Academic Affairs Leadership Academy (AALA)

Academic Affairs Leadership Academy


Welcome from the Vice Chancellor

Welcome to the Academic Affairs Leadership Academy (AALA)! This opportunity was created to identify and invest in leaders from across TBR’s community and technical colleges. Each individual was nominated by their college president. This inaugural cohort represents the future of TBR and includes individuals from across campus roles including faculty, department chairs, coordinators, deans, directors, and vice presidents.

The cohort of leaders will meet monthly to learn from an expert in higher education. These opportunities will provide AALA members with opportunities to learn about promising practices, emerging trends, and historical challenges associated with Tennessee’s higher education system. Additionally, cohort members will receive career coaching from a national expert in professional coaching to help them reflect and define their short and long-term career goals.

The AALA has a practical component to its programming as well. I am elated that the senior leaders in TBR’s Office of Academic Affairs will serve as coaches for small groups of the cohort. These groups will work together to develop a grant proposal designed to address a system or campus-level problem related to student engagement, success, and/or retention. These proposals will be presented to the Chancellor and will be submitted to the Office of Organizational Effectiveness for review under their Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) grant program. This is a competitive grant process and, if AALA proposals are selected, group members will spend the next year working together to implement their proposal.

The Office of Academic Affairs is committed to developing a pipeline of leaders who will one day serve as the next generations of public servants dedicated to making student success and workforce development a reality for all students across our state.

Congratulations to our first cohort!

Dr. Jothany Reed

Dr. Jothany Reed, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents

About the Academy

The AALA was created to bring together emerging college-level leaders to engage and learn from experts in Tennessee’s higher education landscape. These leaders receive career coaching from a national expert to help them reflect and plan their immediate and future career goals. ALAA leaders will be working in groups to develop grant applications to submit to TBR’s Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) for review. If funded, the ALAA group will continue to collaborate with TBR staff and college leaders on the implementation of the proposed project in addition to opportunities to learn from higher education experts and receive career coaching.

2023 Cohort - Academic Affairs Leadership Academy

Jillett Battle Jillette Battle
Academic Initiatives Coordinator
Tennessee Board of Regents
Kimberly Chrismon Kimberly Christmon
Dean of Health Sciences
Volunteer State Community College
Richard Church Dr. Richard Church
Vice President
TCAT Elizabethton
Kristin Davenport Kristin Davenport
Education Program Director
Columbia State Community College
Kim Davis Kim Davis
Vice President
TCAT Athens
Karen Eastman Dr. Karen Eastman
Dean of Math and Sciences
Chattanooga State Community College
Shelley Esquivel Dr. Shelley Esquivel
Director of Grant Development & Academic Program Initiatives
Roane State Community College
Jessica Green Jessica Green
TCAT Chattanooga
Sandra Godsey Sandra Godsey
Assistant Business Professor
Cleveland State Community College
Wendy Hopper Wendy Hopper
Vice President of Instruction & Operations
TCAT Pulaski
Crystal Hunter Crystal Hunter
Coordinator of Accreditation
TCAT Nashville
Amy Johnson Amy Johnson
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success
Dyersburg State Community College
Candace Justice Candace Daniel Justice
Director of Instructional Dept. for Educator Advancement and Success/Associate Professor of English
Walters State Community College
Jennifer Lopes Dr. Jennifer Lopes
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Jackson State Community College
Dr Shaq Marsh Dr. Shaquille Marsh
Assistant Professor/Chair, Language and Communication
Pellissippi State Community College
Sally Porter Sally Porter
Strategic Impact Coordinator
TCAT Knoxville
Ramona Shelton Ramona Shelton
Associate Professor of History/ Academic Resource Center Director
Motlow State Community College
Nathaniel Weber Dr. Nathan Weber
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
Northeast State Community College
Johannah Williams Dr. Johannah Williams
Dean of STEM
Nashville State Community College

Action Team Coaches and Coordinators

Zachary Adams Zachary Adams
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Workforce Alignment
Tennessee Board of Regents
Robert Denn Dr. Robert Denn
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents
Tachaka Hollins Dr. Tachaka Hollins
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents
Chuck Lopez Dr. Chuck Lopez
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents
Amy Profant Amy Profant
Curriculum and Workforce Strategist, Office of Academic Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents
Thomas Sewell Dr. Thomas Sewell
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents

National Coach

Derek “DY” Young

Derek “DY” Young
National Coach

For nearly four decades, Derek “DY” Young as helped and half a million people from 43 industries elevate their performance from good to great to legendary. During that time he has been a consistent partner with the Tennessee Board of Regents and it’s diverse network of schools. As a member of the AALA team, he will provide his unique brand of executive coaching and leadership development that transforms how leaders achieve individual and organizational success. To learn more about DY, visit