NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tiffany Bellafant Steward, director of New Student Orientation and First-Year Students at Tennessee State University, has been named a Maxine Smith Fellow with the Tennessee Board of Regents. As a Maxine Smith Fellow, Steward will have the opportunity to experience how decisions are made at the TBR senior administrative and governing board levels.
The fellowship, established in 2002 as a TBR central office Geier initiative, is designed to provide African-American TBR employees the opportunity to participate in a working and learning environment that enhances work experience and career development. The objective is to increase the academic and professional credentials of the fellows, as well as help to increase the number of qualified applicants from underrepresented groups for senior-level administrative positions at TBR institutions.
“It is a great honor to be selected as a Maxine Smith Fellow to represent Tennessee State University,” said Steward, who was nominated by TSU President Glenda Glover. “This opportunity will prepare me for future career aspirations in higher education and help to impact student success on my campus.”
Dr. Maxine Smith, a pioneer in the civil rights movement in Tennessee, after whom the fellowship is named, was executive secretary of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP from 1962 to 1995. In 1971, she became the first African American to be elected to the Memphis Board of Education. In 2003, Dr. Smith and former President Bill Clinton received the prestigious Freedom Award by the National Civil Rights Museum.
“I thank President Glover for nominating me for this prestigious professional development program,” Steward said after receiving her fellowship.
Other former TSU Maxine Smith Fellows are Dr. Cheryl Green, assistant vice president for Student Affairs; and Tiffany Cox, director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, who were members of the Classes of 2014 and 2013, respectively.
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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 45 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.