Name: Rochelle R. Johnson
Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina
Education: Bachelor of Science, South Carolina State University
Job title: Interim Director, Multicultural Student Programs and Services
How long have you worked at the College? Eight years and three months
What are your job responsibilities? In my previous role as the associate director in the Office for Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), I proudly supervised the SPECTRA/SCAMP (Speedy Consolidation and Transition/SC Alliance for Minority Participation) Summer Program and recruited and hired SPECTRA LEADers. I served as the coordinator for the Mentoring Matters Program, which is “part two” of the Spectra Program where students who have participated in Spectra are paired with a faculty member, staff member or peer upperclassman to help them navigate through their first year here at the College. I monitored the Gateway Scholars academic progress and plan and coordinate MSPS specialty events such as the MSPS Holiday Drop-In, multicultural graduation celebrations (Asian Pacific, Hispanic/Latinx and NIA Rite of Passage), and ExCEL Awards.
In my new role as interim director of MSPS, I am responsible for the leadership, direction, supervision and evaluation of programs and services that promote the full engagement, academic success, retention, and graduation of historically underrepresented students. I also monitor student academic progress and assist students in our programs in reaching their academic and development objectives. Lastly, I serve as a member on various campus and division committees.
What do you like most about your job? I enjoy working with our students and assisting them in navigating the campus community.
What question do you get asked most in your job and what’s your typical answer? Usually, I am asked “What is the difference between MSPS and OID (Office of Institutional Diversity)?” My response is MSPS serves as a safe haven and advocates for students. We provide resources, programs and events geared toward them and the promotion of diversity and inclusion.
What are your hobbies? I love to read. I actually have over 400 books on my Kindle. I also love to carry on the family tradition of baking my grandmother’s sweet potato pies for my family during the holidays.
What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of? I am very proud to say that my husband and I have raised two beautiful children, both a son and a daughter. My son is in his last year at Coastal Carolina, and my daughter just started her freshman year at Claflin University.
Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently and why? I really enjoyed Shen Yun at the North Charleston Coliseum. The performance told stories of Chinese culture, legends and folk tradition through classical dance with performers in beautiful attire.
What was your favorite TV show growing up? Growing up my favorite TV show was Schoolhouse Rock!
What’s next on your bucket list? Next up would be traveling to the West Coast by RV as well as touring Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you? I have a granddoggie named Callie.
What was your first job? I worked as an office assistant for a moving company beginning the summer of my freshman year of college up until graduation.
What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? I don’t have one particular favorite because I’m a GeeChee girl! I like to cook Lowcountry soul food – I learned from my grandmother. However, if I had to pick a favorite restaurant, it would be the Charleston Crab House on James Island.
Describe your perfect day: Doing any of the following things makes any day perfect for me: Being thankful in all things and thanking God for allowing me to live to see another day. Being able to be an encourager to someone who I may cross paths with – kind words can be a comfort to students. Being able to advise students: Being available, being supportive, and staying involved. And lastly, being able to build relationships with students on campus and taking an interest in students’ well-being.
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Photo by Heather Moran