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Management & Leadership Institute

The Management & Leadership Institute for the Universities of Louisiana (M&LI) is a two-semester program for mid-career faculty and staff who aspire to broadened academic, professional or administrative leadership roles.

Program Description

The Institute will immerse participants in a program designed to maximize their effectiveness in management roles. Participants will gain a deeper understanding for effective leadership in higher education. They will learn how to develop diverse, high-performing teams; manage and implement change; analyze financial, student and market data; and identify and seize opportunities in the increasingly competitive market driven environment of higher education.

Program Structure

Nine two-day sessions will be held over the course of two semesters, with each of the Universities of Louisiana hosting a two-day session. Participants will develop leadership skills and competencies by exploring case studies, presentations, and readings; engaging in group projects identifying, assessing and addressing a system-wide issue; and fulfilling an extended mentoring/job-shadowing component.

Target Participant

The nominee should be one who has potential for increased leadership responsibility and achievement within higher education. Nominations for participation are submitted by campus presidents who recognize a need for an expanded pool of future leaders and want to recognize and encourage the development of designated colleagues to assume increasing leadership responsibility. Nominees must be willing and able to attend and participate in all curriculum sessions and other requisite activities.

Goals for Institute Participants

- Gain familiarity with contemporary challenges facing academic and administrative leaders.
- Deepen understanding of fundamental perspectives and concepts of leadership as they apply in higher education.
- Enhance personal and professional leadership competencies.
- Advance the UL System by leading a system-based group project from conception through completion.
- Increase understanding of important dimensions of higher education administration, including organizational structure and mission, governance, finance and budgeting, legal and regulatory issues, diversity and ethics.

Members

Gavin Hamms

Grambling State University

Carolyn Marshall-Jackson

Grambling State University

Dr. Carolyn Marshall – Jackson, an Associate Professor in the Department of Developmental and Higher Education studies at Grambling State University, is a native of Monroe, LA and the youngest child of the late Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Lee Marshall, Sr. She is a 1988 honor graduate of Carroll High School and she earned Bachelor of General Studies (1995) and Master of Education (2001) degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly, Northeast Louisiana University). Dr. Marshall-Jackson earned the Doctor of Education degree in 2004 from Grambling State University. She has worked in education for 27 years, the last 17 of which have been in higher education. Her experiences are varied, including serving as Grant Project Director, Grant Writer, and she is currently tenured faculty and is the Chair and Administrator of the Institutional Review Board at Grambling State University.

 

Since joining the faculty of Grambling State University, Dr. Marshall – Jackson has endeavored to teach with passion, serve with understanding and diligence and continue to research avenues to improve teaching and learning for all students, regardless of academic status or developmental needs. As such, she has made substantial impacts in her work in higher education, where her focus has been on student development, counseling, advising, Open Educational Resources (OER) and grant writing and research. Dr. Marshall – Jackson has been instrumental in securing and managing more than $13 million in federal funds and a notable accomplishment is a $3.1 million grant award that she received from the US Department of Education. With those grant funds, Dr. Jackson created the Alternative Teacher Certification Project and along with colleagues, a new Master of Arts in Teaching Degree program at Grambling State University. In addition, she has authored a textbook and is a published researcher. Embodying the term, “life-long learner”, Dr. Marshall – Jackson is also currently completing her studies in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at ULM.

Mortissa Harvey

Louisiana Tech University

Mortissa Harvey is the Director of Title IX Compliance at Louisiana Tech University, a position she has held since August 2021. Before this role, Mortissa served as Criminal Justice Program Coordinator and Chair of the Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings at Atlanta Technical College in Atlanta, GA. She was the Title IX Decision Maker for the college while helping teach Atlanta’s next generation of law enforcement professionals. Before she transitioned to higher education, Mortissa worked in the Criminal Justice System and has been a Certified Georgia Peace Officer for over 20 years. A native of Bonita, LA, Mortissa is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She earned her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Clark Atlanta University and is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration. Mortissa is the proud parent of a son: JaRon, a student at Alabama A& M University.

Ernie Rufleth

Louisiana Tech University

Dr. Ernest Rufleth is the Director of the School of Literature & Language and holds the Mabel and Doug Maguire Endowed Professorship at Louisiana Tech University. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Honors Program and as a professor in the English Department since 2010. He serves on a number of academic committees and is a former President of the University Senate. A native of Clinton, Connecticut, Ernie earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Valparaiso University. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Literature at Purdue University. Ernie and his wife, Allison, have their hands full raising the three young boys he and his wife named after their favorite kings of England. He enjoys reading, gardening, and taking long walks with his dog, Mr. Darcy.

