Dr. Tameshia Grimes: SOE lives up to its reputation

Perseverance, relationship-building key to doctoral success

Dr. Tameshia Grimes, alumna of the VCU School of Education's Ph.D. in Education program.
Dr. Tamesha Grimes, alumna of the VCU School of Education's
Ph.D. in Education program.

Dr. Tameshia Grimes chose the VCU School of Education for her doctoral program because of its reputation of connecting graduate studies to the real world. Today, she advises other students to build relationships with their professors and form support groups with fellow students.

When Tameshia Grimes joined the VCU School of Education’s Ph.D. in Education program in 2005, she had been an assistant principal at Chesterfield County’s Manchester Middle School for three years. She chose our program due to the school’s reputation in local education and research, and because she knew she could connect the content she was studying to the work she was doing as a school administrator.

She also was drawn to SOE’s program because, at the time, Chesterfield County was supporting a cohort at VCU. That cohort structure proved to be crucial to her and her classmates’ success. They were able to go through each class together, and collaborate and help each other succeed. That arrangement led to lasting friendships, and they still rely on each other today.

Grimes earned her doctoral degree in 2010, and today is the first director of equity and student support services for Chesterfield County Public Schools. Within five years, she hopes to serve students of the commonwealth as a superintendent.

For students who are considering entering today’s Ph.D. in Education, concentration in educational leadership, policy and justice program, she advises them to simply go for it.

“The journey may be peppered with cobblestones - it may not always be smooth, but you must persevere,” she said. She encourages students to find people they can trust when they begin the program, converse and build relationships with professors, and to not be afraid to ask for help. Since doctoral work can be intimidating, she says that a reliable support group will be endlessly helpful.

“The VCU School of Education is a special place,” she said. When reflecting on her childhood and her idealized notions of the things she’d be able to do one day, Dr. Grimes summarized her life’s mission this way: “I stand on the shoulders of the people who have supported me, and because of that, I want to give back and help others.”