Meet Gavin Bell ’21MED: ‘In Whatever Capacity I Step Into, I Want to Make Sure I Lead With Love’

NC State College of Education graduate Gavin Bell ’21MED

This is part of a series of profiles of students who are graduating from the NC State College of Education in May 2021.

Since the time Gavin Bell ’21MED was an undergraduate student, he knew he wanted to earn an advanced degree that would enable him to better support and develop students from underrepresented identities and communities. To do that, he enrolled in the NC State College of Education, where he will graduate with a master’s degree in higher education administration this May.

Learn More About Gavin Bell

Hometown: Durham, North Carolina

Area of Study: Higher Education Administration

Activities (Research or Extracurricular): Graduate assistant in university housing and graphic artist

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

NC State had a dynamic faculty that was passionate about centering diversity and inclusion within all aspects of their curriculum.

Why did you choose your area of study?

Higher education is an extremely formative period in a student’s development. Since my time in undergrad, I’ve had a passion to return in order to support and develop students, particularly those from underrepresented identities and communities like myself.

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation?

I want to love. That may sound corny or generic, but I mean it. If COVID has highlighted anything, it is that many students are just looking for someone to genuinely care for them. In whatever capacity I step into, I want to make sure I lead with love, and ultimately, an open ear.

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?

I’m currently in the job searching process, but I ultimately hope to have a position in advising or program coordinating at a university.

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?

The college has allowed me to assess higher education from multiple lenses and perspectives. Whether this be regarding student support, administrative politics or even navigating financial dynamics, I’ve gained valuable insight as I’ve prepared to step into my professional role.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?

The beginning of the year cookouts were awesome. Also, the times that we got together as a cohort in general (whether academic or extracurricular) were always a great time.

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the biggest impact on you or your career.

For one of our courses, we were given the opportunity to present in a TRIO workshop with high school students. Being able to craft my own presentation and interact with the students, many of whom looked like me, just affirmed my passion and desire for impacting education.

Why did you choose education?

There are multiple avenues for access and success. Education is one of the only things that I’ve seen positively develop my people and my community consistently. While I don’t think education can solely solve all the problems we see in this world, it’s an opportunity to engage multiple populations and to more importantly, allow those populations the ability to engage and develop empathy for one another.