Inspiration. Service. Community. Achievement. These are the common themes woven through the life stories of the 2023 Longwood Alumni Award winners. The awards annually honor Longwood graduates and friends for their outstanding achievements and service to others. Selected by the Alumni Board, recipients inspire the world around them through their professional and philanthropic achievements, their contributions to their communities as citizen leaders and their loyalty to Longwood.

A professor at Longwood profoundly shaped Dr. Tamara Brown’s life with one memorable assignment: She had to produce her notes from the entire semester, which were graded on how well they captured the essence of what he taught.

“I didn’t understand why we had to do that,” she said, laughing. “He told me that he wanted me to have the skills I would need to be successful in graduate school. That’s what the psychology faculty did for me at Longwood: They saw in me something bigger than what I dreamed possible and helped prepare me to achieve that.”

First as a clinical psychology professor, and now as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, Brown has spent her career paying that lesson forward.

She began her career at the University of Kentucky, then moved to Prairie View A&M University in 2012 as  dean of the College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology. At her next stop, the University of North Texas, her work won accolades and made her a quickly rising star in higher education, especially her ability to diversify faculty and implement strategies to keep students on track to graduate on time.

“My leadership approach is one of shared governance, transparency and utilization of data,” she said. “I try to start from a place of agreement—we can all agree that we want students to be successful. Then it becomes a question of how we get there. Our community has a lot of people who know how to bring good ideas forward, and I have the humility to try those sometimes-crazy or bold ideas that might work.”

The Distinguished Professional Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions and as role models for future generations of citizen leaders.

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