Jason Arday, who was diagnosed with global developmental delay and autistic spectrum disorder as a youngster and couldn’t talk until age 11, is now the youngest black professor at Cambridge University.
University of Cambridge professor of sociology of education Jeremy Arday
Jason Arday is currently the University of Cambridge’s youngest Black professor.
Jason Arday has fulfilled a goal that once seemed unattainable: he is now a professor at the esteemed Cambridge University in England.
The 37-year-old professor of sociology of education, who was diagnosed with global development delay and autistic spectrum disorder as a child, didn’t learn to read or write until he was 18 and didn’t learn to speak until he was 11 years old.
Arday was similarly informed less than eight years ago that he would require assisted living and lifelong support as an adult, but the native of Clapham, south London, wasn’t backing down. One day he scrawled a list of objectives on the wall of his mother’s bedroom, one of which was “One day I will work at Oxford or Cambridge.”
The professor, who was “violently rejected” when he first tried to teach in higher education, now works at the No. 2 university in the world and is the youngest black professor there.
“Even though I like to be positive, there’s no way I could have believed that would have happened. The odds were quite long, if I were a gambler. Really insane, “Friday, Arday told The Times. “I had no notion what I was doing when I first began to write academic articles
. No one ever taught me how to write, and I had no mentor. I received a harsh rejection for everything I submitted. I embraced the peer review process as a learning opportunity and, strangely, started to love it since it was so brutal it was almost hilarious.”
Arday revealed to The Times that he utilized sign language to communicate after receiving an early diagnosis. Despite this, he finally obtained a PhD from Liverpool John Moores University, two master’s degrees, and a postgraduate diploma in education to work as a PE instructor.
Sandro Sandi, a friend and mentor, then gave him some much-needed support to pursue a career in academics. He told Arday, “I think you can achieve this,” according to The Times. “I believe we can defeat the entire globe.”
Many academics claim to have fallen into their line of work by accident, but Arday told The Times that “from that point I was motivated and focused — I knew that this would be my goal.” “In consideration, I meant to do this,”