Mona White

McNeese State University

Vice President for Business Affairs

The Office of the Vice President of Business Affairs is responsible for providing overall management and supervision of the business and financial affairs of the University. The division consists of Administrative Accounting, Budgeting, Purchasing and Property Control, Human Resources and Bookstore. Informing and advising the University President regarding the current and long-term developments of the business and financial affairs of the University is a crucial aspect of the office. Ms. White received her Bachelor of Science degree from McNeese and joined the staff in 2001. She served as the University Comptroller and Chief Accounting Officer prior to assuming the current role as Vice President. She is the mother of two young men and they are a proud McNeese family.

Rhonda Johnson

McNeese State University

Dr. Rhonda Johnson is an Associate Professor in Nursing and serves as the Undergraduate Nursing Department Head for the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CONHP) at McNeese State University (MSU). She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from MSU in 1989, a Master of Science in Emergency Nursing from the University of Texas in Houston in 1995, and a Doctorate in Healthcare Education from Nova Southeastern in North Miami, Florida in 2010.

Dr. Johnson leads a 600-student department which includes a traditional BSN program and an online RN to BSN Program. She is responsible for program operations, guiding curriculum development and implementation, conducting program accreditation activities, facilitating student recruitment and retention efforts, and serving on several college, university, and professional committees. She also teaches in both programs. Before she was appointed Department Head in the Fall of 2019, she coordinated and taught numerous undergraduate nursing courses as well as had the opportunity to serve as the Coordinator of the Continuing Education (CE) and the Online RN to BSN Programs.

Dr. Johnson is a first-generation college graduate. She has two children who are currently enrolled at MSU with one on course to complete her degree in December of 2022 and the other just completed his freshman year.  She loves and supports her university and is honored to be a part of the ULS Management and Leadership Institute class of 2022-2023.

Alex Coad

Nicholls State University

A Louisiana transplant since 2016, Alex happily serves as the Director of Residential Living at Nicholls State University. Thus far in his professional career, he has self-identified as a “Res-Lifer” but aspires to earn his doctoral degree and eventually serve as a Vice President for Student Affairs. Alex has a passion for leadership, development, and management studies, and hopes to always increase his knowledge and learn from those around him who impact his life both personally and professionally. He believes that the relationships we build with each other are the most important aspect of learning to lead and work with others.

Alex earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Illinois College in 2012 and completed his Master’s degree in Education, with a focus on Higher Education, from Abilene Christian University in 2015. Hailing from a small farm town in Illinois originally, Louisiana has given him a necessary and impactful jolt of culture and passion. Recently planting roots in River Ridge, LA., he and his wife Katie hope to grow their family and become even more immersed in the Louisiana culture, all while working to serve the higher education students in the region.

Angela Hardy

Northwestern State University

Dr. Angela L. Hardy is Director of the Master of Science in Nursing and Post Master’s Certificate Programs at Northwestern State University. She is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner that has a passion for helping others. Dr. Hardy received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Grambling State University in 2003, a Master of Nursing Degree with a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner from Grambling State University in 2008, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree at Chatham University in 2012. She participates in several community boards, professional organizations, and university committees in various capacities. Outside of work, Dr. Hardy enjoys spending time with her son (Xaivion), traveling, entertaining family and friends, volunteering at various community and church events, and staying fit by line dancing and Zumba.

Emily Posey

Northwestern State University

Emily Posey is the Director of Internal Audit at Northwestern State University. Emily has been employed at NSU since August 2014 and worked in the Bursar’s section of Business Affairs before assuming her current position in the Internal Audit office in October 2020. Emily has been married for 18 years and has two children, an eight-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter.

Emily worked in the banking industry for eight years after graduating high school and during that time obtained her Associates degree in Accounting and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Emily was a member of the inaugural class of NSU’s IGNiTE program and is currently pursuing an Internal Audit certification. In 2020 she entered into a Masters of Business Administration program and plans to return to her studies in the Fall of 2023. Emily is a member of various professional organizations, including the Institute if Internal Auditors (IIA) and Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA).

