Center for Leadership Excellence

Encouraging and supporting leadership development throughout the University System

2013-2014 Scholars

Martha Abell - Georgia Southern University
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(Information Not Available)

Phillip Adams - Savannah State University
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Mr. Phillip D. Adams is the vice president of University Advancement and executive director of the SSU Foundation at Savannah State University. Since joining SSU in June 2012, he has worked tirelessly to increase private giving to the university and awareness of the university. He provides leadership for development, alumni relations, university events, and marketing and communications initiatives. Prior to SSU, Mr. Adams served at Norfolk State University as the vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Norfolk State University Foundation. At Norfolk State, he successfully planned, implemented and completed the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, exceeding the $15 million goal. Norfolk State University achieved record fundraising and foundation assets grew from less than $5 million to more than $25 million during his 12-year tenure. Mr. Adams also served as vice president for Advancement at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn., and development director at Saint Louis University in Missouri.

Mr. Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Saint Leo University in Tampa, Fla., in 1988 and a master’s degree in human resources administration (personnel management) in 1989 from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He completed undergraduate and graduate studies while on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

Ruth W. Berger - Georgia Gwinnett College
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Ruth Berger joined Georgia Gwinnett College in 2008 and is currently the Senior Associate Vice-President for Business & Finance. GGC is a four-year public university with over 10,000 students. She is also responsible for Financial Reporting, Budgeting, Accounting Services, Student Accounts, Payroll & Benefits, Purchasing, Housing, Claw Card Office, and Bookstore and Food Services Management. Prior to her career in Higher Ed, Ruth had an extensive work history in private industry, primarily in the manufacturing setting. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Columbus State in 1989, followed by a Master of Business Administration from Brenau University in 1998.

Bernard Bongang - Savannah State University
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Since 2008 has been the chair of the department of political science and public affairs at Savannah State University. His responsibilities include the academic and administrative leadership of four programs including the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Science in Urban Studies and Planning programs, as well as the political science and homeland security and emergency management (HSEM) undergraduate programs.

A former Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at Boston University, Bongang earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon and a post-graduate degree in television production and directing from the Cameroon Radio and Television Training Institute. He also earned a M.S. degree in Journalism from Boston University, and a M.A. and a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

He is the author of “The United States and the United Nations: Congressional Funding and U.N. Reform” published in 2007 by LFB Publishers, NY, NY.

Maria Britt - Kennesaw State University
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In February 2012, Ms. Maria Britt joined the Kennesaw State University team as the Associate Vice President for Operations. She has direct responsibility for the Budget Office, Controller, Procurement and Contracting Office, and Auxiliary Services, including the bookstore, culinary services, parking and transportation. Ms. Britt works closely with the Vice President for Operations assisting with management and leadership in the operational areas of human resources, facilities and construction, information technology, public safety, and library services. As an advocate for veterans and women, Ms. Britt works closely with the KSU Veteran’s Resource Center and serves as a board member for Georgia Advancing Veteran Education (GAVE). She is a member of the Shepherd Spinal Center Advisory Board and the Women’s Leadership Center Board at KSU. Ms. Britt has spoken at various events hosted by the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics, and Character to educate and promote women in leadership. She is a guest lecturer on Leadership for the KSU Executive MBA program.

Prior to assuming her duties at KSU, Ms. Britt was a Major General in the Georgia Army National Guard, serving as Commanding General of Georgia’s 11,000 National Guard soldiers. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant from the United States Military Academy, West Point NY in 1983, Ms. Britt holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Engineering and a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. Ms. Britt is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA and has a second Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. Her experience in ELI has given her a more in depth look at higher education and the USG. The shadow and mentoring opportunities created both developmental and networking opportunities that will greatly increase her effectiveness at KSU or wherever her leadership is needed within Georgia.

Patricia L. Cameron - Georgia Regents University
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Patricia L. Cameron currently serves as Vice Dean for The Graduate School and Director of the Student Training and Research Program at Georgia Regents University. Responsibilities include providing leadership and oversight for the recruitment, admissions, student affairs, program development, academic training and progression of more than 1,000 students in over 40 different graduate programs. She has direct responsibilities for the Biomedical Science PhD program providing leadership to program directors and serving as Chair of the Recruitment and Admission Committee, director of the summer S.T.A.R. Program for undergraduate students, faculty advisor of the Biomedical Science Graduate Student Association, and member of the Curriculum Advancement Committee. At the institution level, she is an active member of numerous programmatic, steering, accreditation and executive committees focused on academic and student affairs, program development, strategic planning/assessment and leadership.

She earned a BA in Biology from Gettysburg College and a PhD in Cell Biology from Yale University. After postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Georgia she joined the faculty. Her research interests focused on understanding the cellular events and molecular mechanisms that govern development of the mammalian central nervous system. In 2002, she was appointed Assistant Dean and has risen to her current level of Vice Dean. She is a member of the AAMC - GREAT group steering committee and is an executive committee member of the Georgia Council of Graduate Schools.

Rebecca Carroll - Armstrong Atlantic State University
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Rebecca Carroll is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Armstrong Atlantic State University with 17 years of higher education experience. She joined Armstrong in 1995 as an Admissions Counselor and served as the Associate Registrar in 1999. Ms. Carroll became the Director of Human Resources in 2003. Before joining Armstrong, she served 5 years as the Human Resources Manager for a large corporate retailer.

Ms. Carroll earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Augusta College in 1989 and a Master of Education from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2003. She received her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification in 2011and is a graduate of Leadership Savannah. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and College and University professional Association for Human Resources (CUPAHR). Ms. Carroll serves on the University System of Georgia Human Resources Policy Committee, Affordable Care Act Task Force, and the IPEDS/HRDM Task Force.

Doris Christopher - University of Georgia
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(Information Not Available)

Kyle Cullars - Georgia College & State University
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A graduate of Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture, Kyle Cullars spent four years in private business, overseeing a residential design/build firm in Atlanta. Earning his MBA and transferring his business and project management skills to the public sector, he has served as a higher education administrator in various roles for the past sixteen years and is a recognized leader in college and university Auxiliary Services. In his current position, he provides administrative and financial leadership for over 10 business units. He has enhanced and grown the Auxiliary Enterprise business at Georgia College, which is a vital profit center to the University. He provides direction to over 350 employees and currently manages a $25 million budget. Kyle is an active member of his local community and of many educational associations. He currently serves as Vice President for the Southern Region of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS South).

Brian J. Dew - Georgia State University
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Dr. Brian J. Dew currently serves as Chair of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University. Since becoming chair in 2011, the department has experienced a 33% growth in faculty membership, a 26% increase in total credit hour production, and 160% rise in external funding dollars. Prior to moving into this position, Dr. Dew coordinated the Masters and Ed.S. programs in Mental Health Counseling at GSU.

Dr. Dew’s administrative achievements have been matched by excellence in the areas of research and scholarship Dr. Dew’s extensive research efforts examining drug use and other potentially compulsive behaviors earned him the 2007 Outstanding Faculty Research Award from Georgia State University’s College of Education, the 2007 Outstanding Addictions and Offender Professional Award by the Association of Addictions and Offender Counseling, and the 2009 Courtland Lee Social Justice Award from the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES). Dr. Dew has made over 120 professional presentations, including key note addresses and international trainings. Dr. Dew has held numerous leadership positions within the American Counseling Association, including serving as President of a national division. He is currently completing his fourth year as Treasurer of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).

Jeffrey Edgens - East Georgia State College
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Dr. Edgens was born and raised in Rome, Georgia. He received his BA degree in History from Presbyterian College (1989) and a M. P.A. from the University of West Florida with a concentration in Coastal Zone Management (1992) and earned a Ph.D. (1997) from Michigan State University in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy. His professional experience includes various stops in academe to include administration with the rank of dean. He has served at East Georgia State College for 5 years with the last year as start-up Director of the EGSC-Augusta campus.

His research efforts focus on land use, water and energy policy. His publications have appeared in newspapers across Georgia to include the Atlanta Journal; Macon Telegraph; Savannah Morning News and Rome News Tribune. Nationally his work appears or has been cited in the Montreal Gazette; The World and I; Detroit News; Nashville Tennessean; St. Petersburg Times and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Dr. Edgens also is a past elected member of the Irwinton, Georgia city council.

Brenda Findley - University of North Georgia
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Brenda Findley is the Associate Vice President for Financial Services at the University of North Georgia. She has been with the University of North Georgia for 7 years. Her areas of responsibility include the Comptroller’s Office, Human Resources, Payroll, Purchasing, Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety, Logistical Services, and Postal Services. Before coming to UNG, Brenda spent 3 years as the Director of Human Resources at Clayton State University; and 7 years at the University of Houston System in Enrollment Services and Human Resources. She also has prior work experience as a computer programmer and as a legal secretary. Brenda has a B.S. degree in Psychology, an M.A. in Human Resources Management, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

Brenda and her husband, Bill, a retired Coast Guard Petty Officer, have a son and daughter, Michael and Tasha, and two young grandsons, Zachary and Carter. Brenda’s hobbies include knitting, reading, and hiking.

Mark Flynn - Columbus State University
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Mark Flynn joined Columbus State University as Dean of Libraries in September 2011. He arrived from Tallahassee, where he was director of the Florida Electronic Library and information technology program for the Division of Library and Information Services, the Florida Department of State. He held previous posts at the State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida State University, George Mason University, and Loyola University in New Orleans. Flynn has published several academic papers related to library technology and networking. He holds a master’s degree in archives and records management from the University of New Orleans and a master’s in library science and education specialist degree in library science from the University of Alabama. He has also earned bachelor’s degrees from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

Columbus State University Libraries include the Simon Schwob Memorial library on the main campus, which houses the libraries’ headquarters and university archives; and the Music Library on the CSU’s beautiful downtown RiverPark Campus.

