Tennessee Aquarium Renames Diversity Fellowship In Honor Of Jim Hill

Monday, February 3, 2020 - by Casey Phillips
Jim and Elaine Hill
Jim and Elaine Hill

Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium experience impactful moments with wildlife that plant the seeds for a lifelong connection with nature.

For those who undertake fellowships at the Aquarium, however, working alongside husbandry specialists, educators and scientists can be even more life-altering.

“We’re offering our fellows these opportunities, and then they’re going out and doing great things,” says Mara-Lynne Payne, the Aquarium’s senior manager of Diversity and Inclusion. “Our fellows get hands-on experience that they wouldn’t receive other places. Those experiences can change the course of action for their entire lives.”

Since opening its doors in May 1992, the Aquarium has always strived to ensure opportunities to connect with wildlife are available to as broad an audience as possible, both internally and externally.

In 2014, the Aquarium established its Diversity Fellowship Program to offer impactful work experiences to conservation-minded students, who are typically underrepresented at accredited zoos and aquariums. This year, the Aquarium is proud to announce that this fellowship is being renamed the Jim Hill Diversity Fellowship in honor of one of the Aquarium’s first presidents and CEOs.

Mr. Hill’s illustrious resume includes many gold-star bullet points.

His 20-year career in the Army included assignments as assistant professor of chemistry and assistant dean of academics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As a civilian, Mr. Hill was employed by the DuPont Corporation and served as plant manager in Chattanooga. During his years with DuPont, Mr. Hill served on the board of a number of many nonprofit organizations, including the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Urban League, Memorial Hospital, SunTrust Bank and United Way, among others.

Mr. Hill left his position with DuPont to serve as the president and CEO of the Tennessee Aquarium from 1993 to 1995. This role set an industry precedent, making Mr. Hill the first person of color in the nation to lead a zoo or aquarium. The fellowship serves as a tribute to Mr. Hill’s pioneering role while leading the Aquarium.

“I am deeply honored with this award since, among other things, it will continue to keep me linked to the Aquarium’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Mr. Hill says.

The Jim Hill Fellowship is offered to six minority college students pursuing a science or education major with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

Fellows work an 11-week term alongside Aquarium staff members in the husbandry, education and conservation departments. Some of responsibilities they undertake include care of the Aquarium’s animal ambassadors or animals in reintroduction projects, conservation field work throughout the Southeast, summer camp education and assisting with daily animal programs.

During their fellowship, selected students will work a 40-hour week. They are paid an hourly wage and are provided with on-campus housing and parking at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

For more information or to apply for a Jim Hill Fellowship, visit: https://tnaqua.applicantpro.com/jobs/  

Brandon Robinson, TNAQ Fellow
Brandon Robinson, TNAQ Fellow

Valentine’s Day Premiere Brings A Love Of Sea Turtles To The Giant Screen At Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds And U.S. Army Golden Knights To Headline 2020 Wings Over North Georgia Air Show

Tennessee Aquarium Renames Diversity Fellowship In Honor Of Jim Hill


From Ferdinand Magellan to Amelia Earhart, the pages of history are packed with adventurers whose ambitions and perilous voyages continue to stoke our wanderlust. But in the animal kingdom, ... (click for more)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team are the featured military demonstration acts for the eighth annual Wings Over North Georgia Air Show . The 2020 air ... (click for more)

Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium experience impactful moments with wildlife that plant the seeds for a lifelong connection with nature. For those who ... (click for more)


Travel

Valentine’s Day Premiere Brings A Love Of Sea Turtles To The Giant Screen At Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater

From Ferdinand Magellan to Amelia Earhart, the pages of history are packed with adventurers whose ambitions and perilous voyages continue to stoke our wanderlust. But in the animal kingdom, Humpback Whales, Caribou and even Monarch Butterflies regularly undertake migrations that are every bit as lengthy and exciting as their human counterparts. Beginning Feb. 14, audiences ... (click for more)

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds And U.S. Army Golden Knights To Headline 2020 Wings Over North Georgia Air Show

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team are the featured military demonstration acts for the eighth annual Wings Over North Georgia Air Show . The 2020 air show will take place October 24-25 at the Russell Regional Airport in Rome, GA. “After a hiatus in 2019, the 2020 Wings Over North Georgia Air Show scheduled for October already shows signs ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Human Remains Found In Walker County

Human skeletal remains were found in Walker County in a wooded area about 500 yards off the roadway, east of the 4000 block of South Highway 27, Lafayette, by a man and his son while they were hunting Monday morning, according to Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson. The remains are believed to be those of a Walker County man missing since Sept. 30. Robert “Robbie” Sisson III, ... (click for more)

Hinds Trial Set Sept. 29; Judge Declines Change Of Venue; Defense Seeks Evidence On Alleged 2nd Vehicle That Ran Over Body

Janet Hinds, who allegedly drove drunk and killed officer Nicholas Galinger in 2019, had her trial set for Sept. 29. Criminal Court Judge Don Poole also believed there was no need for a change of venue, saying that the court could go through a large number of candidates and find unbiased jurors in Hamilton County. Defense attorney Ben McGowan claimed that the police department ... (click for more)

Opinion

Celebrate President's Day By Remembering The Wisdom Of Our Founding Fathers - And Response

Monday, Feb. 17, is President’s Day. The holiday was originally designed to honor our first president, George Washington, and was celebrated on his birthday, Feb. 12. In an effort to give the public more leisure time, in 1971, President Richard Nixon officially designated certain federal holidays to be celebrated on Mondays. This included President Washington’s. Since it no longer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Super’s 25% Sham

I was talking to some fellas the other day – and these are pretty smart country boys – and posed this question: if a man was getting paid a base salary of $197,000, and then had a chance to jump to $240,000, what would be the percentage of ol’ Slick’s increase? One pulled out his cell phone and punched it, erased it, and punched some more. “Well, this thing says that if you had ... (click for more)