OP-ED-50 Years Later and Motlow’s Mission is Still You

Our world and our reality shifted in early March when Tennessee’s first case of Covid-19 was confirmed. Now almost three months later – after we successfully shifted to an online teaching and learning environment – Motlow State Community College stands ready to continue our support of communities while extending our services for regional development.

As an employee, learner, technology strategist, and President of Motlow, these last ten weeks of not seeing, in person, our students, employees, colleagues, community, and business partners sobers me. I am well aware of the effect that good teams have on the success of organizations – and our team is excellent.

We have affirmed much in these last iterations of what it means to teach, learn, and train utilizing remote and digital modalities. We have also confirmed our need for socioemotional connections. We continue to review our gaps and how we address awareness with action and humility.

We know even more deeply the importance of expanding the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion to support those among us who suffer beyond the traditional definitions. We are more aware of the impact of addiction, recovery, and mental health challenges our communities face. Motlow is a solution for recidivism. Let us enhance lives and change generational poverty. Isolation affords us all time for reflection, and we know that we must continue to evolve. All of higher education must continue to evolve.

The tools and platforms we have chosen revealed broader capacity and capability than we knew, and we have used them to the betterment of our students – to stay connected and expand relationships. The use of Zoom, Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams, and other technological tools have provided mediums to learn, laugh, work, encourage connections, and in many instances, grow from afar. We stand ready for whatever new will emerge. 

We will continue to provide gateless entry that assures all who want an opportunity to seize a positive future. Skilled leaders today seek beyond the traditional labor norms and need what community colleges provide; high-skilled graduates who critically think and problem solve acutely. Motlow is committed to connecting to each of you. We seek to prepare you with not only skill but the dispositions required for today’s employer and the analytical skills necessary for both employment and post-associate academic programs. Our successful grant-seeking continues to provide a way to leverage the intelligence of our youth and the reach of our business and industry partners.

Motlow continues to design and create with your future in mind. We establish and strengthen partnerships with communities, institutions, and businesses to expand within and across our Cumberland, Upper Cumberland, and Southern Middle Tennessee regional footprint.

This collective unity spawns regional relationship-building focused on you. Whether you characterize yourself as a high-school graduate, a returning adult, a veteran, or someone who now has an opportunity to revisit the opportunities that Motlow’s technical training or educational pathways can provide, we are waiting for you. Motlow is here, and we have developed tools and enhanced our skills to serve you better. Motlow has not and will not leave you without opportunity or access. Motlow is your teaching, learning, and training provider, and we are a value-added community link that supports your aspirations, options, and possibilities. We are waiting for you because you are our mission.

Dr. Michael Torrence


Motlow State Community College

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. News and Sports Director for Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1, and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (31 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,932 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served four years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for six years at Grundy County High School.

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