One of the newest members of the Kelley Indianapolis family, Le’Joy White, joins the team as an academic advisor and coordinator of the Kelley Honors program. She started at Kelley in late April, but Le’Joy is no stranger to business students. She joins us from IUPUI University College, where she was a student success advisor working primarily with business students as well as TCEM, philanthropy and SPEA students.
Q: What do you like best about advising?
Le’Joy: I like building relationships with students and getting to know them as I help guide them through higher education. Sometimes, they represent their families’ first college experience and they may not be sure how to navigate it. I enjoy supporting them through this.
Q: What’s been a rewarding experience in your role so far?
Le’Joy: Probably the most rewarding part—particularly when I worked with pre-business students at University College—is when they tell me they were accepted into the Kelley School of Business. Recently, a student came into my office after we’d been working together for a couple semesters. He’s a jokester and he said, “Le’Joy I’ve got something for you.” He tossed his acceptance letter on my desk. I immediately knew what it was. It’s always a great moment when they return to tell you they’ve accomplished a goal.
Being able to see students’ progress and how they overcome obstacles at different stages is really enjoyable.Le'Joy White
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in education?
Le’Joy: Education has been critical in my life. Growing up, I saw education as a means for creating new opportunities. I’ve always considered it very important, particularly for first-generation students and students of color. In today’s job market, it’s critical that your resume contain education or some kind of training. I’ve always focused my career in that area, working with everyone from little kindergarteners all the way through college students. Being able to see students’ progress and how they overcome obstacles at different stages is really enjoyable.
Q: You’ve worked in both school and community educational settings – how do those experiences relate to what you do now?
Le’Joy: I’m originally from Indianapolis but I moved away for about six years, living in Florida, New York, Washington D.C. and Baltimore before returning home. Education is a little different depending where you are. On the east coast in particular, there’s a heavy focus on community schools and bringing the community into educational settings, incorporating families to provide services to the whole student. There are so many needs in those areas and often, schools are expected to meet the needs of the students and their families.
At Kelley, we’re working with students who are adults, so there is a sense of independence, but I think it’s important to keep the family engaged because that’s the student’s support system. As an advisor, we do that by seeing students and parents at orientation and making them feel comfortable during the transition to college.
Q: How do you spend your time outside of Kelley?
Le'Joy: I like to travel to new places and try new things. Most recently, I went to Toronto. I’m also very active at Eastern Star Church. I sing in the choir and lead a ministry, teaching new member classes. Also, I’m about to start a PhD program in the fall, Urban Education, through the Department of Education. This program seems to combine all of my experience from kindergarten through higher education with an urban focus. I’m looking forward to it!