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Hoppe chosen to mentor through TBR Maxine Smith Fellows Program

Through the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Maxine Smith Fellows Program, APSU President Sherry Hoppe is serving as a mentor to Christa Martin, who works at Columbia State Community College as assistant to the president for minority affairs.

The Maxine Smith Fellows Program provides opportunities for African American employees of TBR schools to participate in a working and learning environment that will enhance their career development. The program provides experience with administrative roles in the system or upper-level administrative policy-making positions.
Through the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Maxine Smith Fellows Program, APSU President Sherry Hoppe is serving as a mentor to Christa Martin, who works at Columbia State Community College as assistant to the president for minority affairs.

The Maxine Smith Fellows Program provides opportunities for African American employees of TBR schools to participate in a working and learning environment that will enhance their career development. The program provides experience with administrative roles in the system or upper-level administrative policy-making positions.

Martin, who was assigned to work with Hoppe throughout the spring, will be helping to plan the campus-wide implementation of a major, new software system to replace the current software for student information, personnel and financial resources. Although the new software eventually will be installed across the entire TBR system, Hoppe had requested that APSU be among the first TBR institutions to migrate to the new “relationship-based” software system.

“I'm looking forward to working closely with Christa at Austin Peay this semester,” Hoppe says. “With her tremendous potential and positive attitude, Christa is ready to take her career to the next level.”

Martin, who worked in Columbia State Community College's computer services department 24 years, began as a computer programmer and worked her way up to department director before being named assistant to the president for minority affairs.

Besides her Columbia State responsibilities, Martin is working on her doctorate. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Middle Tennessee State University.

Of the 45 applicants for 2004-05 Maxine Smith Fellowships, Martin was one of only 11 selected. “It's very competitive, so I'm honored to have been chosen,” she says, “I look forward to keeping my love for technology active.”

She also looks forward to working with the faculty, staff and administrators at Austin Peay. “This morning (Jan. 24) I sat in on Dr. Hoppe's meeting with her vice presidents. It gave me a good feeling for many topics and plans,” she says. “There was good dialog, and I sensed they all have great respect for each other.”

Last year, APSU Web/Internet Specialist Reggie Wooden worked as a Maxine Smith Fellow at the TBR Central Office. Nominated for the honor by Hoppe, Wooden worked with Dr. George Malo, associate vice chancellor for research and assessment.

Previously called the Geier Fellows, the Maxine Smith Fellows Program is named for Dr. Smith, a former college French instructor who is serving her second term on the Tennessee Board of Regents. A longtime civil rights leader in Memphis, Smith was the 2003 recipient of the Freedom Award for her outstanding work.
For more information, telephone (931) 221-7571.
—Dennie Burke