Meet our staff

Center for Leadership and Social Change Staff 2019

Leadership and Identity

 

Catherine Batista

Graduate Assistant

Catherine Batista is a graduate assistant for the Leadership and Identity team from Miramar, Florida. Catherine is first generation Dominican-American and identifies as Afro-Latina. A recent graduate of Florida State University, she obtained a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Social Science and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. In the Center for Leadership & Social Change, Catherine works primarily with the Multicultural Leadership Summit, Leadership LOGIC, and Florida State Alternative Breaks programs. She is passionate about media representation for womxn of color and is looking forward to doing research on Afro-Latinx women as consumers. Catherine has served as a girl’s club facilitator in Ghana, focusing on women’s empowerment and community engagement. Her goal is to lead with integrity in her fully authentic self. She is a proud member of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. In her free time, you can catch Catherine adding new plants to her plant babies collection, reading, traveling, exploring into practices of wellness and spirituality, or binge watching anime.

 

 

Jamie Clinton

jclinton@fsu.edu

 

 

 

Jamie Clinton

Graduate Assistant

Originally from Miami, Jamie attended Florida State University & received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2016. Before returning to school, Jamie worked at FSU for two years in Human Resources. She is currently a second year master’s student in the Higher Education Program at Florida State University. Jamie serves as a graduate assistant at the Center for Leadership & Social Change, working primarily with the Social Justice Living Learning Community and LeaderShape. During her free time, Jamie enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

Brittney Dennis

brdennis@fsu.edu

 

 

 

Brittney Dennis

Graduate Assistant

Brittney is a graduate assistant for Leadership and Identity programs at the Center for Leadership & Social Change. She serves as the graduate assistant working primarily with Service Scholars, Women’s Leadership Institute, the Diversity & Inclusion Certificate, Latinx Cultural Celebration, and Social Justice Ally Training. She received a master’s degree in Sociology at Florida State University in 2016 and is currently a doctoral candidate in the sociology department at FSU. Her research interests are race, higher education, identity, organizations, and gender. She is looking forward to completing a dissertation on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Brittney is also involved in several graduate student organizations at Florida State University. During her free time, Brittney enjoys hanging out with friends, baking, and exploring the latest TV show or movie.

 

 

Mariah Denson

mdenson@fsu.edu

 

 

 

Mariah Denson

Graduate Assistant

Mariah is a graduate student in the International and Multicultural Education program at Florida State University. She has a B.S. in Supervision and Management from Florida State College at Jacksonville, which has provided her with education and international development career opportunities with organizations such as USAID, Georgetown University Center for Intercultural Education and Development, and Reed Exhibitions Intl. In her current role at the Center for Leadership & Social Change, she engages in social justice programming, diversity and inclusion facilitation, and special events. You can find Mariah boarding an international flight to engage in human rights activism, coordinating education activities for Lend-A-Hand Bahamas Nonprofit, running her own education initiative called My Legacy Project, producing and guest speaking on diversity podcasts, developing her love affair with chocolate, and indulging in street wear fashion.

 

 

Miguel Hernandez

maHernandez@fsu.edu

(850) 644-7827

 

Miguel Hernandez

Associate Director

Miguel Angel Hernandez is a native of Puerto Rico and identifies as Afro-Caribbean. Miguel serves as the Associate Director for the Center for Leadership & Social Change at Florida State University. In this role he coordinates university-wide programs focused on diversity & inclusion, facilitates social justice training and assists students in addressing discrimination on campus. Miguel serves as the program director for the Service Scholars program and co-director of the FSU affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute. As a first generation college student, Miguel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Administration from Columbus State University and a Master of Arts degree in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. Miguel is passionate about working with college students, faculty, and staff in navigating the process of creating diverse and inclusive communities; developing culturally responsive practices reflected in policies, procedures, and decision making; and serving as a resource throughout the community. His personal mission statement is to develop personally, spiritually and professionally with a relentless focus on being a humble, compassionate, and an authentic man.

 

 

Veronica Houck

Program Assistant

Veronica is a Tallahassee Native and self-proclaimed “Tallahassee Lassie”. Veronica brings to the center over a decade’s worth of customer service experience as well as almost four years of leadership experience. Veronica has a passion for baking and pastry and has been scratch baking and decorating cakes for over ten years. When she isn’t baking you can find her crafting or painting. Veronica also loves spending time with her husband and two daughters. In their downtime they enjoy hiking the trails around town, traveling to new places, playing board games, video games and watching Star Wars.

 

 

Eric  Jones

ecjones3@fsu.edu

(850) 645-9425

 

Eric Jones

Program Coordinator

Eric Jones is the Experiential Leadership Program Coordinator in the Center for Leadership & Social Change. He is a born (Miami) and raised (Blountstown) Floridian. Eric received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Affairs from Florida State University. He participated in many of the center’s programs, including LeaderShape, PeaceJam, and the Leadership Studies Certificate. Upon graduation, Eric served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the PeaceJam coaching program. Most recently, he served in the Peace Corps as a Community Health Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. Eric is ecstatic to be returning to Florida State and the center to continue his passion working with leadership development programming with LeaderShape, Leadership LOGIC, the ACC Leadership Symposium, and the leadership and service areas of Garnet and Gold Scholar Society. When he’s not around having fun with colleagues and students, Eric enjoys reading, watching obscene amounts of Netflix, cooking, visiting friends out of town, and volunteering with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) of North Florida. Eric also stans RuPaul’s Drag Race and is waiting for the day he gets to go to be a guest judge or at least have a booth at DragCon.

 

 

Gina Kittel

gkittel@admin.fsu.edu

(850) 644-1883

 

Gina Kittel

Program Coordinator

 

 

Erin Sylvester Philpot

Assistant Director

Erin is the Assistant Director for Leadership & Identity Programs at the Center where she works with Leadership Programs, The Service Scholar Program, and a variety of recognition and scholarship programs. A proud FSU alumna, Erin was a member of Service Scholars, Alternative Breaks, and completed the Leadership Studies Certificate as an undergraduate. She received a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina and is currently working on her Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership & Policy. Her research interests include barriers to access in higher education, and ways in which we can make higher education more affordable and more accessible for students from historically under-represented or marginalized groups. Erin has worked professionally in Student Conduct, Fraternity & Sorority Life, & Event Planning. When she isn’t running, or reading for class, Erin advises a number of student organizations and volunteers with local community groups. She and her husband are proud dog parents to Bailey the yorkie-poo and enjoy spending time outside.

 

 

Satcha Sanon

Graduate Assistant

Satcha, originally from Miami, is a first year graduate student at Florida State pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education. She currently serves as a graduate assistant at the Center for Leadership & Social Change, working primarily with Scholarships and Recognitions, V-rak-ke-ce-tv Cultural Graduation, and Service Scholars. Satcha received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Telecommunications at the University of Florida in 2015. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, she served as a ninth grade Algebra teacher in New Orleans for two years under her commitment with Teach for America. She is excited to return back to her home state and begin working toward the success and retention of first generation, low income students, a dedicated passion for her. When not in the office or in class, she enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with loved ones.

 

 

David Schieler

dschieler@fsu.edu

(850) 645-3207

 

David Schieler

Program Coordinator

David is a program coordinator focusing on service leadership development. Born and raised in the great north (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota), David received a bachelor’s degree in communications studies with a minor in event planning from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2015. David is currently finishing a master’s degree in Higher Education at Florida State. From 2015-2018 David worked at Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity International Headquarters, specifically working with education and harm reduction. In the Center for Leadership & Social Change, David coordinates the Service Scholar program, Florida State Alternative Breaks, Service Leadership Seminar, and the Humanitarian of the Year Award. In David’s incredibly limited free time, he enjoys trying new healthy recipes, learning and sharing random trivia facts, and playing board games with friends.

