MEET ANTOINE MOSS (MPA ’07, Ph.D. ’11)
- Ph.D., Urban Studies and Public Affairs, Levin Collge - Cleveland State University
- M.P.A., Levin College - Cleveland State University
- B.A., Criminal Justice, Baldwin Wallace University
Where are you currently residing?
Parma Heights, OH
Where are you from?
East Cleveland, OH
Position Title: Logistics Operations Manager
Place of Employment: NASA Glenn Research Center
Job Duties: I'm responsible for leading a team of civil servants and government contractors who manage and implement federal logistics, transportation, and energy executive orders and policies at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
Describe your volunteer experience:
I am the Executive Director & Founder of C.H.A.N.G.E. Volunteers, Inc. At this 501(c)(3) organization, I lead community engagement and development initiatives while working with teams of volunteers to ensure that youth development programs, plans, and initiatives are well designed. This program has impacted over 5,000 volunteers and community members. The volunteer sites include recreation centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and community businesses.
Why did you decide to attend Levin?
I decided to attend Levin because it's a local college with nationally recognized urban studies programs. I was also able to acquire a Graduate Assistantship that provided a stipend and tuition coverage. This was a HUGE incentive for me to stay within the Greater Cleveland area.
How did your experience at Levin influence your career path?
My experience at Levin helped me in acquiring and developing key skills and experiences. The program shaped me into a high-performing public administrator. Levin's world-class professors and advisors aided my growth and learning as a scholar and practitioner.
What's your favorite Levin memory?
My favorite Levin memory was having the opportunity to be mentored by two strong African-American professors – Professor Sy Murray and Dr. Ronnie Dunn. As a first generation college graduate, having these role models was instrumental because they could relate to where I came from and where I wanted to go. They gave me hope, guidance, and most importantly, the compassion that I needed to get me through the master's and doctorate programs. As a result, I graduated as the youngest African-American male in the history of the doctorate program at 28 years old – and I completed the program in only 4 years.
What piece of advice do you have for current Levin graduate students?
Current students should be willing to go the extra mile to make their dreams come true. They should take advantage of developmental and extracurricular activities and opportunities that Levin offers. It's not enough just to be a "student". They must begin to shape their careers as professionals to stand out in the job market. Lastly, they should learn as much as they can about how to be an effective public leader. Strong leaders in the public space are always needed.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned at Levin?
The most valuable lesson that I learned at Levin was to use the degrees that work for my life. I recall that I was ambivalent about pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Public Affairs. Some of the advisors said I would have to teach or become a researcher if I attained this particular degree. However, Dr. Dunn informed me that if I graduate with that degree I could become a practitioner if I wanted to. The moral of this story: Do what's best for your dreams!
What inspires you about Northeast Ohio? Why?
What inspires me about Northeast Ohio is the positive vibes for young professionals that are now permeating Cleveland. Within the last 5-7 years, there was a lot of buzz about the "Cleveland Brain Drain" due to recent grads relocating to various areas across the country. Now it's cool to see millennials flocking to Cleveland. The positive energy is awesome!
In your opinion, what’s Northeast Ohio’s best kept secret?
I love the Lake Erie coast. From Lakewood to Downtown to Euclid - the coast is booming. Particularly in the spring and summer months, there's always something fun happening in Cleveland along the coast!
What’s one thing someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I almost ruined my wedding because I played basketball the night before – and I collided with another guy’s head. Shortly thereafter, I started bleeding heavily from a cut that was right above my eye. Since my eye was swollen I had to wear glasses. My wife almost didn't notice who I was. She married me anyway.
What issues are you passionate about/what inspires you?
I'm very passionate about helping people overcome current obstacles, past failures, and self-defeating beliefs to help make their dreams come true. I love to see people unlock their potential in life. I've written a couple of successful books as a means to help me reach people across the country. I've also intentionally achieved a very high level of success throughout my early career so that I could be a positive role model for minorities. As a result, I'm known as the "Man of Inspiration.”