One of the major findings from Georgia Tech’s Climate Assessment Survey in 2012 was an expressed desire for targeted professional development efforts for staff women. At Georgia Tech, we value the brilliance and power of our people and their perspectives, putting it all to work to define what’s next. As such, we are dedicated to creating a community of leaders who will guide Tech in the 21st century—an institution committed to inclusive excellence.
With the support of the Office of the President, Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion launched Leading Women@Tech, a program to engage women leaders who are in assistant/associate director-level positions and above at the Institute.
Deputy Director of Human Resources, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Sonda Abernathy is the deputy director of human resources at Georgia Tech Research Institute. Prior to joining GTRI, she served in administrative leadership roles in several colleges and schools within Georgia State University.
Sonda matriculated from Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies with an M.P.A. and Robinson College of Business with a B.B.A. in human resource management. She resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia with her husband and two children. When not traveling around the world, she finds joy in volunteering with local charities and organizations to support women and families in underrepresented communities.
Assistant Director of General Maintenance, Housing and Residence Life
With a career that spans over two decades in housing operations, Tara began her professional journey in higher education with the University System of Georgia in 2008. She joined Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life in 2020 where she serves on the facilities leadership team as Assistant Director, responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of maintenance and skilled trade facilities professionals, ensuring the smooth functioning and efficient management of housing facilities. Tara's leadership style aligns with John Maxwell's 5 levels of leadership, emphasizing people development. Her StrengthsFinder attributes include positivity, woo, arranger, restorative, and activator. Tara holds a Business Administration degree from Kennesaw State University and minors in Industrial Engineering Technology. She advocates for mental health awareness and volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.
Director of Strategic Business Projects and Portfolio Management, Office of Information Technology
A part of the Georgia Tech community since 2019, Rashidah Bahar is the Director of Strategic Business Projects and Portfolio Management, within OIT's Office of Strategic Initiatives. With a particular focus in strategic planning and organizational change management, Bahar brings over 12 years of experience as a program and project manager, specializing in enterprise-wide implementations. Bahar's current role centers on managing OIT's portfolio of strategic plan projects that seek to enhance overall business performance and increase operational efficiency. Bahar is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and Scrum Master (CSM), with a B.A. from St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Jaimie Concord Hayes
Senior Director of Development, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
With extensive experience in fundraising and donor relations, Jaimie role focuses on fostering connections with the Woodruff School’s 26,000 alumni, ensuring they remain engaged as ‘Helluva Engineers.’ In her personal life, she is supported by her loving family, including her husband, Matt, and their children, Miller and Foster. Jaimie is deeply passionate about education and non-profit work, and she feels grateful for the opportunity to pursue a career that combines both. She is dedicated to establishing strong relationships with alumni, donors, and supporters, contributing to Georgia Tech's Transforming Tomorrow campaign.
Assistant Chief Counsel II – Export & Trade, Office of the General Counsel
Sheila Cranman is Assistant Chief Counsel II – Export & Trade - in the Office of General Counsel at Georgia Tech. In 2018, She participated in the GT Inclusive Leaders Academy, the Adaptive Leadership Workshop and the Georgia Tech Diversity & Inclusion Fellows program. Her project to train graduate students in conflict resolution skills is institutionalized in some Responsible Conduct of Research courses for first year graduate students. In recent years, Sheila spoke about export controls and trade compliance at the Association of University Export Control Officer (AUECO) Conference, the Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA) Conference and the National Association of College and University Attorneys fall advanced workshop.
Sheila is a mediator with experience mediating family, juvenile, special education, small claims/landlord tenant and business disputes. She taught mediation as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law where she developed and directed a juvenile mediation clinic. Sheila directed a juvenile court mediation program in Georgia that was a pilot program for deprivation/dependency neglect mediation .
Caroline Cully Garbers
Associate Director of Education Abroad, Office of International Education
Caroline Cully Garbers is an Associate Director of Education Abroad in the Office of International Education. Caroline oversees GT Exchanges, working with over 80 partners and international institutions. She also manages the Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) and is responsible for all efforts in business development and recruiting employers in the public and private sectors to host internships abroad for students. Caroline holds a PhD in Agricultural Education and Communications from the University of Florida.
Jo Beth Cup
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Operations, Office of Undergraduate Education
Jo Beth Cup joined the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2023 as the Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Operations. Jo Beth is responsible for overseeing key programs and initiatives for the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) and on behalf of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE). In this role, Jo Beth provides oversight for areas that include administrative operations; communication, marketing and events, academic analytics, development, data and assessment, and OUE strategic planning.
