The Honorable Leader: Dr. Mamie E. Locke
The Honorable Senator Mamie E. Locke, dean of Hampton University’s School of Liberal Arts, was recently recognized by Thomas Nelson Community College for her outstanding leadership. She is the recipient of their Third Annual Presidential Leadership Award.
Locke was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 2004 after having served on the Hampton city council for four years and as Hampton’s mayor for four years. She took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with The Student Connection and discuss her duties as a leader for HU and the state of Virginia.
Is it more challenging being a senator than it was serving on the city council?
No, being a member of the State Senate is easier in terms of the time frame. I know the sessions are in January and February and they will be in Richmond. As a city council member, your job is 24-7.
What are your duties as the dean of the School of Liberal Arts?
I am responsible for all of the operations of the school and its departments. That includes maintaining the budget, handling grievances, keeping my employees informed and signing off on all contracts and requisitions. You name it, I do it.
Is it difficult to fulfill your duties as a senator and a dean?
Since the sessions are in Richmond, it’s easier for me than other senators who have to travel far. When I have to be away, I keep communication with Hampton through email. I usually come in on Fridays and Saturdays to handle all the paperwork that requires my signature.
What changes do you think President Barack Obama will bring?
Fortunately, change had already come to Senate of Virginia before President Obama came into office. In the 2007 senate elections, the Democrats took control and the leadership changed. None of the committee chairs were minorities, but now it’s much more diverse. Now Virginia’s Senate leadership looks like Virginia. With Obama in office, we hope to see similar changes in the upcoming elections in the House of Delegates.
What is your biggest pet-peeve?
Self-righteous individuals. Everyone is entitled to truly support their opinion, but when people don’t respect another’s right to an opinion, I have a problem with that.
What is your favorite restaurant in Hampton?
Tokyo on Coliseum
If you could leave for spring break, where would you go?