Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2020-09-16 12:30:59 –
She’s the first African American at the school to hold the position
by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer
According to Sutonia Boykin, wanting to have a career in higher education isn’t something a person desires to be when they’re young. Rather, there are certain experiences a person goes through, say, during their college experience and other life experiences, that inspires that desire to assist others in their educational journey.
Dr. Boykin’s experiences as a student at Cheyney University, a Historically Black College near Philadelphia, “is the reason I’m in higher education today,” she told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview, Sept. 14. “It was through those experiences and those connections that inspired me.”
Dr. Boykin earned her undergraduate degree from Cheyney in Business Administration, then earned her master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Long Island University-Brooklyn. She later earned her Doctorate in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University.
Her professional career has taken her in the classroom as an adjunct professor, and into the managerial room in universities’ departments of student development.
And come Oct. 1, the New Pittsburgh Courier has learned exclusively that Dr. Boykin will become Community College of Beaver County’s Vice President of Student Affairs. She’ll be the first African American in CCBC’s history to hold the position. Dr. Boykin will report to Dr. Davis and be a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet.
“We are pleased to welcome Sutonia to the CCBC faculty,” said Dr. Roger W. Davis, CCBC President, who is also African American, in a statement provided to the Courier. “Her impressive experience, leadership style and results-driven approach will help to build educational pathways for the students and faculty around her and ensure that our core values of Students First is upheld and maintained.”
Dr. Boykin is joining CCBC from Rockland Community College of the State University of New York, where she is the Dean of Student Development. Dr. Boykin also was Director of Transfer Services at LaGuardia Community College, also in New York.
During CCBC’s nationwide search for a VP of Student Affairs, Dr. Boykin was particularly interested in the position because of Dr. Davis’ top-notch reputation that still permeates around Rockland Community College. He came to CCBC in 2016 from Rockland, where he was Associate Vice President of Instruction and Academic Services. Dr. Boykin joined Rockland a few months after Dr. Davis had left the college. “When I saw the opportunity, I thought this was a great opportunity to work with him,” Dr. Boykin said.
Dr. Boykin added: “I appreciate the confidence of President Davis and the support of the search committee, and I eagerly appreciate becoming a Titan, and together we will continue to shape world-changers.”
Her vast knowledge of the student transfer process from two- to four-year colleges helped her create a transfer center for Rockland Community College. Students there were able to meet representatives from four-year colleges “from Day 1,” Dr. Boykin said, because the transfer process “is a developmental process. That’s not something that happens overnight.”
Overall, the student affairs department is responsible for creating that “vibrant campus life experience,” Dr. Boykin said. “Intentional opportunities for student engagement,” she added, with “evidence that learning happens everywhere.”
Dr. Boykin, who grew up in Brooklyn, told the Courier that as the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college, many students can relate to her, and she can relate to them. “Education does work.
Education is for everyone, and wherever you want to go, there is always a support system that will surround you and assist you in getting where you need to be,” she said. “But the basis is, it starts off with going to college, because college presents that foundation and provides that support.”