By Cheryl Reed

Amir Gilmore is a first-year doctoral candidate in cultural studies at WSU. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and black studies in education and a master’s degree in arts and black studies from SUNY. When Amir decided to pursue a doctoral degree, he found the Washington State University Cultural Studies program online and the name of faculty member Paula Price. He saw that her interests were similar to his and thought she may be someone he could work with.

“So I emailed her and we set up a time for a phone call,” said Amir. “We had an hour-long conversation. She sold me on WSU Pullman. For me, to have a one-hour conversation with someone who didn’t even know me really wowed me.”

Paula Groves Price, Associate Dean for Diversity in International Programs in the College of Education, shared information about the program in cultural studies with Amir–and also that Pullman was a nice town for a family or a dog—something important to Amir, who owned a Jack Russell Terrier named Jet. Jet was confined and trapped in the city in New York, and it was important for Amir that the campus be a good fit for his dog.

“Knowing that Pullman was dog-friendly is actually what settled my decision to attend,” said Amir. “I was really surprised when I arrived at Washington State University in Pullman – surprised that what I was told about the place was true. I love the open space and the feeling of community, and that I can take Jet off his leash and let him run. I also liked the feeling of school pride and the diversity of students.”

Amir says that the program in cultural studies is a good fit for him. He is interested in research about social justice and inequity and helping underrepresented youth find access to education. Although not certain of the direction his doctoral degree will take him, he’s open to ideas.

“I’ve thought of law school, politics, high school superintendent, and an author of books. I’ve always had a love of teaching and working with youth,” he said.

Find out about the Cultural Studies Program at