STAFF KUDOS: Robert Jackson named Maxine Smith Fellow

Interim Marketing and Communications Director Robert Jackson has been named a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) 2018-2019 Maxine Smith Fellow!

Jackson joins 9 other Fellows representing college and university faculty and staff in a year-long journey to enhance their leadership and career development.

Robert Jackson

TBR established the Maxine Smith Fellows Program in 2003 to bring greater diversity into higher education in Tennessee, and provide training and promotional opportunities for underrepresented groups to obtain upper-level administrative positions.  The program is named after Maxine A. Smith who was a prominent Memphis educator, civil rights leader, head of the NAACP Memphis Branch for 33 years, and a former member of the Memphis school board and TBR.

The program is for current and emerging higher education leaders.  Participants are paired with mentors and given opportunities to develop important leadership competencies. The ideal candidate is an exemplary employee who understands and is engaged in work that has a wide impact on the institution. The participant also must have obtained a master’s degree or higher. Only individuals nominated by the president of the institution are considered for acceptance.

“I was honored to nominate Robert for this prestigious opportunity,” President Tracy D. Hall said.  “He is a valuable member of the Southwest family who consistently demonstrates a commitment to excellence in all he does and to continuous improvement.”

Jackson is excited to be accepted into the program.  He and his other Fellows will attend monthly presentations and training until November 2019.  “I am grateful Dr. Hall sees potential in me to be a part of this program, and I am honored to be a part of a group representing the legacy of Maxine Smith,” Jackson said. “Each session has been exciting and challenging.  I am building relationships with experienced leaders from various departments and higher education institutions.”

“Robert is truly deserving of this opportunity,” Executive Director for Communications, Marketing and Community Relations Daphne Thomas said. “He is a great team player, consistently goes above and beyond in his work and demonstrates a firm commitment to excelling in higher education.”

The overall goals of the program are to enhance the Fellows’ academic and professional credentials, provide them opportunities to observe and participate in decision making and policy development at the institution, senior administrative and governing board levels; and increase the number of qualified applicants from underrepresented groups for senior level administrative positions at TBR institutions.

Congratulations, Robert, on this prestigious state-wide honor!