John Collum

Southeastern Louisiana University

John Collum serves as the Assistant Director of Conduct and Resident Education for the University Housing Office at Southeastern Louisiana University. In this capacity, John facilitates due process for students living on campus who are accused of policy violations by ensuring they are heard swiftly, impartially and, if required, sanctioned in a supportive and educational manner. Additionally, he is a member of the Southeastern Threat Assessment and Response Team, the Threat Response Team, and the Campus Assault Response and Education Team. Prior to his current role, John served as an Area Coordinator in the University Housing Office and as an Admissions Counselor/Recruiter in the Office of Admissions at Southeastern. John received both his Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Arts in History degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University. Lion up!

Jerry Parker

Southeastern Louisiana University

Dr. Jerry L. Parker serves as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University in the Department of World Languages and Cultures teaching courses in French, Spanish, World Language Education, and Humanities. He also serves as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and Director of the Foreign Language Resource Center. He is a member of the Graduate Faculty and the Site Coordinator for Teacher Candidates in French Education and Spanish Education in combination with the Department of Teaching and Learning. His other work history includes positions at Baton Rouge Community College, Northshore Technical Community College, and Morris Brown College.

Yazmyn Smith

Southeastern Louisiana University

Yazmyn Smith is the Academic and Career Exploration Coach for STEM and Pre-Professional majors in the Center for Student Excellence at Southeastern Louisiana University. In her role, she works with students through major exploration and career development and serves as the liaison between the advising center and the academic departments and college for students in transition. As a part of her role as coach, Yazmyn teaches Southeastern 102: Freshman Academic Coaching Seminar and Career Planning 104.

Yazmyn is an active member on her campus including service as faculty advisor to E.L.I.T.E. Women (Emerging Leaders Inspiring Through Excellence), an outgoing member and inaugural chair of the Southeastern Alumni Association’s GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Council, and Title IX Hearing Board Chair. She is also active in professional organizations such as the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), the Education Law Association, as well as NASPA and its Adult Learners and Students with Children (ALSC) Knowledge Community.

A native of Hammond, LA, Yazmyn received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Master of Science in Health and Kinesiology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a PhD student in Educational Leadership and Research with a concentration in Higher Education Administration at Louisiana State University. Her proudest accomplishment is being the mom to DJ (10th grade IB student at Hammond High Magnet School) and D’Aaryn (6th grader at Southeastern Laboratory School). Yazmyn is honored to represent Southeastern and the City of Hammond in the sixth class of the Management and Leadership Institute.

Ruben Henderson

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Ruben Henderson is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana and is a proud graduate of Alfred M. Barbe High School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing and Legal Studies) and
his Master of Business Administration from the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Ruben is dedicated to making an impact in higher education and the community. In addition to serving on several major university committees and conducting various professional and leadership presentations, he serves as the advisor of the Black Male Leadership Association and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. For the third year, Ruben has served as an adjunct faculty member at UL Lafayette teaching a freshman seminar course titled Black Male Leadership. His current involvement in the community includes serving on the
following boards: Miles Perret Cancer Services, the Lafayette Education Foundation, and the Hilliard Art Museum. Ruben is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXIX (29). Within the UL System, he has presented at several conferences, served as a facilitator for the 2020 Bridging the Divide Summer Series, served as a track leader for the 2021 Bridging the Divide Summer
Series, served on the Black Male Advisory Council, and serves as a campus facilitator for the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program.

He also serves as the President for the Black Faculty and Staff Association at UL Lafayette, President for the Christiana Smith African American Alumni Chapter, and President for the Louisiana Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators. Some of his recent achievements include the Carreathers-Scott Innovative Advisor Award at the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference, Tribute to Excellence Award with the National Association of University Women, Southwest Champion of Service Award with Volunteer Louisiana, Sunbelt Conference Faculty of the Year Award, Outstanding Graduate and Professional Student Award with the Louisiana Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators, Dean Mary Olive McPhaul Award with the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, and the James Callier Servant Leader Award with the University of Louisiana System. Ruben was selected as the 2020 Grand Marshal and was crowned the 2022 King Toussaint L’Ouverture, LXIII for the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade. This was the first formally organized African American Mardi Gras krewe in the city.

