For her enthusiasm, efficiency, attention to detail, initiative and more, Leslie Booren was named the 2015 Outstanding Curry Staff Member by the Curry School of Education Foundation.
Booren is the managing director of EdPolicyWorks, a research center in the Curry School of Education specializing in education policy and its implications for the workforce. She is responsible for all administrative operations for EdPolicyWorks, including events and marketing, academic operations, and all related fiscal, budget and human resources processes.
“For several years now, one of the Center’s strategic goals has been to raise our national profile,” said Daphna Bassok, assistant professor and associate director of EdPolicyWorks. “We expressed this overarching goal to Leslie, with little guidance on how to make it happen. Leslie is driven, creative and independent and has vastly exceeded our expectations on this front.”
Booren also manages the Virginia Educational Sciences Training (VEST) Program, a pre-doctoral fellowship program with 25+ fellows and 40+ faculty from education, economics, sociology, and psychology departments at U.Va. As part of the VEST program, she organizes the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), an eight-week program for underrepresented populations to gain valuable research and professional development experiences.
“She goes well beyond the day-to-day requirements of the job description, anticipating emerging issues and developing solutions before they become problems,” said James Wyckoff, professor and director of EdPolicyWorks. “She has developed a great rapport with the VEST students, several of whom seek her out for support. The VEST program and the Curry School are meaningfully better as a result of Leslie’s dedication and skill.”
Booren holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and youth studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a master of arts degree in human development from Washington State University.