Name: Keonya Booker

Hometown: Lynchburg, Virginia

Education/Background: B.A. in Psychology from William and Mary; M.Ed. in School Psychology from William and Mary; Ph.D. in Education (Educational Psychology, Measurement, and Evaluation) from UNC Chapel Hill

Job title: Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School

How long have you worked at the College? I joined the College in 2013 as an adjunct and started on the tenure track in fall 2014.

What are your job responsibilities? As associate dean in the Graduate School, a significant part of my role involves managing and reviewing graduate curriculum proposals. I also coordinate the assessment of individual graduate programs within each school. As advisor to the Graduate Student Association, I support graduate student events, facilitate programming and address issues and complaints that may arise. I teach both graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Teacher Education.

What do you like most about your job? Working with students in multiple capacities, whether that be instructionally or in an advisory capacity, is a very rewarding part of my job. I especially enjoy hearing from former students who are now practicing teachers thriving in their profession.

What question do you get asked most in your job and what’s your typical answer? Professionally, I am often asked questions related to assessment and curriculum matters. Faculty will ask if I can review Curriculog proposals or assessment reports prior to final submission. My response is a resounding yes! On a personal note, many people struggle to pronounce my first name (Kee-ahn-yah) correctly, so after I pronounce it for them I often say, “It rhymes with Tonya,” to help those who prefer a memory aid.

What’s your favorite location on campus and why? Because I have a dual appointment, I split my time between both Randolph Hall and the School of Education. Walking through the Cistern Yard to get back and forth is always a pleasure, especially in the fall.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy reading for pleasure and cardio dance. I have been playing The Sims since it originally came out in 2000. I am a diehard fan and have collected all iterations thereafter.

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of? In 2019, my departmental colleagues nominated me for the College of Charleston Distinguished Teaching Award. While I was not the ultimate recipient, I am very thankful to them for seeing something in me worthy of that honor. Both of my parents were educators (my father was my elementary school principal), so I am a teacher above all else.

Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently and why? This year I was able to see Janet Jackson and New Edition in concert. Their music was the soundtrack to my youth, and it was thrilling to see them live. Next up, Madonna and Mariah!

What was your favorite TV show growing up? The Golden Girls. I am 100% Dorothy, with a touch of Sophia when necessary.

What’s next on your bucket list? In a perfect world, my husband and I would take a one-month trip to Ghana for a hallmark wedding anniversary (possibly year 15 or 20).

What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you? My first name means “little princess.” My husband always says my parents knew what they were doing when they made that choice!

What was your first job? Aside from neighborhood babysitting jobs when I was in middle school, my first official job was as a retail worker at Cato, a women’s apparel store.

What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? It’s hard to go wrong with The Glass Onion.

Describe your perfect day: A fun workout, learning a new cookie recipe and spending time with my loved ones.

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