NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The 2015 winners of Nashville Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 were asked to share a hidden talent. Tameka Winston revealed that she has always loved fashion. In her spare time she enjoys serving as a fashion stylist for friends and family.
But while the Tennessee State University alum loves to see others look and feel their best, her passion is far from the glamour of style, lip gloss, clothes and the accessories that go with them.
“Teaching is what makes me the happiest,” said Winston, a professor in the Department of Communications at Tennessee State University. “I enjoy teaching my students. Just working with them, and seeing them succeed give me a special joy.”
That drive to help students be their best has earned the young professor the respect of not just her students and peers; the Nashville community has also taken notice.
Recently, the Nashville Business Journal selected Winston as one of the city’s “Top 40 Under 40” professionals for 2015. The paper described Winston, 36, and her fellow winners in the Class of 2015 as people “deemed to be making a difference” in their professional areas and the Nashville community.
“For starters, they are all making a difference in their industry and community, and they all have yet to reach their 40th birthday,” the paper added.
Winston, who teaches a variety of undergraduate-level courses in her eight-year career as a professor at TSU, also advises and mentors many students, something that has also earned her accolades from students and the College of Liberal Arts, in which she teaches.
In 2012 she was named “Professor of the Year” by the college. Colleagues and students say Winston’s passion for teaching goes beyond the classroom. Her personal touch, they say, makes her stand out even more.
“Dr. Winston shows great wisdom inside as well as outside of the classroom,” said Kimarcus Thomas, a junior Mass Communications major, who has known Winston for the last three years. “I remember having class with her for the first time my freshman year. Right then I knew that I wanted her to be my mentor. Dr. Winston strives in excellence and she pushes her students to do great things. She’s a blessing to the Mass Communications Department.”
Colleagues, especially those who have known Winston for a longer period are just as enthusiastic about her achievement, her approach to teaching and her “special touch” with students.
“I am extremely excited that Dr. Tameka Winston was selected as one of Nashville’s ‘40 Under 40’ for 2015,” said Joseph Richie, director of the Center for Media Arts and Production at TSU. “As a colleague who has witnessed her meteoric rise in higher education, she personifies what it means to be a professor, scholar and creator in the field of mass communication. Congratulations!”
“She is well deserving of this award,” another student, Brittiany Betts, a Communications major, added. “Dr. Winston is an exceptional teacher. She is someone I have grown very close to and really can talk to her about anything.”
Winston, an avid writer, is the co-author of a textbook, “Understanding the Speechmaking Process,” which is being used for a public speaking course at the University. She also developed the print journalism curriculum for the Communications department, which incorporates new media technologies and multimedia convergence.
In addition to teaching and scholarly research, Winston serves as the creator, executive producer and host for two radio programs on Sirius Satellite, “Black Docs” and “Tennessee State Talk,” which are intended to ensure active involvement in the community. The show, “Black Docs,” says Winston, offers an opportunity for a counter-narrative to the negative images of women in the media, while “Tennessee Talk” is designed to empower the TSU community and discuss matters related to the University.
As an academic auditor for the Tennessee Board of Regents, Winston says these involvements outside the classroom are all part of the combined process intended to develop students who are well rounded, by opening them to opportunities for successful careers. Winston will also be traveling to the Broadcast Education Association Conference In Las Vegas, Nevada on April 13-15, 2015 to present research.
“I strongly believe in helping students become their ‘best’ selves, identify their passion, and be able to live in their strengths,” said Winston.
The Mississippi native holds a doctorate degree and an Educational Specialist Degree from TSU. She has a Master’s Degree from Austin Peay State University, and a B.A. from Alcorn State University.
When This Nashville “40 Under 40” is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and traveling.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.