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University of Missouri

Bermudian Pipeline

A professor and a long jumper, both from Bermuda, look to cultivate connections.

Ty-Ron Douglas and Kerri Furbert,

Education Assistant Professor Ty-Ron Douglas and fellow Bermudian Kerri Furbert, a track athlete, hope to facilitate connections between their home island and MU. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

Ty-Ron Douglas, a native of Bermuda and an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, sees potential. As a researcher of black community-based spaces such as barbershops, churches and sports clubs, he knows informal relationships can often create strong bonds. Now he is teaming with MU long jumper Kerri Furbert, also a Bermudian, to spread the word about Mizzou among their countrymen.

Douglas and Furbert didn’t know each other from their home island — they met at Mizzou after Douglas read an article about her.

“It’s typical of the Bermudian experience in that most people aren’t that far away,” Douglas says. “You’ve got 65,000 people on a 21-square-mile island. Connections already exist, and my hope is that we can build relationships and get students to consider Mizzou as an option.”

Furbert learned about MU from her youth track coach who knew Kareem Streete-Thompson, a former Tiger assistant coach and three-time Olympian. Furbert proved her athletic prowess when she qualified for the 2011 Caribbean Free Trade Association Games, an event that once featured Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

Douglas wants to create a partnership with Mizzou and Bermuda College. He also hopes to develop programs that might entice future Bermudian school principals to study in his department.

Furbert is undecided about her major, but she is helping Douglas with his research on culturally relevant leadership in Bermuda.

“It will help me better understand people with leadership roles and what they go through,” Furbert says.