Dinetta Karriem

A photo of Dr. Dinetta Karriem standing by her desk in her office holding a folder, smiling.
Photo by Russ Houston

Education long has been a key part of Dinetta Karriem’s life.

During a 16-year career at Mississippi State, she’s worked at the College of Education to help guide future teachers through their degree programs and, ultimately, into classrooms.

Some of that influence must have rubbed off at home—and possibly in the most gratifying way. She said son Yusuf is beginning his freshman year as a secondary education major at the university.

Student services coordinator for counseling and educational psychology since January, Karriem joined the staff in 1999 as an assistant to the college’s dean of students. In that role, she focused on student services, helping education majors plot their individual courses through the academic unit’s diverse program offerings. She also conducted degree audits for students prior to their applications for graduation.

In her new role, Karriem works on institutional effectiveness and accreditation reports that help faculty assess how their teaching strategies are working. She also continues to assist with advising and degree audits, roles that happily allow the continued pursuit of her love for inspiring and engaging students.

“Basically, I help students, faculty and staff achieve their goals,” Karriem said. “It’s exciting stuff. The most gratifying part, I think, is to see the students get through their degree programs and graduate.”

Though born on the west side of Chicago, Karriem said she had made her way to Mississippi by high school and has resided here ever since. After earning a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in psychology at Mississippi University for Women, she came to MSU for master’s and doctoral degrees in counselor education.

Expressing appreciation for the many mentors and experiences that have driven her to succeed in both education and career, she said her personal goal is to “pay that forward.”

“I am really blessed,” she said. “I know I am standing on the shoulders of giants who came before me.”