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A Moment of Celebration

"Black history is a lifestyle that we live every day."
Janae Cofield, NKU student

NAME: Janae Cofield
HOMETOWN: Louisville, Kentucky
MAJOR: Public Relations
MINOR: Black Studies and Communication Studies

Why did you choose NKU? What kept you here?
NKU R.O.C.K.S. and the people. I was thinking about transferring my first year, but I stayed once I got involved and started to find my people and my place.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
It's a moment of celebration that needs to be a continuous time for recognizing the people within the community and culture. Black history is a lifestyle that we live every day.

Can you talk about the importance of having African American Student Initiatives (AASI) on campus?

AASI is the most supportive office because they helped me start my own organization called Poetic Justice and helped me get through personal issues. I knew NKU was a PWI and coming from Central High School (a predominantly black high school) I wasn’t sure what to expect from this college, so they warned that I would be the only person of color and prepared me for other things I could come into contact with.

How has your time with NKU R.O.C.K.S (or any NKU professors, programs, organizations, etc.) shaped your identity?
They have shaped me a lot because no one knew who I was, and they all push me out of me comfort zone. I got involved with organizations like Nu Upsilon Black Women’s Honorary and Black Women’s Organization, which leads to fashion shows. It became a snowball effect. My mentor was very encouraging to go out and get involved, and I just eventually became connected to everything.  

Describe NKU in one word.
Adaptation. Because I realize what is good for me and my well-being and what isn’t. So, during your time here you grow and adapt to become the person you are.

What’s your favorite class?
Popular culture hip hop course! It does not exist anymore though, but it had a connection with hip hop and connected with my old minor, which was pop culture. 

What is your greatest passion?
I am going to grad school and would love to become a director of a nonprofit on social advocacy work with the Black community. I realized that there is much more than Black history i.e. Black feminism, Black psychology. I would love to take my services to Charlotte, North Carolina.

What’s a favorite NKU memory you’ll never forget?
NPHC Step Show for Homecoming. I see myself leveling up, and it’s just a great reflection to look back on each year to see where I was. I also get to see everybody and where everyone has grown to be—like my past mentors.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Play Nintendo Switch.

Who’s your favorite professor (or staff member)? Why?

Ms. Sheri. She has become my school mom and has been there through my personal life along with helping mold me as a young adult. Mr. Yates is very humorous and was the main staff member advocating for the success of Poetic Justice and he has helped develop me into a leader.

What has been your most challenging academic experience so far? Why?

Getting a B+ in a course. School has always been a breeze, and I love to learn so getting my first B+ was definitely a challenge.

Have you had any memorable internships or co-op experiences?
My first official internship for AASI. This has been fun because I helped with Black History Month and was really excited I got to be a part of the teams to bring in Angela Davis as the keynote speaker. 

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?
Moving away! So much I feel I could bring to a different place and vice versa. 

What kind of job would you like to have after you graduate?
Work in the entertainment industry behind the scenes to help strengthen the image of Black people on screen. 

What does getting your degree mean to you?
Being respected where I have been seen as a nobody. As a Black woman, you have to work twice as hard as someone with less education. Getting the degree allows me to make changes within a society and earns me respect. 

What are a few things every NKU student should do here before he or she graduates?
Experience Homecoming, be open minded, expose yourself and engage with others who do not think the same as you. We are surrounded by too many differences people to not know their experiences.


About This Article

Kennedy Thompson
Editorial Intern, NKU Magazine
Published February 2021
Photography provided

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