Dr. Fannie Hewlett Reflects On Her 35-Year Career At Chattanooga State

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30 will mark the end of Dr. Fannie Hewlett’s career at Chattanooga State. Hired as a psychology instructor in 1976 at Cleveland State, a colleague notified Dr. Hewlett of an opening for a psychology instructor at Chattanooga State in 1979 that would be closer to home and an easier commute for her. The rest, as they say, is history.

Prior to 2001, Dr. Hewlett served as an instructor, department head and dean before being named vice president for Academic Affairs. In 2011, her academic role expanded and she was named the college’s first Provost.

With a smile, Dr. Hewlett remembers the late 1970s. Known as “The Growing Years,” she recalls a completely different campus look than the current one that included only a Technology Center, Instructional Materials Building (Library), Student Center and a Physical Education Building. “The community college movement reached its zenith in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and Chattanooga State experienced exponential growth,” states Dr. Hewlett.

According to Dr. Hewlett, the most exciting thing to happen in education during her tenure was a refocusing from a “teacher driven process to a learner driven process” where institutions became more concerned with students and the way instructors approach teaching. As technology entered the picture, it was critical for faculty to move forward. She cited keeping abreast of changes occurring to meet the outcome goals of Tennessee Board of Regents and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting agency as challenges facing future academic administrators.

One of the things Dr. Hewlett is most proud of is her administrative team. Through the years she has employed the strengths of her staff to achieve academic goals. “When the Regents Online Degree Program was first introduced, all TBR institutions were expected to participate as part of a collaborative initiative focusing on increasing access opportunities for students and to provide funding even if we were not using it,” she recalls. Under the leadership of Dr. Hewlett and her staff, what was once a program operating in the red here at Chattanooga State, now brings in more than $1 million each year.

Known for her vivacious personality, Dr. Hewlett stays motivated by what the next day holds. “There is a new challenge around every corner,” says Dr. Hewlett. Although awards hold meaning to her, she cherishes the ones that have to do with teaching or administrative excellence, a measurement that says, “what I do matters.”

Dr. Hewlett was present when Governor Haslam visited Chattanooga State to announce the recently enacted law called Tennessee Promise. She has hopes it will make education more affordable to a great many students. Although Tennessee Promise benefits graduating high school seniors in Tennessee with a 2.0 GPA or greater beginning in 2015, more than 55 percent of Chattanooga State students are age 25 and older. Dr. Hewlett’s advice to those students is to find a job at a company that pays for your education. Older students need to stress to employers how additional education will benefit the company.

As June 30 approaches, Dr. Hewlett looks forward to spending more time with her husband of 40 years, Jesse, her children and grandchildren, traveling, and catching up on recreational reading. Dr. Hewlett is a long-time member of Warren Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and enjoys working with Charisma Club, a small civic club in Chattanooga.

Reflection aside, Dr. Hewlett says she will miss the people of Chattanooga State the most, but “I am ready to enjoy what I’ve been working toward all my life,” says Dr. Hewlett.


Normal Park 6th Grade Students Learn About 3D Printing

Normal Park 6th grade students were captivated by Alex Cruikshank as he facilitated a brief demonstration and Q&A session on additive manufacturing through 3D printing on Wednesday. A programmer by trade, Cruikshank has quickly developed a passion and strong knowledge base about 3D printing. In the demonstration, he showed Normal Park students a variety of examples of 3D printed ... (click for more)

Local Colleges Receive National Accolades

Two Chattanooga-area colleges are receiving national recognition for excellence. Covenant College and Bryan College were ranked by U.S. News & World Reports among the top 25 Southern colleges.   In addition, Bryan College ranked as the #7 best value among all Southern colleges. U.S. News calculated value based on cost of attendance for students and quality of the education ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

Keep John Roberts, Commissioner Of Red Bank - And Response

It has been a week since the Red Bank Neighborhood Pride Association held their candidate forum at Red Bank Middle School. I was privileged to have been asked to moderate the affair. What follows is my interpretation of the current issues facing the citizens of Red Bank and, at the end, a summation of whom I feel should be elected and whom I will be voting for personally. First, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)