COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Two women who have risen to
professional positions in their 20s, one as an attorney and one in
Army public relations, will be the featured speakers Monday evening
for a presentation to Tennessee Tech’s female
student-athletes about women in leadership roles.
The program, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in the Don Ervin Auditorium on the first floor of Johnson Hall. It is the latest in the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Leaders for Life Program, an endowed program to enhance the educational opportunities for Tech’s female student-athletes.
The two speakers, Natalie Ivey and Kristen Marquez, grew up as friends in Cookeville and have taken different career paths each leading to successful professional positions. Ivey is the Assistant District Attorney General for Tennessee’s 13th Judicial District, which is comprised of seven counties. Marquez is the Public Affairs Officer at Ireland Army Community Hospital at Fort Knox, Ky., and oversees MEDDAC public relations for six states.
Ivey graduated from Cookeville High School in 2003 and enrolled at Tennessee Tech, earning her bachelor’s degree in history in 2007. She worked as a student intern and student attorney in the Office of the Public Defender, and entered the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2007, receiving her J.D. degree in 2010. She spent some time serving as Legal Advocate for Genesis House in Cookeville, and was named Assistant District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District in 2010. Among the duties of that role, she prosecutes crimes of domestic violence in Putnam, Dekalb and White Counties.
Marquez is a 2001 graduate of Cookeville High School and a 2004 graduate of Austin Peay State University with a degree in mass communications. After positions at newspapers at both Fort Campbell (Ky.) and Fort Sill (Okla.), she was accepted into an Army Internship program. During that two-year span, she was posted at Fort Jackson (S.C.), attended DINFOS at Fort Meade (Md.) and served at the Pentagon. Upon completion, she spent three years as PAO at Heidelberg (Germany) Army Hospital, before moving to Fort Knox in 2011.
The Leaders for Life program has included a number of prominent speakers in the past several years, including its namesake, Dr. Murphy, in 2011. The most recent speaker was OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche, who spoke at the event in October.
"This program targets the common challenges facing women today," said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. "Tennessee Tech Athletics is excited about promoting the importance of women's athletics and providing outstanding opportunities for leadership development in its female student-athletes.
"We're looking forward to an informative presentation from these two young professional women, and we’re extremely grateful to Dr. Murphy for her support of this program and her commitment to our student-athletes," he said.
Murphy is a two-time graduate of Tennessee Tech, earning bachelor's (1972) and master's (1973) degrees in health and physical education. While enrolled at Tech, Murphy was actively involved with the TTU athletics program, as a student-athlete in three sports (basketball, tennis and volleyball) and as a graduate assistant coach (women's basketball). In 2005, she earned the school's distinguished alumni award for her professional achievements.
The Leaders for Life program at Tennessee Tech is the second leadership lecture series created by Murphy through charitable gifts. In 2005, she endowed the Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Distinguished Lecture Series in Sports Management at Florida State University. Murphy earned a Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1980.
"The Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Female Student-Athlete Leaders for Life Program is providing a permanent legacy to one of the University's most accomplished alumni," Wilson said. "Our female student-athletes benefit tremendously from the Leaders for Life Program.