 

 

Kenya Shakir

kshakir@fsu.edu

(850) 645-7504

 

 

Kenya Shakir

Program Coordinator

Kenya was born and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is the second generation of immigrants from Jamaica. Kenya earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and leadership studies at East Carolina University. After college, Kenya served for a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the North Carolina Campus Compact. Then Kenya earned a master’s degree in college student affairs leadership from Grand Valley State University. Kenya has previous experience in housing and residence life, social justice education, and non-profit management. Kenya is interested in spiritual life and intersections with race and culture, inclusive campus environments and policies, and collaboration and bridge building on campus. In the Center for Leadership & Social Change, Kenya coordinates the Estonko Welcome Mixer, V-rak-ke-ce-tv Cultural Graduations, and the Multicultural Leadership Summit. In her free time, Kenya enjoys catching up on all her shows with her cat, traveling, brunch, watching movies, acting in the theater, singing, and tea.

 

 

Shane Whittington

swhittington@fsu.edu

(850) 645-6856

 

Shane Whittington

Program Coordinator

Shane Whittington is the social justice coordinator at the Center for Leadership & Social Change. He was born in Ellenville, New York, in a family of four sisters and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, by his best friend's parents that then became his guardians. He attended Indiana university in Bloomington, where he developed a stronger sense for social justice and human rights work. He was the first ever recipient of the now annually awarded PJ and Hilda Hill award for the student that “did the most to promote race relations on campus.” With his bachelor's degree in social work and master's degree in higher education, Shane went on to work in state politics, international business management, and nonprofit workforce development. Shane currently manages the Social Justice Living Learning Community, Social Change Peer Educators, the MLK Dinner Dialogue and other major diversity and inclusion-oriented programs at FSU. Going into his third year at FSU, Shane will continue to lead with humor and humility. His overall goal is to bridge critical connections through depth in relationships and fight for your right to be curious, to live on purpose, and love self.

 

Community-Based Initiatives

 

Kiah Albritton

Graduate Assistant

Kiah is a masters student in the Higher Education program at Florida State University. Originally from middle Tennessee, she received her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in psychology from the University of Tennessee. In addition to studying full-time at FSU, Kiah is a graduate assistant on the community engagement team in the Center for Leadership & Social Change. She serves as the coaching coordinator for PeaceJam Southeast. In her role, she oversees PeaceJam’s coaching program, a collaborative effort with Leon County Schools to create acts of peace within the Tallahassee community. In her free time, Kiah enjoys reading memoirs, listening to podcasts, eating various types of pasta, and keeping tabs on Beyonce.

 

 

Amber Cox

Graduate Assistant

Amber is a Master's of Social Work student at Florida State University. Originally from North Carolina, she received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Mathematics from Salem College and her Master’s degree in Secondary Education from UNC Charlotte. Amber is a graduate assistant on the community engagement team in the Center for Leadership & Social Change, working with the Community Ambassador and EngageTLH programs. These programs serve to expose students to responsible service opportunities within the surrounding Tallahassee community. In her free time, Amber enjoys cooking, painting, and spending time with her Dachshund-Beagle mix Sparky.

 

 

 

Danny Dominguez 

Graduate Assistant

Danny Dominguez is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education at Florida State University. Originally from Houston, Danny attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree for Marketing and Management. In his role at the center, Danny serves as a graduate assistant for the community engagement team. He is responsible for overseeing the Community Ambassadors Program and EngageTLH, both initiatives that promote and empower students to encounter the Tallahassee community. He enjoys watching sports (especially any Houston or Baylor team), staying active, discovering new music, and trying new foods.

 

 

Laryn Flikkema

Statewide AmeriCorps Programs

 

 

 

Cyntheria Jackson

cmjackson@fsu.edu

(850) 644-3342

 

Cyntheria Jackson

Administrative Support Assistant

 

 

Reef Landrum

rlandrum@fsu.edu

 

 

 

Reef Landrum

Graduate Assistant

Reef is a graduate assistant on the Community Engagement Team and the Mentor Coordinator for PeaceJam Southeast.  Raised in the Florida Keys, Reef moved north to Tallahassee to attend school at Florida State University and experience seasons.  Reef graduated in May 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in physical science and political science, and minors in mathematics and biological science.  Reef is currently seeking master’s degrees in social work and public administration while overseeing PeaceJam Southeast’s Mentoring program.  FSU students in the program use lessons from the lives of Nobel Peace Laureates to facilitate challenging and engaging conversations with youth from around the southeastern United States.  Topics include identity, leadership, and how to create sustainable change in their own lives and communities.  Reef’s specific interest is in helping young people learn about themselves and how they can grow into empathetic, motivated, and happy individuals.  Reef enjoys camping, hiking, reading, eating, cooking, and visiting new places when not in the center.

