Dr. Shawnta Chatman earns doctorate from Jackson State University

One of Alcorn State University’s professors recently completed her education by earning a doctorate degree.

Dr. Shawnta Chatman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Alcorn, recently earned a doctorate in chemistry, with an emphasis on computational/theoretical chemistry, from Jackson State University. 

“It feels very relieving,” said Chatman, an assistant professor of chemistry at Alcorn. “I have been working on this degree for four years, and I am proud to say that I’m done.”

The road to earning a doctorate is a tough one, according to Chatman. She reflected on the sacrifices she made to make her dream a reality.

“There were many long days and nights of studying, practicing concepts, writing, and communicating with professors. I’ve sacrificed social gatherings a few times. I’ve sacrificed time with my family, friends, and my spouse during this pursuit. This journey is not for the faint of heart.”

Despite the obstacles that life handed to her along her journey, Chatman remained strong and completed her goal. She encourages others to overcome any trails that stand in the way of their dreams.

“If you really want it, never give up until you get it. I have had challenges during my pursuit of this degree, which left me discouraged at times. I was so discouraged that I almost called it quits. But even during those times, there was a constant tugging and a constant unsettledness that would not let me rest until I finished what I started.”

Knowing that people saw her as an ideal role model motivated Chatman to finish what she had started. She knew that completing her doctorate studies would assure them of their ability to accomplish the same feat. She advises others who are on the same journey to remember the ones who strive to be like them.

“I realized that I was not getting this degree just for me, but I was getting it for the people who saw me as a role model. For my family, friends, and students who looked at me as an example, I couldn’t let them down. So, do not think your journey is just for you. You are already exceptional for working full-time while furthering your education. Go on and finish with a bang.”