Dr. Toby Jenkins , Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Director of the Museum of Education, has been appointed Interim Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Associate Director of the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program.
Dr. Jenkins joined the University of South Carolina faculty in 2017. She is a highly sought-after expert in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in higher education and student affairs administration. She has authored five books focused on culture, diversity, and inclusion in education. Her 2013 book My Culture, My Color, My Self: Heritage, Resilience and Community in the Lives of Young Adults (Temple University Press) was named by the Association of American University Press to the "Top 100 Books for Understanding Race Relations in the US". And her 2017 book The Open Mic Night: Campus Programs that Champion College Student Voice and Engagement (Stylus Press) was the recipient of the 2018 Division B Book Recognition for Outstanding Edited Volume by the American Educational Research Association.
Prior to becoming a professor in 2009, Dr. Jenkins worked for 10 years as a student affairs administrator in the areas of student leadership, student activities, diversity and inclusion, multicultural affairs, fraternity and sorority life, education abroad, and urban and minority education. She has worked professionally at the University of Maryland, Penn State University, George Mason University, University of Hawaii, and Georgia Southern University. Her research, instruction, and studies have also taken her to over 35 countries exploring culture, community and education.
A native of Columbia, SC, Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the SC Honors College and the College of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, a master’s degree in Counseling and College Student Affairs from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in Educational Theory and Policy from Penn State University.
As a core member of the Graduate School’s leadership team, Dr. Jenkins will be responsible for providing broad oversight of initiatives and actions leading towards greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Graduate School. Major responsibilities will include:
- Leading strategic initiatives in support of the University’s DEI efforts in graduate student recruitment, retention, professional development, and career-readiness training.
- Partnering with department chairs, graduate directors, other administrative staff, faculty, and students to create a positive and supportive climate, particularly for graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Overseeing the daily operations of the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program (GJMPP) in cooperation with the Program’s Director, Dr. Johnnie McFadden.
Dr. Jenkins will also represent the Graduate School as a member of the University’s Council of Academic Diversity Officers (CADO). Welcome to the Graduate School, Dr. Jenkins!