5 questions with…procurement leader, high school cheerleading coach Melinda Boykin

Melinda BoykinThough on campus, her role may be director of procurement, accounts payable and distribution services, off campus, Melinda Boykin may be better known as “Coach B.” Not only has she led the cheerleading team at Richmond Heights High School for seven years, but Boykin also spends time mentoring and life coaching young girls as well as women entering the workforce.

Her commitment to helping others achieve their goals is reflective of Boykin’s personality. A self-described “people-person,” Boykin has always wanted to teach others—and she still aspires to do so in a classroom setting.

Before getting to a faculty level, however, Boykin will have to continue her studies at the doctoral level—a goal she’s been aspiring to for years. This desire likely will come as no surprise to those who know her, as she’s been constantly furthering her own learning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Akron, a master’s in communication management from John Carroll University and a Women in Leadership Certificate, and she has received training in ethics as well as supply management.

Now, though, Boykin leads procurement operations for the university and serves as an adviser to 30 staff members on matters relating to the sourcing of goods and services across campus. In this role, she works closely with individuals to teach them about opportunities for savings and expense reductions throughout the procurement process.

For all the impact she’s had on others, there’s one person she hopes she’s especially influenced. Read on to find out who.

1. What superpower would you most like to have?
Psychometry: the ability to learn things about the past or future of an object by touching it. By nature, I am a people-person and have developed good interpersonal skills. Taking it to the next level by knowing your past and/or future would be really cool.

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Cleveland?
My favorite restaurant is Benihana and I also love Washington Place Bistro, which is right in CWRU’s backyard. The atmosphere is so calming and the food is great every time.

3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher because I felt they were respected, provided learning opportunities and always seem to dress really nice.

This is still a dream of mine, as I plan to one day pursue a doctorate and become a professor in business or organizational behavior.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of—personally and professionally?
Personally, my one and only son is a 2012 high school graduate and will be attending college in the fall, pursuing his dream of playing soccer on the collegiate level and studying entrepreneurship/business management.

Professionally, I have had the honor to attend and graduate from two great universities (University of Akron and John Carroll University) and work for one of the most recognized universities in the world, Case Western Reserve University.  What a privilege!

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
My favorite thing about CWRU is all of the diverse individuals you get to work with.   In my position, I get to work with internal customers from staff, students, faculty and senior leadership as well as external customers from vendors to community partners.