Robert Gregerson - Armstrong Atlantic State University
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Dr. Robert Gregerson has been Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University since 2011. Prior to his current assignment, he was Biology Department Head at Armstrong. Before coming to Armstrong, Dr. Gregerson spent 12 years at Lyon College, in Arkansas, where he was chair of the Science Division for five years. He received a B.A. in Biology from Wabash College, in Indiana, a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Georgia, and was a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Minnesota.

Royce Hackett - Georgia Southwestern State University
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Since 2007, Royce Hackett has served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), responsible for the integration of technology into the instructional and administrative missions of the University. Primary duties include providing leadership in the identification, justification and articulation of plans for information technology, and analyzing the changing information technology needs of the faculty, staff, and students in order to improve the delivery of technology support and services. The CIO supervises the IT department staff, which includes the campus television station, distance learning, network services, enterprise systems and user support service. Prior positions at GSW include IT Manager (2002 – 2007) and IT Coordinator (1997 – 2002). Mr. Hackett worked as an SBE certified engineer in the television broadcast industry from 1979 – 1997.

He received a Master of Science in Computer Science in 2004 from Georgia Southwestern State University. Other degrees include a Bachelor of Science in 2001 from GSW and an Associate in Applied Science, Electronics Technology, from Columbus State University in 1986. He also received a Digital Technology Diploma from Columbus Technical Institute in 1980.

Jami Hall - Dalton State College
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Jami has been the Director of the Office of Student Life at Dalton State College since 2006. In this role, she has the direct oversight of campus programming, new student orientation, leadership, civic engagement, registered student organizations, student government, and student conduct. In addition to Jami’s role at Dalton State College, she also serves as the 2013-2014 President of the Georgia College Personnel Association, a state entity of the American College Personnel Association and as the 2013-2015 Southeast Regional Area Coordinator for The Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

Jami is originally from Jesup, GA. She attended Georgia College and State University (GC&SU) where she completed her undergraduate studies. While there, she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a double major in marketing and management. Jami then went on to complete her Master of Education in Higher Education and her Specialist in Educational Leadership from Georgia Southern University. Jami is currently enrolled in Georgia Southern University’s Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education.

Strengths: Significance, Analytic, Communication, Responsibility, Focus MBTI: Extraverting, Sensing, Thinking, and Organizing (ESTJ)

Brian Haugabrook - Valdosta State University
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Brian Haugabrook is an IT professional with extensive experience in business intelligence, data analysis, enrollment and retention management. He has the ability to blend leadership, strategic vision, innovation, and technical expertise to define and deliver a campus-wide vision and strategic plan for all academic and administrative information technology services. Change catalyst, strongly focused on ensuring a high quality, service-oriented IT organization through the successful integration and coordination of technology. Ability to gain consensus across diverse functional, service and campus wide interests to foster teamwork and collaboration in order to maintain and implement new technology. Brian leads IT outreach activities, technology conferences, and represents the University in external forums and joint projects with other state institutions.

Nick Henry - Dalton State College
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Mr. Nick Henry serves as the Assistant Vice President for Fiscal Affairs at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. He began my tenure at Dalton State in 2004 as the Director of Accounting and was moved to my current position in 2010. Some of his responsibilities include budgeting, financial reporting, and auxiliary services. Nick began my service with the USG as an Internal Auditor at the Board of Regents in 2000. After nearly 3 years at the University System Office, he accepted the position of Assistant Controller at Sothern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia.

Mr. Henry is originally from Swainsboro, Georgia and education has been a part of my life since he was a child. His father who currently serves as the Vice President of Business and Finance at Darton State College in Albany, Georgia has been in the USG for nearly 40 years. Nick is a graduate of Valdosta State University where he received a BBA in accounting. In addition, he recently completed my Masters of Science in Accounting at Southern Polytechnic State University. He hopes that ELI will help him to grow in his position as well as allow him to better serve DSC. Nick is also looking forward to the opportunity to shadow a fellow USG employee who works in an area other than fiscal affairs. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 year old son. He also enjoying golfing, fishing and traveling.

Jennifer Herazy - Georgia Institute of Technology
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Jennifer Herazy has served in the Office of the Provost since 2001. As Assistant Provost, she serves as the Chief of Staff to the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. This includes establishing the administrative structure and directing the operations of the office, and supervising the administrative, human resources, and financial management teams. In this position, she oversees the Office of the Provost financial accounts and distribution of funds allocated to the Provost for faculty hiring and retention; she counsels the Provost regarding financial allocation, budget management, and financial strategy. Additionally, Jennifer leads Provost-initiated committees and projects and promotes the Provost’s objectives through communications, problem-solving, and management of projects.

