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.
Meltem Alemdar is associate director and principal research scientist at Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on improving K-12 STEM education through research on curriculum development, teacher education, and student learning in integrated STEM environments. As PI and co-PI, she has led numerous NSF-funded research projects focusing on project-based learning, STEM integration, engineering education, computer science, teacher education, and social network analysis. Meltem earned her doctorate degree in education policy, with a concentration in research, measurement, and statistics at Georgia State University in 2009.
Rosa Arriaga is a principal research scientist and associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the School of Interactive Computing. Her research is in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and mobile health. A recent project investigates the role that computational systems plays in improving patient and clinician engagement during therapy for PTSD. She teaches undergraduate courses in the People and Intelligence Threads and graduate courses in HCI and Human Centered Computing (HCC). As an administrator, one of her foci is improving graduate students’ health and wellness by advocating self-care that is in unison with their academic goals and activities.
Yolonda Cameron is an assistant chief counsel in Legal Affairs, a unit within the Office of General Counsel. She has over 21 years of higher education, transactional and intellectual property law experience with an emphasis on trademark and copyright. She handles an array of agreements involving student design, filming on campus, arts performances, and trademark licensing. Recently, her practice expanded to include international initiatives, student engagement, and Covid-19-related matters. She is also legal liaison and participates on several Georgia Tech committees. Additionally, Yolonda is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher and in her leisure, enjoys teaching yoga, writing, hiking and crafting.
Christine Conwell is the director of Planning and Operations for the Strategic Energy Institute (SEI). She is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of SEI and building community among the energy-focused faculty and researchers on campus. Prior to joining SEI in 2020, Christine served as the managing director for the Center for Chemical Evolution, a $40M NSF-NASA research center housed in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is passionate about developing the next generation of scientists and engineers and continues to engage with them through mentoring and outreach programs. Christine graduated with a B.S. from Westminster College and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgia Tech.
Linda Daniels joined the University System of Georgia in 1994, managing a $150 million flood recovery at Albany State University. That work lead to an appointment as the system’s first director of Campus Planning. Later, as vice chancellor, she championed more sustainably designed and maintained campuses and increased state funding for both Master Planning and Facilities Repair and Rehabilitation. At Georgia Tech, Linda is responsible for effective use of existing campus space. She has broad experience in the facilities arena and serves on the School of Building Construction Advisory Board. Linda holds degrees in architecture and environmental design.
Malynda Dorsey is the director of IT Marketing & Communications for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). Malynda joined Tech in 2017 as a senior IT project manager before transitioning into her current position in 2018. Prior to Georgia Tech, Malynda worked at Valdosta State University (VSU) leading marketing and communications within its Division of Information Technology for two years, after having served four years in VSU’s central communications and development offices. Her 15-year career also includes time as a news reporter and marketing representative for the Georgia Department of Labor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, an MPA, and an MBA.
Caroline Dotts manages a team of eight professional staff responsible for the Campus Recreation Complex’s (CRC) three healthy lifestyle program areas: competitive sports, fitness, and outdoor recreation. She is also responsible for leading the department-wide assessment strategies and represents the CRC on the campus-wide Well-Being Council. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Caroline has also been instrumental in nudging both department and campus culture toward a common strengths-based language grounded in positive psychology and upstream well-being practices.
Jamie Fernandes currently serves as the executive director for Institute Budget Planning and Administration where she is responsible for the preparation, monitoring, and administration of the Institute’s annual budgets. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Jamie served other University System of Georgia institutions including Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University/Georgia Perimeter College where she was instrumental in consolidating the two schools. Jamie earned her MPA degree and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Georgia.
Gina Gonzales, a former student-athlete with nearly a decade of professional experience in NCAA Division I athletics, joined Georgia Tech as assistant athletics director for marketing and fan experience in 2018. Gonzales, who played basketball at Mount St. Joseph University, came to Tech after three years at the University of Georgia. Her professional experience also includes stops at Drake University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Missouri State University. She is an active member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators and Women Leaders in College Sports. Gonzales earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management and a master’s in professional studies/sport administration.
