Chattanooga State’s Quincy Jenkins selected for Maxine Smith Fellows program

Quincy Jenkins

Chattanooga State Community College’s  Quincy Jenkins is among the 21 faculty and staff members from Tennessee colleges and universities selected to participate in the 2021-22 Maxine Smith Fellows program.

The Class of 21-22 is the program’s 15th cohort.

Jenkins is inaugural chief diversity officer and executive director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) at Chattanooga State.

“Being selected as Maxine Smith fellow is a profound honor,” Jenkins said. “Chattanooga State is committed to inclusive practices, and I am honored to represent the college as I learn about the leadership of this great trailblazer.”

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. 

The program helps to build increased collaboration among institutions, provides a statewide network for program participants, and expands in the diversity of ideas, thoughts and experiences within senior leadership ranks at Tennessee public higher education institutions.

Members meet monthly.

Jenkins is a native of Carrollton, Georgia. In addition, he is a current doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, has 13 years’ experience in higher education, and is proficient in English, Spanish, Italian and Chamorro/Guamanian languages.

“In the short time that Mr. Jenkins has been at Chattanooga State, he has made a positive impact on our collective understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Dr. Rebecca Ashford, Chattanooga State president. 

“His participation in the Maxine Smith Fellows program will help him further grow as a professional, which will help our college grow as well. I am so proud that Quincy is part of our Chattanooga State family.”

College and university presidents nominate eligible faculty and staff from their campus for consideration for the program.

“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 other states,” said Wendy J. Thompson, the program’s administrator and TBR vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness. “Many of them have said the Maxine Smith Fellows experience contributed to their success.”

The Maxine Smith Fellows program is named in honor of the late Maxine A. Smith, who headed the Memphis Branch of the NAACP for 33 years, and was a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents from 1994 to 2006. 

Smith was instrumental in the desegregation of public schools in the city of Memphis, and worked tirelessly with TBR to ensure equal access to educational opportunities at all levels during her 12 years as a regent.