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UPCEA Announces 2022 Diversity in Leadership Scholars

UPCEA is pleased to announce the 2022 cohort of Bethaida “Bea” González Diversity in Leadership Scholars. 

Representative and diverse leadership is a cornerstone of UPCEA’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. The goal of the Diversity Scholars program is to equip diverse professionals at any stage of their career with the skills and knowledge needed to move into leadership positions on campus, in the field of professional, continuing, and online (PCO) education, and in UPCEA.

“This year’s applicants demonstrate the meaningful and impactful work of UPCEA members to enhance diversity and inclusive excellence at their institutions. We look forward to the continued professional development of the 2022 González scholars and their role as change agents in the future,” said Tomea Knight, Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, College of Liberal and Professional Studies and co-chair of UPCEA’s Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee.

The Diversity in Leadership Scholars program is named for Bethaida “Bea” González, 2014-15 UPCEA President and longtime leader at Syracuse University’s University College. 

“All of us teaching and learning in these programs benefit by how the Diversity in Leadership Scholars program enhances our courses and enriches the student experience,” added Dr. Jay Halfond, UPCEA Online Professional Development Faculty Director and Professor of the Practice Emeritus at Boston University. “This helps keep the diversity dialogue front-and-center. Our students come from very different backgrounds, institutions, and regions – and our Gonzáles Scholars further expand the rich, nationwide perspective students glean from our courses.”

The 2022 Diversity in Leadership Scholars are: 

  • Napolita Hooper-Simanga, Learning Experience Designer at Georgia State University
  • Kathleen Kelly, Associate Director, Academic Advising at RISD Continuing Education
  • Vincci Kwong, Director of Online Education at Indiana University South Bend
  • Nilajah Nyasuma Sims, Acting Director at Morgan State University 
  • Tylisha Rodriguez, Senior Student Success Counselor at Thomas Edison State University
  • Felecia Theune, Director, Research and Strategy at University of Miami
  • Jessica White, Senior Instructional Designer at NC State University


Each Diversity in Leadership Scholar is receiving a full scholarship for the PCO Professional Certificate or the PCO Leader Certificate (both certificates consist of five courses). 

We look forward to these seven individuals joining our learning community as they pursue the courses in their certificate program. 


Learn more about UPCEA’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence.

Learn more about UPCEA’s online professional development program. 


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