Title: Academic Administrator
Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Joan Puryear, Academic Administrator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in higher education.
Growing up in a household where education was at the core of the family’s values, Dr. Puryear felt drawn to the industry since she was young. Her mother and father were both educators at the local college and her aunt was a teacher. “Lifelong learning was just a part of my everyday life and I loved it,” she says, reflecting on the early years of her life. Today, Dr. Puryear celebrates a career that has spanned more than five decades. For much of her tenure, she has worked for Augusta Technical College in Augusta, GA. She first joined the faculty in 1989 as the head of the English department after having taught as an instructor of English at the higher education level for over 24 years. From there, she advanced into prominent roles including chairperson for general education and development studies, dean of allied health sciences, member of the dean’s council and management team, and dean of general education and development studies. When asked of her professional achievements, Dr. Puryear simply credits her passion for education. She is driven to do her best every day because of this.
Dr. Puryear’s own academic achievements are a critical part of her professional identity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, which she earned summa cum laude from the Mississippi State University in 1965. Additionally, she earned a Master of Arts from Florida State University in 1969 and an EdD from the University of Georgia in 1987. A licensed teacher in the state of Georgia, Dr. Puryear has showcased her commitment to her field through her involvement in several academic organizations. Notably, she served as the chairman of the State Executive Board of English and the East Central Consortium of English. She was the facilitator for the Total Quality Management Technical Training, member of the executive steering committee and co-chairman for the Continuous Improvement Council, and member of Communities in Schools. In addition, Dr. Puryear has been involved with such organizations as the Augusta Technical Institute Foundation Board, the Davidson Fine Arts School PTA, and the Medical College Spouse’s Club.
As if her impact on education at the higher education wasn’t enough, Dr. Puryear is praised for the work that she has done with her church, first and foremost as a Sunday school teacher. Over the years, she has been very involved with the First Baptist Church of Augusta, where she not only has taught young students about religion but she has also been the director of its Women’s Mission Organization, chairman of its 175th Anniversary celebration, member of the ministerial advisory committee, chairman of the scholarship and education committee, and chairman of the nominating committee. She also is a deacon. In looking ahead to the future, Dr. Puryear intends to continue working as an academic administrator while seeking new opportunities to share her love of learning with the people around her.
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