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Front Page - Friday, November 1, 2019

Hutchins Diverse Talent fellows named

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has announced members of the inaugural cohort of the Styles L. Hutchins Diverse Talent Retention Fellowship.

The mayor’s office and its partners, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, created the fellowship to honor Hutchins’ entrepreneurial spirit in efforts to ensure the talent retention of young African Americans in the city.

Candidates for the fellowship are black undergraduate students in the second semester of their junior year, any semester of their senior year or first-year graduate students in good standing with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“Greater diversity in student recruitment and graduation is a priority for UTC, and we are proud of the contributions our alumni make when they have the opportunity to build careers here in the region,” says Steven Angle, chancellor, University of Tennessee - Chattanooga.

The inaugural cohort of fellows are:

Khadesha Gordon, who is majoring in political science and public service with a minor in Africana studies. Her professional career goal is to work in the legal field. In addition to being a full-time student, Gordon also works part time outside of school. She’s also been involved on campus with the NAACP executive board (secretary), mock trial attorney and the Political Science Club. “As a Chattanooga native, I am excited about the continuous growth and expansion of this city and my desire is to stay here and thrive in my chosen career field. I’m grateful the city, Chamber and Urban League are placing an emphasis on making Chattanooga a place where young, black talent can stay and thrive,” Gordon says.

Dominique Malone, a senior majoring in criminal justice. She has spent the last three years conducting research on how minorities are affected by the criminal justice system and their community. Malone serves on the Freshman Senate, Student Government Association as adviser, editor-in-chief of The Torch: Reborn, The Day of Service chair for the homecoming student steering committee, the parliamentarian and social action chair for the Theta Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Brock Scholar. Most recently, Malone was honored as UTC’s 2019 Homecoming Queen. “I aspire to become a public-interest attorney specializing in criminal defense and advocacy work because I believe that everyone deserves a voice and representation,” Malone says.

Ryenne McDowell, a junior majoring in political science with a concentration in politics and a minor in Spanish. McDowell has spent two years conducting undergraduate research for UTC, including an emphasis on gentrification in Chattanooga and the implications of it within the community. She assumes roles in various on-campus organizations including as a Youth Villages Scholar and resident assistant. “I’m thrilled to be chosen as a fellow under the inspiring legacy of Styles L. Hutchins. His work on Ed Johnson’s case and his support of Johnson during his lifetime galvanizes me to work harder on behalf of my fellow black citizens and professionals,” McDowell says.

Marquise Tate, is a junior majoring in mass communications with a minor in international studies. Tate has worked as an academic coordinator for an elementary school in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as volunteering at local elementary schools in Chattanooga. He’s also served in several leadership roles on UTC’s campus, including Brother to Brother Advisory Team, NAACP Community Service chairman and the UTC LeaderShape Institute. “I’m honored to serve in this inaugural Styles L. Hutchins Fellowship class. Just like Hutchins, I have entrepreneurial aspirations and I’m excited for the opportunities I’ll get learning from the City, the Chamber and the Urban League. My ultimate goal is to be a positive influence among young men in the community,” Tate says.