2022 President's Leadership Institute Cohort

Member Bios

Fadi Abdeljawad

Fadi AbdeljawadDr. Fadi Abdeljawad is the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences (CECAS) Dean’s Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) with a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Prior to joining Clemson in 2018, Abdeljawad was a Senior Member of Technical Staff in the Computational Materials and Data Science Department at Sandia National Laboratories. He received his Master’s of Arts degree (2010) and doctorate (2014) in Theoretical and Computational Materials Science from Princeton University.

Lying at the intersection of materials science, mechanical engineering and applied mathematics, Abdeljawad’s research aims to develop computational models to fundamentally understand materials at the nanoscale. His research is funded by several agencies including NSF, DOD, and DOE. He has 35+ publications in peer-reviewed journals and 70+ invited and contributed talks at American and international conferences. He is the recipient of the 2022 TMS Early Career Faculty Fellow Award, the 2020 Army Research Office Young Investigator Program Award and the 2020 CECAS Byars Prize for excellence in teaching.

Morgan Allen

Morgan AllenMorgan Allen serves as the Director of Academic Services for Enterprise Applications in CCIT. She manages the student ERP (Banner/iROAR) and associated systems. Allen earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish and Art History from the University of South Carolina. She also earned her MBA from the Moore School of Business at University of South Carolina. Allen joined the team at Clemson in 2019. Prior to her time at Clemson, she served as an IT analyst consultant, project manager for IBM, and the Associate Director for Strategic Technology Initiatives for Undergraduate Admissions at the University of South Carolina.

Bill Baldwin

Bill BaldwinDr. Bill Baldwin is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the current Graduate Program Coordinator. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Central Michigan University and earned his doctorate in Toxicology from North Carolina State University. Baldwin’s current research primarily investigates distinct mechanisms by which chemical exposures perturb energy distribution and use and in turn cause obesity or fatty liver disease. As Graduate Program Coordinator he works to increase the exposure of Clemson’s graduate students and programs and has nearly doubled completed graduate applications in the past two years. He appreciates the resilience and grit it takes to do good laboratory research and works to build a culture of young scientists that “make the world a better place one lab at a time”. Baldwin has also worked with young scientists on several minority educational initiatives including EpsCor and the Endocrine Society. He spends his free time outdoors with his wonderful family, son Eric, daughter Lauren, and wife, Lisa Bain. 

Kyle Barrett

Kyle BarrettDr. Kyle Barrett is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Conservation in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University, where he has worked since 2012. His research focuses on the response of species and habitats to large-scale stressors such as climate change and land use change. He actively partners with state and federal natural resource agencies to solve conservation and management problems. Barrett has also been an occasional instructor for the National Conservation Training Center’s climate change vulnerability assessment-related courses since 2011. At Clemson, Barrett teaches courses related to field techniques, wetland ecology and ecological community analysis. He received his doctorate in Biology from Auburn University (2009), a Master’s in Science in Biology from Missouri State University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University. Barrett enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, running, hiking and watching sports.

Savannah Bock

Savannah BockAs Business Officer for the College of Education, Savannah Bock manages all budgetary and financial matters for the College. Working closely with administration, faculty and staff to prepare, implement and maintain the annual College budget, she also works with administrators to develop strategic fiscal plans for the College. Her work in this role also includes supervising the business office team of financial analysts.

Bock has served in various roles in the College since 2014, from post-award grants manager to Associate Business Officer. She previously worked at a private accounting firm before joining Clemson in 2012. She is a South Carolina native and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Clemson University.

Lisa Claxton

Lisa ClaxtonLisa R. Claxton is a Senior Associate General Counsel at Clemson University in the Office of the General Counsel. In this role, she advises the Office of Human Resources and senior members of the management team on labor and employment matters. Prior to joining the University, Claxton’s legal career expanded more than twenty years as a labor and employment law attorney providing advice and counsel to businesses on complex employee relations issues and representing employers before federal, state and local regulatory agencies. Claxton received her LL.M. with distinction from Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and Bachelor’s of Arts, cum laude, from Meredith College. Claxton is licensed to practice law in South Carolina and Georgia. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, yoga, pickleball and spending time with her family.         

