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Alumni Spotlight: Yolanda Keys

Clayton State NewsNovember 3, 2020

Yolanda Keys

Hey Yolanda. Thanks for taking the time to tell us your story.

My first question is what made you decide to come to Clayton State?

For me, it was the short commute. Clayton State was within a 30 minute drive to work and home.

That’s convenient! How did you choose your major?

I based it on the career field I was already in at the time.

What professor or staff member was an official or unofficial mentor to you?

Chief Dwayne Hobbs

We know Chief Hobbs! Tell us about your career? What is it you do?

I currently work as an emergency preparedness coordinator. I coordinate with the Office of Domestic Preparedness, Port and Mass Transit Technical Threat and Vulnerability Assessment to enhance MARTA’s security and emergency preparedness programs and technology. Also, I am responsible for participating in the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and coordinates MARTA’S Matrix Team. I coordinate Buffer Zone Protection Plans, participate in training personnel and conducting drills to test their capacity to respond to emergencies, training exercises of the National Response Plan and monitors potential disaster situations, and I analyze and prepare reports on effectiveness of the EPU program. There’s so much more that comes with my career. That also includes maintaining MARTA’S emergency management response coordinators, monitor weather reports to determine any potential risk to the Authority service areas, ensure the emergency operations center remains ready for potential activations and so many other duties.

That sounds like you are in high demand. What are some challenging things about your job?

Having to be on call for any and everything because emergencies happens without warning most of the time.

Understandable. What are some rewarding things about it?

Being able to see projects you planned for and implement become a success. I like having the chance to see my hard work show itself off.

That is always rewarding! Are you a part of any professional organizations?

Yes, I am! I am currently involved with the Georgia Emergency Management Certification Program and the American Association of Airport Executives.

What are some things that keep you busy outside of work?

Outside of work, being a wellness coach with the World’s #1 Nutrition Company Herbalife keeps my pretty busy.

What advice would you give to a student who may be going through a rough patch in their college career?

Stay consistent and work as best as you can.

What keeps you connected to Clayton State? What are some benefits to being connected to one’s Alma Mater?

Having nieces who would want to one day attend this college and experience college life, I want to stay aware of what the Clayton State scene looks like. Besides that, Clayton has some amazing programs from Criminal Justice to Nursing and beyond. The cost of the tuition makes it so that just about anyone has a chance of finally going to college and getting their degree and I like that about my Alma Mater.