Jennifer has been at Georgia Tech since 1997 and previously held positions in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office and the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture (now Literature, Media and Communication). She has a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Higher Education Administration and a B.S. in Community Health with a Minor in Gerontology; Both from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.

Diane Hickey - Georgia Perimeter College
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Diane Hickey is the Associate Vice-President for Financial Affairs at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), a two-year public university with over 21,000 students. Under her tenure since May 2012, she directed the resolution of multiple audit findings and assisted in the resolution of a $16 million budget shortfall. Both conditions were present upon her arrival. She is also responsible for College Services, which includes Bookstore, Food Services, Card Services and Records Management. Prior to working at GPC, Diane was the Director of Reporting & Compliance at Kennesaw State University for 1 ½ years; Controller of the University System Office for 2 years; and Assistant Director of Reporting at the University System Office for 2 years. Prior to her career in Higher Ed, Diane had an extensive work history in private industry, including 13 years at Intercontinental Hotels Group in various financial roles that included accounting, consolidated reporting, and special projects.

She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Memphis in 1981, followed by a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University in 2013. Diane has been a CPA since 1988.

Edward Hill - Fort Valley State University
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Edward is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Development at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He attained his Masters of Education at Columbia College, and he acquired his Doctorate of Education from South Carolina State University.

Edward Hill, Associate Professor, is currently employed at Fort Valley State University as the Dean of the College of Education and the Director of Educator Preparation. He serves on numerous boards and organizations related to teacher preparation both nationally and within the state. Prior to his current position, he served as a dedicated faculty member of Educational Leadership at Georgia College and State University. During his tenure at Georgia College and State University he served on the President’s Commission on Diversity. He acquired three African American Males Initiative grants to support the recruitment and retention efforts for students of color at the institution. He created and implemented the Middle Georgia Teacher Education Diversity Conference that is co- hosted with Georgia College and Fort Valley State.

Frank Holiwski - South Georgia State College

(Information Not Available)

Cheryl Jester-George - Georgia State University
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Dr. Cheryl Jester-George has more than 32 years of college administration experience in student affairs. As the senior director of admissions, she is responsible for policy setting, implementation and evaluation of Georgia State University College of Law’s admissions, scholarships and retention processes. Dr. Jester-George works with the Law School Admission Council and serves on the Diversity Committee. She serves on many panels regarding law school admissions, retention and pipeline initiatives. Dr. Jester-George has also been an active member of the Law Related Education Consortium Board of Directors for more than 12 years, a program promoting the teaching of civil and law related courses in secondary schools. During her tenure, Dr. Jester-George has made an effort to focus on and implement secondary education and pipeline programs. She has developed mentoring programs with Morehouse College and with high schools in Georgia’s DeKalb and Rockdale county school systems. She has planned and presented at the Minority Leadership Conference in Georgia and has served as a co-organizer of the Gate City Bar Association’s Justice Robert Benham Law Camp, which is held at the College of Law every summer. Dr. Jester-George serves on the workgroup for the State Department of Education legal services pathway. Dr. Jester-George is an adjunct professor in the College of Business at Clark Atlanta University.

She is a member of the Georgia State University’s Staff Council and serves as chair of the Administrative Committee. Dr. Jester-George chaired the University’s Advancement of Women Staff Steering committee. She is the winner of several awards for service, including the Georgia State University Sparks award for her contribution to the university community. She received the Distinguished Service award from the University System of Georgia’s Administrative Committee on Graduate Work and the Linda Chastain Faculty/Staff Member of the Year Award from the Black Law Student Association.

Todd Jones - Georgia Highlands College
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(Information Not Available)

Ale Kennedy - Georgia Southern University
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Ale Kennedy is the Executive Director of Human Resources at Georgia Southern University. Ale Kennedy received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Clemson University in 1994 and continued her education at Georgia Southern University by earning her Masters and Specialist degrees in Higher Education Administration, and her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership.

Prior to assuming her current leadership position, Ale began her career in higher education in organizational development and human resources at the University of South Carolina in Aiken. Ale continued her passion in Human Resources at the formerly known Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. During this time-frame Ale held the position of Associate Director of Employee Relations and Training. Ale continued to develop and deliver training programs, as well as handle employee disputes. Ale was hired as Georgia Southern University in January of 2007 and became the Executive Director of Organization, Development and Learning and Employee Relations in 2009. Ale is highly interested in developing employees and succession planning.

Farooq A. Khan - University of West Georgia
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Farooq A. Khan was appointed dean of the College of Science and Mathematics (COSM) at the University of West Georgia in 2013 after having served in an interim capacity for a year. The COSM houses six departments, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geosciences, Mathematics and Physics, with a total of 90 plus faculty members. As the dean, his current focus is to facilitate activities in four areas for the COSM, student success (CCG), pursuit of external grants, outreach and alumni relations.

