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Thomas Turner Named Motlow-Sparta Site Director

July 21, 2022

Thomas TurnerThomas Turner, Jr. has been named as the new full-time director of the Motlow-Sparta Teaching Site, according to Motlow State officials. Turner began his new duties on July 18.

“We welcome Thomas into the Motlow State teaching and learning community. He comes to us with a long-standing and varied background in student support, leadership, and academics and is very familiar with the community college and its students,” said Dr. Regina Verdin, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Thomas can grow the Motlow-Sparta partnership as well as serve as a community engagement specialist in support of business, industry, and education.”

Responding to the needs of the Sparta-White County community, the position was upgraded from a part-time coordinator to a full-time director’s position. The position upgrade supports the proposed program growth and new initiatives to support the expanding higher education needs of the residents.

“We are able to make this giant step with the support of the Sparta Advisory Committee who has carried the mantle for this site since its inception,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow President. “Motlow looks forward to the bright future of the Sparta Site and community as we continue this work. Thomas will build on the foundation laid by previous site coordinators, including Linda Mackie, Beth Ann Swallows, and Danyelle Hawkins.

Turner comes to Motlow State from Tennessee Technological University with an extensive student-centered background. Since 2014, he has served as the primary professional advisor for all pre-professional health science, pre-law, and professional graduate students as well as political science majors. He doubled as a student success coach for the arts and science majors. He initiated a free dental care program where dental and dental hygiene students would provide dental care to the homeless and low-income population under the supervision of a dentist and dental hygienist. Additionally, Turner is an advisor for the Remote Area Medical Clinics in the Upper Cumberland region. His teaching experiences range from Northeast State to Minnesota State and Tennessee Tech University including college reading improvement and college success to geography, sociology, criminal justice, advanced geographic information systems, medical geography, and international study in global health to supervising internships. Turner is a certified master tutor and graduate trainer. 

Turner has been the director of a Short-term Study Abroad Program. Topics included Amsterdam Art and History, Medicine in Rome, Culture of Paris, Politics in London, Nursing and Healthcare in London, Medical Relief in Haiti, Doctors in Italy, and Doctors without Borders. He holds memberships in numerous professional organizations and serves on the board of directors for the non-profit Veterans Integration Program, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He holds a master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration and Geography from Minnesota State, a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences Education from Northern Michigan University, and an associate’s degree from Northeast State Community College. Turner is a US Air Force Veteran.

Turner’s office is housed in the Sparta/White County/Motlow Teaching Site located at 603 Roosevelt Drive. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient, and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. The system offers associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs, and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at or visit Motlow at

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