This Student Affairs team member mentors young people, provides professional development opportunities and worked to establish a non-profit that benefits kids.

Meet Dionne Holt.

Title: Administrative coordinator

Years at Clemson: 9

What I do at Clemson: My primary role is assisting the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and executive director of Housing. While I mostly manage my supervisor’s day-to-day needs, I also provide direction to parents and students to ensure their concerns are addressed by the most appropriate person. Students are navigating this thing called “life,” so it is our responsibility to provide the resources and tools to help them be successful. I take pride in providing guidance as necessary to the young people I encounter, including our graduate staff. Currently, I am a new member of Staff Senate, where I also serve on the Policy and Welfare committee. Previously, as the co-chair of the Student Affairs Professional Development Committee, my colleague shared her vision to create a conference “for us, by us.” With the support of many others, we produced a Student Affairs half-day conference that became known as the Synergy Conference. The conference was a way for the division to provide on-campus professional development opportunities via individual and collective discovery through relationships, partnerships and collaborations with students, faculty, staff and other members of our Student Affairs community. It was such a success, that we held a full day conference in January 2017.

What I love about Clemson: Moving to South Carolina has been an enlightening experience for me. As a native Washingtonian, it is unusual for individuals to speak if they do not personally know you. I find that I am always learning, which should be an expectation at an institution of higher learning. The Clemson family atmosphere is resounding. The connections made on the day-to-day basis with staff and students is rewarding. Watching staff across departments work together through collaborative efforts to achieve a common goal is astonishing. Mostly, I am proud of how we put our students first in everything we do!

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: Taurean Athletics & Development. Inc., a non-profit my husband and I formed. When our two youngest sons decided they wanted to play football, I was ecstatic. However, my enthusiasm quickly dashed after seeing the lack of fundamental coaching. Here were 7- to 9-year-old boys playing a contact sport without understanding the mechanics to play positions properly. After two years, my husband had the opportunity to be an assistant coach. He and the head coach had a vision that took talented young men, gave them the fundamentals of the game, so their natural abilities would catapult them to success. We parted ways with the system to start a league that focused on playing sports safely with appropriately trained coaches. Every year, we provide multiple scholarships and low cost equipment rental for the players. Our vision is to have a league that promotes fundamentals, education and personal development on and off the field. Early introduction to good sportsmanship, team building and character development is key to the success of our future athletes.

Where I see myself in five years: I’m still working on my vision in five years, but my sincere hope is the non-profit will continue to provide more opportunity for young people who would not otherwise realize their potential. Professionally, I am not certain what the future holds, except it will definitely involve helping people.

Last thing I watched on TV: Big Bang Theory. Sheldon is my favorite character on the show due to his dry humor, quick wit and sharp mind. He is always two steps ahead of everybody and does not apologize for it.

Guilty pleasure: Unfortunately, I do not have a guilty pleasure. With a husband who coaches multiple teams, four children – two still in high school with one playing football and two grandchildren, I do not have time to sit still.

One thing people don’t know about you: I am a thespian at heart. I studied ballet, tap and modern jazz between the ages of six and nine. At the ripe age of 10, I discovered theater and it has been in my blood ever since. The Howard University Children’s Theater (H.U.C.T.) is where I began my studies from the age of 9 through age 12. Karen Malina White was one of my acting coaches. Eventually, I received an invitation to audition for the Howard University Playmakers, a repertory company. It was a dream come true with travels to Ireland and the Bahamas to perform. I hope to hit the stage again someday!

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