Marquis Emerging Leaders

Tiona D. Harris

Title: Adjunct Professor, Creative Writer

Company: Passaic County Community College

Location: New Jersey

Education: MSA in Creative & Professional Writing, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ (2022);

BA in Psychology and English Writing, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ (2017-2020);

AS in Psychology, Community College, (2017)

Career History: Graduate Resident Director, William Paterson University (will start in 8/2022);

Adjunct Professor, Passaic County Community College (6/2022-Present);

Mentor, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, William Paterson University (2021-2022);

Mary Kay Consultant, (2020-2021);

Program Coordinator, Community Charter School of Paterson (2020-Present);

Youth Development Specialist, Community Charter School of Paterson (2018-Present);

Student Caller, Ruffalo Noel Levitz, William Paterson University (2017-2019)

Tiona D. Harris, Adjunct Professor and Creative Writer at Passaic County Community College, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of education.

Attributing much of the success of her already-accomplished career to her parents, Ms. Harris was encouraged from a young age to want the best for herself and explore as many avenues as possible. Guided by her professional aspirations, she earned an Associate in Science in psychology from a community college in 2017—after which she pursued further education at William Paterson University in her hometown in New Jersey. It was here that she set her sights on what she wanted to do—help shape the minds of young people as an educator—and ultimately obtained a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and English writing in 2020. In the midst of her studies, she gained experience as a student caller for two years and began working part-time at the Community Charter School of Paterson, where she has served as a youth development specialist since 2018 and a program coordinator since 2020.

Between 2020 and 2022, Ms. Harris has also been active as a consultant for Mary Kay Inc., a mentor at the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at William Paterson University, and became an adjunct professor at Passaic County Community College. Additionally, she serves as the graduate resident director at William Paterson University and recently acquired a Master of Science in Administration in creative and professional writing from the institution—for which she wrote a 217-page manuscript. Across her numerous positions, she considers it incredibly rewarding to be able to guide students, keep them engaged, and help them navigate their lives. She strives each and every day to be the educational figure she wished she had at their age; filling this role “means a lot” to her, she said. Looking ahead, Ms. Harris hopes to continue to do this as a licensed professional counselor, through which she can provide therapy for people within her community, especially young adolescent girls. Utilizing her skills and expertise as a writer, she wants to author a self-help guide as well as fiction books within the genre of dark and urban romance.

Outside of these main responsibilities, Ms. Harris lent her artistry and volunteer services to “Painting with a Purpose” at the Redeem Fellowship Center, a community church in the city of Prospect, in 2017.  On the civic front, she also contributes as director of the youth choir at the Caring Development Ministry. Remaining aware of developments in her field, she maintains membership with Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Ms. Harris additionally attributes her success to Hilda Martinez, a licensed professional counselor, Wolany Gonell, and Myranda Barreau.

Speaking to young people with dreams and other budding professionals, Ms. Harris encouraged them, “Don’t be afraid to express your mind. Don’t live in silence, don’t cage your voice. Remember that the very thing you might think is insignificant or foolish could be the very thing that saves someone’s life.”


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