability to move forward and accomplish your goals. I’ve carried components of our conversations into my workplace with my colleagues as I am working on launching student programming to support the retention and graduation rates of former foster youth attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is my workplace.
GSU Newsroom: What does being a jaguar mean to you?
Hampton-Campbell: Being a Jaguar means that, like Jax the Jaguar, I am a fierce competitor who gained the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence while completing my doctoral program to succeed in accomplishing my career goals.
GSU Newsroom: What are your top two experiences (or professors) at GSU, and why?
Hampton-Campbell: One of my top experiences was having the opportunity to be the keynote speaker for the 2019 SHERO conference. Each participant was given a copy of an anthology I published called U.G.L.Y., Uncovering God’s Love for You: Stories of Triumph Over Low Self-esteem and Self-worth. The second top experience I had was passing my Capstone defense with no corrections. Both experiences affirmed the investment I made in myself to pursue my goals and aspirations, no matter how far-reaching others thought they were.
GSU Newsroom: What were some challenges at GSU, and how did the university help you overcome them?
Hampton-Campbell: During the four-year journey to obtaining my doctorate, I experienced some significant illnesses and several losses that impacted my emotional and physical well-being. My professors were very supportive. They approved deadline extensions and checked-in with me during my absences.
GSU Newsroom: How did GSU prepare you for working in the post-COVID world?
Hampton-Campbell: My program was entirely online, except for the cohort weekend meeting near the beginning of each semester. So, I was familiar and comfortable with the online platforms that the campus-based students had to adapt to during COVID. Overall, I believe everyone who survived COVID-19 has developed a deeper level of resilience. Bob Marley said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
GSU Newsroom: What’s next after graduation?
Hampton-Campbell: As a postdoc, I am expanding my Capstone research and implementing programming that was identified by capturing the lived experiences of my research participants, former foster youth attending 4-year universities. I also hope to land an adjunct teaching position.