By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
Tanya Shephard, director of Roane State’s innovative One Stop program, is among 13 faculty and staff members from the College System of Tennessee to participate in the 2021-22 Class of the Maxine Smith Fellows Program.
This is the program’s 15th cohort and is named for the late Maxine Smith, who was instrumental in the desegregation of public schools in Memphis.
Shephard has been with Roane State since April 2020 and oversees the One Stop offices at the community college’s campuses in Roane County and Oak Ridge.
The One Stop strives to provide trustworthy and knowledgeable answers and solutions to each student’s unique situation in a timely manner. The office helps students with a variety of issues ranging from financial aid questions to requests for transcripts.
Shephard has a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida and worked in various roles for five years at Valencia College in the Orlando area. She also participated in internal leadership programs at Valencia.
“I am absolutely honored to be able to participate in this year’s cohort,” Shephard said. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with other higher education professionals within our region.”
“Participating in the Maxine Smith Fellows program will allow me the opportunity to learn ways to better serve our students and communities at Roane State. It is an opportunity I am grateful and excited for.”
“Tanya is one of the smartest and hardest working people I know,” said Dr. Jamie Stringer, vice president of student services and innovation. “She is great leader who cares about her team while holding them to the highest standards. She is dedicated to supporting our students and making the One Stop the best it can be.”
“More than that, she is unflappable,” Stinger added. “She was hired during the pandemic, was not on campus for months, and still was able restructure, retrain staff, and convert the One Stop to a virtual experience for students not able to come on campus. She is a positive influence on our division and the college as a whole.”
The Maxine Smith Fellows Program provides professional development, training, and advancement opportunities for participants from traditionally underrepresented groups at the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), and the state’s locally governed public universities. Members meet monthly for one year.
In addition to the professional development of the class members, the program stimulates increased collaboration among institutions, the development of a statewide network for program participants, and an overall increase in the diversity of ideas, thoughts, and experiences within senior leadership ranks at Tennessee’s public higher education institutions.
“Maxine Smith Fellows alumni have advanced to senior leadership positions, including seven Fellows who have gone on to serve as presidents at colleges and universities in Tennessee and in other states. Many of them have said that the Maxine Smith Fellows experience contributed to their success,” said Dr. Wendy J. Thompson, TBR vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness and Maxine Smith Fellows program administrator.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest higher education system, governing 40 post-secondary educational institutions with over 200 teaching locations. The TBR system includes 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.