Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Marquetta Nebo Leads Search for School Program Head at St. Jude

Marquetta NeboDr. Marquetta Nebo (EdD in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, c/o 2014) embodies the College of Education’s tagline “Driven by Diversity” in her career, studies and personal life. Dr. Nebo serves as the Administrative Director in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she demonstrates her values as a servant leader committed to building community and promoting diversity. Her academic work in the College of Education where she earned her EdD in ICL and her Graduate Certificates in Urban Education and Philanthropy & Nonprofit Management has helped her see the connection between education and positive growth in the community. Dr. Nebo states, “Education is the core of everything.  When you understand what education really is as you work in these community environments, you can understand your role much more.”

Given her background in education, expertise in non-profit management and commitment to diversity and inclusion, Dr. Nebo was a natural choice to chair the search for the School Program Head position at St. Jude. The School Program Head will be tasked with leading the St. Jude School Program, which allows students to maintain a normal educational experience while receiving medical treatment. The school offers patients at St. Jude an opportunity to stay current with their home institution curriculum while also advocating for the students as they return to their community schools. Dr. Nebo and the search committee are searching for a visionary servant leader with administrative background and a strong background in education that demonstrates St. Jude’s core values. They are also searching for someone who will build community and advocate for the children of St. Jude. Dr. Nebo says of being named as chair of the search committee, “To be able to open doors to others and to be on the frontline of choosing what’s right for our children just leaves me speechless and humble.”

Advocacy and meeting needs are central to Dr. Nebo’s personal philosophy. Her academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a master’s degree in Counselor Education. She also previously led a non-profit that supported families of incarcerated individuals. Her dissertation at the University of Memphis focused on the lived-experience of college-educated mothers who were incarcerated, the societal influences leading toward the trend of the incarceration of college-educated females and what this trend means for the stability of American families. Dr. Nebo is committed to finding the root cause of community issues and then asking herself what she can do to impact them. She remains committed to serving in non-profits because, “Non-profits are so often the answer to the needs and services in the community.”

Dr. Nebo advises other advocates who are considering studying Education or pursuing a career in non-profits to “broaden their horizon and see how education fits everywhere. You need to understand your ‘why’ and realize that [studying Education] does not put you in a box. Understanding your why may extend your opportunities.” She states that during her time in the College of Education, she was most influenced by Dr. Beverly Cross, Chair of Excellence in Urban Education, explaining, “Dr. Cross allowed me to see how much growth and positivity we can put out there as we’re collaborating between education and the community.” Dr. Nebo’s work with non-profits and leadership at St. Jude ensures a positive legacy as she impacts the Memphis community and St. Jude patients and their families from across the globe.

To learn more about the impactful work of the St. Jude School Program or to donate to St. Jude, visit stjude.org >.