In 2012, Justin earned his master's degree in higher education and student affairs at Eastern Michigan University. He was eager to start his career but wanted to do so in a new city that offered new experiences. He also wanted to stay within driving distance of his hometown, Grosse Pointe, Michigan. As fate would have it, Bloomington was the perfect fit.
Justin Ford is proof that a true Spartan can become a proud Hoosier.
That August, Justin took a position as an academic advisor in the Kelley School of Business. A year later, he joined the faculty as a lecturer. This appointment has allowed him to have a positive impact similar to the kind teachers had on him as an openly gay, black student in a majority white high school.
It was really nice to have teachers whose job was not only to help me perform academically but also to be concerned about me as a person. That was quite remarkable.
Justin pays this forward with Kelley School of Business students who reach out to him for guidance and advice. He also serves as board chair for Bloomington PRIDE, which supports the LGBTQ+ communities of Bloomington and south central Indiana.
Justin is a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ people—at IU and across the Bloomington community.
Through teaching, social involvement, and community organizing (not to mention a weekly bowling league), Justin has grown to feel deeply connected to Bloomington and his identity as a Hoosier. Most recently, that connection led to the formation of Bloomington United, a community coalition of social justice and minority-serving organizations.
What's next for Justin? Not even he knows. But one thing is clear: IU is home.