Staff Bios



Melvyn Harding Melvyn Harding
Director
Student Success Programs
mharding@memphis.edu
901.678.2351


Originally from that basketball crazy state, Indiana, Melvyn Harding brings over 19 years of experience working in TRiO/educational opportunity programs prior to his appointment at the University of Memphis. Harding’s leadership philosophy in leading SSP centers upon shared decision-making, developing collaborative partnerships, and transparency in communications among team members. He received both his B.S. in Legal Administration and M.A. in Political Science from Ball State University. A staunch advocate of student development, particularly for first generation, low income, and students with disabilities, Harding has dedicated his professional life to promoting access and leveling the educational playing field of opportunity for all students.

Sheron DavenportSheron Davenport
Assistant Director
Student Success Programs
sttaylr1@memphis.edu
901.678.2351


Sheron Davenport comes to Memphis by way of Jackson, TN.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Counseling from The University of Memphis. Prior to the current position of Assistant Director, Sheron worked as a Retention Specialist for Student Success Programs and as a Hearing Officer/Office Coordinator for Student Conduct at The University of Memphis.  Her passion for helping people directed her to a position where she could be more proactive in steering students toward graduation.

Jeanett Ballentine Jeanett H. Ballentine
Retention Specialist
Student Success Programs/Classic
jballntn@memphis.edu
901.678.2351


Jeanett Ballentine is a personal advocate and a first generation student at the University of Memphis. She has earned her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Professional Studies. This first generation student has been encouraged, educated and employed by the University of Memphis for many years. She served as an Administrative Secretary, Senior Administrative secretary, and an Administrative Associate. She was also given the opportunity to teach ACAD 1100 in order to meet and teach young people who were first generation students. She learned firsthand that a caring attitude of college personnel is viewed as the strongest retention force on a campus. She cares, motivates, encourages, mentors and believes that if you believe it, you can receive it.

Luanne Allen DonoghueLuanne Allen Donoghue
Retention Specialist
Student Success Programs/Classic & STEM
ldonoghu@memphis.edu
901.678.2351


Luanne Donoghue is a lifelong Memphian who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Memphis and returned after a long hiatus to complete her Master of Science in Counseling. During that time, she served as an Academic Coach on campus and discovered her passion for helping students to overcome obstacles and to reach their full potential as individuals. She believes in the power of education to transform students’ lives as well as the communities in which they live. As a Retention Specialist, she is excited to see the impact that providing support and connection to campus can have in moving students successfully towards graduation.

Shanna SavellShanna Savell
Project Assistant
Student Success Programs/Classic & STEM
slsavell@memphis.edu
901.678.2351

 


Barrett Schwarz Barrett Schwarz Retention Counselor
Student Success Programs/Classic
bhschwrz@memphis.edu
901.678.2351


Barrett Schwarz comes to Memphis from St. Louis, MO. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and his Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. Prior to his current position of Retention Specialist, Barrett worked as a Writing Tutor and Office Coordinator for the Educational Support Program at The University of Memphis. Having a deep concern for the retention and graduation of students, Barrett gravitates towards positions where he can make a direct impact on students’ academic success. As a Retention Specialist at the University of Memphis, he enjoys seeing students reach their academic goals as well as working with a great Student Affairs staff.

Kamia YoungKamia Young
Retention Specialist
Student Success Programs/STEM
khightwr@memphis.edu
901.678.2351


Kamia Young is a native Memphian and first generation student who has received both her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Science in Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Memphis. She has spent 10 years working in higher education as a Financial Aid Counselor at the University of Memphis and an Academic Advisor at Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, Indiana. Moving back to her home town, Kamia is excited to once again be working at the University of Memphis and will continue to strive to help students stay motivated to succeed while in college, while preparing students to be successful and productive individuals after graduation.