With more than 30 years of experience in higher education, Jo Beth has spent the bulk of her career supporting strategic initiatives, organizational development and growth, and accreditation and authorization relationships. Prior to her current position, Jo Beth served as Special Assistant to the President (2020-2022) and Vice President for Administration (2005-2020) at Adler University in Chicago.
Jo Beth has a BA in Psychology from Central College (IA) and an M.S. in Management from National Louis University.
Associate Director of Federal Relations, Office of Institute Relations
Zellie Duvall serves as Associate Director of Federal Relations in the Office of Institute Relations at Georgia Tech. In her role, Zellie works on a team of dedicated advocates promoting the Institute among federal decision-makers, and national education and research policy organizations. Based on campus, she also hosts federal stakeholders for lab tours, events, or meetings with our students and faculty.
Prior to Georgia Tech, Zellie lived in Washington, DC where she worked for three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in different legislative roles, and as Policy and Congressional Advisor in the Office of Congressional Relations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of Corporate Engagement
Gloria Griessman is Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Corporate Engagement. She specializes in building and scaling engagement for domain-specific areas, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and life sciences. In her previous roles at Georgia Tech, she helped build the Institute for Information Security and Privacy (IISP) and commercialization programs at GTRI. She is a business executive with over 20 years of leadership in driving market expansion and building strategic programs for universities, Fortune 500, and emerging companies. In her previous roles, she led strategic marketing, partnership, sales, innovation, and P&L management for organizations, including WebMD (Vice President of Marketing built a $30M start-up to a $6B global leader), Vitrue (acquired by Oracle for $300M), and ChoicePoint (acquired by Reed Elsevier for $6B). Gloria is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Associate Director of Sponsored Systems, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Tamika Griffin currently serves as the Associate Director of Sponsored Systems within the Sponsored Project Support unit for Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). In this position, she directs the activities for all sponsored systems operations for GTRI. This includes software testing, implementation, training and system enhancements. She also ensures compliance with State & Institute policies and procedures. With her more than 21-year career at the Institute, Tamika has held several positions of increasing responsibility within Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Tamika received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and her Master of Business Administration from Southern Polytechnic University.
Senior Director of Administration, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research
Saeedah Hickman is the Senior Director of Administration in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) at Georgia Tech. The major functions of this role include identifying and resolving complex research administration and operations matters, leading EVPR initiatives, and liaising with internal and external constituents to develop and improve processes.
Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Saeedah was the Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean and Director of Administration and Finance for the Departments of Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine. Formerly the Assistant Dean of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the School of Health Professions at Stony Brook Medicine, Saeedah advised institutional leaders on a broad spectrum of issues including human resources, facilities, fiscal management and sustainability, accreditation, and research. She was a member of the institution’s Financial Sustainability Committee and co-chaired various working groups amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also held various leadership roles in research administration, human resources, financial management, and teaching at the City University of New York, last serving there as the Senior Director for Research and Sponsored programs at Herbert H. Lehman College.
A native New Yorker, Saeedah recently relocated to Atlanta, GA. She holds a Bachelors in Sociology and International Relations from Stony Brook University, a Masters of Arts in Urban Affairs from Queens College, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Management at the University of Georgia. She is also a Certified Research Administrator (CRA).
Assistant Director of Administrative Operations, Georgia Tech Europe
Nadine Jones is a collaborative and compassionate leader with an international education career spanning over a decade. She is dedicated to creating accessible international opportunities for students and is committed to fostering a global community of curious learners and courageous leaders. Prior to her current role serving Georgia Tech’s European campus abroad in Metz, France, Nadine led Kennesaw State University's Education Abroad team and programs. Nadine holds a bachelor's degree in Geography and a master's in integrated Global Communication. Nadine's passion for growth extends beyond her work, evident through her love for podcasts, reading, and lifelong learning.
Dale Lawson, MD
Director of Primary Care, Stamps Health Services
After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1988, Dale worked in the Technology Industry for seven years. She then attended Medical School and spent 18 years as an Emergency Physician. In October 2022, she happily returned to GT as Director of Primary Care at Stamps Student Health Services.
Director of Communications, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
Megan McRainey leads communications strategy for the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. She has nearly 20 years of higher education communications experience and her varied roles have included media relations, social media, writing, marketing, and publications. A former journalist, Megan holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia.
