A Brief Note On Iowa State University 's Doctoral Program Essay

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I am applying to Iowa State University’s doctoral program in higher education because I want to be a professor of higher education who engages in research related to first-generation student college access and completion. I believe that my personal life experiences as well as my professional experiences have given me the background and motivation to pursue a graduate degree.
During a time of my life that should have been filled with getting acquainted with the college culture, I was dealing with piecing together the murder of my best friend. Less than one year out of high school on a Saturday evening in February, four men slowly approached the driver side of a red Oldsmobile idling at a stop sign and began to fire off rounds of shots. The men fired a total of 22 bullets from four different weapons. Nine hit the chest cavity of my best friend who was in the driver seat. He was pronounced dead on the scene, cause of death--massive blood lost. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about Marcus; I truly miss him. After years of coping with his loss, I still ponder why, at the time of his death, Marcus and I were not college freshman getting acquainted with the college culture?
More than ten years ago, the death of my best friend led me to explore the college culture alone. My first stop was Jackson Community College located in Southeastern Michigan. Throughout my first year, I had to adjust to the college culture, cope with the lost of my friend, and prepare for a…

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