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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.


Casey Byrd

Grambling State University

Casey is the Director of Operations & Compliance. She manages the day-to-day operations for the Division of Finance & Operations, which includes troubleshooting, investigating and resolving complaints. She also responds to compliance-related inquiries and participates in resolutions encompassing ethical issues. Since 2009, she has served in several capacities at the university, such as Associate Director of Favrot Student Union/Campus-Wide Activities, Staff Auditor and Management & Research Analyst. Casey has also served as a Title IX Investigator. She has been involved in various university committees and currently serves as the Chair of the Crisis Leave Committee, Co-Chair of the Policy Committee and has an essential role on the Bayou Classic Committee. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Sport Administration from Grambling State University. She is an active member of the Grambling Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching football and shopping.

Milton Jackson

Grambling State University

Milton Jackson is an academic advisor and FYE instructor at the historic Grambling State University. He holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Management. For the past 13 years, he has fulfilled varied roles in student support services at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. Milton couples his passion to shape and inspire the next generation with his expertise on the educational issues faced by African American male students to coach them to academic and personal success. Mr. Jackson has remained committed to positively affecting his community on and off-campus and has served in multiple facets of leadership such as the president of the board of directors for the Girl Scout Louisiana Pines to the Gulf Council and Founder and President of the Monica Jackson (Anti- Domestic Violence) Foundation and Daddy-Daughter Dance Scholarship Fundraiser. He and his wife Tiffany are the parents to 3 daughters. He’s a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. In his spare time, he enjoys fitness, reading, and watching pranks and social experiments online.

Adam McGuirt

Louisiana Tech University

Adam McGuirt is the Director of Disaster Recovery and Strategic Initiatives at Louisiana Tech University, a position he has held since May 2019. Prior to this new role, Adam served in a number of roles within the LA Tech Athletics Department for the better part of 13 years. He began his time at Louisiana Tech as the Director of the Louisiana Tech Athletic Club (LTAC) where he was responsible for all fundraising activities for the athletics department. He transitioned to become the Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations in December of 2013, overseeing all game-day operations, capital projects, football scheduling and the athletics apparel partnership. Adam has served on many committees during his time at Louisiana Tech with the most recent being the Strategic Learning Team, Emergency Response Team and Incident Response Team.


A native of Shreveport, La., Adam earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Louisiana Tech University. Adam and his wife April are the proud parents of three daughters: Lily, Sophie and Emily.

Michele Robinson

Louisiana Tech University

Michele Robinson currently serves as Executive Director of Engagement and Regional Development for Louisiana Tech University. She returned to her alma mater in the spring of 2014 as Director of Major Gifts after more than two decades of working in nonprofit organization management, development, and consulting including as President of Louisiana Association of United Ways.

Michele has served on several Boards of Directors including Volunteer!United, Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless, Kappa Delta Chapter Advisory Board, and the Louisiana Tech University Alumni Association and is a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Louisiana Class, a program of the Council for a Better Louisiana.

Dr. Lonny Benoit

McNeese State University

Dr. Lonny Benoit is an Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the W.A. and Dorothy Hanna Department of Performing Arts at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana where he administrates the Music and Theatre Areas.

As a performer, Benoit is a former member of the Mexico City based percussion group CHAAC, a group dedicated to the research and advocacy of pre-Hispanic music. Benoit has appeared as a soloist with the Lake Charles Symphony and the Rapides Symphony. He has performed with the Acadiana Wind Ensemble (Lafayette, LA), TAD Wind Symphony (Tokyo, Japan), and the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra.

As an educator, Benoit regularly presents clinics and master classes throughout the United States and abroad and has also been a featured clinician at several PAS State Days of Percussion. Benoit was the Front Ensemble Caption Manager of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps from Santa Clara, CA (2007-09) and former Percussion Caption Head of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois (2000-2002). Prior to working with Phantom Regiment, Benoit was a staff member for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (Denver, CO) and is a former member of the world champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (Rosemont, IL – 1993-1995).

Lonny Benoit received his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas under the tutelage of Dr. Dean Gronemeier. Benoit is an active artist/clinician for Pearl Drums and Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth Inc., and Remo drumheads

Krisshunn Youngblood

McNeese State University

Administrative Assistant to the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs

Kathryn Slosarek

Nicholls State University

Kathryn Slosarek is the Associate Director of Campus Recreation and an Adjunct Instructor for HPED 246 in Teacher Education at Nicholls State University. Previously, Kathryn held positions as Fitness and Wellness Coordinator for Campus Recreation, and Coordinator for Student Athlete Learning at Nicholls State University. A native of League City, Texas, Kathryn obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science and Wellness while lettering four years in softball at Nicholls State University. She continued to obtain her Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership while holding a graduate assistant position as a strength and conditioning coach for athletics at Nicholls State University. Currently she is pursuing her Ph. D in Leadership in Higher Education from Northcentral University.

