KNOXVILLE– Dametraus Jaggers joins the Johnson community as the new director of Urban Alliance’s Future of Hope Institute, which is funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. The Future of Hope Institute will provide a theological foundation to assist high school students in recognizing the role they have in reconciling their community.
Jaggers comes to Johnson with a history of experience in higher education and ministry. He worked for a year and a half to support students of color on campus, and he accomplished some community outreach through the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Multicultural Student Center at Ohio State University at Mansfield.
Jaggers is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and has been a resident of Knoxville for four years. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Kent State University.
He has recently served as an associate director for Retention and Student Engagement in the Office of Multicultural Student Life at the University of Tennessee. Despite all of his accomplishments in higher education, he felt the need to pursue a greater calling.
“I got to a place where I really felt the Lord pushing me to move beyond this comfort zone I established for myself working in higher education,” he said. “I really had the desire to get more grounded and connected in the local community.”
Jaggers found out about the position at Johnson while on a search for an opportunity to connect with the community on a professional and ministry-based level.
“The opportunity with Johnson brought all three areas that I was really passionate about together,” he said. “The first thing is ministry, next is higher education, and the third one is community outreach.”
When asked about his experience so far on campus, he had positive remarks about the apparent engagement in the future of Johnson.
“Based on the interactions I have had, it seems like Johnson is in a place of growth and there are a lot of people here that are committed to helping the institution continue to move forward,” he said.
Jaggers is excited to meet new people at Johnson. He will be the professor of a few undergraduate classes during the fall semester.
There is also a summer internship opportunity through the Future of Hope Institute. The internship will be focused on assisting high school students in the community while integrating theological reflection, cultural analysis, spiritual formation, and vocational discernment.
College students will have responsibilities such as providing administrative and program assistance, serving as resident assistants among student participants, and they should be willing to share their personal Christian faith journey.
For more information on the Future of Hope internship, email Kaitlyn Hawkersmith at KHawkersmith@JohnsonU.edu