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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
College of Business

Queen Booker

Page address: http://cob.mnsu.edu/media/postcards/QueenBooker.html

Queen Booker

Queen Booker

Queen Booker, Ph.D. grew up as one of ten children on a farm in the Mississippi Delta. She left home to study at Harvard, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science, and went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi. Yet she retained "a real soft spot" for rural communities, and she has worked to solve some of the problems they face.

Her efforts with the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Kellogg Foundation, and other government and nonprofit organizations center on sparking development in economically disadvantaged areas. She has helped upgrade infrastructure in small towns. She’s led an effort to provide telecommunications access and online education in Third World countries. And, most recently, she worked on a University of Arizona initiative to assure accountability and improve quality in e-education. A common thread running through Booker's career is a desire to connect people to education and economic opportunity, allowing them to overcome historical prejudice and geographic isolation.

Booker credits these accomplishments to her business background. An education in business, she says, taught her how to work with people, how to solve real-world problems, how to get things done. Teaching in MSU’s Department of Management, she hopes to do the same for her students-whether online or on campus. She likes to surprise each new class by announcing, "I can teach you nothing." Then she's quick to add, "I help students to learn, and we learn something by doing it and practicing it."

When students complete one of Booker’s classes, they leave knowing they’ve done more than an academic exercise. "We help students move from wherever they were when they came in to where the world is going to be when they graduate," Booker says. "That’s why what we do is important."