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Reflections From Year One In The Chair With Morgan State’s Dena Freeman-Patton

Guest Dena Freeman-Patton, Morgan State
22:24 min watch


Morgan State Vice President and Director of Athletics Dena Freeman-Patton joins ADU’s Tai M. Brown at the 2023 Women Leaders Convention to reflect on her first year at Morgan. Freeman-Patton opens up about her connection to the city of Baltimore and the HBCU community and shares her process for navigating career transitions and opportunities. Freeman-Patton also provides insight into making difficult decisions and crisis management after the Morgan community experienced an on-campus shooting earlier this semester.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Tell me about the time in your career when you began believing that you could be in the Big Chair leading an organization.
  • - Are there people who have come under your tutelage who you try to empower and prepare to one day lead an organization themselves?
  • - How did you navigate opportunities throughout your career?
  • - From my understanding, you didn't have HBCU experience before taking this job?
  • - When your mother, a Morgan State alumna, learned about the opportunity for you, did she put any pressure on you to take the position?
  • - Sometimes the reality of being in the chair is different from what you expect - tell us about that experience for you at Morgan State?
  • - What is your process for approaching difficult decisions as the organization's leader?
  • - You mentioned reaching out to colleagues for advice when making tough decisions; how did your conversation go with Carla Williams, who had recently navigated a difficult decision at UVA?
  • - What decision from your first year at Morgan do you celebrate the most?
  • - What do you identify as one or two things contributing to the new energy on campus?