Texas Tech University

Alumni Spotlight


Dr. Kara-Aretha Graham, TTU Graduate Alumnus

As a former student athlete at the University of Iowa, Dr. Kara-Aretha Graham came to Texas Tech in the Summer of 2015. Having never been to West Texas before, she was excited to become a Red raider. Her time at Texas Tech was not spent solely on the beautiful Lubbock campus. Thanks to her fellowship from The CH Foundation, she was able to be part of the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN) Grant as a research assistant. Graham's new role thrust her into the heart of the East Lubbock community, working in the schools and with the community. She enjoyed working with the families, schools and children of East Lubbock. They showed her true Texas hospitality and took her, the ultimate outsider, being from London, Great Britain into their hearts as one of their own. Graham's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Kinesiology allowed her to take classroom studies and practice them each and every day in the schools. She was fortunate enough to remain with the ELPN throughout her PhD studies, thanks to the unwavering support of The CH Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

Graham's love for sport and education came colliding together when she began her dissertation, allowing her to study the Lived Experiences of Female Student Athletes at NCAA D1 institutions. Her committee members encouraged her to pursue an area that was meaningful and important to her. She was blessed to have three of the most incredible committee members, from two different departments. Between the three of them they worked with her to create a dissertation that she couldn't be prouder of. The mentoring and support Graham received from them and other professors in the College of Education has allowed her to move into a field that she is very passionate about. Immediately after graduation she was afforded a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow within the Kinesiology department.

Returning home in the middle of a worldwide pandemic Graham was able to secure the job of her dreams. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of East London in the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, teaching sport and sport psychology. Her research interests are focused on sport, race, gender, and civic responsibility. Using phenomenology and narrative inquiry alongside sport psychology methodologies like self-determination theory.