USA Alumnus Receives Summer White House Internship Opportunity


Posted on August 11, 2015 by Joy Washington
Joy Washington


Travis Davis, a USA history graduate, was one of six students nationally to intern in the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. data-lightbox='featured'
Travis Davis, a USA history graduate, was one of six students nationally to intern in the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

Travis Davis, a 2011 graduate of the University of South Alabama and native of Mobile, has been spending his summer working at the White House in a summer internship program. He is excited to be one of six students nationally to intern in the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

“This internship will benefit me career-wise,” Davis said. “It has given me invaluable experience working at the federal level on education policy specifically centering on African Americans. Whether teaching, mentoring, or otherwise, I plan to use my experiences to empower and inspire the marginalized and let them know that the sky is the limit when dreaming.”

This initiative was created by President Obama as a cross-agency effort aimed at identifying evidence-based practices that improve student achievement, by developing a national network that shares these best practices. The initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Education.

Davis graduated from USA with a major in history, and he is currently a master’s of education candidate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

“From the neighborhood of Crichton in the city of Mobile, to the White House in Washington, D.C., those of us in Mobile County and especially within the USA community are exceedingly proud of Travis’ accomplishments,” said Dr. Kern Jackson, director of the African American Studies Program at USA. “He was an outstanding student at South Alabama. As one of his mentors, I know he will take what he’s learned and make a difference in the world.”

Davis had several research opportunities, which made him an ideal recipient for this national internship.  His research includes the examination of the dynamics in Albert Murray’s “Trading Twelves,” the collection of letters that Murray exchanged with fellow writer and friend Ralph Ellison. Davis also created a Voting Rights Act documentary aimed at African American high school youth in the Mobile County Public School System. He studied the significance of African American student achievement in Mobile County public schools across class, gender and generational identities.

The White House Initiative’s year-round internship program provides current graduate students with an opportunity to learn about African American focused education policy, communications, and outreach at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. The internship was 11 weeks, spanning from June 1 to Aug. 7.

For more information about the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, visit http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/whieeaa/about-us/.


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