Assistant Director for Postdoctoral Services, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
Nguyen earned a Ph.D. in integrative biology from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s of science in ecology and evolution from Saint Louis University. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Fellowships in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) program at Emory University. In her current role at Georgia Tech, Nguyen builds community through social and academic events and develops career and professional development opportunities for postdocs. She firmly believes that supporting diverse communities and creating safe, equitable, and inclusive spaces for all people will lead to the betterment of research and higher education.
Senior Research Scientist and Interim Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, College of Design
Arthi’s work focuses on healthy communities’ research, practice, and teaching, supported by her interdisciplinary background in Urban Planning, Epidemiology, and Geospatial Analytics. She partners with various stakeholders including academicians, healthcare systems, and local governments to develop evidence-based sociotechnical tools to promote equitable and sustainable communities. She also currently serves as the Co-PI of the National African American Child and Family Research Center in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine. Prior to Georgia Tech, Arthi was a Senior Research Scientist within the Statistics and Evaluation Center at the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Director of Service Management, Office of Information Technology
Vicki Rogers currently serves as the Director of Service Management in OIT at Georgia Tech. She joined GT in 2018 and has 17 years of experience in the USG. She has over 20 years of IT experience including both technical and leadership roles. She has expertise in service management, change management, leadership development and diversity in IT. Vicki holds a BBA in Business Management, an MBA and an EdS in Learning, Leadership and Organizational Development. Her graduate research involved developing women leaders in higher education IT. Vicki is a regular national speaker on leadership, service management, diversity topics and change.
Assistant Director, Financial Operations, Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Preeti Sagar provides financial oversight, budget management, policy and compliance guidance in her current role at Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Preeti started her career at an early age in the corporate arena in Manhattan in the fashion garment industry. She has over two decades of higher education administration experience and completed ten years at Georgia Tech in January 2023.
Preeti speaks four languages and has been working on her fifth language at Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta since 2012. She has served on the board of Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta and its committees since 2020. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, supporting the arts, traveling, photography, volunteering, and occasionally writing humorous poems.
Preeti has a Bachelors in Management and Marketing from Georgia State University, along with a Project Management Certificate from Georgia Tech. She also has a certificate from the College Business Management Institute, Kentucky.
Senior Director of Development, Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Nancy leads the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering’s fundraising team and works with alumni, foundations, corporations, and others to secure the resources needed to support faculty, students, and programs at Georgia Tech. Prior to joining ISyE, Nancy served on the fundraising teams for the College of Computing, and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Nancy earned her Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Tech, with a concentration in Organizational Psychology and Marketing. She is a Georgia Tech Culture Champion (2020) and a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow (2020-21).
Executive Director, MBA Admissions & Recruiting, Scheller College of Business
Emily provides operational and strategic management of the Full-time MBA and Evening MBA admission and recruiting teams. She also has strategic oversight for the MBA admissions office role in the Salesforce CRM system and implementation.
Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Emily worked at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving as a Senior Strategy Associate. Before this role, she spent five years as an analyst at a private equity firm in Connecticut.
Emily earned her Master's in Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a B.A. from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of History and Sociology, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
Jennifer Singh is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of History and Sociology, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Singh’s research examines intersectional and structural inequities of autism diagnosis and services among Black communities in Georgia. She is director of Break the Cycle of Autism Disparities transdisciplinary working group and leads the development of public facing media and digital platforms designed to raise awareness of autism in underserved communities and geographic inequities in autism services in Georgia.
Director of Research Creative Services, Institute Communications
Before joining Georgia Tech, Stephanie spent 16 years working in the adverting industry in a variety of creative roles including Photo Stylist, Photographer, Designer, Art Director, and Creative Director for several Atlanta-based agencies. During this time, she collaborated with a variety of nationalpio retail and wholesale clients to develop compelling creative concepts and marketing strategies. In her current role, Stephanie leads a small team of creative professionals to amplify the impact of Georgia Tech’s Research Enterprise. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Communications from Kennesaw State University.
Assistant Chief Counsel and Director, Office of Affiliated Organizations, Office of the General Council
Tanesha Steward is Assistant Chief Counsel and Director of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Affiliated Organizations where she provides management and oversight of the Affiliated Organizations; created to advance Georgia Tech’s strategic goals and priorities. In this role, Tanesha counsels and offers strategic guidance on capital projects, real estate, technology ventures, international operations and other business transactions. Tanesha ensures that their respective activities remain aligned with the strategic goals and priorities of Georgia Tech and in compliance with the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
Prior to Georgia Tech, Tanesha was an Attorney with the Cobb County Attorney’s Office and focused on Commercial Real Estate transactions, Construction law, and other Contractual matters.