Dr. Khan obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Columbia University in 1990, and after post-doctoral work at the University of Utah, joined the faculty at West Georgia in 1994. He has been at West Georgia ever since, where he is a Professor of Chemistry. He teaches introductory and physical chemistry and environmental studies, and pursues faculty-directed undergraduate research in chemical dynamics using lasers and mass spectrometers. He served as the Chair of the Department of Chemistry during 2000-2004 and the Interim Chair of the Department of Political Science and Planning during 2006-2007.

Walda Kight - South Georgia State College
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(Information Not Available)

Jeffery Knighton - Gordon State College
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C. Jeffery Knighton is currently serving as the Department Head of the newly-created Department of Business and Public Service at Gordon State College. In that capacity, he coordinates and supervises the activities of 2-year academic programs in business administration, information systems, information technology, psychology, sociology, social work, and criminal justice, and a 4-year program in human services. He oversees the activities of 16 full-time and 12 part-time faculty members. He spearheaded efforts to establish a Bachelor of Science in Human Services at Gordon State, and oversaw the final stages of implementation of a Bachelor of Arts in History and History/Secondary Education. He established the first Rotaract Club and remains an active advisor. He was a pioneer of Distance Learning, and has been very active with program assessment and accreditation, and with the Adult Learning Consortium.

Prior to his current position he served as the Interim Chair of the Division of Business and Social Science. He began at Gordon State as an Assistant Professor Psychology in 2006, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Psychology in 2010. Previous experience includes 12 years working in the corporate world, gaining valuable marketing, training, and leadership experience and 5 years working in student affairs. He completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 2004 at Auburn University with the dissertation titled The Development of Expertise in Teaching. He completed a M.S. in Social Administration in 1992 and a B.S. in Psychology in 1990, both from Georgia Southwestern State University. A strong supporter of the USG system, Jeff is proud of the educational choices made by his 3 children. His oldest son is a graduate of Georgia Tech, his middle son is a soon-to-be graduate of UGA, and his daughter is a junior at Georgia College & State University.

Patricia Kraft - College of Coastal Georgia
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Dr. Kraft is the Southeast Georgia Health System Distinguished Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences at the College of Coastal Georgia since February 2011. Prior to this Dr. Kraft served as the Dean for the School of Nursing and Behavioral Health and Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Programs at Carson-Newman College, a Christian Liberal Arts College, in Jefferson City, Tennessee from August 2002 through January 2011. Dr. Kraft is interested in serving the profession of nursing on a national level and making an impact in shaping nursing education. She is newly elected as the Vice Chairperson to the Executive Committee of the Georgia Association of Nursing Deans and Directors. Recently, Dr. Kraft served as a member a commission charged with writing a policy paper for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) addressing the role of higher education in the supply and demand of nursing faculty and students. Dr. Kraft maintains NLN certification as Certified Nurse Educator. Dr. Kraft received her undergraduate degree from West Liberty State College, WV and her MSN and EdD from West Virginia University. In the areas of scholarship, she has presented at local, regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Kraft received the Lucas-Hathaway Excellence in Teaching award at Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (2000). Research areas of interest include perimenopause and spirituality. She received a research award from Sigma Theta Tau International, Nu Sigma Chapter for dissertation research on the topic of perimenopause. Dr. Kraft completed the AACN Leadership for Academic Nursing Program in 2003. Dr. Kraft was selected to participate on the Sigma Theta Tau Omada Board Mentor Program from 2004-2006. Dr. Kraft is a 2005 recipient of an Appalachian College Association Scholarship to attend the Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She served on the Nominating Committee of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2004-2006 and served as Chair from 2005-2006. She served as the AACN Grass Roots Liaison for Tennessee Schools of Nursing and serves as a mentor AACN New Dean Mentoring Program since 2004. Dr. Kraft is an accreditation visitor for the CCNE and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Dr. Kraft served as the President of the Tennessee Association of the Deans and Directors of Schools and Colleges of Nursing and served on the Tennessee Center for Nursing and the Tennessee Nurses Foundation Boards of Directors.

Alan M. Kramer - Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
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Alan M. Kramer has been employed with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College since 1993. He is currently the Assistant Dean of Students and Athletics Director. Prior to his current position, Kramer served as Assistant Professor of HPER in the School of Human Sciences as well as Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach.

Coach Kramer was inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame and received the NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year-Southeast Region in 2010. He was presented the ABAC Alumni Association Honorary Alumnus Award in 2011 and received the E. Lanier Carson Leadership Award for College Administrators in 2012. He earned his Masters of Science in Education at Baylor University, and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Truman State University. Kramer was born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Heidi Leming - College of Coastal Georgia
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Since 2012, Heidi Leming has been the Vice President for Student Affairs at the College of Coastal Georgia. Responsibilities include the oversight of the departments of residence life and housing, health center, counseling and disability services, campus recreation, student activities, diversity and inclusion, and career services. Prior to her current position, she was the Assistant Vice President for Student Life at the College of Coastal Georgia. Before coming to Georgia, she had 12 years of experience in higher education at institutions in Tennessee and Virginia.

