Kenesha Starling recently became the first Black Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Review. Her historic achievement at Houston’s oldest law school has undoubtedly shattered a glass ceiling that has been in place since the school was established in 1923.
“There is a lot of pressure that comes with being the first in anything because people see you as a role model,” she said in an interview with the school. “They wonder if you’ll fall into a certain stereotype or be better or worse than your predecessors. Most of all, you must do your best, more for those coming behind you than for yourself. Because the reality is — if you don’t knock it out of the park — that ‘failure’ becomes a stigma and follows everyone who looks like you. That’s a weighty but exciting opportunity.”
Starling’s professional background has prepared her for a successful tenure and to leave the door open for those who come behind her.
“Having a professional background, I tend to see things a bit differently from my peers,” said Starling. “Generally, when people think of diversity, they only consider color or ethnicity, but I think diversity is also background, age, and the wealth of experiences that go along with that.”
Starling attended Texas Southern University for undergrad and obtained her MBA from the University of Houston Clear Lake. In addition to managing her course load and new responsibilities as Editor-in-Chief, she also successfully juggles motherhood and a full-time career with the federal government.