Kelly Collins

Kelly CollinsKelly Collins serves as the Chief of Staff and Operations for the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. She joined what was then the College of Engineering and Science in 2007 where she was a member of the college’s business office. Collins moved through the ranks within the business office while continuing her education at Clemson where she received her Master’s in Human Resource Development in 2011. In her role as Chief of Staff and Operations, Collins is responsible for a broad range of responsibilities that span many facets of the University’s operations—from faculty affairs, staff affairs, facilities planning, IT support, financial affairs, strategic planning and operations management for the college. Collins has the pleasure of working with more than 260 staff members within the college and engaging with multiple stakeholders at all levels throughout the University on a wide variety of projects.  

Shelia Cotten

Shelia CottenDr. Shelia Cotten joined Clemson in 2020 as a Provost’s Distinguished Professor and the Associate Vice President for Research Development. She works to advance research across Clemson, bringing together interdisciplinary teams to solve complex problems in society, overseeing the Office of Research Development and helping facilitate resources to ensure teams are successful in seeking external grant funding. Cotten is an expert in studying emerging technology use and impacts across the life course. Her research has been funded by NSF, NIH, USDA and others. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and has won the William F. Ogburn Senior Career Achievement and Public Sociology awards from the Communication, Information Technologies and Media Sociology section of the American Sociological Association. Prior to joining Clemson, Cotten was an MSU Foundation Professor at Michigan State University.

Khristy Glover

Khristy GloverKhristy Glover joined Clemson University in 2007 and is an Accountant/Fiscal Analyst III for Regulatory Services, where she manages budgets for state, revenue and grant funding. Also, Glover leads the strategic plan and DEI initiatives for the division. Glover earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Management from Clemson University in 2019 and is currently working on her MBA at Clemson with an expected completion date of December 2022. Glover is from the Pendleton/Anderson area, and she currently serves as a board member of the Pendleton Foundation for Black History and Culture. She is married with three children, one grandson and two fur babies. The daughter of two retired Clemson employees, Glover enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends in her free time.

Sara Hanks

Sara HanksSara Hanks is the Director of the Emerging Scholars program in the Office of College Preparation and Outreach. She came back to Clemson in 2006 after being at West Virginia University for six years where she worked with a program tailored toward helping under-represented students realize success in Health Science and STEM majors. Before finding the world of college access, Hanks taught high school chemistry and physics for seven years in Charleston, Laurens and Spartanburg Counties. She has a degree from Clemson in Biological Sciences and a Master’s in Public Health from West Virginia University. In the last few years, Hanks has been involved with the Connections program, and various programs in the Gantt Multicultural Center to help students from underrepresented groups find a sense of belonging and success on campus. She recently served as the interim project manager for the National Men of Color Summit and Women’s Roundtable events. When Sara is not at work, she spends time with her husband and two kids exploring the trails, waterfalls and beaches in the state.

Katie Hildebrand

Katie HildebrandSince joining Clemson University full-time in 2018 to serve as Executive Director of the Erwin Center for Brand Communications, Hildebrand has partnered with industry leading brand professionals to create a roadmap for an experiential brand program in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business.

Under Hildebrand’s leadership, the Erwin Center launched the Clemson CMO and Brand Innovation Summit to integrate industry leaders with students and faculty. She also supported the 2020 launch of Cadency, a student-led brand agency, which now enables students to work directly with brand partners on hands-on projects. In addition to the undergraduate programs, Hildebrand collaborated on the Digital Brand Communications MBA concentration which begins fall 2022, and she serves as a mentor in the Erwin Center’s DIVE IN program for advancing DE&I efforts in brand and media education.

Prior to joining Clemson, Hildebrand managed collaborative teams to produce large-scale marketing campaigns for 10 years, and she continues to be passionate about helping students become future leaders who believe in building brands that can benefit humanity.