 

 

Kirsten Litchford

Graduate Assistant

Kirsten "Kiki" Litchford is pursuing a joint master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Work at Florida State University, where she is a graduate assistant with the community engagement team at the Center for Leadership & Social Change. A lifelong fan of playing in the dirt, Kiki became interested in food security and public resources while developing a community garden for an organic farm in Northern Virginia. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship, she joined Peace Corps and traveled to Zambia to serve as a rural aquaculture extension agent, spending two years working on economic development programs with local farmers and cooperatives. Returning to her hometown of Seattle in 2018, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, coordinating federal summer and after-school meals programs. She enjoys kayaking, playing the mandolin badly, cheesy old sci-fi movies, and, of course, gardening.

 

 

Maria McIntyre

Youth Programs Vista

 

 

Anna Mitas

Statewide AmeriCorps Programs

 

 

 

Mike Norris

Statewide Service Initiatives

Mike Norris is the Director of Campus Engagement for Florida Campus Compact, working through FSU’s Center for Leadership & Social Change. Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life. Mike holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education degrees from Samford University, and has worked with Campus Compact for almost 10 years. He works throughout the state of Florida to convene and train college faculty and staff to incorporate community engagement so that it becomes pervasive across their institutions. In his free time, he volunteers as a music director for local community theatre productions.

 

 

Joi Phillips

jnphillips@admin.fsu.edu

(850) 644-9567

 

Joi Phillips, Ph.D.

AssOCIATE Director

Dr. Joi N. Phillips currently serves as an Associate Director supporting community engagement initiatives. Dr. Phillips is a very proud alumna of the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and got her start at the center as a graduate assistant at the Center for Civic Education and Service. After completing her master’s degree, Dr. Phillips became the coordinator for the center’s America Reads Mentoring Program while completing doctoral work in the Educational Policy and Evaluation program in the College of Education. Dr. Phillips’ work centers on the relationship between policy and civic participation. Her work is focused on how communities and higher education institutions develop and sustain partnerships. She uses pedagogical influences from critical race theory, education policy, and service-learning to support her work. Dr. Phillips is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and in her spare time enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, and trying new recipes.

 

 

Bridgid Shannon

bpshannon@fsu.edu

(850) 645-8782

 

Bridgid Shannon

Community Engagement Coordinator 

Bridgid Shannon has moved over 35 times and lived in nine states. Constants have been marathon dialogues, building relationships, noting social-ecological dynamics, and fostering community-driven, positive, sustainable social change by engaging stakeholder voices across difference through art, literature, and storytelling. English and Intergenerational Studies were Brie’s focus at Rollins College, followed by graduate studies in Children's and Young Adult Literature and Creative Writing at Hollins University (M.A. & M.F.A.). Brie's work in education stretches from 3-year-olds to senior citizens. Most immediately, she taught AP English, Journalism, and Engaged Citizenship through Service-Learning at Pine View School for the Gifted in Sarasota, where she was actively involved in professional development, shaping service-leadership curricula, and the PeaceJam family for more than 10 years. Through her role at The Center for Leadership & Social Change, she coordinates the Moellership program and PeaceJam Southeast. When Brie's not serving with students, you can find her reading, researching, writing, or on an adventure with loved ones— camera in hand.

 

 

Jada Toledo

Graduate Assistant

Jada is pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education here at Florida State University. She is originally from New Jersey, where she completed her bachelor’s degree at William Paterson University in 2017. After completing her undergraduate degree, she completed a year of service as an Americorps VISTA in Newark, N.J. Currently, in her role as a graduate assistant at the center, she oversees Youth Programs, in which her primary focus is Service-Learning. Youth Programs aims to promote academic success in students of Leon County Schools. When not in class or serving students in the center, Jada enjoys music, cooking, adventuring, and running.

