The Tennessee Higher Education Initiative (THEI) is excited to announce Shon Holman-Wheatley has joined our staff as the Manager of Student Success and Re-Entry Services.  “We are thrilled to welcome Shon to our team,” said THEI Executive Director, Dr. Laura Ferguson-Mimms. “Shon brings a passion for ensuring all individuals have the opportunity to experience the liberative power of education as a lever for unlocking opportunities, but more importantly, fully understanding self and individual potential for transformation.”

Shon holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from East Tennessee State University, M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from Clemmer College and Education and is currently pursuing his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at Clemmer College of Education.  

Shon’s philosophy regarding re-entry is both individual focused in its depth and comprehensive in its breadth. He writes, "I don’t believe in rehabilitation because you rehab automobiles and not people. I do, however, believe in the transformational power of higher education and the ability for people to change. As a person who is directly impacted, I understand that recidivism is not the only thing that guides Reentry. It’s low hanging fruit if we only base whether a re-entry experience was successful is if a person returned to prison or not.

I believe and it is my experience that a successful re-entry experience includes housing, food, medical care, clothing, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, employment, and education. Research shows that re-entry programs that span all three phases of re-entry – preparation, service provision, and long-term support – are most successful.

I am proof positive that extraordinary things can happen when people are met with the right resources at the right time. It is my personal mission to make sure that every single one of students have the opportunity for a successful reentry."

Please join me in welcoming Shon Holman-Wheatley to Team THEI.