Subscribe to our RSS Feed

JCSU alum shifts from NASCAR to Sheriff’s Office

Dejah Gilliam

CHARLOTTE, N.C. / January 30, 2020 - Dejah Gilliam ’16 was used to working in the fast lanes as a member of NASCAR’s Integrated Marketing Communications Department. The former Johnson C. Smith University communication arts major is shifting gears and joined the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. 

In her new role, she is responsible for the internal and external messaging for the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the daily operations of their public information office.  

“I am on the front lines of change within our community,” she explained. “I get to see community impact and change throughout Mecklenburg County and I'm able to be a voice and cheerleader for the Sheriff's Office.”

She also has the joy of working alongside alumnus Sheriff Gary McFadden ’81, and the first Black sheriff of Mecklenburg County.

In 2017, before working full-time in NASCAR, she participated in the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program. Her resilience and persistence helped her to turn that opportunity with the company into a permanent role.

“I was self-motivated to learn all I could, which helped me stand out to managers at NASCAR,” she said.

Along with her hard work, during her duration with the company she contributed to diversifying the workforce environment, which attracted more students of color to join NASCAR’s recruiting, internships and training programs. 

Gilliam is a prime example of the types of students President Clarence D. Armbrister boasts about.

“JCSU taught me how to adapt in any situation or environment that I'm put in,” Gilliam explained.

When asked if she had any advice to offer current students, she emphasized, “No one will want your own success more than you. Be twice as good as them by any means necessary.”

Return to Latest News