Roy Jones to serve as keynote for GSU Call Me MiSTER Conference

Dr. Roy I. Jones, executive director of the Call Me MiSTER program and Provost Distinguished Professor for Clemson University’s College of Education, will serve as keynote for Grambling State University’s Call Me MiSTER Conference. The first event of its kind in Louisiana, the conference will be held on June 30 in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. 

The Call Me MiSTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program was founded originally at Clemson University in 2000. The program strives to increase the pool of available teachers from a more diverse background, particularly among the lowest-performing elementary schools. A partnership with Clemson in August 2020 brought the Call Me MiSTER program to Grambling State University. Earlier this year, the GSU program received a historic 2M in federal funding, the largest one-time gift since the inception of the program at Clemson. 

The Call Me MiSTER program is the most recognized collaborative in the nation for recruiting, retaining, and developing fully certified, career-minded African American male elementary- and middle school-level teachers. It currently represents 25 colleges and universities in South Carolina and 10 institutions in nine other states. 

MiSTER has more than doubled the number of African American males teaching in public elementary school classrooms with a 85 percent retention rate of program graduates still teaching, while 14 percent are leading schools in administrative roles. Through numerous journal articles, citations and awards for both Jones and the program, MiSTER has demonstrated success in diverse academic environments. 

A lifelong educator who has served in South Carolina institutions for nearly 40 years, Jones is a fierce advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as early pioneers in producing Black educators. Under Jones’ leadership, the Call Me MiSTER program has generated millions of dollars in revenue, much of which supports students attending HBCUs. The Association of Blacks in Higher Education awarded him with their Pacesetter Award in recognition of his service. 

Jones previously served as a department chair at Claflin University and was instrumental in it becoming the first historically black, private institution in the state to become accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Jones has also served as director of employment for the Charleston County School District. 

Dr. Jones is a 2020 inductee in the South Carolina African American History calendar, a recipient of The Ohio State University Mac A. Stewart Distinguished Award for Service and the South Carolina Education Association Walker E. Solomon Award for Call Me MiSTER “In Recognition of Outstanding Support of Public Education in South Carolina.”

Dr. Jones earned his Ed.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in educational psychology from Atlanta University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Student registration for the conference is $50 while individual registration is $125. Registration is available online at 

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