 

Leadership Learning Research Center

 

Jenni Batchelder

Graduate Assistant

Jenni is a doctoral student in the Florida State University Higher Education program. Her research interest involves the process of student involvement and how it leads to generativity (the fifth stage of the Leadership Identity Development model). She currently serves as a graduate research assistant for the Leadership Learning Research Center where she serves as an instructor for the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies and contributes to research on leadership programs across the United States and internationally. Before beginning her doctoral journey, Jenni received her Bachelor’s in Marketing and Master’s in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University-San Marcos. She began her student affairs career at Austin College where she worked in a variety of student affairs functional areas before focusing on student activities at St. Mary’s University. Outside of her passion for student development and leadership education, Jenni enjoys game nights, biking, dancing, and being with family and friends!

 

 

Dr. Cameron C. Beatty

Assistant Professor

Cameron C. Beatty, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department. Dr. Beatty teaches courses in the undergraduate leadership certificate as well as conducts research with the Leadership and Learning Research Center. Dr. Beatty's research foci includes exploring the intersections of gender and race in leadership education, leadership development of students of color on historically white college campuses, and global leadership education for undergraduate students. His recent publications center on topics that include: supporting undergraduate Black womxn through Sister Circles, gains in leadership capacity for high achieving Black men leaders, and supporting undergraduate men in leadership education through liberatory pedagogy. He is a scholar passionate about deconstructing race, systemic racism, and hegemonic masculinity in postsecondary education environments.

Prior to joining the faculty at Florida State University, Dr. Beatty was an assistant professor at Salem State University in the higher education student affairs program. He was also the Coordinator  and Lecturer for the Leadership Studies Program at Iowa State University, where he was not only responsible for  the administration of the certificate program, but also directed the Global Leadership Study Abroad Program to Sweden and the Vermeer International Scholarship Program. Dr. Beatty has experience in fraternity and sorority advising, campus programming boards, and supervising academic peer mentors.

Dr. Beatty was named a 2018 ACPA Emerging Scholar designee. He completed his Ph.D. at Iowa State University in the Higher Education Administration Program with a concentration in Social Justice in 2014. Cameron received a B.S. in Sociology and a M.S. in Higher Education Student Affairs, both from Indiana University, Bloomington (IUB).

 

 

Brittany Brewster

Graduate Assistant

Brittany Brewster is a proud native of Miami, Florida and current Ph.D. student in the Higher Education program at Florida State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Florida International University and her Master of Science degree in Higher Education from FSU. Following her time at FSU, she served as an assistant director in the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development at the University of Miami where she supported students interests in community involvement and personal development. Her research interests include exploring the leadership development of black women and its impact on their career readiness and the cultivation of civic identity in undergraduate students of color. Currently, Brittany is a teaching and research assistant for the Leadership Learning Research Center, a partnership between the College of Education and the Center for Leadership & Social Change at Florida State. Outside of work, she enjoys satisfying her inner foodie with new restaurants, binge watching TV shows and working out.

 

 

Brittany Devies

Graduate Assistant

Brittany (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education program (Student Affairs track) at Florida State University. Brittany teaches courses in the undergraduate leadership certificate as well as conducts research with the Leadership Learning Research Center. She received her B.S.Ed. in Early and Middle Childhood Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies from The Ohio State University and obtained her master's degree in Higher Education from Florida State University. Her research interests include women's leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy as well as leadership education and career development. In her free time, Brittany enjoys day trips to the beach, reading, and volunteering for her national organization to talk to members about positive body image and salary negotiation.

 

 

Kathy Guthrie

kGuthrie@fsu.edu

(850) 644-7078

 

Kathy Guthrie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Guthrie serves as the director of the Leadership Learning Research Center. She is an associate professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. In addition to teaching in the Higher Education program, Dr. Guthrie also coordinates the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies, which is a partnership between the College of Education and the Center for Leadership & Social Change. Her research focuses on the learning outcomes and environment of leadership and civic education, online teaching and learning, and professional development for student affairs professionals.

Dr. Guthrie has authored several refereed journal articles and edited and authored several books.  In 2016 she co-edited a New Directions in Higher Education issue titled “Reclaiming Higher Education’s Purpose in Leadership Development.” In 2013, she co-authored “Cultivating Leader Identity and Capacity in Students from Diverse Backgrounds.”

