Meet Dr. Jamar Booth, Lecturer, Department of Rehabilitation & Health Services
First, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jamar Booth, and I was born and raised in South Carolina. As for my academic background, I earned my doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from The University of Iowa. Both my master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Activity Management were merited at South Carolina State University. I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and have satisfied all requirements for the designation of National Certified Counselor (NCC).
My clinical experiences have centered on the person with disability achieving their educational, vocational, and other major life goals. My teaching experiences are varied and span nearly a decade. I have taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
My current line of research applies the biopsychosocial framework to investigate the relationships among various predictor variables and quality of life, as an outcome, for persons with chronic illness and disability
I am an active member of several national and international organizations, such as the American Counseling Association (ACA), the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA), Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International (CSI), and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).
Why did you choose to study rehabilitation counseling?
Rehabilitation counseling is a dynamic counseling specialty that is often overlooked and misunderstood. Ideally, my story would have been that I always knew that my career of choice would be grounded in advocacy efforts for persons with chronic illness and disability. Instead, my entry into the profession was a matter of serendipity. I chose to study rehabilitation counseling after a series of life events that altered my initial educational and career goals. Networking with mentors introduced me to the field. Learning about and witnessing the profound impact of rehabilitation counseling kept me here. I speak for many rehabilitation counselors when I say that the field found me.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Teaching is a profession that facilitates the opportunity to have a lifelong impact on the students. I often reflect on messages/words of wisdom from my former teachers, even as far back as grade school. Many of those messages helped me to get through challenging times. To know that I could positively impact a student’s life well beyond our time together is priceless.
What do you hope your students gain from your courses?
As a part of my teaching philosophy, I hope that students experience both personal and professional growth. This means that they not only acquire the requisite knowledge, but that they continually evaluate, assess, and self-reflect upon their personal values, beliefs, and worldviews and consider how they may impact the contexts and clients they serve. Independent of course subject, I hope that students think critically and meaningfully about the content to connect it to their “why” or purpose for entering the helping profession.
What did you do before pursuing a career in academia, and why did you decide to pursue teaching instead?
I decided to pursue teaching immediately following my master’s program. Motivated to conduct research on some of the limitations observed within the service-delivery systems for clients, a doctorate made perfect sense. I also felt that I could utilize my experiences to connect with future students who might struggle with any perceived disconnect between counselor training and practice. I would like to add that my professors at the time served as great models of the flexibility higher education could afford.
When you’re not teaching, what do you enjoy doing?
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my significant other and our two-year-old daughter. I have diverse interests in podcasts and am a fan of a few professional sports (e.g., basketball, football, boxing).
Do you have any fun facts that others may not know about you?
Despite having earned a doctorate, I have a difficult time identifying fun facts about myself. One that stands out, though, is that I traveled abroad to study the Humanistic Origins of Counseling situated in Greece.