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Five local ATHENA Award nominees hail from MTSU

A celebration of women’s achievements is set for April 30, when Rutherford CABLE presents the Rutherford ATHENA Award Program at the Stones River Country Club. The ATHENA Award recognizes an exemplar who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders-especially women.RutherfordCABLE logo-new

Thirteen area women were nominated by various nonprofit organizations to be recognized for their exceptional professional and personal leadership, accomplishments and contributions. Five of those women come from MTSU.

Dr. Jill Austin

Dr. Jill Austin

Dr. Jill Austin

United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties

Dr. Jill Austin is department chair in the Department of Management and Marketing in the Jones College of Business at MTSU. She serves on the Executive Board of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties and is chair of the Community Impact Committee; she also serves as a mentor in the RutherfordCABLE mentor program. Austin is a founding member of the interfaith group Rutherford County Women of Faith. Her honors include Outstanding Faculty Member–MTSU Jones College of Business, and Innovations Award from the TBR Distance Education Committee. 

Suma M. Clark

Suma M. Clark

Suma M. Clark

League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County

Suma Clark was director of MTSU Publications and Graphics for more than 30 years, responsible for creating and preserving a consistent and appropriate image for the university. Following her retirement, she wrote “Traditions of Excellence: The First 100 Years,” published as part of MTSU’s Centennial Celebration. Clark has been involved with the League of Women Voters for over 40 years, serving in various leadership roles. An avid recycler, she is also founding co-president of Recycle Rutherford.

Dr. Jackie Eller

Dr. Jackie Eller

Dr. Jackie L. Eller

MTSU June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students

Dr. Jackie Eller is interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at MTSU; she is a professor of sociology and past chair of the university’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Among her honors, Eller has received the MSSA Career Award in Sociology, the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Ayne Cantrell Award for Outstanding Leadership in Women’s Studies. She is an active supporter of the Rutherford County Domestic Violence Center and the Tennessee Coalition against Capital Punishment.

Dr. Newtona "Tina" Johnson

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson

Dr. Newtona Johnson

MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson is an MTSU professor of English and director of Women’s and Gender Studies. She was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow; she is also recipient of the MTSU John Pleas Faculty Award and Ayne Cantrell Award. Johnson is former chair of the MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women. She serves on the board of the June S. Anderson Foundation and is a founding member and current president of the Southeastern USA branch of Annie Walsh Girls Association, which advocates educational opportunities for girls in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Lana Seivers

Dr. Lana Seivers

Dr. Lana Seivers

Murfreesboro Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter

Dr. Lana Seivers is dean of the MTSU College of Education. Prior to that she was appointed Tennessee commissioner of education by Gov. Phil Bredesen. At MTSU, she led the creation of the first education doctoral degree and efforts to redesign the teacher-education program. As commissioner of education, she helped establish the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K program and the adoption of more rigorous state standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project. Seivers serves on numerous local boards of directors including the Murfreesboro City Schools Foundation Board.ATHENA International logo

Rutherford CABLE is a local organization formed in 2009 to help women widen their professional and personal circles and connect with greater business opportunities.

To register for the April 30 Rutherford ATHENA Award ceremony, please visit Rutherfordcable.org/event-1838794.

For additional information, please contact Deborah Roberts, ATHENA Chair, at deborah.d.roberts@gmail.com, or 615-330-8569.

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