The College of Communication, Information, and Media is thrilled to welcome Tréon McClendon as the college’s inaugural Director of Student Success. In this role, McClendon will assist with the college’s continued efforts to increase student engagement, success, and retention by envisioning, planning, supervising, and implementing new and existing college initiatives, including CCIM’s new Student Success Center. McClendon earned his bachelor’s in English with a minor in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University and his master’s in organizational leadership from the University of Saint Francis. He is currently in his fourth year of his doctoral studies in education at IU and has held several positions in higher education and student success, including his most recent role as the Director of Student Life, Development, and Leadership at Ivy Tech Community College.
McClendon is passionate about creating opportunities for students, mentorship, and modeling transformational leadership. CCIM Dean Paaige Turner said he brings with him a “wholistic, well-rounded background that mirrors the spirit of the college.”
“Tréon has a breadth of experiences that uniquely qualify him for this position from his experience in education, which ranges from K-12 to the college level; his time as a life coach; and his history of volunteer service and leadership,” Turner said. “His ability to empathize and connect with students makes him the perfect fit to further our college’s mission to nurture student learning.”
McClendon is no stranger to the challenges of undertaking a newly instated position. At IU, he was the first Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment in the office of Undergraduate Admissions, a position that he helped identify as necessary through his insights and constant advocacy as a senior admissions counselor. While McClendon is incredibly passionate about mentoring, this was not the only reason why CCIM’s posting for a Director of Student Success felt like destiny calling.
As an undergraduate student at IU, McClendon originally pursued a major in telecommunications. He discovered a love for radio and communication in high school and was named #1 in the state for radio broadcasting in his junior year. He enjoyed his major but felt pulled toward a different calling after meeting a group of high school students from Detroit who were visiting IU’s campus. McClendon saw himself in these students. Just like him, they were all simply looking for a space and an opportunity. This experience and how it resonated with his own background pulled him toward education.
McClendon is a first-generation college student. In high school, he went from being considered an “at risk” student as a sophomore to a high-achieving student selected as one of two recipients of the Lily Endowment Scholarship, which provides a book stipend and covers full tuition and required fees for four years at any university in Indiana. He credits his “disruptive thinking” for his ability to challenge and overcome the assertion that he was “bad” and unable to achieve his goals. He now aims to be a beacon for his community and use his success to give back. In this spirit, McClendon founded Tré Talks, an education consulting company with the goal of assisting underserved and historically excluded populations get into college.
Joining CCIM has brought McClendon full circle, and he is excited to get to know and begin working with students, faculty, and staff. In his work with students, McClendon is looking forward to learning from them, listening to their needs, and advocating for those needs to be met. He is eager to explore what is already working within the college and find ways to expand or improve in addition to assisting with building a more diverse population in learning. McClendon loves to “collaborate, build projects, and do great work with good people,” which he felt the potential for even after just a few visits.
McClendon’s first day is Monday, August 7. He will be working out of his office in Ball Communication Building Room 201D as well as the Student Success Center in BC 204. He can be reached at email@example.com. If you’re on campus or have time to reach out, please help us in giving McClendon a warm welcome to the CCIM and Ball State family.