TSU professor retires after 40-plus-year academic career

Dr. Sandra Holt — a venerable Tennessee State University academician and an icon within Nashville’s higher education community — has retired after 40-plus years of service.

Dr. Coreen Dawkins Jackson has been named Holt’s successor.

Holt (pictured) served as director of TSU’s University Honors Program for the last 21 years.

“Forty years and 11 months was the time it took to complete my mission at TSU,” Holt, an ordained minister, said in a release. “My various works here were very rewarding. However, I believe my time right now is to be spent in ministry.”

Holt began her professional career at TSU in the summer of 1972 as an instructor in the communications department. She would move up the ranks to associate professor and simultaneously hold several other key positions including director of the Women’s Center.

As head of the Honors Program, Holt rebuilt the program through an aggressive recruitment effort and revamping of classes. She initiated several other programs aimed to further enhance student learning and development, including freshman mentoring, new student orientation, fall leadership retreat, travel abroad and an Honors Week.

“Today the UHP is strong, well known and respected throughout the country,” Holt said.

Jackson, a 10-year member of the TSU faculty and a tenured associate professor of mass communication, holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from Howard University. She earned an M.S. in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and a B.A. in speech communication with minor in Spanish from William Jewell College.

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