TJC announces new leadership roles

Tyler Junior College officials have announced new leadership roles in the institution’s enrollment management and advancement divisions.

Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC president for branch locations and district provost, and now lone finalist for the presidency of TJC, said, “I am very proud and honored to work with a strong vice presidential team, who is making decisions based on what it will take to have our college move to the next level. Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Services Kim Lessner and Vice President for Advancement Mitch Andrews are visionary leaders who are identifying team members with the right skill sets.”
 
He added, “Dr. Mike Metke, chancellor and CEO for the institution, has created an environment of empowerment, and we all celebrate that as part of his legacy.”

Sabota named registrar
Britt Sabota has been named TJC registrar.

In her new position, Sabota oversees services including student records management, academic transcripts, enrollment verification, course schedule and registration maintenance, and graduation.

Sabota has 10 years of experience in higher education, focused on strategic enrollment management and student success. At TJC, she previously served as associate registrar, senior information strategist, and federal grant management and reporting. Prior to TJC, she worked in the academic affairs division at The University of Texas at Tyler.

She is a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. At TJC, she serves on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, IT Steering Committee and Data Standards Committee.
 
She earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from UT Tyler.

Fontaine named director of academic advising
Chris Fontaine has joined TJC as director of academic advising.

In his new position, Fontaine oversees services such as selection of appropriate areas of study, test interpretation, transfer requirements, goal setting and academic plan development. He began his duties at TJC in October.

Fontaine has more than 25 years of experience in higher education and, most recently, he was registrar and director of enrollment/student services and marketing at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston. He has also held positions at LeTourneau University in Longview and serves as a consultant for Ruffalo Noel Levitz, which specializes in enrollment management and fundraising for higher education.  

Fontaine is a member of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.  

He holds an associate degree from Kilgore College, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Tyler and a Master of Science from LeTourneau University.

Mizell named director of admissions
Claire Mizell has been named TJC director of admissions.

Mizell joined TJC in May 2016 as director of development and recruitment for university transfer programs and became assistant director of admissions in June 2018.

A native of White Oak, she earned an associate degree from Kilgore College and a Bachelor of Science in human resource development from The University of Texas at Tyler.

After graduating from UT Tyler, she spent seven years in the admissions office at UT Austin, where she was program coordinator/director of its East Texas admissions office. While at UT, she oversaw the recruitment efforts for the East Texas market.
 
She is a member of the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Maples named career planning specialist
Tracey Maples has joined TJC as career planning specialist.

By utilizing various assessment tools, TJC Career Planning helps students identify their values, interests, personality, skills and strengths to aid in the selection of a major, determine a career direction, develop career goals, and successfully complete college.  

A Longview native, Maples graduated from Pine Tree High School and earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from LeTourneau University in 2007. 

She was previously employed at Kilgore College as a biology lab manager and TRIO learning specialist, and she was a high school biology instructor.

Patterson named director of annual giving
Whitney Patterson recently joined TJC as director of annual giving.

Within the TJC Advancement Services division, Patterson oversees the TJC President’s Circle, the TJC Foundation golf tournament, the college’s employee campaign, annual scholarships and various other giving initiatives, all of which raise awareness and funds for TJC scholarships and programs.

Patterson has previously worked as the development director for the Discovery Science Place in Tyler, and the director of development for Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties, Texas. 

She comes to TJC with over 10 years of development and fundraising experience within the nonprofit sector, including donor relations, event management, public and media relations, and volunteer management. 

She earned her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Patterson said she is a passionate supporter of quality education that is accessible to all.

“As a Tyler native, I’m thrilled to be a part of one of our community’s greatest assets,” she said. “TJC has a proven history of making a difference in the lives of its students and in the community. I am looking forward to putting my experience to work here as we expand scholarships, programs and facilities at TJC.”

She and her husband Tony have two children: Tegan, age 7, and Beckett, age 2.

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