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LaToya E. Eaves


Commencement: Fall 2014, Ceremony 7

Degree: Ph.D. in Geography/Global and Sociocultural Studies

Graduate of: School of International and Public Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences

LaToya Eaves’ mother did not finish high school so it was her dream to ensure that all six of her children did.

With a desire to make both her parents proud, LaToya earned her diploma and did not stop there. She also earned undergraduate degrees in English and communications from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Florida State University. She then enrolled at FIU to pursue a Ph.D. in global and sociocultural studies, under the mentorship of Professor Gail Hollander.

Her dissertation explores identity among black lesbian and queer women in North Carolina, calling for greater focus on alleviating oppression in the United States. The research has been well received and LaToya has presented lectures nationally and internationally.

At FIU, LaToya has also been active outside the classroom, organizing the 2010 Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies Conference; serving on the Take Back the Night planning committee; simultaneously serving as president of two associations; and sitting on the University Graduate School’s Academic Grievance Committee. In 2013, she was selected to serve as the inaugural pre-doctoral fellow in residence at the University of Connecticut, designed to advance diversity in higher education.

LaToya and her five siblings fulfilled their mother’s dream, each earning high school diplomas and all earning college degrees. Three went on to earn master’s degrees. LaToya is the first to earn a Ph.D.