MURRAY, Ky. — Jordan and Sacha Sharp, 2011 and 2010 Murray State University graduates, recently visited campus for Sacha to speak at the McNair Scholarship Banquet as an alumna of the program. The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program aims to aid first- generation college students or those from underrepresented or disadvantaged segments of society.
During the visit, the couple also nailed their shoes to the tree and shared their Racer love story with their 13-month-old daughter, Nora, in tow. We had a chance to sit down with Jordan, Sacha and Nora as the family nailed their shoes to the tree.
Murray State: How did you two meet on campus?
Sacha: We met while we were competing for Murray Idol back in 2008. Many of my friends were always talking about this handsome Jordan guy, but it wasn’t until Murray Idol that I finally figured out whom they were talking about.
Jordan: Facebook was new at the time. So after we met at Murray Idol, I sent her a Facebook request and I guess you could say the rest was history.
Murray State: Where did you all go after graduating from Murray State?
Jordan: After we graduated, we both moved to Washington, D.C. so we could obtain our master’s degrees. Sacha went to George Washington University, and I went to American University. For the last two years, we’ve lived in Indianapolis so Sacha could obtain her Ph.D. from Indiana University. It’s quite a change of pace compared to D.C., but we’ve come to really love Indy. I serve as a projections analyst for NumberFire.com, while Sacha works with Indiana University’s School of Medicine for administrative and recruitment support.
Murray State: Sacha, what are you pursuing your Ph.D. in?
I am pursuing my doctorate in higher education. During my time at Murray State and throughout my master’s degree, I really fell in love with higher education. I was heavily involved with the McNair Scholars Program during my time at Murray State, and that really encouraged me to strive for more after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. I was also an RA and had a lot of guidance from Dr. Robertson — higher education just seems to be the best fit for me. For my research, I am studying retention and underrepresented populations within higher education.
Murray State: In your speech with current students in the McNair Scholars Program, what do you want students to take away from your experiences and insight?
Sacha: In my speech, I hope to talk about the experiences from each of my degrees at Murray State and at George Washington as well as push them to be critical scholars. I grew up as a military brat and moved around quite a bit as a kid. I was also a first-generation college student, so times were not always easy for me. But I did it, and I hope to inspire current students with my story.
I also want students to remember that comparison is the theft of joy. When you’re here at Murray State and preparing to graduate, you can look at others with jobs already or various honors, and that can really affect your final experiences here on campus. Like me, I hope all students have made a family here at Murray State. Don’t let yourself steal your own joy by comparing yourselves to others. Everyone has his or her own journey and path.
Jordan: I also want to say how proud I am of Sacha. She has worked so hard to get where she is today and hasn’t had the easiest path. She’s conquered so many obstacles, but she’s made it. She even became pregnant with Nora as she began schooling for her doctorate, but she did it. I think her own experiences and triumphs will really inspire current McNair students.
Murray State: How does it feel to bring back your daughter to Murray State and have her here while you nail your shoes to the Shoe Tree?
Jordan: Oh, wow. It’s awe-inspiring. This is her first time visiting campus, and I really haven’t wrapped my head around it yet. If it weren’t for Murray State, she wouldn’t be here. We owe this University so much.