Dr. Tiffany Lloyd speaks about being named an HBCU Times Power Alum, good leadership, and returning to Alcorn
A former Miss Alcorn State University was recognized by a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) publication for her wide range of success.
Dr. Tiffany Lloyd, who served as Miss Alcorn State University 2002-2003 and earned a bachelor's degree in educational psychology, was recently named a Power Alum by HBCU Times.
The publication's purpose is to offer a safe space for individuals who attend HBCUs to share their positive experiences. It also seeks to connect, motivate, and inspire HBCU alumni, faculty, students, and supporters to collaborate to enhance HBCU experience for future students.
Being highlighted by the publication made Lloyd think about the importance of HBCUs and how attending Alcorn made her realize the value of these institutions of higher learning.
"Alcorn taught me why we need HBCUs and why we must keep the legacy going," said Lloyd. "Alcorn has such a rich history and is one of the greatest institutions in the world."
Lloyd also was recently nominated for the Professor of the Year: Teacher of Excellence Award at Richland College in Dallas, Texas. The nomination is a testament to Lloyd's classroom management. For her, it is a blessing to teach because she realizes that teaching is her calling.
"There is a difference between having a job and a career. A job is something that you have to pay the bills, but a career is something that drives you and something that you would do even if you didn't get paid for it. When I wake up every day, it doesn't feel like I'm going to work. I enjoy what I do. Although I know there is more in store for me, and everything has a season, I believe I am where I should be right now."
When it comes to shaping the younger generation, Lloyd draws inspiration from her former professors. Their care for her progress inspires her to repeat the cycle for her students.
"I believe that everything that we do is some form of ministry. I believe that teaching is a calling, just like other fields. I had some amazing professors at Alcorn that encouraged me and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. Their impact motivated me to do the same for my students."
Her success as a professor speaks to her ability to display solid leadership abilities. Lloyd approaches leadership with an awareness of the needs of others. Her goal is to provide a workplace of comfort and development.
"Being a good leader to me is not about what you say; it's about what you do. You cannot be a good leader if you are not willing to sit at the feel of the people that are where you are trying to go. Leadership is not about you, but it is about service and humility. Leaders should be confident but never arrogant. Leaders should never take advantage of their position and the people that they lead.
"A good leader shouldn't ask anyone to do anything that they are not willing to do themselves. Most importantly, good leaders should always know those leadership roles can change. Who you lead today could be leading you tomorrow. That is why it is so important to treat everyone with respect."
Those leadership skills prompted Alcorn to ask Lloyd to be the keynote speaker at the 79th Biannual Honors Convocation in March. Lloyd appreciated the invite from her alma mater.
"I was honored to come back and speak because Alcorn could have chosen anyone that would have been phenomenal, but they chose me. I sat where those students were, and I wanted to say something to them that I would have wanted someone to say to me."
The key to Lloyd's speech was to be relatable. She remembered being where those students sat, and the hard work and challenges she faced to accomplish good academic standing. Lloyd made it a priority to deliver a sincere message that would help the students' progress.
"Sometimes, we can get lost in the resume and speak from a place where it is hard for students to relate. I wanted to be authentic and sincere. When you are sincere and talk to people and not at them, they will appreciate it. When you don't try to impress people and just be yourself, you have a greater chance of making an impact."
The speech Lloyd gave had a resounding effect on the students and their parents. So much so that they've reached out to her to share how with her how she inspired them to do their best in their lives. Those defining moments assured Lloyd of her calling to lead and motivate.
"To hear that my speech resonated with people makes me humble. Those students touched me, and I have heard from several of them and their parents since the Convocation. They thanked me; I thank them. It makes my heart full because I've always wanted to come back to Alcorn and speak. I wanted them to know that they are in good hands at Alcorn."
Once the Convocation was over, and she got time to walk around campus with some of her schoolmates, nostalgia overtook her. All of the good memories came rushing back to her, and they made her happy to be back at a place she considers home.
"It felt amazing coming back to Alcorn. Alcorn molded me. Alcorn was the introduction of the real world, but most importantly, I gained a family at Alcorn. From the first day I stepped on campus, I knew I was loved and cared for, and my mother knew I was in good hands. Alcorn taught me why we need HBCUs and why we must keep the legacy going. Alcorn was for me, and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing."
(The story has been updated to reflect Dr. Lloyd being named an HBCU Times Power Alum.)