Alcorn welcomes Dr. Phyllis Metcalf-Turner as new chief of staff to the president

A veteran higher education administrator and experienced educator has joined the president’s cabinet at Alcorn State University.

Dr. Phyllis Metcalf-Turner is the new chief of staff to President Dr. Felecia M. Nave. In her new role, Turner will work directly with the president to maintain strong success and to build strong relationships with team members across the university community.

In her career, Turner has held several administrative appointments that include director, minority teacher, department head, assistant and associate provost, and dean. The Detroit, Michigan native received a doctorate in higher education administration and a second master’s degree in science journalism from the University of Minnesota. She received her first master’s degree (speech/language pathology) and bachelor’s degree (special education) from Eastern Michigan University. She began her career as a K-12 special education teacher in her hometown.

Being a cabinet member under such a historic administration inspires Turner to do great things at Alcorn. She expressed her admiration for President Nave’s vision for the university’s future.

“I am very excited to join the Alcorn family under the leadership of President Nave,” said Turner. “I am inspired by her vision, commitment to educational excellence, and a strong belief in and dedication to African-American students who seek to achieve their highest potential. I am especially excited to serve as a part of Alcorn’s leadership team and help to strengthen its efforts to advance the institution to the next level of academic excellence.”

Turner quickly recognized the greatness that Alcorn has achieved over the years. She’s proud to be a part of a winning team, and she hopes that her contributions will aid the university in its continued success.

“It is evident that Alcornites are committed to striving for educational excellence. My goal is to continue the legacy of high achievement and excellence in support of our students.”

Making Mississippi her new home is a significant move for Turner. She’s never been a resident, but her family tree is deeply rooted in the Magnolia State. She looks forward to reconnecting with her family here and learning more about her history.

“Although I’ve never resided in Mississippi, my entire family was born and raised here. I’m proud and excited to be afforded the experience to reconnect with my historical roots.”

Furthering her career at Alcorn feels right for Turner, mainly because of the university’s rich history and friendly environment. The kindness of her fellow Alcornites has already made a strong impression on her that she appreciates.

“From the moment I arrived on campus, my husband and I experienced the genuine warmth and kindness of the Alcorn community. The Alcorn community reflects a cultural richness that is not evident on most campuses. I have been very impressed by the positive, supportive environment that exists here.”