Justine Okerson

Associate Dean of Admission / Director of On-Campus Programming

Regions: Fairfax County (Virginia), Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia
Email: [[justine]]

Dean Okerson's Bio

Who I am?

I was born in Memphis, TN and I am a classic southern girl. I love barbeque sauce, cheesy grits, sundresses and of course sweet tea. I attended Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis from Kindergarten through the 12th grade - Go Lynx! I received my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and American Studies from the University of Virginia (2005). I received my Master’s Degree (2010) and Ph.D (2016) in Higher Education Administration from the College of William & Mary in addition to my Tribe Pride!

What’s with the photo?

I LOVE the beach. Note the upper-case level of love here. I also love all things summer- sunscreen, big umbrellas and beach towels. The beach represents to me two things: relaxation and vacation. I love spontaneous trips to the Outer Banks, the feel of the sand between my toes and the sound of waves crashing and falling on the shore. I dream about learning to surf one day!

Why work in Admission?

When I was in the 9th grade, my guidance counselor encouraged me to make an initial list of potential colleges I was interested in attending. Although she may have meant 8-10, I came back with a list of 107 schools. I love learning about and teaching my friends about different colleges. Finding out this obsession with college and admission could be a career path, was a dream come true! I absolutely love college and higher education, and fully endorse the saying that college is the best four years of your life. More than anything I got into this field to help students find their home away from home, and help them to navigate the admissions process.

What do I do in Admission?

My regions are Fairfax County, Virginia and the Deep South (makes sense for a true southern girl like me) which includes the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. I also work closely with our Tour Guides, and direct all of our on-campus programming efforts including Fall Focus Days and Day for Admitted Students!

Why William & Mary?

There are three easy reasons why William & Mary is the best school in the world!

Tradition: I love the traditions of the College from the Yule Log Ceremony, where all of the students gather before the holidays, and throw their cares and worries (as symbolized by a sprig of holly) into the fireplace in the Wren Building before enjoying cookies and hot apple cider with the College's President.

History: Did you know that the Wren Building was built with funds donated by pirates? Just an example of how there is always more to learn about the history of this fabulous institution. This is also the kind of place where you will commonly see colonial costumes and tri-corner hats in the grocery store.

Excellence: William & Mary is a “Public Ivy”: the academic programs and faculty are phenomenal, and the diversity and caliber of students you will meet on campus is excellent. The experience students at the College of William & Mary have from convocation to graduation is special, unique and unmatched. Come and visit our campus to see for yourself!

Fun Facts

1. I worked on the 5th Season of One Tree Hill!

2. I danced professionally for The Lost Colony outdoor drama in Manteo, NC!

3. I am a Group Fitness Instructor and a Certified Personal Trainer!

4. I LOVE cupcakes!