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Monday, April 15, 2024

Young man sets record at US university , becomes first-black man to earn PhD in Psychology

A young man named Kamontá Heidelberg has made history as the first black man to earn a Doctorate in Psychology at the University of Ciccinati in the United States.

Kamonta, from Cicinnati made history by becoming the first black man at the University of Cicinatti to graduate with a Ph.D. in School Psychology in the United States as reported by BOWC.

He is the first in his family to attend the university. After graduating from high school, Kamnda said he initially began his post-graduate studies at North Carolina University but returned home to Cincinnati after his father died which made him transfer to to University of Cicinatti.

Kamonta obtained his bachelors degree  in Psychology and his master’s degree in education at the University of Cicinatti. He said though the journey came with challenges but he was determined knowing he still had more to accomplish.


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“I knew that I wanted to do more with my psychology degree, so I was looking into various programs, and reaching out to different faculty members at UC in order to find guidance in what I wanted to do next,” Kamonta said.

”Then, I came across the school psychology program,” Heidelberg said. “I met with Tai Collins, who is an associate professor now. I talked about my interests and what I wanted to do. He told me that I would be a great school psychologist,” he added.

Determined to pursue a career that can help youth, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Cincinnati. However, he faced some financial challenges in the course.


“Financial burdens are something that’s not often discussed when trying to pursue a doctoral degree, such as applying for internships and going on conferences…that is a big barrier,” Kamonta said.

“Being a first-generation college student there’s also unspoken rules, like networking appropriately, and the rigor is definitely challenging,” he added. Kamonta said he received support from the university and various organizations along the way that helped him, but there were some internal adjustments he knew he had to make.

He stated that he was aware of the impact his presence in the program made as a first-generation college student and a Black man with his background. Kamonta said he had to realize that he could influence big decisions that could impact or hurt individuals.

Kamonta said despite the obstacles, he is grateful for the journey and proud to be the first Black male to graduate from the doctoral program. He added that he hopes his presence can open up doors for many more to run through.


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