Dr. Keneshia Grant, Political Scientist, Shares Her Story

Dr. Keneshia Grant, Political Scientist, Shares Her Story


Keneshia Grant has a passion for education and politics that was born out of her early experiences, growing up in South Florida. Raised by a single mother, Keneshia quickly learned that getting an education and understanding the political process would be the keys to a better life for herself and her community.

A first-generation college graduate, Keneshia earned a Bachelor’’s in Political Science and a Master’’s in Public Administration at Florida A&M University (FAMU). During her time at FAMU, she was active in many campus activities. She served in the Student Government Association as the Student Body Vice President and pledged the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. As a graduate student, Keneshia was appointed to the Florida Governor’’s Access and Diversity Committee, where she was instrumental in the conception and passage of legislation that led to Florida’’s first-generation matching grant.

At the completion of her Master of Public Administration, Keneshia was offered a position as a visiting assistant professor in the FAMU department of history and political science. This early exposure to the profession of academia changed her career trajectory, and motivated her to pursue a PhD. As a member of FAMU’s faculty, she taught several courses in American Government and Public Administration. She also served as faculty advisor to the FAMU Student Government.

After working as a visiting assistant professor for two years, Keneshia went to Syracuse University’’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs to pursue a PhD in American Politics and Public Administration. During her time at the Maxwell School, she won numerous awards for her work as a teacher and scholar including: the 2012 Ronald E. McNair Graduate Research Fellowship, the 2012 Syracuse University Outstanding Teaching Assistant award, as well as fellowships from the Presidential libraries of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Keneshia’’s dissertation, “Relocation and Realignment: How the Great Migration Changed the Face of the Democratic Party,” describes how the mass migration of Black Americans out of the South from the 1940s through the 1960s helped motivate the Democratic Party’’s liberal development on racial issues.

In 2013, Keneshia received a Presidential appointment to serve as a Commissioner’’s Special Assistant at the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In the fall of 2014, she will join the faculty of Howard University as an assistant professor in the department of political science, where her focus will be American politics.

Read more at www.keneshiagrant.com.