Jenai Brown, the recipient of the 2020 Class of 1956 Staff Excellence award, is described by her nominator as “a shining example of what the Class of 1956 envisioned when they chose the Academic Success Center for their 50-year anniversary project.”

Photo of Jenai Brown

Jenai Brown

As coordinator of tutoring at the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center (ASC) in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, Brown manages the recruitment, hiring, training and supervision of 60-70 undergraduate peer tutors, who support up to 100 undergraduate courses each semester.

“Jenai was selected because of her commitment to student learning and leadership development, her service to regional and national learning center organizations because she consistently goes above and beyond her job duties,” said ASC Director Sue Whorton.

“What also stood out to the task force members was how she intentionally worked to make the tutor experience one of learning and growth for them. She created opportunities for tutors to reflect on what they were learning from their work and the transferrable skills and competencies they were developing as a result of their experience as a tutor,” Whorton said.

“She has taken the tutor program to a different level in terms of its success in hiring outstanding tutors, helping to emphasize that tutoring is not just for remedial students and made tremendous strides in changing the face of tutoring for Clemson students,” said ASC office manager Tabitha Harvey, who nominated Brown for the award.

Established in 2013 through an endowment generously created and funded by members of the Class of 1956, the award is presented annually to a distinguished staff member who has made exemplary contributions to undergraduate student success at Clemson University. Brown receives $1,000 and a plaque, and her name will be added to a permanent plaque on display in the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center Building.

Brown, who has been with the ASC since 2016, said the center’s goal is to help every student be successful, and it is gratifying to be part of that.

“Through training and ongoing conversations, tutors learn how to be role models and mentors, shaping the college experience for hundreds of other students,” she said. “I make an effort to establish that success doesn’t always mean getting it right on the first try nor is it the absence of failure. Progressive struggle for tutors as they learn how to best support the students helps to mold them into effective leaders.”

Whorton is grateful for Brown’s leadership and her commitment to Clemson students. “Jenai is focused on creating a learner-centered program that helps students thrive and succeed while they are at Clemson but also after they graduate,” she said.