Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Academic Leadership Development Institute

The Academic Leadership Development Institute, coordinated by the Council, provides a series of highly-interactive sessions and small group seminars led by faculty and administrators from across Kentucky and other states. The goal is to create a learning community of early career, underrepresented minority faculty and staff who are on track for professional advancement.

This year’s cohort consists of 24 professionals from Kentucky's universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Institutional leaders nominated candidates for the yearlong initiative based on their leadership ability, interest in advancement, and dedication to higher education. Participants cannot have previous administrative experience.

Current Members


TaKeia N. Anthony

Associate Professor of History; CESKAA Academic Support Liaison, Kentucky State University

Anthony is an alumna of Howard University in Washington D.C. and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) where she was inducted into the 2016 Class of 40 Under 40. A nationally recognized speaker and writer, her areas of expertise are the African diaspora and archiving. When not teaching, Anthony dedicates time to her initiative, Dr. TaKeia’s Empowerment, which provides HBCU Tours for the youth.


Lester "Les" Archer

Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University

Archer has a doctorate Louisiana State University with a strong theoretical and practical background in educational leadership. His research interests include advancing mixed methods as a research methodology, and factors associated with mathematics achievement among minorities (especially Mexican American females). An author, he has served on the editorial board of Education Research Quarterly (ERQ) and has presented at national and international conferences.


Marlisa Austin

Professor, English and Program Coordinator, African American Studies, Jefferson Community & Technical College

Austin has an Associate of Arts from Southeast Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in secondary English education from the University of Kentucky, an Master of Arts in education from Union College and is pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Throughout her 27 years of teaching, she has led and supported college-wide initiatives focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including developing a research inventory on teaching and learning practices, and diversity leadership. Austin is also active in the community, working with local high schools and organizations to provide workshops on writing prep for college, ACT prep workshops for English, and writing winning scholarship essays.


Daniel Boamah

Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University

Boamah has a Bachelor of Arts in economics and geography from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and a masters and doctorate in Social Work from the University of Louisville and an addition Masters in Economics from University of Waterloo. His research focus is on addressing the structural and racial inequities in child welfare, Blacks, immigrants and refugees, and individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities service delivery systems. In addition, he is co-founder and executive director of KY STEPS Behavioral Health Services, which provides variety services to individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as mental health services to individuals and families.


Dedrick Brooks

Programming Analyst, Murray State University

Brooks has a bachelor's degree from Bethel University in business administration management, and is working on a master's degree in information systems with a concentration in business analytics. Out of the office, Brooks enjoys fishing, reading, learning new things and spending time with his family.


Eric Brown

Assistant Professor of Music/Voice, Morehead State University

Brown has a doctorate from the University of Kentucky and extensive experience as a choral and operatic performer. He is member of the artistic advisory committee for the Cave Run Symphony, and manages the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra Music Academy, which subsidizes the cost of music lessons for youth in Kentucky. In addition to teaching, Brown also assists as musical director for Morehead State's musical theater productions.


Erica Clayton

Director of Admissions, Gateway Community and Technical College

Clayton has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Xavier University and Master of Business from Ohio Dominican University; and is currently working on a Doctor of Education in leadership through Creighton University. In addition to her admissions role, she works as a part-time adjunct teaching courses in business and career development. Clayton's passion is to awaken potential in those around her and to always be of service.


Anastasia Curwood

Associate Professor; Director of African American and Africana Studies; Director of Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies, University of Kentucky

Curwood has Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College, and an Master of Arts and doctorate, both in History, from Princeton University. A published author, Curwood is the recipient of several grants, honors and fellowships. When not teaching, she is an equestrian, and is co-founder of Strides for Equality Equestrians, an organization devoted to growing equestrian sports through diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Alejandra "Ali" Frailey

TRIO Talent Search Education Specialist, Madisonville Community College

Frailey, as a non-traditional student, attended Madisonville Community College and has a Bachelor of Arts in human services and counseling from Lindsey Wilson College. Recently, she has added breast cancer survivor to her list of titles. She enjoys community service, spending time with family, exercising and loves music.


Brandon Halcomb

Ready to Work Coordinator, Jefferson Community & Technical College

Halcomb has a master’s in organizational leadership from Western Kentucky University and a graduate certificate in nonprofit administration. With over 15 years of experience working in the areas of diversity and inclusion, he is passionate about supporting students and thrives on being a part of their success stories.


Denise Hardesty

Director, Educational Talent Search, Western Kentucky University

Hardesty has a Master of Arts in communication and Doctor of Education in educational leadership, both from Western Kentucky University. As a first-generation college student herself, she has a passion for working with first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students and believes that higher education changes the lives of individuals and their families. Off campus, Hardesty enjoys traveling, movies, music, theater and spending time with her family.


