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Management Doctoral Student Receives Prestigious SREB Fellowship

For release: September 3, 2010
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Terry Nelson, a doctoral student at the University of Memphis, has received a prestigious fellowship from the State Doctoral Scholars Program of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

She has published a major paper in an international journal and is working on a book with Dr. Rabi Bhagat, professor of management. Nelson also is a recipient of the First Generation Ph.D. Fellowship awarded by the U of M Graduate School. She had 18 years of management experience before returning to school, serving as senior vice president of consumer loan processing at First Tennessee Bank and in executive positions with Coca-Cola and Kroger.

“I feel truly fortunate to be awarded an SREB Fellowship, as this will enable me to continue to fulfill my dream of being the first in my family to obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degree and now a Ph.D.,” Nelson said. “The collaboration of the SREB Fellowship with the continued support of the University’s Department of Management, the vice provost of graduate programs, and my mentor, Dr. Rabi S. Bhagat, will increase future opportunities and successes for me in the academic field.”

“Terry Nelson has the potential to become a robust scholar in her field,” said Bhagat.

The $20,000 SREB award supports minority Ph.D. students and encourages them to seek faculty positions in order to increase diversity in higher education. Preference is given to students who are seeking degrees in areas where minorities are most underrepresented. SREB Fellows are invited to a conference that is the largest gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars in the country.

There is a shortage of Ph.D.s of color across the country.  Nationwide, about 5 percent of university and college faculty are African-American, about 3 percent are Hispanic, and about one percent are Native American.

A native of Little Rock, Nelson is married to Thomas Stafford and is the daughter of Ray and Barbara Nelson. She earned her BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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