More Than 100 Staff Leaders Set for Fourth Cohort of Inclusive Leaders Academy

Participants Are Part of More Than 40 Departments Across Georgia Tech Campus

The latest cohort of leaders have begun matriculation in the 2020 Inclusive Leaders Academy (ILA) program at Georgia Tech.

Launched by Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Staff Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement (SDIE) unit, the Inclusive Leaders Academy kicked off with its fourth cohort on February 4, welcoming more than 100 managers, directors, executives, senior researchers, and faculty administrators from across the Institute who will embark on self-guided, 13-week, immersive learning experience. Participants who complete the program will gain the equivalent of 27 hours of learning and practice through a combined online and instructor-led core curriculum and will receive a “Culture Champions” certificate.

“This year, the Inclusive Leaders Academy is pleased to welcome additional faculty who will co-facilitate or lead some of the wisdom labs or group coaching sessions,” said Cheryl Cofield, director of SDIE’s inclusion and engagement. “We have tapped the expertise of colleagues such as Drs. Sonia Alvarez-Robinson and Mary Lynn Realff, and Joi Alexander. They will join our ongoing faculty participants, Stephanie Ray, Michelle Goss, and Bradley Wilkinson, and Clayton Platt from the Neuroleadership Institute,” she added.

Pearl Alexander, executive director of diversity, inclusion, and engagement offered, “The ILA offers leaders the opportunity and space to be deeply self-reflective and choose how best to integrate their learning into their everyday interactions with colleagues, including direct reports. Participants are strengthened in self-awareness, how to create psychological safety, interactions across difference or in the face of challenge, uncertainty, and change. This type of leadership development, procured externally, would cost significantly more per person and offers our leaders an invaluable competitive advantage.”

Cofield added, “One major change for the ILA cohort and graduates will be the selection of stories from this community for publishing in the Transformative Narratives digital library collection for our summer installation.”

Another major change within the ILA will be the addition of one-on-one culture and/or diversity and inclusion coaching for all Culture Champions across the Institute. The post-coaching program was piloted with success last summer and will continue in 2020.

Since the program’s 2017 initiative, 245 participants have completed the program, which touts learning benefits – and core curriculum topic areas – such as self-awareness, social intelligence, and courage. These skillsets support inclusive and engaging leadership behaviors. The cohort will also experience integration and practice techniques, through wisdom labs, group coaching sessions and dialogues.

Curriculum content has been curated from the NeuroLeadership Institute on the Neuroscience of Teams (INCLUDE), and Unconscious Bias and Dare to Lead, the most recent book authored by and based on the research of Brené Brown. Content is also inclusive of other research-based programs.

The 2020 Inclusive Leaders Academy participants are: David Adcock, Toni Ake, Patricia Allen, Taylor Bailey, Ricky Barkley, Sirocus Barnes, Cody Benedict, Elise Berk, Emma Blandford, Camilla Brewer, Terry Bridges, Jeremy Brown, Steve Brown, Ida Maria Brown, Susan Burns, Marcia Chandler, Michael Charlton, LaDonna Cherry, Jaydale Codrington-Poyotte, Tysh Coleman, Ina Collins, Suntaree Combs, Kevin Cone, Joscelyn Cooper, Carl Cox, Beth Davis, Melanie DeMaeyer, Lizanne  DeStefano, Stacey Doremus, Stephanie Douglas, Tim Edmonds-King, Marlon Ellis, Luci Erisman, Karen Feigh, Quinn Foster, Aaron Fowler, Ashlee Gardner, Karen Glover, Gordana Goudie, Renee Gourdine, Michelle Gowdy, Tony Graddick, Samuel Graham, Robert Hampson, James Harbour, Amy Hayes, Karen Head, Shannon Helton-Amos, Carla Hendricks, Brett Hulst, Brian James, Amanda Jones, Toya Jordan, Julie Joyce, Troy Justet, Glenn Kalish, Cheryl Kelley, Bridgett Kemp, Margaret Kosal, Lindsey Laney, Nicole Leonard, Keona Lewis, Tammie Long, Dannie Lyvers, Kevin Marks, Ben Mason, Brian McGlade, Christopher Moore, Derrick Morse, Roland Muncy, Sharon Murphy, Kerri Nauth, Kim Paige, Glenn Parker, Roland Parungao, Meghan Penland, Ken Poor, Michelle Powell, Analia Rao, Julia Rizzo, Michelle Robinson, Arianna Robinson, Jennifer Rocke, Vicki Rogers, Jessica Rose, Kyla Ross, Chris Sanders, Stefany Sanders, Nancy Sandlin, Richard Sargent, Michael Sheldon, Kimberly Sheldon, Stephanie Stephens, Jana Stone, Denise Thomas, Melissa (Robin) Tucker, Kate Wasch, Rachel Watts, Marcus Williams, Kristen Wingate, Mary Tipton Woolley, and Yi-Chin Wu.

To learn more about the Inclusive Leaders Academy, visit

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  • Cheryl Cofield, Archie Ervin, and Pearl Alexander at the 2020 Inclusive Leaders Academy kickoff

  • Participants engage at the 2020 ILA kickoff

  • Mary Lynn Realff

  • ILA participants will embark on self-guided, 13-week, immersive learning experience

For More Information Contact

Courtney Hill
Communications Manager
Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion