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2016 Honorable Mention
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2016 AABHE Honorable Mention 


 Sherry Hunter


Dr. Sherry M. Hunter is a strategic leader, mentor, administrator, mother scholar, educator, Adjunct Professor and student advocate in higher education. Dr. Hunter was recognized internationally for her leadership, professionalism and passion to help students of color. She received a leadership certificate from Bryn Mawr College and a certificate in leadership for her participation in the Management Development Program at Harvard University. She served as an Adjunct Professor at various colleges and universities in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, Dr. Hunter was chosen district wide to participate in the City Colleges of Chicago Fellows Leadership Program. Furthermore, she earned her Master’s degree from Spertus College in Not for Profit Administration and Management and graduated with her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from DePaul University with high honors. Currently, she is an Educational Consultant at a career college in Chicago, Illinois.

Moreover, as a motherscholar of color, Dr. Hunter continues to struggle towards social justice in all areas in the world and hopes through collaborating with other educators, we can devise strategies to help the posterity of African-American leaders. She is known for creating innovative student services programs, supporting and mentoring minority students and creating institutional cultures that support the academic and social success of students. Her research interests include othermothering, critical race theory, black feminist theory and student success. One of Dr. Hunter’s favorite Oprah Winfrey’s quotes is, "I think education is power. I think that being able to communicate is power. One of my main goals on the planet is to encourage people to empower themselves.” Lastly, she resides in Chicagoland area with her two precocious daughters. In her spare time, she volunteers at various schools and community centers, enjoys dancing, zumba and running 5k, 10k and 15k races. She is looking forward to running her first half marathon this year!

-Sherry Hunter


 Eugene Parker 


Eugene T. Parker III is an assistant professor of higher education in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Kansas. He is interested in matters of diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to college students and organizations. His research has focused on the impact of collegiate experiences on college student outcomes, such as leadership and moral development. His also has research interests that are focused on organizational and institutional theories, governance, leadership and structures.

- Eugene Parker
 Xavier Pickett
Xavier Pickett has worked for several Fortune 500 companies in various industries holding positions in areas, such as finance, telecommunication, and marketing. He is the founder of a non-profit organization, which aims to produce prophetic socio-religious analyses of contemporary society and train an emergent generation of thought leaders, who are sensitive to religious, racial, gender, sexual, and class differences. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary in the Religion & Society program with a focus on religion, literature and ethics. Xavier is also currently a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.
- Xavier Pickett

 Courtney Smith


Courtney S. Smith, PhD is currently a Teaching Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech where she earned her doctorate in Engineering Education. Courtney also holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelors in Optical Engineering from Norfolk State University. Her dissertation on the faculty mentoring experiences of African American women in engineering served as a foundation to her growing research interests in inclusion in the engineering classroom, culturally responsive pedagogy and increasing engineering identity.

 - Courtney Smith

 Chela White-Ramsey


Dr. Chela White-Ramsey utilizes her passion for diversity, technology, and organizational growth to help people and businesses optimize potential. She proudly serves as an advocate for underrepresented groups – empowering them to develop professionally and personally – in her role as an independent career consultant and freelancer. In addition to her independent work she elevates performance in organizations by implementing effective training design and operational improvement strategies through her career in public service.

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. White-Ramsey earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology from Louisiana State University before moving on to the University of West Florida to complete her Master of Arts (MA) in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She continued to advance her education upon being awarded the prestigious Huel D. Perkins Fellowship and receiving her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Louisiana State University.

Dr. White-Ramsey’s research interests include work-life balance, women in technology, diversity in organizations, and training effectiveness. Her professional background embodies organizational development work in the higher education, public health, engineering, and information technology industries. An original Louisiana native, Dr. White-Ramsey currently resides in Austin, TX where she enjoys life with her husband William.

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