2018 Keynote Speakers

Carol L. Folt, PhD
Chancellor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

folt_lg1.jpgDr. Folt is the 11th Chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill. An internationally recognized life scientist, award-winning teacher and accomplished academic leader, Folt has worked to fulfill her leadership mission
by placing Carolina’s students at the center, advancing the university’s academic excellence, championing Carolina as a leading global public research university and focusing on innovation that translates next generation ideas into real-world applications.

Under Folt’s leadership, in 2017 the university launched Carolina’s The Blueprint for Next – the first unifying strategic framework for the future of Carolina in its history. She is also leading the university’s Campaign for Carolina, a $4.25 billion campaign dedicated to using every dollar to advance the public good.

Inspired by the transformational impact that the arts made in her life and work as a scientist, Folt initiated Arts Everywhere, a pan-university program celebrating the multifaceted power of the arts to illuminate the human condition, allow for reflection, promote dialogue and provoke action. Under her leadership, the university surpassed, for the
time, $1 billion in annual research expenditures in 2017. Carolina ranks 6th in the nation in overall federal research and development.

Under the chancellor’s leadership, Carolina also has continued to improve on the school’s winning track record of undergraduate diversity, retention and graduation rates – particularly for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students – while moving forward with additional emphasis on Carolina’s historic commitment to ensuring affordability together with accessibility and excellence. Carolina is one of the few public universities that remains both need-blind and covers the full financial need of its students. Carolina is the least expensive of 14 peer public universities and debt-per-student, just over half of the U.S. average, has remained nearly flat in inflation-adjusted dollars for more than a decade.

Folt came to Carolina in 2013 from Dartmouth College where she spent 30 years as a teacher and academic leader. She served as interim president in 2012-2013 and as a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dean of the Faculty and Provost.

Leslie Atcher Alexander, Ed.D.
Principal of R. J. Reynolds High School

Leslie Alexander EdS

Dr. Leslie Alexander serves as an administrative leader in the Winston Salem Forsyth County School District.  During her tenure with WSFCS, Dr. Alexander has served as Principal of R. J. Reynolds High School and also of J. F. Kennedy High School.  In addition, she has served as a Curriculum Coordinator, a Literacy Specialist, and Teacher.  She has been instrumental in restructuring curriculum priorities, implementing innovative programs, building community relations, and ensuring academic excellence.

Dr. Alexander is respected for her firm, fair, and consistent approach to leadership. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Alexander—“Excellent instruction in every class...every day for EVERY student!"— many have experienced proven results.  Through her focus on excellent instruction she has moved two high schools from the category of failing to meet student growth goals to exceeding expected growth. 

Leslie has mentored and coached professionals who have gone on to successfully lead inside and outside of the district.  She has co-published “The Power of Three.”  She has also presented at professional meetings on such topics as “Lord of the Rings: The Journey from Data Overload to Enlightenment,”  “Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA): Simulation for a Whole School Process,”  and "Seeing Like a District: Critical Cases in Measurement, Management, and Resistance.”

Dr. Alexander’s research interests involve feminist issues that affect women who serve as leaders in educational administration. Her professional memberships include Magnet Schools of America, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA).  She has been recognized for her accomplishments: The Signature School Award-2015 and 2017, WSFCS District Principal of the Year-2017, Magnet School Principal of the Year-2016, and Winston -Salem Outstanding Women Leaders Award-2018.

Kathleen Ciez-Volz, Ed.D.
Associate Provost for Curriculum & Instruction, Florida State College 

VolzKathleen Ciez-Volz currently serves as Associate Provost of Curriculum and Instruction at Florida State College at Jacksonville, where she works with teams of dedicated professionals in Curriculum Services, the Library and Learning Commons, the Office of Academic Engagement and the Center for Civic Engagement, as well as the College’s Developmental Education program.  Kathleen enjoys collaborating with faculty and staff on the creation and enhancement of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and academic support for the college’s diverse body of students.  Kathleen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Florida and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.  In addition to her administrative role, she enjoys serving as an adjunct English instructor and volunteering as an English tutor.