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International alum Thabile Brown awarded first Next Generation Faculty Fellowship

Alumna’s path from tennis captain to Next-Gen Faculty was filled with support and mentoring.

From Staff Reports | 

Thabile Brown

A former tennis team captain and graduate of the College of Business from Zimbabwe, Thabile Tshatedi Brown (BA ’19, MBA ’20), has been selected as the first recipient of Lipscomb’s new Next Generation Fellowship, aimed to foster a more robust representation of faculty and administration from underrepresented groups.

The Next Generation Program, one of the first initiatives of Lipscomb’s Impact 360 strategic goal to build a culture of diversity, equity and belonging on campus, is a scholarship program aimed at Lipscomb’s students of color from the Church of Christ faith heritage. 

Those chosen to participate in the program receive full tuition paid to complete their doctoral studies in an academic area of need at our university. In turn, students will commit to return to Lipscomb upon the successful completion of their doctorate to serve in a faculty role for five years.

Brown currently works as an application analyst II at HCA in Nashville and plans to apply to hybrid doctorate programs in the area of information systems or health care informatics. She is married to Davis Brown (’17, MBA ’20), instructor in the College of Business.

Brown arrived at Lipscomb in 2015 as an international student and a promising tennis player. In her four undergraduate years at Lipscomb, Brown not only excelled on the tennis court but also demonstrated academic success, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human resources. Attending college so far from her home in Harare, Zimbabwe, Brown had to “mature very quickly” as she dealt with many life happenings completely on her own. “I am definitely leaving (Lipscomb) a better person and more equipped to take on whatever the world has to offer,” she said at the time of her graduation.

Thabile Brown speaking at all-campus meeting in 2023

Thabile Brown spoke about her desire to join the university faculty at an all-campus meeting in 2023, shortly after her selection for the Next Generation Scholarship.

Brown credits internships, faculty mentors, the tennis coach Jamie Aid and the athletic regime with transforming her into a better person and a professional who understands that teamwork and resilience are required for success.

As a student-athlete, she was twice selected for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s All-Academic Team in 2017 and 2018. Beyond the tennis courts, Brown’s leadership skills served her well as the president of Lipscomb’s student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Through SHRM, she created network opportunities between students and local HR professionals. 

She continued her education at Lipscomb, earning an MBA in December 2020. The servant leadership approach taught at the College of Business has served her well in her current job at HCA, where she is on a team that finds technological solutions for HCA’s hospitals and medical professionals.

Thabile Brown in her student days

Thabile Brown as a student.

“Lipscomb has become home for me. It’s my home away from home,” said Brown. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here at Lipscomb. Lipscomb has taught me so much.” 

At the August announcement of her selection for the program, Brown articulated her passion for education and the transformative impact it can have on individuals and communities.

“I strongly believe in the power of education. I have personally seen how education can transform lives and communities,” shared Brown. “Faculty and staff play such important roles in students’ lives. I would love to have that positive influence and prepare students so they can go out and be the godly, well-equipped leaders that we need in this world.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to make an impact here at Lipscomb as a professor but who would not have the opportunity to pursue that dream because of financial or other barriers,” said William Turner, special counsel to the president for equity, diversity and belonging and distinguished professor in the College of Leadership & Public Service. 

“This is a significant commitment by the university not only to invest in these future leaders but also in recognizing the importance of intentionally growing the diversity of this university and the impact that will have on students for generations to come,” he said.

As Lipscomb prepares to welcome its first Next Generation faculty member in the coming years, it marks a significant step toward a more diverse and vibrant academic environment.