Tina Parker currently serves as Philanthropy Officer at Berea College, covering a portion of Florida, New England, Texas, and Virginia from the Blue Ridge to the Appalachian plateau. She joined the Alumni, Communications and Philanthropy team in 2021. Tina has six years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and 20 years of experience as a writing professional and educator, having recently taught poetry at Berea College.
Tina is a strong advocate for the transformative power of education and is from a family of educators. It was in college that she learned her homeplace has a name—Appalachia. She has deep roots in the region: her parents are from West Virginia, she grew up in southwest Virginia, and she attended college in east Tennessee. Her undergraduate education kindled a lifelong passion for storytelling that embraces the musical cadences which make her region distinct. She is excited to bring this passion to Berea College, and she can’t wait to build relationships that will make quality education a reality for students from Appalachia and beyond. She is a proud member of Berea’s Great Commitments Society.
Tina moved to Kentucky when she was awarded a James Still Fellowship to earn a Master’s in English at the University of Kentucky. She also earned a Master’s in Education from UK and taught public school in Kentucky and in New York City. A long-time resident of Berea, Tina is the author of three poetry collections and a member of the Women of Appalachia project.
Tina and her college sweetheart, Jason Bailey, were married in the mountains of east Tennessee and now live within shouting distance of Berea College. They have two daughters, Iris and Opal, and a small but mighty yorkie named Eugene.