Courtney Boddie has been passionate about teaching ever since he can remember.
It’s no surprise, then, that Boddie’s path in life has included work in community college, public university, private university and independent college settings through roles in academic support, disability affairs, college counseling, instruction and instructional administration.
A 2008 St. Louis Community College graduate, Boddie currently is an assistant professor of clinical counseling and program site administrator at Central Methodist University. There he provides operational and instructional oversight, and is a faculty specialist in multicultural and career counseling. He also is a practicing clinician for Change Inc., as a member of its online counseling team.
“I have always been a teacher at heart, having been the child at daycare who would prop 18 month olds on the piano bench for impromptu plunking lessons,” Boddie said. “All my life, I have loved to teach, taking every opportunity available to do so. I love having a job where I am paid to do something I would have done for free. I enjoy helping students to grow. I enjoy sharing knowledge. I enjoy creating opportunities for critical thought and for discussion.”
Boddie is licensed and board certified in clinical mental health counseling, and has an extensive history of clinical work, consultation and program development with individuals such as African-American college men, learners with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and students who are LGBTQ+ identified.
Charting a Career Path
Despite his love for teaching, Boddie almost chose a different career path. While sorting through his options after high school graduation, Boddie opted to attend St. Louis Community College via the Emerson Engineering Scholarship program.
“The coursework was fun. I loved calculus, linear algebra, organic chemistry and statistics,” he said. “When I first encountered physics, however, well, let’s say that it was not a shining moment. Finding out that engineering is essentially an applied physics field was exactly what I needed to change my course of study. I then changed my major to business, as I wanted to transfer to Washington University, and the business school, with its quantitative emphasis gladly accepted my transfer credit.”
Along the way, Boddie became deeply invested in Phi Theta Kappa International Society, becoming a chapter officer shortly after his induction in March 2007. This organization offered him what he was looking for – the college experience.
“I developed friendships, connections with members of the society, and access to a pathway to transfer,” he said. “Through interactions with the diverse student body at Forest Park, I become immersed in the study of culture and its impact on wellbeing and learning outcomes.”
In 2008, Boddie was selected to the All-Missouri Academic First Team and was named the Missouri New Century Scholar. He was named to the All-USA Academic Second Team. He also was awarded a distinguished regional officer team distinction at the Phi Theta Kappa National Convention. He used the money he received from these accolades to fund his first and only study abroad, journeying to China shortly before the Beijing Olympics.
After leaving STLCC, Boddie did transfer to Washington University in St. Louis, where he completed his undergraduate degree in organizational behavior and psychology. While there, he remained active as a student leader by developing the Xi Epsilon Leadership Institute, a training for Phi Theta Kappa officers. He also actively participated in campus’ National Black MBA Association chapter.
Because of his experiences at STLCC, Boddie developed a passion for learning, student development and mental health. He then enrolled at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and will complete his doctorate in counseling in August.
As a practicing clinician, Boddie enjoys working with those whose distress is associated with their cultural identities, i.e. internalized oppression, identity development, and acculturative stress.
“It is simply an honor to sit with individuals having a hard time – trusting me enough to be vulnerable,” he said. “The work is challenging, but it is gratifying to be able to share space with clients.”
As he prepares to complete his doctorate, Boddie credits his decision to attend STLCC with being a pivotal factor in charting his life path.
“I did not magically arrive at this point in life,” Boddie said. “My interactions with the faculty and staff at STLCC nurtured my interests, cultivating my career trajectory. Perhaps more importantly, those rich experiences instilled a value for and commitment to community college education, which have informed my scholarship, clinical practice, teaching and career decision making.”