Friday, February 26, 2010

THINK BIG: Dr. Rebecca Dixon

Black History Month at Tennessee State University

 THINK BIG: Dr. Rebecca Dixon

*Tennessee State University celebrates Black History Month by recognizing individuals or organizations that have made noteworthy contributions to University’s history and are taking the “Think Big, TSU BIG!” approach to their areas of study and expertise while impacting the campus, community and beyond.

Distorted media images and stereotypes about Black identity may make it difficult for students to grasp the depth of knowledge about the culture without guidance from a dedicated and learned scholar. Working daily to preserve truth and diversity, Dr. Rebecca Dixon enlightens students on the rich history of Black culture and literature. The assistant professor of English and Women’s studies was recently selected as a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) 2009-2010 Maxine Smith Fellow for her leadership in the classroom and throughout the TSU campus.

The Maxine Smith Fellows Program is a TBR initiative designed to provide opportunities for minority employees to increase the diversity of ideas and thoughts to ultimately improve the educational environment at TBR institutions. Dixon’s dedication earned her the recommendation of President Melvin N. Johnson and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Gloria Johnson for selection into the program. “I believe my acceptance in the program is a recognition of my strong work ethic and passion for teaching,” said Dixon.

Planting the seeds of cultural awareness from both a historical and present-day perspective, Dixon focuses on building student knowledge through community involvement, innovative course design and other projects such as a new website based on the African Diaspora. “So many students are not exposed to books and discussions about Black culture. I try to help extend their knowledge of the culture through a diverse selection of authors and through complex and provocative discussions in the classroom,” she explained.

Dixon hopes participating in the program will also allow her the opportunity to work in other enriching academic activities. “I have been well supported at TSU and have been able to develop a number of courses. In many respects, I am really appreciative to have been selected,” she added.

Dixon will attend the first meeting of the Maxine Smith Fellows in the fall semester.  

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