Tanesha is a proud graduate of Howard University (Washington, D.C.) and received her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law (Columbia, Missouri). Before attending law school, Tanesha worked as a teacher with Teach for America in Atlanta, Georgia.
Assistant Director of Faculty Teaching and Learning Initiatives, Center for Teaching and Learning
Carol supports instructors in designing and facilitating inclusive, student-centered learning environments that foster student success through Center for Teaching and Learning programs and events that disseminate information and model evidence-based teaching practices. She is a 2019 Diversity Champion and was recognized by a 2021 Staff Excellence award for her contributions to the Georgia Tech Remote and Hybrid Teaching Academy. Carol earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Indiana University. When not at work you can find her cycling through the city, dancing with Djoli Kelen, and playing with her daughter at the playground.
Director of Communications, Enrollment Management
Becky leads the communication and marketing efforts for Enrollment Management, specifically focusing on communication strategy for Undergraduate Admission, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, and the Office of Special Scholarships. During her 11 years at Tech she has served in a variety of roles, including Communications Manager and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission. Becky also serves on AACRAO leadership as a Community and Content Facilitator. Prior to her time at Tech, she worked in admission at Tusculum University, and served as a News Producer at WJHL-TV. Becky holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from UNC Asheville and a Master of Arts in Organizational Training and Education from Tusculum University.
Mary Tipton Wooley
Senior Associate Director, Undergraduate Admission
Mary Tipton Woolley is the Senior Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission at Georgia Tech where she oversees First-year recruitment and application review, along with the Slate team. Prior to her arrival at Georgia Tech, Mary Tipton spent ten years at Emory University, where she ultimately served as Director of Enrollment Services at Oxford College. Mary Tipton holds a B.A. from Mississippi State University in Psychology, and a M.S. from Georgia State University in Urban Policy Studies. She lives in north Dekalb with her GT alum husband, eleven-year-old daughter and their pandemic puppy, Teddy.
Director of Operations, Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball, Georgia Tech Athletics
Ashlee Villarreal joined the Georgia Tech women’s basketball staff in April of 2019 as the director of basketball operations. Villarreal arrived on The Flats from Central Michigan, where she spent the 2018-19 season in the same role. She begins her fifth season at Georgia Tech in 2023-24.
At Georgia Tech, Villarreal is responsible for team travel, coordinating team and staff calendars, scheduling facilities, managing equipment and team apparel, gameday operations, oversees team managers and graduate managers, and coordinates team meals. Additionally, she helps coordinate the annual team budget with the head coach. Villarreal also assists with all team camps during the summer and duties as assigned by the head coach.
A 2017 graduate of Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Science in sport management, Villarreal served as a graduate assistant for the Red Raiders for the 2017-18 season after graduation. A basketball letterwinner at Western Texas College (2014-15), she earned a master’s degree in sport management from Texas Tech in 2019.
Director of Institute Events, Institute Communications
Serena serves as director of Institute events within Institute Communications. With the help of the Special Events and Protocol team, she leads Institute events including Commencement, New Student Convocation, honor lunches, town halls, and additional high-level events as well as run the Event Coordinators’ Network. Serena brings almost 20 years of event planning experience to her role that includes wedding planning, venue management, and non-profit events. She holds a master’s degree from Georgia State.
Assistant Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Joycelyn Wilson earned a BS in Mathematics and PhD in Educational Anthropology (University of Georgia). Her MA is in Curriculum and Instruction (Pepperdine University). Following a visiting professorship, she joined Georgia Tech in 2017 as an assistant professor in Black Media Studies to teach and continue research in hip hop studies and digital media. Her current scholarship examines hip hop as a cultural phenomenon, its preservation in the American South, and the capabilities of applying hip hop inspired design methodologies to connect music and remix with education involving computing, engineering, technology, and media arts. Her scholarly and popular writings appear in the Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities, Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Journal for Mathematics Education, and The Bitter Southerner. Her book project, Design Remixing What the South Said, is under contract and forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press.
Director, Cultivate Well-Being Action and Transformation, Student Engagement and Wellbeing
Heather Zesiger, PhD, MPH, MCHES® is the inaugural Director, Cultivate Well-Being Action and Transformation. In this role she is the principal catalyst assisting all cabinet areas and colleges with effectively implementing the Cultivate Well-Being Roadmaps – for students and for faculty and staff. Dr. Zesiger has worked at the intersection of public health and higher education for more than 25 years, most recently, at the American College Health Association (ACHA) where she managed a CDC cooperative agreement. She previously worked in student affairs managing multidisciplinary teams providing health promotion and student support at Emory University and at The New School (NYC).