Kevin Harrison

Senior Fellow of Cultural Diversity/Project Coordinator for Apprenticeship programs, Ashland Community and Technical College

Harrison has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Marshall University, a Master of Arts in higher education counseling, and is working on his doctorate in psychology. In addition to his work at the college, Harrison is involved in several community, religious and missions-focused organizations, and conducts Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) groups for inmates at the Boyd County Detention Center. Outside of work, he is an avid outdoor grill fan and enjoys reading and his family.


Vanessa Hunn

Associate Dean - College of Health & Human Services, Northern Kentucky University

Hunn has baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees from University of Kentucky. Her research areas include diversity, equity, and inclusion; retention of students of color at predominately white institutions; and mental health in vulnerable populations. An acclaimed author and presenter, her research has been presented on the regional/local, state, national, and international levels. She is a member of several organizations, including the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education.


Joda Johnson

Director of Adult Education, Southcentral Community and Technical College

Johnson has a Bachelors of General Studies and a masters-level Certificate of Adult Education both from Western Kentucky University, and an additional Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a board member of For A Real Change Inc. and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Johnson loves working in ministry as an Elder and youth mentor serving her community. On her days off, she loves spending time with her family, walking, reading and watching comedy.


Quentin Moore

Assistant Professor, Eastern Kentucky University

Moore has his PhD in nursing from the University of Kentucky, holds a national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner and currently practices in addiction medicine. His research interests focus on the health disparities in prostate cancer screening practices and priorities, especially among black males. In addition to his work in the office, Moore serves on several organizations and produces a podcast, "Health, Wellness and Community."


Ebony Muldrow

Assistant Provost for Adult Learning, University of Louisville

Muldrow holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Arts in human resources development, and a Doctorate in organizational leadership from Western Kentucky University. Her research interests include generational diversity and the experiences of BIPOC women in higher education. She is active in the community and is passionate about helping adult learners achieve their academic aspirations. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, cycling and volunteering in her community.


Keturah Nix

Assistant Professor of English, and Acting Chair, Kentucky State University

Nix has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Tuskegee University, and both her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in American studies from Purdue University. Integrating her love for learning and interests in history, literature and culture, she designs, teaches, and manages courses that centralize historical and present-day conversations about literacy, race, gender/identity, and social justice. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, journaling, taking pictures, cooking and traveling.


Antoine Smith-Rouse

Workforce Solutions Employer Liaison/Career Navigator, Owensboro Community and Technical College

Smith-Rouse has a master’s degree via the JUMP program through Western Kentucky University (summer 2022). He sits on multiple committees committed to tackling social injustices within marginalized communities such as communities of color and the LQBTQ+ community, and has received multiple awards and recognition for this service. In his free time, Smith-Rouse enjoys flying drones, playing board games and being with friends and family.


Danelle Stevens-Watkins

Associate Professor and Associate Vice President for Research (Diversity and Inclusion), University of Kentucky

Stevens-Watkins has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Louisville, a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from Spalding University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Kentucky. A nationally acclaimed author, her research has been funded continuously through the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the past decade. In addition to her academic responsibilities, she has mentored nearly two dozen doctoral students and junior faculty to-date and has received several mentoring and teaching awards.


Lorraine Sturgeon

Online Learning Accessibility Coordinator, KCTCS (System Office)

Sturgeon has a Master of Business Administration from Lindenwood University, a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems and business administration from Columbia College. Her areas of expertise include professional development design and technology administration. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, repairing computers and other things, exercising and gardening.


Crystal Summers

Lecturer, Northern Kentucky University

Summers has several master's level degrees, including health economics, health informatics, managing IT and an business administration. She serves as a course reviewer, and enjoys diverse student recruitment retention efforts and advising mentoring students. Outside of academia, Crystal takes pride in consulting, chairing an international awareness involvement committee and managing educational or scientific events.


Kauai Thurman

Recruitment & Retention Specialist for African American Students, Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Thurman, a first-generation college student, has a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Arts degree in student personnel services in higher education from Eastern Kentucky University. A believer in the transformative power of higher education, she works hard to expose her students to every opportunity, so they can feel they can be something greater than their current circumstances. Outside the office, she enjoys serving her church and spending time with her family, friends and pet.


Jose Saavedra Torres

Assistant Professor, Northern Kentucky University

Torres has a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela), an Master of Business Administration from Emory University and IESA (Venezuela), and a doctorate in marketing from Southern Illinois University. His teaching and research interests include branding, B2B sales and experiential and digital consumption. He loves baseball and soccer, reading and spending time with his family.

Past Membership




Last Updated: 10/3/2022