The Executive Board of the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management and Administration recently named Tiffoney Smith as the recipient of its 2021 Scott Fellowship. The Board selected Smith from thousands of society members across the country.
Smith graduated magna cum laude from Thomas University in May with a Bachelor of Science in Management. She also received the award for outstanding undergraduate student in the business division.
Smith said she was just grateful to be recommended for the scholarship. She was also surprised when she received the division award on her debut.
âI’m the type to keep my head down and do my job,â Smith said. âIt’s just good to have the recognition that other people see how hard I work. “
Smith, who lives in Thomasville with her husband Recardo and their four children, took an indirect route to earn a college degree. Originally from Sumter, South Carolina, she first joined the Navy right after graduating from high school in 2010 at the age of 17. Originally, she was going to enlist in another branch of the military, but her mother, a Navy veteran, convinced her that the Navy was the right choice.
For seven years, Smith served in the Navy as an air force serviceman, which involved handling ammunition and missiles, loading and unloading them on planes. The job required a great deal of technical training on how to do the job well. While in the Navy, Smith met and married her husband Recardo.
When she and her husband ended their military service, they decided to relocate to Thomasville, her husband’s hometown.
Smith realized that she wanted to get a college degree, but she wanted a traditional college experience.
âWe were in Thomasville and I wanted to come and sit in the classroom,â she said. âAt least when I started I felt that because I had been out of school for so long, I needed to be able to get back into the right frame of mind. Because Thomas University is small, I got to know most of my instructors and peers. I feel like I picked up more here.
In her educational journey, Smith said the biggest challenge she’s faced has been balancing her education and family.
âI don’t like to render anything mediocre,â Smith said. âI don’t like to disappoint my teachers, but I don’t want to disappoint my kids either. Just a kind of balance to be able to give the maximum of effort to everything. “
Now Smith is working on a Masters in Human Resource Management. She is a member of the TU Chapter of Sigma Beta Delta and the New TU Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Now she works in the admissions office with military and veteran students and their dependents.
âI always thought I would have a hard time adjusting to working in the civilian sector because everything is by the rules in the military,â Smith said. âI just didn’t know if I would blend in with people who haven’t had this experience, but it’s actually great. I’m just learning as much as I can, and it’s allowed me to implement some of my own ideas. Everyone is super helpful.