May 6, 2018

Marlisa Austin KABHE Award


When you step into one of Professor Marlisa Austin’s classes, you’ll quickly discover the passion she has for shaping lives.

For nearly 25 years, 15 of those with Jefferson Community & Technical College, Austin has been an influencer and promoter of not only education, but of diversity, equity and inclusion to support African-American students and educators at Jefferson and across the state.

Then it’s no surprise that the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education (KABHE) recently honored Austin with the Wendell Thomas Award, the most prestigious award selected and given by the organization in recognition of her actions to encourage unity, cooperation, awareness and enhanced opportunities for all.

“At Jefferson, in collaboration with other educators, I have been working to get students engaged in discussions and learning about themselves, their lives and their stories,” Marlisa said. “I want to empower their voice to make positive change in this world.”

Austin has come full circle with the KABHE, from a student to a leader. She attended her first conference as an undergraduate student more than twenty years ago.

“I saw other African-American educators and administrators from colleges and universities in Kentucky coming together to support diversity and inclusion, professional development and service,” Marlisa said.  “Seeing educators and leaders in this light, who looked like me, I knew that I wanted a career in higher education as well.”

Congratulations to Marlisa Austin on this amazing honor! Jefferson is proud and honored to have you as a valued faculty member.