Erika Gravett is the deputy director of Georgia Tech Human Resources (GTHR). In addition to serving as a trusted advisor to the chief human resources officer, Erika leads the following units within GTHR: employee relations, human resources business partners, project management, and workplace learning and professional development. Erika holds a master’s degree in organizational development from Marymount University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Georgia. She is presently completing a doctor of education in higher education leadership and practice at the University of North Georgia.
Joy Harris serves in multiple leadership roles at Georgia Tech. As associate director of the CREATE-X Learn programs, she teaches evidence-based entrepreneurship to students and faculty. As faculty director of the Global Leadership Living-Learning Community, she helps students apply the sustainable development goals to their majors and career paths. Joy also serves as faculty director of the Engineering for Social Innovation Center, where she helps students use their technical skills for positive social impact.
Nasrin Hooshmand is a senior research scientist and assistant director of the Laser Dynamics Lab (LDL) in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She has contributed to important discoveries in the field of nanoplasmonics and applied these insights to areas of signal detection and amplification, biological sensing, drug delivery and their use in the photo-thermal therapy of various medical conditions, including cancer. She published her research outcomes in prestigious peer-review journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She strives to create an inclusive learning environment for students from different backgrounds.
April L. Howze serves as the director of Accounting for the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). In this role, April oversees the financial activities associated with expense and procurement, payroll and labor distribution, and financial reporting. She also provides functional oversight of the Costpoint and eTime systems. Prior to her current role, April served as the GTRI representative on the Workday Financials implementation team. She has held other financial positions of increasing responsibility at Georgia Tech. April is a Certified Public Accountant. She has an undergraduate degree in accounting and a graduate degree in accounting and financial management.
As the director of Institute Research and Provost Communications, Susie Ivy provides strategic communications support for members of Georgia Tech’s executive leadership team, including preparation of executive speeches, news items and announcements, management of executive newsletters, blogs and websites, and creative support for various executive events, task forces, and working groups, as well as oversees a team of media relations representatives and writers. Susie has 18 years of experience in speechwriting, public relations, communications planning, media relations, and executive communications and coaching. She holds an MBA and bachelor’s degree in communications from Berry College.
Daurette Joseph is the director of Academic Programs and Undergraduate Advising in the College of Computing. She designs and implements, advising policies and practices for the computer science and computational media majors and the computer science Minor. Additionally, she manages undergraduate curriculum proposals and student petitions. She has been at Georgia Tech since 2002.
Shelese J. Lane
Shelese J. Lane is the director of Foundation Relations at Georgia Tech. In this capacity, she strengthens relationships with private foundations and develops successful proposals that provide vital resources for Georgia Tech’s strategic initiatives – making it possible for the Institute to advance knowledge across all disciplines. As a fundraising professional for more than 20 years, Shelese has assisted various nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan Atlanta area to achieve ambitious philanthropic goals. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Kennesaw State University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Clark Atlanta University.
Jennifer Leavey is the Integrated Science Curriculum coordinator for the College of Sciences and a principal academic professional in the School of Biological Sciences. She is the director of the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project, an interdisciplinary educational initiative with the goal of recruiting and retaining students in STEM careers through the study of how urban habitats affect honey bee health and how technology can be used to study bees. She is also the faculty director of the EXPLORE Living-Learning Community for first-year science and math majors.
Morgan McCombs began working for then-Governor Nathan Deal in 2015 as his deputy scheduler. She then served as his director of Scheduling and executive assistant before the conclusion of his term in 2019. Shortly after, McCombs joined the Georgia Tech team in Institute Relations and serves as the associate director of State Relations. She was awarded SGA’s Dean James E. Dull Administrator of the Year Award this past spring and is part of the Zell Miller Leadership Institute’s 2020 class. She earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communications studies from Mercer University.
Sebnem Özkan is the inaugural associate director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center, a Georgia Tech-Georgia State University partnership, funded by U.S.DoED. She oversees the Center’s academic and outreach activities focusing on UN SDGs. She collaborates extensively with Atlanta universities/colleges and partners in the public, corporate and non-profit sectors. She teaches on Atlanta global communities and publishes on global education. Her more than two decades of experience in global studies includes holding critical positions at U.S. DoED National Resource Centers at the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dori Pap is the managing director of the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact (formerly the Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship). She directs the Leadership for Social Good Study Abroad Program in central and eastern Europe; coordinates the Impact Speaker Series; runs the annual Ideas to Serve student social innovation competition; and teaches courses on social entrepreneurship. Outside of Tech, Dori serves on the board of Global Growers Network, a nonprofit organization that connects the agricultural talent of the refugee community in and around Atlanta to opportunities in sustainable agriculture, and is a board member for the Center for Civic Innovation, an organization that works at the frontline of civics education and advocacy. Dori is a triple Yellow Jacket and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree at the Institute for Higher Education at the University of Georgia.
