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Encouraging Students to Discover Their Purpose

Whether Kevin L. Booker Jr. is teaching first-year seminar, public speaking or yoga, he sees his role in the classroom as one to encourage and help his students see their full potential.

“My love of teaching translates across multiple disciplines,” he says, “and I use a variety of methods and strategies to help my students understand their purpose, vision and where they are going in life. These lessons are critical for students to tap into their greatness, build up their confidence and realize that they can take on anything they wish to accomplish. Along the way, students also learn how to support one another and build each other up, which is a critical skill that benefits our students in any sector or life path they pursue.”

Currently a visiting instructor, Booker is working on his doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on higher education. He says what he loves about Mitchell is the wide range of students who attend the college.

“As President Espy says, ‘We serve a kaleidoscope of learners.’ Our students come to the college with a wide variety of backgrounds. Mitchell’s faculty and staff are caring, compassionate and supportive in meeting each of our student’s needs to ensure they are successful. As a professor, I learn from my students because they bring different skills and expertise into the classroom. The small size of the college allows faculty to interact and build a stronger connection with our students.”

He credits the connections that he formed with his own teachers for inspiring him to teach.

“Throughout my entire educational career, from elementary through my doctorate program, I have had many teachers, professors and peers who have encouraged me to do my best. They have invested in me, were committed to seeing me develop and led by example. The teachers I looked up to the most had incredibly high standards, were deeply compassionate for their students and went above and beyond the classroom. Seeing strong educators that looked like me allowed me to envision myself as an educator and be a leader in the classroom and community as they were.”

Booker’s community leadership includes serving on the board of directors of both the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut and the ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) Charter School in New London. He also serves on the Hartford Job Corps Academy outreach board and the School and State Finance Advisory Council. He is a former city councilor for the City of New London and currently serves as commissioner of the New London Parking Authority.

“I will always be a teacher because I truly love to teach,” he says. “You can change a person’s life with education. I know this because it changed mine.”