Neikeita Mitchell| Mississippi Valley| '05
Welcome to the MDIB Yard Neikeita Mitchell!
Reppin': Mississippi Valley State University
Occupation: Business Office Manager for Rehabilitation Hospital
Can you briefly walk us through your HBCU story? How it started, how you got there, and how it helped you get to where you are today.
My HBCU story started in the 8th grade when I went on an HBCU tour. From that moment, I knew I wanted to experience all that an HBCU had to offer. The professors, the culture, and the yard. I wanted to feel like I had a family around me at all times. The stories we heard on the tour we absolutely amazing. And the best part of it was I experienced another tour again my 10th-grade year, so my exposure was even greater.
How did your HBCU shape you and impact your understanding of Black Culture?
I grew up greatly exposed to Black Culture. My HBCU experience just kept me in that exposure and reminded me of my history and greatness. Little did I know how that exposure would keep me grounded once I was no longer around African Americans as much in my working world, especially leadership.
Before we go any further, let's have a brag session! Tell us about your HBCU(s). What are y'all known for? What are the most exciting things about the yard?
MVSU is home to the Delta Devils. The baby of the SWAC and the youngest founded HBCU. Also home to Jerry Rice.
What do you say to people who believe HBCUs are not as good as Predominantly White Institutions (PWI)?
Look at the statistics. HBCUs are top producers of doctors, dentists, and PhDs.
"WE DON'T JUST PARTY. OUR PROFESSORS AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS ARE TOP-NOTCH. EVERY STUDENT WHO ENTERS AN HBCU LEAVES BETTER THAN THEY CAME."
Tell us what you wish everyone in the world knew about the HBCU experience.
We don't just party. Our professors and academic programs are top-notch. Every student who enters an HBCU leaves better than they came.
Tell us about your most memorable HBCU experiences. (Yes we in yo business, tell us about all of 'em!)
Having to take genetics at 7am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Initially, the class wasn't going to be on campus and we thought we have to go to another school in order to complete the course for graduation. Well one of my favorite professors, Dr. Newsome, stepped in and taught the course. Dr. Newsome didn't play. In the first exam, the whole class failed. Even the smartest person in the class. That class meeting was something else. She couldn't understand why everyone failed her exam. But she allowed us the space to be open and honest and the class was smooth sailing from there.
Was it like Hillman on "A Different World"?
Yes but with the MVSU twist
As any alumni will tell you, HBCUs are nurturing environments. What person(s) during your HBCU experience deserves some flowers and recognition?
Dr. Newsome. She stayed on our butts in a good way. She was nurturing and firm. And was on you the moment you missed class. Shoot I got my classmates in trouble if I didn't show up for the lecture.
How are you using what you learned from them in your everyday life?
I know how to read things for myself. I don't take what anyone says at face value. I ask questions. Especially since I am the one that looks like me on my leadership team, I ensure that my voice is heard and I am not belittled.
Thank you for showing us Your Yard and telling us Your Experience. Before you go, tell us, what do you imagine for the future of HBCUs?
I see HBCUs becoming bigger and better.