She received a B.S. from the Moorhead State University, followed by a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

Tim Lieuwen - Georgia Institute of Technology
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Dr. Tim Lieuwen is Professor in School of Aerospace Engineering and the Executive Director of the Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech. In this capacity, he is responsible for coordinating all energy research across the institute. Prof. Lieuwen is a top international authority on clean energy, particularly low emissions combustion. He has authored or edited 4 combustion books, including gas turbine combustion, gas turbine emissions, synthesis gas combustion, and the textbook “Unsteady Combustor Physics”. He has also authored 7 book chapters, 85 journal articles in leading journals, and over 170 other papers, received 3 patents and has 2 pending patents. He is editor in chief of AIAA’s Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics book series. He is also an associate editor of Combustion Science and Technology and the Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, and has served as associate editor for the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power. Dr. Lieuwen is a board member of the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute, and is past chair of the Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions technical committee of the ASME. Prof. Lieuwen is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, Fellow of the ASME and has been a recipient of the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award and the ASME Westinghouse Silver Medal. Other awards include ASME best paper awards, Sigma Xi Young Faculty Award, and the NSF CAREER award.

Marc Miller - Georgia Regents University

Marc has been the dean of the James M. Hull College of Business at Georgia Regents University since 2006. Prior to assuming the dean’s role, Marc was chair of the Department of Management and Business Systems in the Richards College of Business at The University of West Georgia. He received his PhD in Information Systems at Auburn University and his BBA and MBA from Augusta College in Augusta, Georgia. Marc is married to the former Linda Conrad and is father of Alec and Nancy.

Dan Newcombe - Clayton State University
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Dan Newcombe is the Director of Network and Enterprise Services at Clayton State University. His department oversees the campus network, servers, and telephony. Dan received his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Marist College, and has worked at Clayton State since 1993 with the exception of three months at the Board of Regents in 1998. Dan started as a COBOL programmer and was also the Banner DBA. Always interested in the communications aspect of computers, he has been involved in networking since the early 90s and transitioned to overseeing the networking in 2000. He has enjoyed computer programming since the age of 9, and spends too much time combining work and this hobby. Aside from computers, he is interested in music and astronomy, and anything related to the 1980s. He has been married to his wife Mary since 1994 and they have two daughters.

Ivan Pulinkala - Kennesaw State University
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Dr. Ivan Pulinkala is the founder and chair of the Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University. Originally from New Delhi, India, he received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama, his Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Mills College, and his Bachelor of Commerce from Hindu College- Delhi University. Since his hire in 2005, Pulinkala has started and developed the largest collegiate dance program in Georgia at KSU, bringing the program regional and national distinction through his choreographic scholarship and pedagogical expertise. In 2013, he served as the Interim Dean of the College of the Arts at KSU for a five-month period, and he has led several institutional initiatives including the Diversity and Equity Assessment Initiative, Engage KSU, and the Clendenin Scholars Program.

Pulinkala began his professional training and choreographic career in India, where he served as the artistic director of his own company from 1994-1998. In December 1999, he was named among the 25 Indian artists of the Millennium by India Today Magazine. Pulinkala has developed a large body of choreographic scholarship that has been commissioned by university and professional companies, and performed at several venues nationally and internationally. Pulinkala’s recent written scholarship includes the publication of his book Piper of the Soul, as well as articles in Research in Dance Education and Theatre Topics. He is the recipient of several awards and grants including the 2011 KSU Foundation Award, the 2010 Cobb Symphony Orchestra Award for Artistic Excellence, the 2010-2012 Kennesaw State University Clendenin Graduate Fellowship, and the 2005 Murray State University Board of Regents Teaching Award. Recent choreographic commissions include premieres at the Rialto Center for the Arts (Atlanta, GA), FRESCO Dance Company (Tel Aviv, Israel), Brigham Young University (U.S. and China), and Kennesaw State University.

April Reese - Darton State College
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April Reese serves as the Dean of Nursing at Darton State College since 2010. She is an Assistant Professor of Nursing. Prior to becoming Dean, she served as lead faculty since 2003 for the Nursing Care of Women and Children course. Since she has been Dean of Nursing, the Nursing Division has enhanced all associate nursing courses to hybrid format for a new nursing satellite for the military at Fort Benning, GA. In addition, the first baccalaureate program at Darton State, RN to BSN Completion Program, has been developed and the first cohort graduated July 2013. The division is currently awaiting the final approval for accreditation from Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and SACS. Both initial accreditation visits were successful and no recommendations were made for the level change by SACS site visitors. The RN to BSN Completion program doubled its enrollment in the first year.