In her current role with Florida State University, she has taught courses in higher education, including Introduction to Student Services, Leading Change in Higher Education, Practicum in Student Services, and Capstone in Higher Education. She has also taught courses in the undergraduate leadership certificate, including Leadership Theory and Practice, Leadership in Groups and Communities, Leadership and Change, and Leadership Experience. Over the course of her career, she has been honored with awards including the Transformation through Teaching Award (2015), Florida State University College of Education Teaching Award (2014), Association of College Personnel Administrators’ Emerging Scholar (2012), Seminole Faculty Award (2011), and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Contributions to Student Affairs through Teaching (2010).

Dr. Guthrie is an editorial board member of the Journal of Leadership Education and Journal of College and Character. Currently, Dr. Guthrie is the associate editor of the New Directions in Student Leadership series and editor of the Contemporary Perspectives in Leadership Learning book series. She also currently serves as the chair for the Leadership Scholarship Member Interest Group in the International Leadership Association.

Dr. Guthrie received her Ph.D. in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008.

 

 

Pei Hu

Graduate Assistant

Pei is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education (Student Affairs track) program at Florida State University. Her research interests focus on college student self-authorship development and the measurement of the second phase of self-authorship – The Crossroads. Currently, she serves as a graduate research assistant for the Leadership Learning Research Center, responsible for research on academic leadership programs across the United States and other leadership research projects. Pei received her bachelor’s degree in Chinese Literature and Linguistics from Jianghan University in China and obtained her master’s degree in Higher Education at Florida State University. Outside of school and work, Pei enjoys doing yoga, reading, and video-calling her family in China!

 

 

Julie LeBlanc

Graduate Assistant

Julie is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education (Student Affairs track) program at Florida State University. She received her bachelor's degree in social work with a certificate in leadership studies from Florida State University and obtained her master's degree in higher education at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to returning to FSU, Julie worked full-time at The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Tampa, where she developed and facilitated leadership development, community engagement, and diversity education programs, and taught in the Leadership Minor program. Her research interests focus on the intersection of leadership, diversity, and service programs and their impact on student learning and success. In her free time, Julie enjoys spending time with her Pomeranian, Coco, and cheering on the FSU football team.

 

 

Dr. Marianne Lorensen

Teaching Faculty

Dr. Lorensen is a Specialized Teaching Faculty member in the Leadership Learning Research Center. Prior to arriving at FSU in 2018, Dr. Lorensen’s career presented her with opportunities to work as a leadership educator and student affairs professional at several other notable public universities. She has a B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences Education from the University of Kentucky, an M.Ed. in Youth & Family Education from The Pennsylvania State University, and an Ed.M. in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her doctorate in Human Sciences and Leadership Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014.

Dr. Lorensen loves leadership learning both in and out of the classroom and particularly enjoys providing her students with opportunities for experiential learning. Her areas of scholarship and expertise include youth leadership development, college student leadership development, service-learning, group and team dynamics, and curriculum/program development. She would love having you stop by her office to discuss any of these topics or talk about college basketball, your favorite books, or your favorite podcasts.

 

 

Riccardo Purita

Graduate Student

Riccardo is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education program at Florida State University. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Gettysburg College. After college, Riccardo served for two years with AmeriCorps as a City Year Milwaukee Corps member and Pennsylvania Campus Compact VISTA. He served as a VISTA in the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement at Drexel University. After joining the University of Florida for graduate school, Riccardo worked with student conduct through Residence Life and Education and assessment projects for the Division of Student Affairs. He received a Master of Education degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education from UF. Riccardo has also worked as an ACUHO-I intern at Brown University's Office of Residence Life. He spent the last two years as an Assistant Director of Residential Education at Dartmouth College.

 

 

Dr. Sally Watkins

Visiting Teaching Faculty 

Dr. Watkins is a visiting teaching faculty with the LLRC. She has taught a variety of the LDR courses offered at Florida State. Her research focuses on the history of leadership education at the collegiate level, socially responsible leadership development, and leadership learning and pedagogy.  Additionally, Sally is interested in the history of higher education, institutional presidents, and career readiness. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the University of Alabama, a Master of Education in Art Education at the University of North Georgia, a Master of Education in Post and Secondary Education at Arizona State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education at Florida State University. A native of Georgia, Sally loves being in the Northeast Georgia Mountains and spending time with her dogs.

