Dr. Shanna Jackson forging new path at Nashville State Community College

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This week we’re doing a special series of reports on Good Morning Nashville, as we look at Women 2 Watch who are making a big impact on our community. 

When we met Dr. Shanna Jackson last December she was Associate Vice President of Columbia State’s Williamson County campus. 

She’s since been named President of Nashville State Community College in Nashville, and she has hit the ground running this summer. 

Her backstory is an interesting one. In 1995 she was an executive with Pillsbury. She moved to Knoxville with her husband and answered an ad to teach college classes part-time.

It was a life-changing experience.

“That experience in that classroom really changed the course of my life, because I interacted with students who were not academically prepared, had all kinds of external barriers, child care, finances, transportation,” said Dr. Jackson. “I made a decision at this time, that this was a place I could make an impact, make a difference.”

That was 20 years ago. Dr. Jackson says things have changed for women in higher education. 

I have seen in the 18 to 20 years I have been in higher education, such a change in the landscape of women as leaders in higher ed. When I first came, there might have been 2 female presidents in the system, now we have several. That’s inspiring for those ladies coming behind me to see that you can achieve this level.”

Dr. Jackson’s immediate plan is to visit all of the Nashville State campuses in the  next few weeks. She’s making a difference in our community for her students and for women in education in Tennessee.  

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