In 2008, Dr. Reese completed her Doctor of Nursing practice at the Medical College of Georgia (now Georgia Regents University. Her practice project was entitled Postpartum Mood Disorders: A Program to Increase Identification. Dr. Reese is a certified nurse-midwife since 1998 and continues to practice part-time. She obtained her Master of Science-Nursing in 2003 from Case Western Reserve University and her BSN in 1996 from Georgia Southwestern State University. Dr. Reese is an alumni of Darton State College’s associate nursing program graduating in 1986.

Dr. Reese serves as treasurer for the University System of Georgia’s Academic Advisory Committee on Nursing. She is also a member of the Georgia Association of Nursing Deans and Directors, education committee for the GA Board of Nursing, and Nursing Advisory Committee for Albany State University, Albany Technical College, Georgia Southwestern State University and Thomas University. In addition, she serves on numerous committees at Darton State College. She has been married for 26 years and has 4 children and 2 granddaughters. She enjoys the beach, reading, and sewing.

Mark Reeves - University of West Georgia
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Kristen Roney - University of North Georgia
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Dr. Roney holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia and a B.A. in English from Norfolk State University. Prior to her service at UNG and the consolidation of two institutions creating it, she was for 4 years the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Gainesville State College. Since 2010, she has been responsible for developing a University College for UNG, a unit supporting a range of academic support and interdisciplinary programs, including oversight of the core curriculum. As an educator and leader, Dr. Roney is committed to disruptive educational practices, innovative models, and the appropriate protection of resources—particularly human resources. To those ends, she has published in the American Association for Colleges and Universities on leadership through institutional change and faculty advocacy. As a part of her professional and personal interests in student success initiatives, she is grant writer and primary investigator for several grants, including threes year of funding from the Goizueta Foundation targeting Hispanic/Latino students and two years from the Gates Foundation to study the effects of adaptive learning technology on learning support coursework. In addition to her administrative roles, Dr. Roney is a tenured Associate Professor of English, has taught a range of developmental and gateway courses within the department, and specializes in literature and music.

Sheri Rowland - Middle Georgia State College
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Dr. Sheri Rowland, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Middle Georgia State College, has 18 years of higher education experience. She became the Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management in July 2012 at Macon State College and then the Vice President for Enrollment Management for Middle Georgia State College in January 2013. Prior to that, she served 17 years in the Florida community college system serving in a variety of roles in admissions, records, counseling and advising, and institutional research.

Sheri earned her Doctorate in higher education from Florida State University in 2003. Previously she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and her Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling from Southeast Missouri State University.

Marion Ryant - Albany State University
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Marion Brown Ryant serves as Director of Budgets and Contracts in the Division of Fiscal Affairs at Albany State University. She has held this position since 2007. As director, her areas of responsibility include managing and developing the university’s budget which include monitoring and financial reporting of sponsored program’s $28M budget. She also assists in assuring proper implementation, administration and management of fiscal affairs. Prior to her current position, she served as a budget analyst from 2000 to 2007 and contracting officer from 1994 to 2000 at Albany State University. Ryant is a member of Albany State University’s judicial disciplinary, student fee, research and retirement committees.

Mrs. Ryant earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Albany State University and a Master of Science in Business Management at Troy University. Ryant believes “we cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” Humbled and appreciated of the opportunity to represent Albany State University, she confidently feels that this experience will allow her to help and lead others.

Michael T. Schmidt - Valdosta State University
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Michael is the Interim Head of the Department of Art at Valdosta State University where he has taught ceramics and foundations for over 12 years. Within the department, twenty-three dedicated art faculty-mentors provide a dynamic and challenging learning experience to over 230 undergraduate majors, preparing them to be creative innovators and critical thinkers, in the context of a rapidly changing world.

Michael arrived at Valdosta State in 2001 as an assistant professor of art and has advanced through the academic ranks, promoted to professor in 2011. His creative works have been featured in more than 150 regional, national and international juried and invitational exhibitions from Georgia to Korea. Michael received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater in 1998, studying Graphic Design and Art History. He received his MFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2001 in Ceramics and Sculpture. Much of his creative ceramic works involve themes of use, function, and a sense of history.

“It is a great honor to be selected to participate in the University System of Georgia ELI program, and represent VSU and the Department of Art. This opportunity will allow me to explore leadership roles through the University System, connect with experienced administrators and faculty mentors, and challenge my understanding of what it means to play a larger role in the academic world, ultimately affecting students in a more meaningful way.”

Scott A. Shamp - University of Georgia
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Scott A. Shamp is the Director of the New Media Institute in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. The New Media Institute is an interdisciplinary unit created to explore the creative, critical, and commercial implications of new digital communication technology. In his position as the Director of the New Media Institute, Dr. Shamp is helping companies map out strategies for success using new communication technologies and students carve out careers in the rapidly evolving field of new media.