 

 

Erica Wiborg

Graduate Assistant

Erica is a Ph.D. student in the Higher Education program at Florida State University. Her research focuses on critical race theory and critical pedagogy in leadership education and scholarship. In her role as a graduate assistant in the LLRC, she conducts research and teaches in the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies. She also assists with the source book series New Directions for Student Leadership. Previously, Erica worked full-time as a program coordinator in the Center for Leadership and Social Change at Florida State University, where she developed and coordinated college student development programs focused on the outcomes of leadership, social justice, identity, diversity, and community engagement. She received her bachelor’s degree in business marketing with a certificate in leadership studies from Florida State University and obtained her master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at Texas A&M University.

 

Administration & Finance

 

Amanda Albert

Graphic Designer

Amanda Albert is a mixed media artist and graphic designer located in Tallahassee, Florida. Her work is inspired by mid century art and design and her childhood growing up in Southern California in the shadow of the Hollywood sign and the Disneyland castle. She is responsible for the illustration, graphic design and branding at The Center. She hopes to use her work to further social change and progress with The Center. One of her favorite aspects of the job aside from getting to draw for a living, is working with and getting to know the students. In her off hours she enjoys making art, spending time with her husband and their chihuahua pack, gardening, cooking, home diy projects, traveling, reading and subverting the dominant paradigm.

 

 

Kenny Harrison

krharrison@fsu.edu

(850) 644-1932

 

Kenny Harrison

HR Representative

Kenny Harrison was born just a short drive north in Albany, Georgia. His family relocated a few times for work and they eventually settled in the small town of Woodland, Alabama. After graduation, Kenny attended Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Alabama before transferring to Auburn University. Kenny received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Auburn in 1998. After almost two decades working as an entrepreneur and business consultant, Kenny decided to change the course of his career and in 2017, he accepted a position at the Center for Leadership & Social Change. For the past two years, he has served as the budget manager for Florida Campus Compact and recently transitioned into the role of HR & Travel Rep for the Center. Outside of the office, Kenny enjoys playing tennis, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and golf. He loves college football, music, and all sorts of video, card and board games. He serves on the board of the Tallahassee Auburn Club, which is the official local chapter of the Auburn Alumni Association. Kenny will begin his master’s degree program next year at Florida State University. He and his wife, Natalee, have one child, Sophia.

 

 

Bill Knight

Accounting Representative

Bill Knight graduated from Florida State University in 2014 with an accounting degree and certificate in Leadership Studies. He was also inducted into the Garnet & Gold Scholar Society. Bill earned his Certified Public Accountant designation in 2016. He loves baseball, Seinfeld, and time spent with the young adult group at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

 

 

Paige Rentz

PRentz@fsu.edu

(850) 645-8780

 

Paige Rentz

Media Specialist

Paige Rentz grew up just down the road in Sneads, Florida. After years working as a journalist in several states, Paige turned her passion for social issues and storytelling to promote the amazing work of the students and staff working here each day to make the world a better place as the center’s media specialist. Paige is a proud alumna of Chipola College, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In her free time, you can find Paige taking photos, reading, playing video games, watching Star Trek, or walking her dogs, Frankie and Johnny.

 

 

Vanessa Solomon

VSolomon@fsu.edu

(850) 645-2705

 

Vanessa Solomon

Program Associate

Vanessa Solomon is a native Georgia Peach who hails from Albany, just a few miles away from Tallahassee, Florida. Over the course of her two decade career here at Florida State University, she is very passionate about the Center for Leadership & Social Change where she serves as a Program Associate. Vanessa earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Tallahassee Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Flagler College – Tallahassee Campus. When not serving at FSU, Vanessa enjoys family, concerts, taking selfies with her daughter – Danielle and her dog Remy. She is a die-hard lover of chocolates, cheese, salty chips and road adventures, her aim is to own a small local business in Tallahassee, Florida.

 

 

Sandi White

sewhite@fsu.edu

(850) 644-8365

 

Sandi E. White

Business Manager

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