By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A leader and mentor to both students and student-athletes alike, Assistant Athletic Director for Academics and Student Welfare Dr. Lance Jasitt received the Outstanding Diversity Advocate Award recently, along with TTU Learning Resource Center Librarian Brooke Brown. The honor is in recognition of their hard work, dedication, and support of minority students at Tennessee Tech University.
Presented by the Commission on the Status of Blacks, any professional staff member (administration, faculty, and staff) who meets the following criteria and is currently or has previously been employed full-time at Tennessee Tech is eligible for nomination for the award. The nominated candidate should lead by example and provide outstanding support in the following areas: mentoring support to minority students, social support, and academic support.
“This is the most significant honor that I have received in my nearly 16-year career at Tennessee Tech,” Dr. Jasitt said. “It is my hope that this humbling recognition will cause me to have the courage to be a more visible advocate on the issues of minority representation, tolerance, and appreciation of diversity.”
Both honors took place at the annual award ceremony sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Blacks, which also recognizes minority students’ achievements throughout the year.
"Upon learning that I would receive a Diversity Advocate Award, I was at once thrilled and humbled," Brown explained. "I feel truly honored to be seen as someone who strives to treat all members of our campus community with respect and an attitude of helpfulness. It is my mission and my pleasure to do everything in my power to help the students, faculty, and staff of Tennessee Tech to succeed in all of their endeavors. I am proud to be part of a community that views promoting equality as something to be celebrated."
"In the eight years since I have been Director of Minority Affairs and Executive Officer of the Commission on the Status of Blacks here at TTU, both Brooke and Lance have shown their 'true colors' by their selfless, tireless, and non-partisan actions in working with both students and fellow employees," stated Director of Minority Affairs Dr. Robert Owens. "I have worked with each of these wonderful individuals on numerous occasions and have also seen them work with other individuals of various ethnicities and they have always gone above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to be great servants. I am pleased that we had the opportunity to honor these two outstanding individuals."
Tennessee Tech athletics has achieved great success in the classroom, especially over the past two years. In the 2013-14 fall semester, the Golden Eagle student-athletes posted the highest combined GPA in history with a mark of 3.216. Over that period Tech has also boasted five CoSIDA Academic All-District members, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, and a winner of Tennessee Tech's Derryberry Award.
“This is a great honor for both Dr. Jasitt and Ms. Brown, and the athletic department as a whole is encouraged and proud to have both of these outstanding individuals at Tennessee Tech University, assisting not just our student-athletes, but the student body as a whole,” said Tennessee Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. “We place a high emphasis on academics and to have resources such as Dr. Jasitt and Ms. Brown at the disposal of our students and student-athletes makes everything we work for that much better.”