Ruben has a passion for working with students; his professional experience includes serving as an Assistant Director with the University Program Council in the Office of Student Engagement
and Leadership, Assistant Director of Marketing and Leadership in the Office of the Student Union and Enrollment Counselor (high school recruiter) for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment, Greater New Orleans area, for UL in the Enrollment Management Division. Ruben has a strong ardor for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Gretchen Vanicor

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Gretchen Vanicor is the Director of Sustainability at UL Lafayette and advisor to the University President on the environmental impacts of all University operations, including energy, water, stormwater management, transportation, planning and development. Her office leads the University in institutionalizing sustainability throughout the campus and improving the quality-of-life amenities for the whole community. The campus now has a zero waste strategy which included an overhaul of waste and recycling systems that resulted in 53% reduction in hauling costs and more than 1,200% increase in recycling diversion, a food recovery program from dining services,  Goodwill, not Landfill program for moveout, and Good to Geaux reusable to-go dining system. The Office led an interdisciplinary effort to create a Green Infrastructure Master Plan which won 1st Place in the EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge. The Office of Sustainability also works with faculty and researchers to increase sustainability in the curriculum for all students and coordinates the Campus as a Living Lab initiative. The University was recently awarded a STARS Silver rating by the Assocation for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for their whole-campus, comprehensive approach to sustainable development and resiliency.

Gretchen serves as the PI on the EPA Gulf of Mexico Grant that is supporting the Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliate program and collecting statewide data regarding litter quantities, types, and causes. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing from McNeese State University, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from UL Lafayette, and a Master’s in Architecture from UL Lafayette. She is currently in her third year of the UL Lafayette Educational Leadership Doctorate program with a Higher Education Administration concentration. Her research focus is studying the social, economic, and environmental benefits of integrating sustainable development and resiliency principles and practices into four-year public universities.

 Gretchen is on the Board of Directors for Keep Louisiana Beautiful and United Way of Acadiana. She also represents the University on several local commissions, committees, and working groups dedicated to improving the quality of life for the community, including the Lafayette Consolidated Government Bike and Pedestrian Safety Committee and Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team. Gretchen also collaborates with many local organizations and community organizations to provide community service and service-learning opportunities for UL Lafayette students.

 Gretchen is a lifelong Acadiana resident having grown up in Iota.  She now lives in Youngsville with her husband, David, two children, John-Thomas and Rosalie, and rescue dog, Teddy.

Cheylon Woods

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Cheylon Woods, is the Head of Ernest J. Gaines Center, Archivist and Associate Professor in the Edith Garland Dupre Library. Throughout her scholarly career Mrs. Woods received her Masters of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University, her Masters in Heritage Resources  from Northwestern State University, and a Dual Bachelors degree in History and Political Science from Louisiana Tech University. Mrs. Woods is also a 2011 Institute of Museum & Library Studies fellow, where she worked as an archivist with HistoryMarkers (oral history archive based out of Chicago) and the Alabama State Department of Archives and History.  As a fellow Cheylon actively worked with communities and prominent figures across the country to fill in information gaps related to African American history in the state of Alabama. As the Head and Archivist of the Ernest J. Gaines Center, Cheylon has continued this work by facilitating the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of Rural Black communities throughout South Louisiana, like those represented in the work of Dr. Ernest J. Gaines. On UL Lafayette’s campus, Cheylon is on numerous committees-most notably the Diversity Advisory Committee-and works, and actively serves as the faculty advisor for the UL student chapter of the NAACP. Cheylon is also the only library faculty member to obtain Graduate Faculty status at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Mrs. Woods also created and maintains an academic blog about the work of Ernest J. Gaines to help bridge the Humanities information gap many international students encounter during their research.

Off campus, Cheylon is actively engaged in numerous professional and community organizations. As a current member of the Louisiana Historical Record Advisory Board, Mrs. Woods works with archivists across the state to ensure Louisiana’s history is accessible and well preserved in every parish. Cheylon is also a founding board member of the Iberia African American Historical Society, and actively works with community organizations interested in building cultural spaces/museums in Acadiana. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, Society of American Archivists, Louisiana Library Association, the Association of the Study of African American Life and History, Louisiana Archives and Manuscript Association, and the Society of Southwest Archivist, to name a few.  She has presented research at numerous national and local annual meetings, as well as designing and executing public programs focusing on topics like education, civil rights, gender roles, and Southern and African American literature.  In 2021 her first edited text Through Mama’s Eyes: Unique Perspectives on Southern Matriarchy was published, and this was a co-edited collection with Dr. Kiwana McClung. Cheylon has also published scholarly articles about ethnic museums and libraries as sites of experiential learning and continued education in the archival profession. In addition to continuing to further her knowledge and encourage conversations on and related to the works of Dr. Ernest J. Gaines, Cheylon is currently working towards a PhD. in Folklore and researching diversity, equity, and inclusion in information repositories as well as the Ernest J. Gaines in the world of digital pedagogy.

