Our Team

Inspired by all that our Scholars are; striving to inspire
and develop them for all they will become.



Scott Jeffress

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Scott Jeffress has served as Director of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) since 2012, when he retired from the U.S. Army after a 22-year career. In his role as Director, he oversees all aspects of the Roan Program – from recruiting and leader development, to fundraising and daily operations – but is focused first on the Roan Scholars themselves and helping . . .
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Assistant Director

Jennifer Axsom Adler

Dr. Jennifer Axsom Adler was named the Roan’s first Assistant Director in August 2015. A first-generation college student originally from Bloomington, Indiana, Jennifer graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with her A.B. in Government. She went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, with a focus on American religious history. At Vanderbilt, she had extensive experience with student development . . .
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Development Officer

Ben Daugherty

Ben Daugherty joined the Roan team in June 2016 and serves as an assistant director in ETSU’s Division of University Advancement, with responsibility for both the Roan Program and the Division of Student Affairs.  Originally from southern California, Ben attended East Tennessee State University after relocating to Tennessee.  He earned his B.B.A. in General Business Management in 2008. . .
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SmithAshley_5906b (24 Aug 17 - Charlie)Graduate Assistant

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is the Graduate Assistant of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program, beginning in Fall 2017. She is pursuing a Master’s of Social Work degree at East Tennessee State University. In her role, she is responsible for developing strategic communications for the program. Prior to joining ETSU, Ashley enjoyed a 12+ year career with Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations agency in Chicago, where she led teams and advised Fortune 500 companies.
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The Roan Steering Committee

The Roan Steering Committee is comprised of outstanding community leaders from throughout the region – men and women who have distinguished themselves in both their professional and personal lives, leading and serving with distinction in all they’ve done. Steering Committee members meet periodically during the year to assist the Director with administration of the Roan Program, and to select each class of new Roan Scholars. Our Committee members embody the character, leadership excellence, and life-long impact that we strive to develop in all of our Roan Scholars; in addition to their administrative functions on the Committee, members also often serve as informal mentors for current Scholars and Roan Alumni alike.

Our Team
Mrs. Sharon Boles

Dr. Heather Cook ’04

Mr. Josh Culbert ’10

Mrs. Betty DeVinney

Mr. Louie Gump

Mr. Alan Levine

Dr. Brian Noland

Mr. Art Powers

Dr. Joe Sherlin

Dr. Paul Stanton

Mrs. Melissa Steagall-Jones

Mr. John D. “Spike” Tickle, II