This Tiger knows the value of education. The first in her family to go to college, she now has three degrees and wants to help underserved students get excited about the college experience.

Meet Cherese Fine.

Title: Program Coordinator, Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education

Years at Clemson: 6 years (4 years as a doctoral student and 2 years as a full-time employee)

What I do at Clemson: I coordinate outreach programs in the office, primarily pre-collegiate programs for high school students. My main programs are the ACT and SAT Workshops and the Clemson Career Workshop, a summer recruitment camp for rising high school seniors. I also conduct research centered on the experiences of underrepresented students and on the dynamics between higher education and intercollegiate athletics.

I love interacting with people and collaborating with others on campus. I’ve been involved in a variety of projects, initiatives, and committees on campus. I served on the MLK committee and the Men of Color Summit committee, working with the Tiger Alliance program.

What I love about Clemson: Football of course! But honestly, I love the relationships I have built over the years. I have connections all over campus and know I can go to them for any type of support. Also, I appreciate the many people, often unseen, working hard to enhance the experiences of all students on campus in trying to create an inclusive environment.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I am a first-generation college student and the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree. I am most proud to start a legacy in my family and to inspire students I work with to strive to achieve more in life.

Where I see myself in five years: I’ve developed a variety of skillsets that can lead me down different paths so we’ll see what the future holds. Whatever I’m doing, I know I will continue to work to help others in my community.

Last thing I watched on TV: TIME: The Kalief Browder Story. It’s a great docuseries highlighting racial and socioeconomic disparities and failures in the criminal justice system.

Guilty pleasure: I have a major sweet tooth, and I like to convince others to indulge with me. I also enjoy live-tweeting certain shows. It’s more entertaining interacting with others on social media.

One thing most people don’t know about me: I love superheroes and animation. I grew up watching ’90s animation series and reading comics. I have watched most of the modern Marvel and DC movies and shows, including the bad ones. Storm is one of my favorite superheroes and growing up she was the most visible superhero that was a black woman. Representation matters and it’s important for me to make sure my work continues to emphasize the importance of representation in higher education.

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