MARTIN, Tenn. – Alisha Melton has been named executive director of the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Research, Outreach, and Economic Development. The announcement was made Jan. 11 in a university message to faculty and staff by Dr. Keith Carver, university chancellor. The Dresden, Tennessee, native has led the office as interim executive director since October 2021. Her appointment is effective immediately.
The ROED office is responsible for coordinating research and sponsored programs, university outreach, and UT Martin’s economic development initiatives. The office promotes the university’s regional development initiatives and seeks to increase internal funding and income-generation opportunities through grants. The office also coordinates the university’s Blue Oval City Response Team and the UT Martin-City of Martin Town and Gown Association.
“Alisha has quickly established herself as a tremendous resource in terms of research, outreach, and economic development,” Carver wrote in his university message. “I’m excited about her passion for helping others and promoting research and economic development for UT Martin and the region beyond.”
In addition to her role as ROED interim executive director, Melton has also worked at the university as a grant specialist, student services specialist, and Title III business manager. She also has experience in private business as a business owner/director of a childcare center and as an office manager for a law firm. She is active in her community and currently serves as co-chair of the Weakley County Long-Term Recovery Group. Melton holds two UT Martin degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration.
“I appreciate the trust and confidence of the search committee and Chancellor Carver for this opportunity to support our amazing faculty research, provide outstanding outreach programming, and strengthen UT Martin’s collaborations and projects across the state,” Melton said in a statement about her appointment. “There’s no better place than West Tennessee, and I’m so excited to help UT Martin in its economic development and community growth partnerships to keep us growing and excelling for years to come.”
Members of the search committee were Dr. Nancy Buschhaus, interim dean, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences; Landy Fuqua, director, UT Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center, Tennessee Small Business Development Center; Rob Goad, Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee; Petra McPhearson, senior vice chancellor, Division of Finance and Administration and committee chair; Dr. Rachna Tewari, associate professor, agricultural economics and agribusiness; Cindy West, dean, College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences; and Dr. Todd Winters, dean, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. More information about the Office of Research, Outreach, and Economic Development is available at www.utm.edu or by calling 731-881-7015.