Fernanda Tate-Owens

Assistant Professor

JWU Faculty Since 2005

Fernanda Tate-Owens

Contact Info


Fernanda Tate-Owens received her master’s degree in English from Iowa State University with a concentration in business and technical communication. She taught business writing courses at Guilford Technical Community College, Jones College of Business and Brookstone College. Before joining Johnson & Wales University in 2005, she served as the Writing Center director at her alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University, where she not only taught composition courses but also gained experience in academic support services.

Tate-Owens' professional development and scholarship activities include presenting papers at Philological Association of the Carolinas and South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference; presenting workshops at Central Piedmont Community College Share Academy, Lilly Conference, Winthrop Conference on Teaching and Learning, Metrolina Library Association Conference and North Carolina Association of Middle Level Education; and presenting posters at SAMLA, Lilly and JWU Expo. She has been nominated for a creative writing award, honored for her leadership and recognized as the author and designer of the first history book for an organization.

When she is not in the classroom, Tate-Owens is involved in the community. She is a Silver Star and Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.


  • M.A., English, Iowa State University
  • B.A., English, Johnson C. Smith University

Spend life happily and wisely because it is like a credit card with an expiration date. The difference is life has a permanent expiration date. Live and love life as you learn, grow and develop through the challenges and successes.

Teaching Interests

Composition and Writing
Public Speaking
Integrated Studies

Scholarly Interests



  • ILS2390 The XX Factor
  • ENG3150 Fashion Writing
  • LIT2030 African American Literature

Extra Curricular Roles

English Department Adjunct Mentor
Faculty Advisor for Upsilon Beta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Fraternity and Sorority Life Committee Member


Professional Affiliations

American College Personnel Association
College Language Association
South Atlantic Modern Language Association
National Council of Teachers of English
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
National Association of Professional Black Women


Honors And Awards

  • Distinguished Service Award, Eta Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Member of the Year, Outstanding Young Women of America, Community Leaders of America, MLK Day of Service (Urban Ministries and Christian Doers of the Word), Rose Service Award, and Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service and Leadership

Q&A with Fernanda

At JWU, education is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. You’re not going to spend four years with your nose buried in a book, learning theories you may never get a chance to apply — you’re going to get out there and apply them, be it through internships, group projects, leadership opportunities, competitions and more.

How Did You Get Started?

I began my career as an adjunct instructor at a community college. Years later, I realized and accepted the fact that teaching is God's calling for me.

What Is Your Favorite Teaching Moment?

My favorite teaching moment, consists of many experiences that occurred outside of the classroom. Being hired by my alma mater Johnson C. Smith University, prepped me to be successful at Johnson & Wales University and to create many more memorable moments. My engagement with and my connection to students was showcased in a video with a JWU graduate, Vanessa Taylor, who was a homesick student who simply needed someone to care about her as a student and to listen to her as a person. Not only have I been invited to students' weddings, but also as a special guest, I have been listed on the program, walked down the aisle as the second mom, and honored during the ceremony as a special guest.

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

College is what you make of it. As you experience ups and downs, remember a "setback is a setup for a comeback" that requires a connection to faculty and a commitment from you.

What College Do You Teach In?

College of Arts & Sciences