Currently Dr. Shamp heads the Mobile Media Consortium at the University of Georgia. This industry/academic partnership is dedicated to promoting mobile media and wireless development. The Mobile Media Consortium focuses on the role of wireless technologies in improving individuals’ quality of life. Industry partners in the Mobile Media Consortium have included Intel, Nokia, AT&T, McDonald’s, HP, Turner Broadcasting, BelAir Networks, and iAnywhere. Scott holds the James Cox Kennedy New Media professorship and the rank of Professor on the faculty of the Telecommunications Department in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. He received his undergraduate (ABJ 1981) and Master’s (MA 1983) in Journalism from the University of Georgia, and he received his Doctoral degree in Communications (Ph.D. 1989) from the University of Utah where he studied how computers impact the way people communicate with one another.

Joann Simpson - Bainbridge State College
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Joann Simpson serves as Dean of the Early County Campus of Bainbridge State College. Her responsibilities include supervising faculty and staff and the operations of the campus and promoting Bainbridge State College in the service area. Joann is a graduate of Troy University and Valdosta State University and was formerly employed by Albany Technical College as an accounting instructor.

Joann is excited to be in the Executive Leadership Institute program and looks forward to the mentoring, networking, and other opportunities the program will afford. She enjoys spending time with her family and watching her grandson, Tyler, a senior in high school, play baseball.

Candace Sommer - University System Office
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Candace Sommer is the Executive Director of the University System of Georgia Foundation, Inc., a 501 (C)(3) organization to support the University System of Georgia. Serving as the first full-time Executive Director since 2009, Ms. Sommer works with the Board of Trustees to oversee all aspects of the Foundation’s work and mission. These include, raising funds for scholarships and USG support, building relationships with corporate and community leaders to increase the public’s understanding of the need for quality higher education, managing the USG Real Estate Foundation to facilitate financing of capital improvement projects at USG institutions and managing the Foundation’s scholarship programs. She also creates all communications for the USG Foundation, including the website, the annual report and collateral pieces. Ms. Sommer’s most visible role is acting as the chair of the annual Regents’ Celebration of Educational excellence with the assistance and support of the USG institutions and provides guidance and support for the annual State Charitable Contribution Program campaign.

Candace Sommer is a graduate of the University of Missouri. She also attended St. Louis University where she earned her teacher certification and spent her junior year in Spain through the SLU study abroad program. In 2008, Ms. Sommer earned Graduate Certification in Technical Communications from Southern Polytechnic State University. Her background in non-profit development and management includes serving as the Executive Director of the River Place Arts Festival, the Director of the Children’s Hospital Development Council and the Director of Marketing and Development of the YWCA in Greenville, SC. She moved to Atlanta to join the Education Go Get It team at the Board of Regents in 2005.

Stephen C. Svonavec - Middle Georgia State College
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Stephen Svonavec currently serves as Director of the Dublin Campus of Middle Georgia State College where he is responsible for overseeing the daily operation of the 750 student campus. He has held that position since January 2012, when the campus was part of Middle Georgia College. Prior to this, he served as an Associate Professor of History at Middle Georgia, teaching classes in United States, World, and Military history. Before coming to Middle Georgia in 2005, he spent five years as a Visiting Instructor at the University of West Georgia and one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Francis Marion University. He has also served on the faculty of Floyd College, Purdue University, and Texas A&M University.

He received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Seton Hall University in 1991, an M.A. in History from Texas A&M University in 1994, and a Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M University in 2000. His graduate research focused on the role played by Congress in developing American naval policy in the interwar era, with a particular emphasis on the role played by Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson.

Ingrid Thompson-Sellers - Georgia Perimeter College
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Ingrid Thompson-Sellers serves as the Dean of Academic Services for the Business, Physical Education and Sign Language Interpreting division at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) since 2011 and campus dean at GPC Online. She is also an Associate Professor of Business Information Systems and teaches at least one class per academic year either face-to-face or online. Prior to that she was the chairperson for the business and social sciences department at the Decatur campus after serving as a full time tenured faculty in the business department. She also negotiates articulation agreements such as GPC’s Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) agreement on behalf of the college.

In 2011 she completed her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology at Georgia State University from the Department of Middle-Secondary and Instructional Technology and the Educational Policy Studies Department. Prior to that she completed a Master’s degree at Iona College (New Rochelle, New York) and also a Bachelor’s degree in Physics at The University of the West Indies (Mona campus.)

Currently, Dr. Thompson-Sellers serves on the Board of Regent’s Learning Management Systems (LMS) Strategic Planning Board, Regents Administrative Committee on Distance Education (RACDE) and the Regents Academic Advisory Committee on Business Administration, Management & Economics. She has chaired and served on many GPC committees involving strategic planning, faculty and staff hiring, college-wide events and student-sponsored happenings and activities. She enjoys travelling and spending time with her two children and her husband.