Longview ISD graduate nabs Harvard MBA credits solid foundation from Hudson Pep and Foster Middle School


As Father’s Day looms, two men with humble beginnings have reasons be proud and grateful

Jamira Vanessa Cotton and Erin Harkless were recently awarded Masters of Business Administration  degrees from the Harvard University School of Business.
Their fathers, Dr. James Cotton of Longview and Dr. Lawrence Harkless of Pomona, California were present to celebrate the occasion. Ironically both men grew up in a small African American community called Mayflower close to Tatum. Even more, they attended Tatum High School.
Both men attested to the goodness of God and strong work-ethic as they mused about their humble beginnings in a tiny east Texas community.
According to Dr. Harkless duty to discipline determines pattern of performance. Dr. Cotton believes working hard with the gifts God has blessed you with is one of the keys to success. Obviously, these two Harvard graduates were good disciples and adhered to their fathers’ doctrine.
Jamira Cotton is a product of Longview Independent School District. She attended Hudson Pep and Foster Middle School. She was a National Merit Scholar at Longview High School and graduated in 2004. Ms. Cotton received her bachelor’s of science degree in chemical-biological engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
She worked as a consultant for McKinsey Consulting Firm before going to Harvard.
She remembers her formative years at Hudson Pep and Foster Middle School and is grateful for the firm educational foundation these schools in Longview ISD provided her.
Her friend Erin Harkless was a 2003 graduate of Incarnate Word High School in San Antonio where she graduated Valedictorian. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in English, Finance and International Business from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 2007 and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She worked for Goldman & Sachs on Wall Street before attending Harvard.