Jackson College welcomes new trustee, Teshna Thomas

November 16, 2023

Jackson College welcomes a new Board of Trustees member, Teshna Thomas, to be sworn in on Friday, Nov. 17.

With nearly 20 years of professional experience at Henry Ford Jackson Hospital, Thomas offers a wealth of experience connecting with the community. As Director of Community Engagement, she is the point person for building relationships with stakeholders and contributing to the health system’s positive reputation. The first – and key step – involves talking and listening to the people most involved. She hopes to help do the same with Jackson College.

“A key point of interest for me is making sure that students who typically don’t see an option to go to college are provided that opportunity, helping the community at large in terms of getting an education,” Thomas said. “It’s important that we’re getting the word out to students and helping them navigate that journey.”

Listening to students and the community to ensure that people’s voices are heard will contribute to that process. “The people who are closest to the problem are the ones we need to be sure we are paying attention to. Talk to the people, that’s the thing; talk to the people.”

Board of Trustees Chair John Crist looks forward to working with Thomas and the talents she brings as the board tackles many prominent issues. “She brings a professional side to what we’re looking for on the board, many talents in working in the central area of Henry Ford Health,” Crist said. “I think she will be a good addition; I think she will be very positive in what she does and so forth.”

Connected to the Community

Thomas brings a host of volunteer leadership and service experience. She is active with Habitat for Humanity, Experience Jackson, and ALPACT – Advocates and Leaders for Policy and Community Trust, dedicated to bringing community members and police together. Her involvements include Leadership Jackson, Lean Rocket Lab, Human Services Coordinating Alliance, Michigan Diversity Council and more. She is a member of Crossroads Church and Ministries where she is a member of the worship team and leads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ministry.

Thomas hails from Albion and received a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Administration from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, and holds associate and bachelor’s degrees in business from Cornerstone University. She is a certified Officer of Healthcare Compliance.

Thomas is the eldest of five siblings. When she’s not volunteering or working, she enjoys spending time with her family and partner. With a passion for event planning, she recently coordinated a 50th-anniversary reception for her parents.

She will complete the term vacated by Sam Barnes who moved to take another job out of state, through December 2024.