Passing it on. A first-generation college student, this Tiger didn’t let obstacles deter her from earning her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. In turn, she works to help students scale obstacles so that they can achieve the same success.

Meet Kimberly Poole.

Pic of Kimberly Poole

Title: Associate Dean of Students

Years at Clemson: 11.5


What I do at Clemson: I currently serve as associate dean of students for the Division of Student Affairs. In this position I directly supervise the management of the Office of Advocacy and Success. I serve on various divisional and university wide committees to address crisis management, to advocate for students, and to promote student success. I am a liaison and collaborative partner for students, families, and campus and community partners. I consult with the associate vice president/dean of students on all matters related to the Office of the Dean of Students and I serve as his designee in his absence. Prior to this role, I served as assistant dean of students for one year and I was a coordinator and licensed professional counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Redfern Health Center for nine years.

What I love about Clemson: I love our campus. Each time I walk across campus or look out my office window, I appreciate the beautiful setting that we are in. Beyond the aesthetics, I love the people and the atmosphere. I have been on this campus intermittently for about 25 years as a student and a staff member. Throughout these years I have interacted with people committed to making a difference in the lives of others and for advancing the quality of life of others through personal and professional growth. I am grateful to have the chance to enjoy this for so long.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: My accomplishment that I am most proud of at this point in my life is the attainment of a terminal degree. As a first generation college student, like others, there were obstacles and challenges. However, I was able to overcome those challenges, identify resources and mentors, and attain my doctoral degree. I am grateful to be able to support others who are on their educational journeys. Life is an ongoing process and I know that there will be more accomplishments to celebrate.

Where I see myself in five years: Continuing to work hard to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Last thing I watched on TV: The Big Bang Theory. I often watch sitcoms in syndication as a way to relax at the end of a busy day.

Guilty Pleasure: I actually have no guilt about it, but one of the things that brings me pleasure is participating in and traveling with my niece for All Star Competitive Cheerleading. The hard work, intensity, and perseverance of these young athletes is inspiring. 

 One thing most people don’t know about me: One thing that most people don’t know about me is that ALL of my academic degrees, including my high school diploma, were conferred on the campus of Clemson University. I graduated from Seneca High School in Seneca and we used Littlejohn Coliseum as our graduation site. Just four years after that I received my bachelor’s degree in the same location. In 2002, while Littlejohn was being renovated, graduation was held in Memorial Stadium. I was fortunate to walk across the stage and receive my master’s degree before the rain and storms caused a dash for shelter. Then, in 2014, back in Littlejohn Coliseum, I received my doctoral degree. So, as you can tell, this campus is a special place for me.

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