Dr. David Whitney

Nicholls State University

David Whitney is an associate professor of Political Science and department head of Social Sciences at Nicholls State University. He is the Wayne Patten Endowed Professor of Liberal Arts. He serves as associate editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Voegelin View, and has authored and edited multiple books and articles. His research focuses on issues related to science and politics. Outside of his academic interests, he is an avid sports fan with a passion for cajun and creole cuisine. He resides in Thibodaux with his wife and dog.

Brittany Broussard

Northwestern State University

Dr. Elizabeth Hornsby

Southeastern Louisiana University

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson Hornsby is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University. She began her educational journey at Southeastern in 2001 where she earned a Bachelor’s of General Studies with a Minor in Latin in 2004 and a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication in 2006. She began her teaching career as a public speaking instructor in Southeastern’s Communication Department in Fall 2006 where she taught full-time while pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She teaches communication and media classes with a focus on cultural competency, digital literacy and strategic communication 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, and the National Popular Culture 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 journals including Communication, Culture and Critique, The Florida Communication Journal, The Journal of Audio and Radio Media, and Communication Booknotes Quarterly. Elizabeth has published online works for In Media Res and Raising Mothers. 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 currently serves on the University of Louisiana System’s Digital Equity and Inclusion Task Force where she chairs the Digital and Technological Literacy Subgroup. Elizabeth has been an International Radio and Television Society Foundation Faculty/Industry Fellow as well as participated in the Association of National Advertisers Educational Foundation Virtual Visiting Professor Program. She holds certifications from Quality Matters, Adobe and the Television Bureau of Advertising. Elizabeth lives in Hammond, Louisiana with her husband and seven children.

Chris Asprion

Southeastern Louisiana University

Chris Asprion is currently the Director of University Housing at Southeastern Louisiana University. Beginning his career in Higher Education as a Construction Coordinator in 2003, Chris began working at Southeastern Louisiana University in 2005 serving as a Project Coordinator and has spent the last 15 years as the Associate Director of Facility Maintenance, prior to accepting his role as the Director of Housing in March of 2020. During this time he has managed, coordinated, and supervised campus construction projects, while managing campus Housing maintenance and various trade maintenance shops.

Chris is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University where he earned an Associates of Applied Sciences degree concentrating in Occupational Safety and Health, a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology concentrating in Supervision, and a Master of Science Degree in Integrated Science and Technology.

Dr. Kelsey Bohl

University of Louisiana Monroe

Dr. Kelsey Bohl is the Executive Director of Marketing and University Communications at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Prior to leading marketing and communications, Kelsey was the International Student Adviser, then Executive Director of University Planning and Analysis. She received her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in 2011, an MBA from ULM in 2013, and Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama. Bohl is very involved in the Monroe/West Monroe community. She serves on the Junior League of Monroe Board of Directors as the Community VP, and board member for the Louisiana Delta Ballet, Northeast Louisiana Ad Club, and ULM Women’s Symposium. Kelsey is a graduate of Leadership Ouachita class of 2018 and a 2019 recipient of Northeast Louisiana’s Young Professionals Top 20 under 40. Kelsey is married to Alex Bohl, and they have a two-year old daughter Lydia. Kelsey is also a 200-hour registered yoga teacher, avid reader, and vintage enthusiast.

Kristen Chandler

University of Louisiana Monroe

Kristin Chandler currently serves as the Director of the ULM Career Center. During her nearly 10 year career at ULM, Kristin has worked in academic advising, online admissions, recruitment, and career services. Some of Kristin’s professional accomplishments include, creating the Women’s Symposium and ULM Mentorship Program and serving as President for both Staff Senate and the Louisiana Association of Colleges and Employers. She is a proud alumna of ULM earning her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kristin believes in the power of camaraderie across institutions and the sharing of innovative ideas and best practices to make Higher Education better in Louisiana. Therefore, she is looking very forward to joining the Management and Leadership Institute 2020-2021 class and being a part of a great feat. 

Dr. Lisa VanHoose

University of Louisiana Monroe

Lisa VanHoose, PT, PhD, MPH is an Associate Professor and Program Director in the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Dr. VanHoose received her PhD in Rehabilitation Science and MPH from the University of Kansas Medical Center.


She completed fellowships at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute PRIDE Summer Institute with an emphasis in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology. Her Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in Physical Therapy were completed at the University of Central Arkansas.


Dr. VanHoose has practiced oncologic physical therapy since 1996. She is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy. As a NIH, PCORI, and industry funded researcher, Dr. VanHoose investigates cancer related side effects with an emphasis on minority and rural cancer survivorship. Investigations of distress in cancer survivors revealed that African American women were concerned about provider bias and other racial issues during their care. She expanded that work to explore physical and psychosocial factors responsible for health disparities in diverse groups of cancer survivors. Her team published a systematic review explaining the impact of perceived racism on health outcomes for a variety of medical conditions and diseases affecting African American women. Other work includes qualitative investigations into community identified risk factors of cardiovascular disease in African American men.


