Bridging the Divide Leadership Team

Dawn Benoit

Program Manager
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dawn helps the UL Lafayette Distance Learning Team with developing quality degree programs for online students, and increasing enrollment in the online programs.

Before joining UL Lafayette’s Distance Learning staff, Dawn worked for 20+ years for Cox Communications in sales leadership roles in their business telecommunications and media divisions. The interviewing and management aspect of this position allowed her to see the great importance of a well-rounded college education, resume’s that help a prospective employee stand out, and interviewing skills.

On her personal time she assists graduating high school seniors with application of the Birkman Assessment for career planning.

Katie Dawson

Director of ULM Online
University of Louisiana at Monroe

Katie Dawson is the Director of ULM Online. She has been a staff member with ULM Online since the office was created in 2013. Previously, Ms. Dawson, was the Coordinator of Online Programs and assisted full-time faculty with online course development and the implementation of Quality Matters as well as managing part-time faculty teaching ULM Online course sections.  She is an advocate for Open Education Resources which are low-cost options for textbooks and software in the classroom, and is facilitating a Faculty Learning Community on the topic and has developed her own OER courses.

Dr. Elizabeth Hornsby

Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Department of Communication and Media Studies
Southeastern Louisiana University

Elizabeth Robertson Hornsby is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University. She teaches classes in communication studies and media studies with a focus on cultural competency, digital literacy and media management and has over a decade of experience in online learning. Her research interests include exploring intersections of communication, culture, media, and technology from a critical perspective. Elizabeth has presented nationally at the National Communication Association Annual Convention, The Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, the National Popular Culture Association Conference and the Religious Communication Association Conference, regionally at the Popular Culture Association of the South Conference and the Southern States Communication Association Conference, and locally at the University of Louisiana System Conference. Elizabeth has authored a chapter in Celebrity Media Effects: The Persuasive Power of the Stars and is currently working on a book chapter regarding race and sensemaking in the forthcoming edited collection Fandom, Now in Color: A Collection of Voices. She has also published in scholarly journals including Communication, Culture, and Critique, The Florida Communication Journal, and Communication Booknotes Quarterly. Elizabeth served for two years as the evaluative coordinator for The Office of Online Learning at Southeastern where she helped develop course certification criteria and processes for ensuring quality online course design. She holds a national certification from Quality Matters. 

Dr. Taniecea Mallery

Director of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dr. Taniecea A. Mallery serves as the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In this role, she is responsible for fostering diversity, equity and inclusion among students, faculty and staff, as well as ensuring that underrepresented groups have equal access to educational opportunities and resources. She is a member of the graduate faculty, teaching doctoral-level courses in the College of Education.

Prior to joining UL Lafayette, Dr. Mallery worked as a senior diversity research specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C., and she completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the U.S. Census Bureau. Her recent publications include national policy reports on diversity in the U.S. physician workforce, studies on the influence of medical school curriculum on where physicians choose to practice, and research on the impact of social influence on faculty advancement, promotion and tenure.

Dr. Mallery earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Loyola University New Orleans, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in applied and computational mathematics from Princeton University. In 2016-2017, she completed the Chief Diversity Officer Fellows Program sponsored by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She is a member of the 2018 class of the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In the local community, Dr. Mallery serves as Incoming Chair of the Board of Directors for Leadership Institute of Acadiana and Vice President of Fund Development on the Board of Directors for Lafayette Education Foundation. She also serves on the Boards of Directors for the United Way of Acadiana, the Louisiana Budget Project, and the Ernest J. Gaines Center at UL Lafayette.

Dr. Claire Norris

Executive Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Effectiveness
University of Louisiana System

Dr. Yonna Pasch

Director of Student Activities
Northwestern State University

Dr. Yonna Pasch has worked in the field of Higher Education for over twenty years. She is currently the Director of Student Activities and Organizations at Northwestern State University.  Dr. Pasch oversees all recognized organizations and advises the University Programming Council. She believes that student success can occur if universities provide quality education, exceptional student engagement experiences, and a culture of respect and inclusivity. She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Louisiana Tech University, a master’s in Student Personnel Administration as well as a bachelor’s in hospitality management and tourism from Northwestern State University.

Chris Coleman

Information Technology Coordinator
Louisiana Tech University

Christopher Coleman has served as an information and instructional technology professional at Louisiana Tech University for the past 13 years. With experience in everything ranging from classroom audio/video to virtualized information technology infrastructure, he has a wide range of experience in using technology to support instruction. Among his many responsibilities at Louisiana Tech, Chris is the primary administrator of the institution’s virtual learning environment that uses Moodle as its core and integrates with services such as Intelliboard, Mediasite, Respondus, Turnitin, and Zoom. A techie by nature, he has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, a Master’s in Information Security and Assurance, and is completing his Ph.D. in Learning Technologies. He serves Bridging the Divide as Technical Lead, responsible for administration of the Moodle environment, and as a session facilitator.

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