Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date August 11, 2008

For More Information: Pat O’Brien, (901) 333-4021


Oyama Hampton III Named to New Customer Service Director Position at Southwest

Oyama Hampton III is uniquely prepared to fill the newly created position of Director of Customer Service at Southwest Tennessee Community College. At International Paper, during 10 years in positions including customer service, customer service management, and sales, he formed in just two years one of the top ranking sales teams in the division. That experience, plus longtime civic involvement, and many years dedicated to the needs of young people, give him special insight into the concerns of college students. He also coordinates customer service training for faculty and staff, and works with committees and departments to ensure exceptional service for internal and external customers.

According to Hampton, now is an excellent time to be in college, "to be choosing your educational path, your career. Choices are especially extensive at Southwest ... choices to suit every interest: comprehensive programs with convenient locations and class schedules and an ever-growing roster of online courses. 'Whatever works' – those are the choices we offer our students." But, Hampton points out, society throws up roadblocks. "Right now, it's the economy, the scarcity of the jobs our students need, and the sheer complexity of balancing family, school and work – while attaining a successful education. That's where my job comes in: coordinating access to all the help available."

Southwest has developed a myriad of ways, and a large team, to help students reach their goals. As Hampton says, "We make sure our students are able to take advantage of all the help we can give." That help varies widely, beginning with dedicated teachers working to develop the very best in our students and offering special help to those who need it. Financial help to fund college expenses, free tutoring, student mentoring programs, career centers, advisors to guide students to the right courses at the right time – plus many other supportive programs and activities – give students the wide range of help they need.

The most effective customer service requires the whole-hearted cooperation of everyone in an organization, according to Hampton. "We realize our students sometimes need help finding the help we provide. That's where the rest of our 'customer service team' comes in. At Southwest everyone – the entire faculty, staff, and administration – is charged with supporting student needs in every way possible."

Hampton believes Dr. Nathan Essex, Southwest president, was following the college's Strategic Plan for 2005-2010, committing to a focused, concerted approach to improving our service to our students, by instituting this new position. "The idea of a college 'customer service officer' may be rare now, but ever-growing competition and diverse offerings by colleges probably will change that," said Hampton.

Hampton's qualifications include service with the Boy Scouts, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Tennessee Housing Protection Agency board member and a former mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Memphis. He has been selected to the Fall 2008 Leadership Memphis Fasttrack Class. He received his bachelor's in history at the University of Arkansas and his MBA from the University of Phoenix, Memphis.

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CUTLINE: Oyama Hampton III