She has served on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion staff workgroup for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She currently serves on the Special Populations: Nursing Home subcommittee for Gov. John Bel Edwards Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.  She has been an advocate for movement of all persons, including the elimination of social policies and practices that are barriers to movement friendly environments.

Dr. Joel Hicks

Northwestern State University

Joel Hicks is the Director of the School of Allied Health at Northwestern State University. Prior to moving into higher education, Dr. Hicks worked for almost two decades in healthcare, primarily in diagnostic and cardiac imaging. He began his educational journey at Northwestern State, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences in 2006. He continued his educational journey by earning a Master of Science in Radiologic Sciences in 2009 from Midwestern State University, in Wichita Falls, Texas. Then, in 2016, he completed the Doctor of Education studies at Grambling State University. The focus of the doctoral program was developmental education and educational leadership. His dissertation focused on the importance of quality advising in online programs. He recently completed a theological degree from Warburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, graduating in May 2020. Joel is married to his spouse, Angelia, and they have two children, Jacob (24) and Katelyn (20).

Lisa Harris

Northwestern State University

I joined Northwestern State University in July 2019 as the Human Resources Director. After spending 16 years in local government, I was excited about the opportunity to work in higher education.

My time in local government dates to 1999 when I began work at the City of Alexandria, LA. My worked crossed the areas of recreation, program development, policy development, contract monitoring, and human resource management. As a member of the Randolph and Roy Administrations, I was able to make significant contributions to the community with the development of the first-ever Youth Advisory Council and the opening of the City’s first Teen Activity Center, providing educational, social, and arts and culture programming. Most notable is my work leading city-wide efforts to develop a comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan that led to the completion of a $2.4 million dollars park improvement project.

My love for non-profit management took me to the YMCA of Central Louisiana in 2011, where I served at the Chief Executive Officer. In just two short years, the organization saw expansion in its community involvement, growth in its afterschool programming and a $50,000 infrastructure investment improving an exercise program for the membership.

I returned to local government in 2014 to help in the management of the City of Alexandria workforce. Serving as Personnel Director, I provided daily oversight of all human resources functions including staffing, benefit management, and performance management. Under my leadership, the City moved its application process to an electronic format creating a more accessible and effective recruitment process.

I bring to this role at NSU my experience, knowledge and most importantly a desire to support management as it continues to practice the great traditions that have made the University successful. I am a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/Television/Film. I am a Senior Certified Professional in human resource management through the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA). I am an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA), and the Central Louisiana Society for Human Management (CLSHRM). I am also a member of the Board of Directors for the Alexandria Museum of Art and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

My most important roles are wife, mother, and grandmother. I am married to Destin M. Harris, mother to Devin, 28, Lauryn Harris, 20, and grandmother to Lennox Rose, 2.

Dr. Blanca Bauer

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Assistant VP for Institutional Effectiveness, Office of Academic Affairs

Dr. Taniecea Mallery

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 leading institutional efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, 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 impact of medical school curriculum on where physicians choose to practice, and research on the role of social influence in group decision making for 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. From 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 Community Advisory Board for Junior League of Lafayette and 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. Gianna Cothren

University of New Orleans

Dr. Gianna Cothren earned her B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of New Orleans and a Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Louisiana State University. Dr. Cothren’s educational and professional background is in civil & environmental engineering with an emphasis in areas of hydrology, estuary and wetland science, and applications with geographic information systems. Her research expertise is in urban stormwater modeling and management, GIS applications in water resources, physical, chemical, and biological functions in wetlands. She has experience with SWMM, HSPF, and HMS for hydrologic modeling of stormwater and water quality. Dr. Cothren is actively involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), serving as UNO chapter faculty advisor for both. She is engaged in her local community serving on the advisory board for the St. Charles parish Satellite Center high school engineering program. She is active in journal publications and conference presentations and is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of Louisiana.

Dr. Desiree Anderson

University of New Orleans

Dr. Desirée Anderson was born in San Diego, California. The child of Naval personnel, she had the pleasure of moving around a lot including living in Belgium for 5 years where she also attended High School. Desiree returned to the United States to live in Louisville, Kentucky where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Louisville. Having worked in higher education for over 13 years, Dr. Desirée Anderson has committed her energy to address issues of bias and hate on college and university campuses. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans researching The Use of Campus-Based Restorative Justice Practices to Address Incidents of Bias: Facilitators’ Experiences. Before coming to serve as the Associate Dean of Diversity and Student Affairs at the University of New Orleans she worked as the Director of the Intercultural Center at Saint Mary’s College of California and previously held positions as the Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs at Tulane University and as an Area Residence Director at Texas State University. Desirée serves as an instructor in the Educational Administration Master’s degree program at the University of New Orleans and as a Restorative Justice National Team Trainer for the Center for Restorative Justice at the University of San Diego. Dr. Anderson has recently released a book chapter in Colorizing Restorative Justice by Living Justice Press. In her free time, she enjoys reading, singing, dancing, and watching an unnecessary amount of TV.

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