Mt. Airy Arcadia student wins national recognition

by Len Lear
Posted 5/17/24

Rasheed Booker won the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA)  award at its conference in Portland, Oregon, beating 70 other students from across the country.

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Mt. Airy Arcadia student wins national recognition


Rasheed Booker was excited when he received the “Undergraduate Student of the Year Award” and thought he was selected for the honor from a pool of college mates at Arcadia University in Glenside.

But imagine the surge of excitement the Mt. Airy resident experienced when he learned that the honor awarded by the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA)  at its conference in Portland, Oregon, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, wasn’t a local one. He had earned the recognition in competition with students across the U.S. 

“When I found out it was a national award, I could not believe it,” Booker told us last week. “I am very appreciative of ASCA and the administration at Arcadia for nominating me. I was ecstatic. It was more than I could possibly imagine. And the trophy is blue, my favorite color. I am proud of what I did to get the award and the appreciation of those around me who have supported me!”

ASCA, which is based in College Station, Texas, is the leading voice for student conduct in higher education, according to the organization’s website. “ASCA and its members are dedicated to upholding the integrity of the student conduct process, resulting in the ability to build safer educational communities and positively impact the higher education experience. This award recognizes undergraduate students who have greatly contributed to the betterment of their institution in the past year.” 

Dr. Tess Barker, ASCA spokesperson, told us that Booker was selected for the award out of 70 college students from around the country who were all nominated by their school administrators.

Anthony Rayez, administrator of the Gateway Program at Arcadia, which helps students resolve personal issues, nominated Booker for the award. He wrote “Rasheed’s authenticity and genuine character shines in all his interactions, leaving a lasting impression on all those who interact with him. On the Judicial Board, he is thoughtful and empathic but also understands the importance of community and how our behavior affects, both positively and negatively, all others around us.”

Booker’s positive impact on the Arcadia University community has also earned him recognition on the Glenside campus; he was nominated last month for demonstrating the “Knight Code of Honor,” specifically the “Arcadia Lived Values of Excellence and Justice.”

According to Catherine Mattingly, Director of Community Standards and Student Conduct at Arcadia, "We are thrilled that Rasheed has been recognized at the national level for his hard work. His dedication to others' well-being and positive contributions to the university energize others and strengthen the Arcadia community."

At Arcadia, Booker, who graduated from Franklin Learning Center in North Philadelphia, is heavily involved in many activities. He’s worked with the theater department, helping to build sets and working as part of the stage crew for shows. He’s a Black Affinity Living and Learning Community peer mentor, a shift supervisor at the Kuch Athletic Center, a student public safety patrol officer and was previously a first-year peer mentor and an assistant with the Gateway to Success Program. He also helps other students with summer housing. 

After graduating this May, Booker hopes to secure a position with the Lantern Theater Company in Center City, where he has worked on a production in the past. From there, he plans to travel as he continues his career in acting while honing his skills in directing, writing and producing. Also a talented bass singer, Rasheed was a member of an a cappella group, the  Bop Tones, that performed locally at several places, including the Kimmel Center. “I wouldn't jump at a singing career,” he said. “It can be very stressful, but if a role required singing, I know I could do it.”

Booker, who also plays the viola and piano, is currently directing “Memento More” (“Remember you will die” in Latin), a series of three one-act plays that were performed on April 21 at Arcadia. One of  his favorite sayings is “If the world doesn’t stop moving, why should you?’”

Booker's father, Rasheed Sr., is a sergeant in the U.S. Army now stationed in Texas. Booker lives in Mt. Airy with his stepmom, Marquita. His proud mother, Yolanda Lewis, lives in Georgia. Booker has two older siblings, Deja and Guy; a stepbrother, Nakir, and a stepsister, Audreyana.

Booker, who also works out regularly in the school gym, said his most memorable acting role was that of an elderly man in a play called “Florence.” “I was told to clean up my beard for the role,” he said, “and I shaved all my facial hair off by mistake. One person thought I really was an actual old man.”

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