Chi-town native spends most of her adult life in the tarheel state.
Keisha Ragsdale is the director of the financial aid department. Ragsdale has worked for Bennett College for the past seven years. Ragsdale grew up in Chicago, Illinois loving music. She says it was her ticket to college.
“Growing up I played the trumpet. I have been playing since 1991. I came to North Carolina on a Presidential and Music Scholarship in 1994 to attend college at Shaw University in Raleigh.”
Ragsdale says she still can play.
“I have not played with a group or a band in a few years, but the ability and the technique is still there.”
Ragsdale says she enjoys R&B, hip-hop, soul, jazz, and 90’s era rap music.
She graduated with a Business Management degree from Shaw University. She then went on to get her Masters in Public Administration from NC Central University. Ragsdale put her degrees to work right out of college.
“In 2001, I started in financial aid at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC as a counselor/administrator for scholarships and student aid. Then I cam to Bennett College in 2004 as the assistant director, and I have been here ever since.”
Ragsdale says it’s rewarding to know that she plays a role in getting students to the next level their lives.
“The most rewarding thing about financial aid is to see students arrive and complete their studies at graduation. To see a young person transform into an adult is priceless.”
But those rewards aren’t without some disappointments.
“One of the disappointing things about this job is meeting those students who lack interest in their own future. It is most disappointing to see the files of students in need and lack the resources to support them financially.”
A Belle talks about Ragsdale’s commitment to her job.
“Ms. Ragsdale is about her business. When I go in her office she is ready to work, and I like that about her,” says Evette Brown senior journalism media studies major from Queens, NY.
Ragsdale says she has a dachshund mix named Lucky. She’s a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and member of the Eastern Star fraternal organization.
Ragsdale also says a quote by comedian and actor Bill Cosby keeps her motivated.
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
By: Jasmine Lewis