Feature photo: Tonya Reeves (treevesphotography.com)
The Tennessee Board of Regents appointed Dr. Gwendolyn Sutton as the new Tennessee College of Applied Technology Memphis president, effective May 1, 2023. She joined the staff at TCAT Memphis in 2003 and has served as its vice president since 2017. Sutton earned a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University, a Master of Business Administration at Bethel University, a Bachelor of Science at Mississippi State University, and a Computer Information Systems diploma at TCAT Covington. She began her higher education career in 2001 as a financial aid officer.
After two years at private colleges in Jackson, MS, and Memphis, she joined TCAT Memphis as financial aid coordinator in 2003 and served in that role for 10 years until being appointed student services coordinator at TCAT Ripley, a sister institution, in 2013. She returned to TCAT Memphis in 2016 as compliance and curriculum coordinator and was appointed vice president in November 2017.
She was one of two finalists selected in March by a search advisory committee that was appointed last fall and was unanimously appointed by TBR as the first woman to lead TCAT Memphis. “As the first female president of TCAT Memphis, I am excited to continue this professional path while leading the TCAT Memphis faculty, staff, and students, whom I consider my family. I am looking forward to expanding the college mission throughout Memphis and Shelby County, forming local and national partnerships with businesses and industries, increasing workforce opportunities in our communities, and strengthening dual-enrollment offerings in our secondary schools.”
Sutton’s work experience touches on multiple different skills. She has a background in student aid, student services coordination, compliance and curriculum coordination, and more. She also holds a variety of degrees, including a Doctor of Education degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. Her dissertation topic was "The Underrepresentation of African American Females in Leadership Roles Within Higher Education". Her achievements as vice president of TCAT Memphis include preparing the accreditation documents for TCAT Memphis’ Bartlett campus; serving as curriculum chair of TCAT Memphis' barbering, digital graphic design, and electronics technology programs; and serving as the school's certifying official for veteran's affairs.