A Testimony for Reaching Your Fullest Potential in the Higher Education Profession

Posted by Ronald | November 19, 2017  |  No Comment

At the 24th Annual Conference of the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in Atlanta, Ga., the largest gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars in the nation, Judge Glenda Hatchett reminded the doctoral students that they are the chosen few to reach their fullest potential in the higher education profession. In doing so, they have an opportunity to address the shortage of racial/ethnic minority faculty on college and university campuses.

Hatchett is the founder of The Hatchett Firm, P.C. in Atlanta, Ga. The firm specializes in risk and crisis management and catastrophic police misconduct cases. Hatchett started her career at Delta Airlines. She was the airline’s highest ranking woman of color worldwide serving both as public relations manager and senior attorney. As public relations manager, Hatchett supervised global crisis management and media relations for all of Europe, Asia and the United States. As senior attorney, she litigated cases in federal courts throughout the country.

After her career with Delta, Hatchett became the first African American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court in Georgia and head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. On television, she presided over the nationally syndicated show, Judge Hatchett for 15 years. Hatchett is the host of The Verdict and author of the book, Dare to Take Charge. Following are excerpts from Hatchett’s session on reaching your fullest potential in the higher education profession.

In a jubilant way, Hatchett explained that when she was in law school she contemplated the thought of quitting school. The challenge was too much while working full-time and raising a child, said Hatchett. As Hatchett meditated over the matter, she eventually talked to her favorite aunt about the possibility of quitting school and hoping that she would confirm her decision.

Without hesitation, my aunt emphatically told me I was destined to achieve and complete law school. I must not quit because she did not have such luxury as me. In fact, my aunt said, “Baby if it were easy, everybody and their mama would be able to do it. So, you have been blessed to complete law school,” said Hatchett.

“How dare I complain,” shouted Hatchett. She took her aunt’s advice and powered through law school and subsequently became the renowned figure she is today. Through her courtroom experience, Hatchett discussed how she found her purpose and passion for helping people, especially foster children to get on track and gain a quality life. Hatchett’s behavior was grounded in her childhood experience. She saw at an early age how her first grade classroom books were old and outdated, but her father told her to write her own story about such challenges in life, said Hatchett.

Because of the rigorous course study and intense intellectual preparation, a small percentage of the U.S. population attains a Ph.D. Hatchett told the doctoral students at the conference that they must work through the challenges of getting the Ph.D. because they were destined to fulfill such a worthy cause. “How dare you complain,” shouted Hatchett. “If it is important enough, you got to get it,” said Hatchett. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I had not finished law school, said Hatchett.

Hatchett encouraged the Ph.D. students to help those who need the extra assistance to redirect their thinking in life just as her aunt and father did for her. You will have children in your classroom from different home experiences and communities, and you must give them the best that you have to offer. Whatever you do, have a purpose, operate with passion and write your own story about how you made change happen and overcame the challenges in your life, said Hatchett.

Through the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, Hatchett reminded the doctoral students that they have a support system to help them reach their fullest potential in the higher education profession, so take advantage of the opportunity.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of 15 books and publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator, test developer and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]



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