Ashanti Jones

University of Louisiana Monroe

Dr. Jones currently serves in the dual roles of the inaugural Associate Program Director and Director of Clinical Education for the developing Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at ULM.  As the Associate Program Director and Director of Clinical Education, she has worked closely with the curriculum development committee to develop the DPT curriculum and design the clinical education program. She has co-authored several accreditation reports, including applications, self-studies, and appendices. She has adopted, implemented, and developed programmatic policies and procedures to support the proper functioning of the DPT program. Within one year, she has negotiated over 150 clinical site contractual agreements to allow DPT students to gain multidisciplinary practical training in an array of clinical settings.

Dr. Jones serves as the chair of the DPT admissions committee, where she has successfully designed and implemented the College of Health Sciences’ first multifactorial interdisciplinary holistic admissions review process. This process helped select the first DPT cohort of 40 students who support the program’s mission of developing diverse, highly qualified practitioners and leaders who partner with community members to produce meaningful and sustainable change.

Dr. Jones is currently completing her second year on the College of Health Sciences Graduate Review committee; she serves as chair-elect of the Co-college Interprofessional Education (IPE) committee. She is a member of the Opportunity Fund Committee established by President Ron Berry and Dr. Christine Berry.

Dr. Jones is the inaugural faculty advisor for the U.L. Systems’ first chapter of HOSA- Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, an international career and technical student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Technology Education Division of Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). The organization currently has representation from over nine health-related majors on the ULM campus, making it a foundational organization for student-led interdisciplinary educational experiences.

Dr. Jones is also the inaugural faculty advisor for the charter chapter of the registered student organization, ULM Optimist, an affiliate of Optimist International. The Club’s mission: By providing hope and a positive vision, the members of this Club will bring out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves.

Dr. Jones is completing her second year as faculty advisor for the Theta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  She serves her community as a St. Francis Medical Center Foundation board member, Ivy Merit Foundation board member, Louisiana HOSA- Future Health Professionals board member, United Way of Northeast Louisiana Campaign Cabinet Team Leader, Northeast Delta Human Services Authority Coalition Member, and many more.

Dr. Jones is currently working on a second Doctorate in Education from the University of Louisiana Monroe with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Jones is married to the Honorable Frederick D. Jones, and they have three children, Sydney (13), Sophie (10), and Frederick (5).

Kristi Davis

University of Louisiana Monroe

Kristi Davis serves as the Assistant to the Vice President for Business Affairs at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Kristi has been an employee at ULM for 13 years and has served in various roles, including Budget Accounting and Reporting Specialist and Assistant Budget Director. In addition to her current role as Assistant to the Vice President for Business Affairs, Kristi serves as Executive Director for ULM Facilities, Inc. During her time at ULM, Kristi has served on various committees and boards including SACSCOC Financial and Physical Resources Committee (Chair), Warhawk Village Project Operations Committee, Women’s Symposium Board, Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Staff Senate (President), and United Way Campaign (Chair). Kristi is an alumna of ULM earning her Bachelors of Science in 2007 and her Masters of Business Administration in 2008. Kristi and her husband, Michael, are both employees of ULM and are the proud parents of two sons, Cole and Caleb.

Enjilee Bailey

University of New Orleans

Enjilee Bailey is the newly appointed Assistant Dean in the College of Business at the University of New Orleans, where she previously served as Senior Academic Advisor for the college. Enjilee has been an employee of the University of New Orleans for 17 years, serving in several roles in the college.

A native of New Orleans, Enjilee is a proud first-generation graduate of the University of New Orleans. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Management. In addition to her bachelor’s degrees, Enjilee graduated from Liberty University, where she received a Master of Art in Human Service Counseling with a focus on Life Coaching.

During her tenure with the university and college, she has implemented best practices to assist students with meeting an academic success. Her passion is for first-generation students and students who have experienced academic struggles. Over her years in academic advising, she has mentored students and assisted them in achieving their educational and career objectives. Enjilee was awarded Student Advocate of Year.

Enjilee is married to David Bailey and the bonus mother of two sons.

Nerolie Rayson

University of New Orleans

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