September 26, 2022
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VSU’s Charleston Carter Earns National Recognition, Shares New Skills With Students
Valdosta State University’s Charleston L. Carter recently earned national recognition as a certified fellow of the Institute for Court Management at the National Center for State Courts. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he serves as deputy director of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia’s Civil Division.
Charleston L. Carter is a two-time Valdosta State University alumnus. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Minor in African American Studies in 1999 and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice in 2001. He joined VSU’s Africana Studies faculty about 17 years ago and enjoys teaching such courses as Black Experience in the Military, Models for Restorative Justice, The New Jim Crow, and Black and Blue: Experiences in Policing.
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Charleston L. Carter recently earned national recognition as a certified fellow of the Institute for Court Management at the National Center for State Courts. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he serves as deputy director of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia’s Civil Division.
Carter is a two-time VSU alumnus. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Minor in African American Studies in 1999 and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice in 2001. He joined VSU’s Africana Studies faculty about 17 years ago and enjoys teaching such courses as Black Experience in the Military, Models for Restorative Justice, The New Jim Crow, and Black and Blue: Experiences in Policing.
VSU: Besides teaching courses in the Africana Studies program, tell us what you have been up to professionally since you graduated from VSU.
Carter: I have more than 28 years of legal and court administration experience. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., in 2021, I was the trial court administrator for North Carolina’s 26th Judicial District in Mecklenburg County; the circuit court administrator for the Tifton Judicial Circuit in Tifton, Georgia; the trial court administrator for Athens-Clarke County; and the Superior Court program administrator/director of case management for Fulton County, Georgia.
VSU: Tell us about the road to Institute for Court Management Fellows Certification?
Carter: The Institute for Court Management (ICM) programs measure an individual’s aptitude in court management, research, and executive leadership through three levels of certification and took me four years to complete. I embraced the investment in professional development to sharpen my skills and remain informed on current trends, techniques, and innovations in the judicial system.
It all began two and half years ago when I completed the Certified Court Manager (CCM) credential. The professional skills gleaned in the CCM courses proved invaluable in both my former role as trial court administrator for North Carolina’s 26th Judicial District in Mecklenburg County, as well as in my current role as deputy director of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia’s Civil Division.
Next I completed the Certified Court Executive (CCE) credential. The CCE coursework focused on public perception and systemic methods to enhance court operations. I carefully selected and masterfully executed new processes that will positively impact each and every individual who has the opportunity to utilize our court services. My professional court goals are to improve perception, develop trust, and circumvent possible disruptions to court operations in an effort to continue to make positive changes for the community.
(Carter then completed the Certified ICM Fellow credential.)
To be an effective administrator I must dedicate time and energy toward growth and improvement both for the courts and for myself. As a professional who serves the people of Washington, D.C., I am committed to being an advocate for the people and an ambassador for the courts. The energy and passion I invested in the ICM programs has proven to be one of the most rewarding avenues I’ve taken to grow and develop.
VSU: How has completing the ICM programs impacted your teaching?
Carter: Teaching is a profession where educators never stop learning, developing, researching, and implementing new ideas and concepts. The ICM programs have given me additional innovative research tools that I will begin incorporating into my courses. The program, the leadership, and the professors have expanded my knowledge and understanding of research methods, and I believe my students will benefit significantly from this experience and what it can bring to our courses. I will incorporate many of the instructional techniques and strategies I benefited from in my courses in order to create more dynamic and engaging lessons. I will embed a data-driven and evidence-based method of teaching and assessing, so that I am ensuring my students understand the content at a higher cognitive level. I will incorporate more collaborative project-based learning opportunities.
VSU: What do you enjoy most about teaching students?
Carter: My spark for teaching was ignited when I met Dr. Shirley H. Hardin, former professor of English and director of African American Studies, in 1996 at VSU. Not only was her teaching style flawless, but she also made every single student who entered her classroom feel like they mattered. She truly wanted the best for us as students and as individuals.
After taking several of Dr. Hardin’s courses, I made a promise to myself — If I was ever given an opportunity to lead others, I would do my utmost to impact students in the many positive ways that her influence affected me. She left big shoes to fill.
In my courses, I address my students as champions because Dr. Hardin referred to me as a "champion," and I remember how that inspired me to live up to that calling. In turn, I aim to provide the same inspiration to my students, especially students who seem to be lacking self-confidence or motivation. My professional life is hectic, but teaching doesn’t feel like a job. It gives me an opportunity to give back to the community and have a positive impact on the students with whom I cross paths.
It is essential to me that I connect with my students. My desire is to build a safe place for a group of learners to talk freely and share experiences so that we can learn from one another. Honestly, I may have the content knowledge, but I learn from them every single day how to be a better human. I also have high expectations for my students and hold them to high standards. There is a quote that Dr. Hardin and I often say to each other — “How can you high jump if the bar is set low?” I do my best to lead by example and admit when I make a mistake and vow to do better next time. I hope I’m making a difference.On the Web:
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