Getting to Know Your Professors: Meet Judith Tenney



Meet Professor Tenney (or “Tenney” for short) – mother, grandmother, and retired federal employee. Professor Tenney has a special relationship with her students because she always puts in that extra time and effort to make sure that her students thrive in their academics, profession, and personal lives. 

Judith Tenney is a Montgomery County local. Professor Tenney attended the University of Wisconsin  where she completed most of her undergraduate education, but after about three years she was facing health issues and came back to the DMV area to take the semester off. Nevertheless, Professor Tenney continued her undergrad education at UMD which is also where she later got her masters.

It’s safe to say that Professor Tenney lead a busy life. In undergrad she was a dual major in Speech and English, she was also a dual masters in Communication and Business while working a part time job. During her time in college, she did volunteer work and also had a paid position at the American Cancer Society.

Then later, her first job with a B.A. under her belt was teaching at McKinley High School in D.C. Professor Tenney had always wanted to teach, and she told me that in those days teaching in the D.C. school system was considered federal employment. Professor Tenney  worked at this high school for 2 years, where she experienced the D.C. riots following the MLK shooting in 1968. In fact, Tenney was the star of a student documentary right here at USG where she reveals her personal experience teaching during this turbulent time.

Professor Tenney has since worked as a federal employee for 39 years, while also balancing her career as a college and university teacher. Professor Tenney worked with the AirForce  for 1 year, then NOAA for 18 years, after that she joined the Peace Core for 2 years, and then finally she worked at NASA for 18 years.

At NOAA, Tenney was the director for Training and Development, which is the same department she worked under at NASA until she worked her way into departments including Quality Management, Management Performance, and ultimately Strategic Planning.

Despite having her hands full as a federal employee Professor Tenney continued to  pursue her passion for teaching. After her time at McKinley High School,  Professor Tenny taught at Prince George’s college part time. Then when she got married, she wanted to be closer to home so she went to teach at Montgomery College where she taught part time for 20 years. Tenney also taught at American University in the Communication Program, then later started working occasionally for UMDCP. Finally, when she retired from the federal government she began teaching full time at Maryland.

In 2005,  she started teaching back and forth at USG and College Park, however when she broke her leg five years ago she decided to teach only at USG as it was closer to her home and she’s been teaching here ever since.

Professor Tenney  created the Non-Verbal Communication class, as well as the Crisis Communication class. Tenney also teaches Organizational Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Communicating for Results, Communication and Gender, Communication Management and Speech Writing.

I asked at favorite class to teach is to which she told me:

“Interpersonal Communication, because I’m always interested in people communication. I also love teaching Crisis Communication because it’s so current and up to date.”

Professor Tenney has a special relationship with her students because she always puts in that extra time and effort to make sure that her students thrive in their academics, profession, and personal lives. In fact just the other day one of her former students came to visit her at USG with her 2 year old daughter. Professor Tenney is more than a teacher, for students she is a mentor.


About Layla.Katharina

I'm a self-starting storyteller with a passion for social advocacy and personal development. My goal is to engage and connect my readers through healthy discussion and sharing of ideas on various topics.
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1 Response to Getting to Know Your Professors: Meet Judith Tenney

  1. Pingback: Friendships at USG: Bonds That Make The Difference | The Universities at Shady Grove

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