I am the Executive Director of Chalkdust Education Foundation (CEF), who is also a retired public school educator that served as a teacher, principal and K-12 curriculum administrator. CEF, a non-profit organization, was created to offer enrichment opportunities, training programs and related resources to students, parents, education professionals and faith leaders in urban communities. A champion of education for underachievers, I designed several innovative programs to address their unique needs, including Taylor Academy, an alternative high school that served 9th and 10th graders in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights [Ohio] City School district for 15 years (1987-2003). I was a co-author of the Legacy of Literacy (2001) reading program for grades K-6 published by Houghton Mifflin. I am the founder and managing director of IndeedWeCode, a computer coding program for African American girls in northeastern Ohio established in 2015. I am a past president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). I served a 9-year term on the Ohio University Board of Trustees (1995-2004), a 2-year term on the Board of Directors of Lake Erie College (2005-2007), and a 4-year term on the Ohio Board of Regents (2010-2014). A life member of the Kent State Alumni Association, I served one term on its Board of Directors. I was honored to be the morning speaker for the Kent State commencement in spring of 1997.
What does the Diversity Advisory Board mean to you?
The Diversity Advisory Board is a valuable enhancement to the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives undertaken and implemented by the administration, faculty and professional staff of Kent State. Comprised of KSU alumni from various walks of life, the DAB provides an array of perspectives to inform the continuous dialogue on relevant matters. In these unusual times when dominant voices may drown out divergent views, mechanisms must be in place to assure that all are represented and heard. Tolerance and respect for differences are essential values the institution must maintain consistently. Because I have long shared a commitment to these values, and have experienced their significance and impact in a variety of educational settings, I am delighted to offer whatever benefits my insights may provide to the DAB.
Favorite place on the Kent campus:
As a doctoral student in education, I spent most of my time in White Hall. I have very fond and vivid memories of my learning experiences in that building.
Best advice for students:
Be true to yourself. Do not compromise your values for the sake of friendship or popularity. Learn how to express yourself with clarity in verbal and written form. Aim for excellence always. Know your options and alternatives at all times. Stay woke!
B.A. English, Ohio University (1966); M.Ed. Educational Administration, Cleveland State University (1974); Ph.D. Educational Administration, Kent State University (1983).
- 1981 - George A Bowman Fellowship in Educ. Admin.- Kent State University
- 1982 - Women in Communications - Cleveland Communicators Awards
- 1989 - Equal Opportunity Day - Urban League of Greater Cleveland
- 1990 - Distinguished Alumni Award - Cleveland State University
- 1991 - Black Alumni & Black Faculty Assn. - Cleveland State University
- 1993- President's Social Responsibility Award - Kent State University
- 1995 - National Alliance of Black School Educators - Hall of Fame
- 1997 - YWCA Women of Achievement (Greater Cleveland)
- 1997 - Special Achievement Award _ Kent State Alumni Association
- 2002 - Patricia A. Ackerman lobby - Ohio U. Templeton-Blackburn Mem. Aud.
- 2002 - Patricia A. Ackerman computer lab - Ohio U. Multicultural Center
- 2004 - College of Arts & Sciences - Distinguished Alumna - Ohio University
- 2007 - Distinguished Service - Ohio University Alumni Association
- 2014 - Trailblazer - Ebony Bobcat Network - Ohio University
- 2019 - President's Ambassador - Kent State University