Kedarious O. Colbert

Kedarious O. Colbert received a B.A. in psychology and B.S. in public affairs from Texas Southern University in 2011 and a master of regional planning degree from the Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) in 2014.

At Texas Southern University, Colbert was the student body president, implemented a number of green initiatives, and was heavily involved in campus planning and community development committees within the undergraduate community. These activities influenced his decision to enroll in CRP in the fall of 2012.

As a graduate student at Cornell, Colbert was a member of Planning Students for Diversity, volunteered for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and served as the president of the Black Graduate Professional Student Association. In his studies, Colbert researched the impact of school closures in urban and rural communities throughout the U.S. Motivated by this research, he returned to his hometown of Longview, Texas, in 2014, where he founded Academic and Community Empowerment (ACE), a nonprofit organization that provides mentorship and academic support for young men and women of color.

During his time at Cornell, Colbert's colleagues were supportive of one another's research both inside and outside the classroom.

"AAP provided an unparalleled academic environment, diversity of ideas, and self-governed curriculum, which created opportunities for impactful research," he says. "Being able to take courses throughout the university allowed me to better understand my career goals and expectations as a future city planner. The Cornell experience is one that I'll cherish for a lifetime."

Colbert was the recipient of a 2014–15 Reese-Miller research fellowship from the Telluride Association, awarded to exceptional students who exemplify the association's mission of promoting intellectual inquiry and democratic self-government. The scholarship allowed Colbert to spend a year at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a master of sociology and social anthropology. Following his studies in Budapest, Colbert returned to Longview to accept a position as a planner for the city. Currently, Colbert is the chief executive officer of ACE.