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Crockett named Dean at LSCO

By Dawn Burleigh

Dr. Suzonne Crockett has been named Dean of Academic Studies for Lamar State College Orange.

Crockett has held the title of Interim Dean of Academic Studies since August and her permanent title became official this week.

“During her time as interim Dean of Academic Studies, Dr. Crockett has continued providing progressive leadership and strong support to faculty, students, and staff in spite of the worldwide pandemic and two hurricanes that have significantly impacted our operations,” said Dr. Wendy Elmore, LSCO’s EVP/Provost. “As a courageous leader, Dr. Crockett eagerly invests the time and energy required in order to provide excellent educational opportunities for our students.  Her energy and commitment to research and apply high impact practices to benefit LSCO’s students is extraordinary and has been welcomed during such an unprecedented time in higher education.”

As Dean of Academic Studies, Crockett is responsible for the academic programs on campus, including policies and development as well as overseeing and supporting the faculty and staff.

Crockett’s story of success is one that started in 1992 with her as a nervous, insecure student at LSCO.

“I was a student here in the Spring of ’92,” Crockett said. “I was a Developmental Math student at LCSO. Now I have a Doctor of Education in Developmental Education Administration.”

Through her time as a student, Crockett became more confident in herself and her abilities and graduated from LSCO in 1996 with her Associate’s degree. She went on to graduate with her Bachelor’s degree from Lamar University and her Master’s and doctoral degrees from Sam Houston State University.

Crockett’s pursuits of higher education were supported by her peers within the Texas State University System. She was the recipient of the Grow Your Own scholarship provided through the system’s Foundation, which allowed her to earn her doctoral degree. The Alan Dreeban Grow Your Own scholarship provides financial assistance to individuals from groups underrepresented on the faculty to complete their doctoral degrees. This scholarship also provides the opportunity for these individuals to mentor college students from underrepresented populations and assist in retaining these students.

“She is a great example of where an LSCO education can take someone,” said LSCO President Dr. Thomas Johnson. “She personifies our vision of being a place where hope meets opportunity and our mission to transform lives.”

Dr. Crockett has established herself as a cheerleader to everyone on the LSCO campus and we happily follow her lead to celebrate this wonderful achievement.

“The greatest trials become triumphs,” Crockett said. “How ironic that I go through these trials and to be awarded this honor.”

She said Gid gets all the create.

“Always has to be God,” Crockett said. “No one but God sustained me on this journey.”

She is married to Reverend Ronnie Crockett and together they have four children, Susan, Millicent, Lil Ronnie, and Clarence.

“Ronnie has supported my decision for education wholeheartedly,” Crockett said. “My children are my greatest blessing from God.”

She also has 12 grandchildren which she refers to as the 12 tribes of Crockett.

“They are a little something extra God gave to me,” Crockett said. “God has been good to me.”

She added she knew she had to work harder than others from the beginning.

“I have always known I was not the sharpest crayon in the box,” Crockett said. “While I work hard, I color well. A master uses crayons to color. Sharp, new ones or broken worn ones, he gets to the same beautiful canvas. Don’t sell yourself short because you are not the prettiest crayon in the box. Work hard, place it in God’s hands and watch me color.”

One aspect Crockett enjoys about her position is the ability to reach students.

“I have the ability, vision, Knowledge and skill to lead,” Crockett said. “I recognize leadership in everyone.”

She said she is fortunate to be able to work with so many brilliant people on campus and that is takes everyone to make it work.

“Dr. Thomas Johnson is a visionary president,” Crockett said. “He does not see where we are or have been but where we are going. If he didn’t see things that way, I wouldn’t be a Dean.”

She added she is privileged to report to a “phenomenal provost.”

“Dr. Elmore is a leader who works with the people,” Crockett said.

While Crockett said she has a lot to learn, she does have personal goals, strategic plans and reasonable timelines to make it happen.

“I would not be able to do it without my two admins, Debbie Gilbeaux and Carolyn Drapeaux,” Crockett said. “They are my pillars who keep me propped up.”

Crocket also said the college will continue to grow.

“We are going to educate Orange, Orange County,” Crockett said. “We will be known in the great state of Texas.”