Etta Pittman is the director of Corporate Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). She has worked in Georgia Tech’s Office of Development for 21 years. During the last Georgia Tech fundraising campaign, she and the ECE Development team were responsible for over $175M dollars raised. Etta holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an MPA. She has also completed post-graduate studies in healthcare management.
Jamie Ready is the associate director of Building Engineering and Energy Strategy within the Sustainability, Facilities and Safety unit. She has expertise in project management, infrastructure planning, and construction development. She leads a talented team of engineers and provides support and oversight for campus operations and maintenance activities. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Jamie was a construction engineer and project manager specializing in commercial and industrial construction. She is committed to mentoring the next generation of engineers and is an instructor for GT1000. She received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech.
Anne Rogers is the associate director within the Office of Campus Sustainability at Georgia Tech, joining in 2013. In her role, she works in conjunction with students, faculty, and staff to promote the adoption of sustainable practices across Georgia Tech’s operational portfolio through initiative development, campus engagement, and data collection and reporting. Anne’s previous experience includes sustainability consulting, program management, training, and grant delivery for major corporations and governmental organizations. Anne is from Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated from Denison University with a degree in environmental studies.
Chris Sanders joined Georgia Tech Facilities Design and Construction in July 2016 as a senior Capital Construction project manager after serving for four years as the Westminster Schools as assistant director of Facilities and Construction. Her most notable project is CODA in midtown Atlanta, which expanded Georgia Tech’s presence in the area known as Technology Square. She was promoted to associate director of Construction in December 2019 and oversees a team of Capital Construction project managers. With a combined 26 years of experience in interior architecture, facilities management, strategic planning and construction management, Chris possesses a depth of knowledge and experience that sets her apart from her peers. Chris is a LEED Accredited Professional, demonstrating commitment to buildings that are environmentally responsible, sustainable, and healthy places to work. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, College of Architecture with a bachelor’s degree in design and a focus in facilities management.
Olga Shemyakina is an associate professor at the School of Economics at Georgia Tech. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Southern California. Her research examines the effects of violent conflict and similar shocks on the behavior of households in various geographical and institutional settings. Her recent research studies have explored the effects of armed conflict on health and education of children, subjective well-being, migration, marriage, and labor market outcomes in developing countries.
Iyonka Strawn-Valcy has nearly 20 years of experience in education administration and international education leadership. She currently serves as the director of Global Operations in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Initiatives, after 10 years at Kennesaw State University where she served and led areas such as education abroad, international student and scholar services, and international risk management. She has also previously worked with non-profit organizations, as well as private sector organizations in the field of early education. Her educational background is in organizational psychology and international affairs. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Emily Takieddine is the director of Development for Parent Giving and Student Life at Georgia Tech. In her role, she is responsible for major gift fundraising from current Georgia Tech parents in support of the Division of Student Life. Under the direction of the vice president and dean of Student Life, she also facilitates a Parents Board comprised of 40 families from all over the country. Prior to her role at Tech, Emily was the director of Institutional Advancement at The Children’s School in Atlanta and a major gift officer at Emory University. Emily has a history degree from Emory University and in her spare time serves as a Title IX hearing officer, advises a sorority at Tech, and volunteers at her children’s schools.
Kate Williams is a psychology instructor with expertise in evidence-based and inclusive teaching. She has 20 years of experience in higher education in both faculty and leadership roles. She previously served as department head at a South Carolina community college where she gained experience in faculty development and evaluation, curriculum assessment, and strategic planning. As assistant director in the Center for Teaching and Learning at Georgia Tech, Kate coordinates teaching development programs for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty. She holds a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from Clemson University and an M.Ed. in student affairs from the University of South Carolina.