Notable Alumna is Spring Commencement Speaker
Jennifer Santoro Stanley, a Rhodes Scholar and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will address the nearly 1,200 graduates and their guests at the College of Arts and Sciences’ Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 13.
Stanley is the founder and president of OX1 Consulting, a firm that provides strategic assistance to marketing and sales professionals through strategy development, tailored improvement plans, and custom training programs. She is also chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board for Arts and Sciences; immediate past-president of the local Alumni Association; and an elected member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Governors.
In addition to her leadership roles and service on behalf of UT, Stanley is also a member of the American Marketing Association, the American Society of Training and Development, the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, and the National Association for Female Executives.
Stanley says her decision to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, had a tremendous impact on her success. “Other than marrying my husband, the best decision I ever made in my life was coming to UT,” she says.
While at UTK, Stanley was a member of the first class of Whittle Scholars, and she remains the most recent Rhodes Scholar from UTK to date. Stanley credits much of her college success to three people she interacted with most on campus: Professor Emeritus Bruce Wheeler (history), Professor Otis Stephens (political science and law), and Chancellor Emeritus Bill Snyder.
“Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Stephens really encouraged me to work harder. They forced me to look beyond the short term and be bold,” Stanley says. “Chancellor Snyder took a personal interest in me and helped me reach my goals and gain additional funding for my education.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UTK, Stanley went on to receive her master’s degree, with distinction, from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Then she studied for her Ph.D. in politics at Oxford University, and while there, she taught students across a range of subjects related to economics, international business, and European politics.
Prior to founding OX1 in 2006, Stanley spent eight years as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company where, after being an engagement manager, she became the only dedicated expert in North America focused on sales force and channel management.
In addition to her consulting work, Stanley serves as a lecturer for the nationally-ranked College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She has taught courses in sales, management, organizational leadership, and training. Currently, she is leading a special project to launch a donor-funded finance center at UTC to provide a custom learning experience in trading and investment management with a special emphasis on building female financial entrepreneurs and leaders.
Interim Dean Harry McSween said Stanley was invited to speak at the college’s commencement not only because she is among the college’s notable graduates but also because she is passionate and committed to improving the quality of higher education, as reflected in her active volunteer work for the college and the university.
“Jennifer Stanley is the very essence of a ‘Volunteer’ as she invests both her time and financial support in our programs,” McSween said. “We are proud to have her speak to this class of new graduates and know that she will inspire them.”
Stanley and her husband, Trey, live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She enjoys running, cooking, collecting wine and traveling overseas. She lived for a combined eight years in England, Germany and Poland, and she continues to work with international clients.