A native of Clinton, Mississippi, Chelsea Waddell is set to receive her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Jackson State University on April 30. The senior has been busy fielding dual degree offers from the University of Michigan, Duke University, UCLA, UC-San Diego, University of Maryland, Syracuse University, and Northwestern University.
Waddell credits JSU with preparing her for the future.
“Jackson State University means so much to me because of its nurturing and supporting faculty, staff, and overall atmosphere,” Waddell says. This university has equipped me with the skills and tools that helped shape my ability and confidence to succeed in any environment.”
During her student tenure, she was a member of the W.E.B. DuBois Honors College, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-Law Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.
Political Science Professor D’andra Orey, Ph.D., says he first met Waddell when she took his junior-level Blacks in the America Political System course as a sophomore.
“She was very impressive in terms of the questions she asked and the answers she provided. Based on that, I asked her to join my research team. She was also accepted into a summer research program at the University of Michigan for two consecutive years.”
Waddell says attending JSU encouraged her to serve in her community and thrive in THEE unique HBCU experience.
“I am a better leader because of my experience at this HBCU. I have developed relationships with people who have broadened my outlook on life and education, and for that, I am truly grateful,” she shares.
On Tuesday, April 19, at 6 p.m., at Iron Horse Grill, Waddell will join members of Pi Sigma Alpha and officially announce her decision to attend the University of Michigan.
Excited about her new journey, Waddell says that she is anticipating all the opportunities that she will receive as a doctoral student and she is grateful for her village.
“I want to thank my family, mentors, and professors for their support and mentorship during my matriculation at Jackson State University,” Waddell says. “Because of what JSU has done for me, my future plans include giving back to my alma mater and helping someone else the same way I have been helped. Thank you, JSU.”