Symposium Proceedings 2021

Friday, October 1, 2021

1:00 pm- 4:30 pm


Opening Remarks

Keynote Presentation: Rebel Talent, Francesco Gino 

  • Dr. Francesca Gino, Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Award-winning teacher, researcher, and best-selling author 

2:00 pm-2:15 pm


2:15 pm-3:15 pm

Panel-Cultivating Rebel Talent for the Greater Good 

Francesca Gino, in her book Rebel Talent, argues that the future belongs to the rebel and there is a rebel in each of us. Gino states, "Rebels are those among us who change the world for the better with their unconventional outlooks." So, what exactly is Rebel Talent and what does it look like in the workplace? How do Rebels change the world and invite others to action? Join our panel as we discuss how we can cultivate Rebel Talent for the greater good.  


  • Dr. Heather Norris, Provost and Executive Vice Chanellor, Appalachian State University
  • Dr. Jamie Parson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Appalachian State Univeristy 
  • Dr. Neva Specht, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Appalachian State University 
  • Dr. Monica Lambert, Associate Dean, Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University
  • Dr. Trish Johnson, Former Associate Superintendent, Caldwell County Schools; WIELS Advisory Board Member 
  • Dr. Brooksie Sturdivant, Intervention Coordinator, Wake County Public School System; WIELS Advisory Board Member 


  • Dr. Susan Colby, WIELS Associate Executive Director 

3:15 pm-3:45 pm

Remarks from the Dean of the Reich College of Education 

3:45 pm-4:30 pm

Virtual Social Hour

Saturday Schedule

12:00 pm - 2:30 pm 

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Welcome Day Two

Panel- International Women Leaders Panel on Post Covid Leadership 

Arguably, the pandemic forced many organizations to change in many facets. Women from four continents share their leadership experiences and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also discuss their vision of women's leadership and strategies for success in a post covid world. 


  • Bilgay Atis, Foreign Languages Coordinator and Online Tutor at Vizyon College, Turkey 
  • Dr. Shalote Bamu-University of Zimbabwe Medical School, Zimbabwe 
  • Dr. Juliet Ramohai, Head of the Center for General Education, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa 
  • Senator Erican Smith, North Carolina Senate 
  • Dr. Sumalee Tientongdee, Former Exchange Research Scholar at University of North Carolina at Pembroke representing Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand; Former Director of Center for Professional Development in the Faculty of Education
  • Zoe Watson, Director of Education and School Superintendent, New Brunswich Schools, Canada


  • Dr. Lisa Mitchell, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, School of Education, University of North Carolina, Pembroke 
  • Dr. Prescious Mudiwa, WIELS Executive Director

1:00 pm - 1:15 pm


1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Panel-Equity-Focused Leadership Panel 

Equity-focused leadership requires that leaders be aware of their own biases and cultural competency. To intentionally lead with equity in mind, leaders must be aware of the impact that deficit narratives have on student outcomes and be willing to lead courageous conversations with stakeholders to create asset-based mindsets regarding all students. Join these four panelists as they explore how race, culture, socioeconomics, religion, disability, language, gender, and sexual identity can affect students' experiences and educational outcomes.


  • Dr. Leslie Alexander, Area Superintendent of Leadership Development, Winston Salem Forsyth County School District 
  • Dr. Jewel Cherry, Educational Consultant & Advisor Coordinator with Crosby Scholars Community Partnership. Former Vice President for Instruction and Chief Academic Officer at Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Dr. Tonya Little, Associate Vice President for Academic Programs at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Morganton, NC 
  • Dr. Leslie McKesson, Equity Specialist, Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University; Former Dean of Business and Public Services, Western Piedmonth Community College 


  • Dr. Patti Levine-Brown, WIELS Advisory Board 

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm

Closing Remarks