Motlow Tennessee Promise Director Jonathan Graham nominated for TBR Excellence Award

Jonathan Graham, Motlow State Community College Tennessee Promise director, quietly goes about his work on a daily basis, helping to fulfill the educational aspirations of hundreds of Motlow students. His excellent work at Motlow has earned a nomination for Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition (SOAR) Award for Staff Excellence.

The foremost criterion for the SOAR Award is an overall excellence in the responsibilities of a staff member’s specific appointment service and/or professional activity.

Mr. Jonathan Graham’s recent nomination for the TBR SOAR Award is one that is well deserved. Mr. Graham’s passion and attention to student success is evidenced by the connections he has established in our communities.
— Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow president

“Mr. Jonathan Graham’s recent nomination for the TBR SOAR Award is one that is well deserved. Mr. Graham’s passion and attention to student success is evidenced by the connections he has established in our communities,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow president. “Further, the results of his work typifies his communication skills, positive attitude, and good nature which are benchmarks of successful engagement. We are pleased that Mr. Graham represents Motlow.”

The inaugural class of Tennessee Promise began in the fall semester of 2015. Since the fall semester of 2014, Motlow enrollment has grown by over 43 percent, making it the fastest growing institution in the state, and one of the fastest growing in the nation. The Tennessee Promise scholarship program, which Graham oversees at Motlow, is responsible for the majority of this impressive growth. His diligent work helps to bring educational opportunity to Tennessee high school graduates who otherwise might not have the means to pursue a post-secondary education.

“While I am honored and very appreciative to be nominated for this award, there are many other staff members who work quietly and diligently behind the scenes at Motlow to ensure the success of Tennessee Promise students,” said Graham.

“Support from the Motlow financial aid staff who actually process awards, admissions staff who assist students through the enrollment process, recruitment staff who get students in the door, completion coaches and faculty who help to retain and inspire students, business office and administrative computing staff, and information technology staff who help students resolve technical issues. There are many Motlow team players working to ensure student success on a broad level. I rely on these colleagues every day and I thank them very much for their hard work in supporting all our students,” added Graham.

Each Tennessee community college selects one finalist for the Staff Excellence award (13 total). Nominees interview at a regional site, where three regional finalists will be selected. The final interview round for regional finalists will be the day before the awards ceremony, held in spring 2019.

Award criteria includes:

• Service, recognized on many levels including service to the department, school, college, profession, and community.

• Candidates should be able to demonstrate distinction beyond normal job responsibilities, reflecting excellence in those area(s).

Areas of distinction include, but are not limited to:

• Diversity and inclusion initiatives

• Experiential learning initiatives

• Sustainability initiatives

• Effectively supporting student success inside and outside the classroom

• Bringing national recognition to institution or TBR

• Exemplary service to the college, the larger community, and/or professional field

Jonathan Graham

Jonathan Graham