Clinton Hoard graduated magna cum laude from UT Martin in 2011 with a degree in psychology. Hoard did not find his degree program to be a cakewalk, but after successfully overcoming the rigors of his major, he took to the world of graduate education with ease.
At age 17, Hoard was diagnosed with a chronic disability. He was determined not to let that get in the way of pursuing his dream "of getting a college education and escaping poverty."
Hoard did not begin his college career at UT Martin. The first college he attended did not provide him with the appropriate accommodations to aid him with his disability, which forced him to withdraw and caused a setback in his college aspirations.
However, after earning his associate degree from a community college, he turned to UT Martin.
He said, "From financial aid to the staff to the student support services, UTM invested in me like no other campus ever has."
Feeling embraced by the UT Martin community, Hoard became very active on campus. He served on the Student Activities Council Executive Board, was Vice President of servICE (the student civic engagement club), and was inducted into Psi Chi, Pi Sigma Alpha and the national honor societies for his psychology major and political science minor.
Currently, Hoard has completed his graduate education in psychology at UT Chattanooga. In his time as a graduate student, he took on several responsibilities. He served as a graduate research assistant at the UTC Center for Applied Social Research. He also worked as a virtual assessment center intern at Indiana University Northwest, and during the summer as a human resources intern at Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
He stayed active and involved on campus and in the community. As part of a class presentation for Human Resources Training, Hoard proposed "the idea for a formal mentoring program to assist in the development and support of first-year students." His proposal was put into action and implemented.
Even as Hoard moves forward in his future endeavors, he always remembers his time as a Skyhawk.
He said, "Because of UTM, I am now a graduate of a top 20 master's program, when I started off at HeadStart and went through public schools my entire educational career. I now have the opportunity to finally end the cycles of poverty and underachievement, which have plagued my family for several generations. Thank you, UT Martin!"