MACON – Dr. Ansley Booker, currently director of Mercer’s Educational Opportunity Center, has been appointed director of diversity and inclusion initiatives at the University, effective Oct. 1.
“The search committee worked diligently for over a year in search of the best candidate for Mercer University. In the end, Dr. Booker not only impressed us with her passion and knowledge of diversity issues, but with her commitment to this institution,” said Dr. Douglas R. Pearson, vice president and dean of students. “I am delighted that she has accepted the position and very excited about what she will be able to do with and for our students in this new position.”
Mercer’s new Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives will develop and support ongoing educational and awareness programs for students, faculty and staff to engage the campus community on topics of diversity such as multiculturalism, equity, inclusion, identity, and power and privilege.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, which will be located on the first floor of Connell Student Center beginning in October, will serve all campuses and may be contacted by calling (478) 301-2685.
“I am humbled and extremely honored to start this new journey with Mercer University as the inaugural director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives,” said Dr. Booker. “I look forward to upholding Mercer’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.”
Since 2010, Dr. Booker has led Mercer’s Educational Opportunity Center, one of five federal TRIO Programs offered at Mercer to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. The Educational Opportunity Center primarily serves displaced or underemployed workers from low-income families, helping them to choose a college and suitable financial aid program.
Dr. Booker has also served as an adjunct professor providing instruction in anatomy and physiology for Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement and as a faculty member and tutor for the University’s Upward Bound Program. Additionally, she is a Title IX investigator, co-adviser of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and a member of both the Judicial Council and Diversity Council at Mercer.
She has published and presented extensively on the experiences of African American women and minority students in STEM education and student affairs and served as a mentor and volunteer for numerous programs in the Macon community. She also presented a TED talk at TEDxUGA 2019 on “Unhidden Figures: Uncovering Our Cultural Biases in STEM.”
Her awards and recognitions include being named among the Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals and both the University of Georgia’s and Georgia Southern University’s 40 Under 40, as well as receiving Mercer’s Student Affairs Division STAR Award.
Dr. Booker earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership from Mercer in May, Master of Science in pharmacy from the University of Georgia in 2013 and Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Georgia Southern University in 2008, where she was a McNair Scholar.