Kevin James

Kevin James Dr. Kevin James is a Professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SMSS) and has led the School as Director since November 2019. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and PhD in Mathematics from University of Georgia. From 1997 to 2000 and prior to coming to Clemson, he was an S. Chowla Research Assistant Professor at The Pennsylvania State University. His research focus is on Number Theory. James is particularly interested in the distribution of prime numbers, and the arithmetic of elliptic curves and modular forms. He was instrumental in developing graduate coursework in number theory within SMSS. He served as the Graduate Coordinator within SMSS and helped to develop language training and teacher training courses for SMSS graduate students. As director of SMSS, James focuses on maintaining an inclusive and supportive climate, building a diverse faculty, advancing the research culture of SMSS and excellence in fulfilling the school’s very broad teaching mission.

Ale Kennedy

Ale KennedyFor the past two decades, Dr. Ale Kennedy has been a forerunner in HR thought leadership, deepening her knowledge in all human resources functions as they relate to higher education. Ale began her career in organizational development at the University of South Carolina Aiken. Later she transitioned to Augusta University and served as the Associate Director of Employee Relations and Training. In 2007, following a quest for increased knowledge in HR leadership, Kennedy took a position with Georgia Southern University and was promoted to Associate Vice President of Human Resources.

In 2016, Kennedy returned to her alma mater, Clemson University, as the Associate Chief Human Resources Officer. With years of experience in areas including recruitment and retention, conflict resolution, change management, employee relations, training and benefits administration, Kennedy now serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer at the University.

Kennedy is serving a three-year term on the board of directors for the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). She has been a member of CUPA-HR since 2002 and has held significant leadership roles.

David Kuskowski

David KuskowskiDavid Kuskowski has served as Clemson’s Vice President for Enrollment Management since September 2019. David came to Clemson in July 2017 as Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Prior to joining Clemson, Kuskowski served in a variety of roles at Penn State, including Director of Marketing and Recruitment for Penn State’s twenty undergraduate campuses, academic advising, instructional development, and graduate-level teaching in counselor education.

Born in Pasadena, Calif., Kuskowski grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He has two children, Emily and Matthew. They are 26 and 23 respectively. David values travel, reading about physics, and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including mountain and road biking, hiking in new places and spending time in the mountains.

Kuskowski feels fortunate to be at Clemson and is always impressed by the ease and passion with which team members meet new challenges, “Clemson students are creating experiences of incredible significance, and it is exciting to be part of a team helping to foster their successes.” said Kuskowski. “I am eager to continue our pursuit of even greater opportunities for excellence.”

Jason Lucas

Jason LucasDr. Jason Lucas is an Associate Professor within the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management. He holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Building Construction Science and Management and a doctorate in Environmental Design and Planning from Virginia Tech. He conducts research in workforce development, utilizing technology for enhancing education and utilizing advanced technology for construction operations. Lucas serves as the editor of the Professional Constructor, the journal of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) and on the National Association of Home Builders, Student Chapter Advisory Board. At Clemson, Lucas has served on the curriculum committee as the department committee chair, college committee member, and university committee representative from CAAH. Lucas teaches Materials and Methods of Construction and Residential Construction Management at the undergraduate level and Emerging Technologies in the Built Environment at the graduate level. He also advises the NAHB student competition team and student chapter.

Dana Morgan

Dana MorganDana Morgan is the Associate Executive Director of Marketing and Special Initiatives for the Clemson Alumni Association. In addition to the management of the organization's brand, her responsibilities include the day-to-day marketing of the association's nationwide programs, affinity products and benefit services. She is also the director of the organization's signature events.

Prior to joining Clemson, Dana spent 11 years with DNA Creative Communications, a boutique public relations firm, in several roles including Account Executive, Account Manager and Director of Client Services. Her area of expertise included nonprofit organizations and government utilities.

Dana received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University.

Corliss Outley

Corliss OutleyDr. Corliss Outley is a Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and has served as the Director of the Race, Ethnicity, Youth & Social Equity (REYSE) Collaboratory since joining Clemson in 2020. REYSE conducts research designed to explore, create and share knowledge that contributes to understanding how social inequalities influence the development of racial/ethnic minority youth populations during out-of-school time hours. Her scholarly work to date includes more than 65 publications, several book chapters, more than 250 presentations and trainings and a PBS DragonFly TV spotlight on “real scientists”. Outley has led large multi-site interdisciplinary research projects, serving as PI or Co-I for over $3 million in funded research, and utilizes community-based participatory research methods (CBPR) involving youth via community mapping, storytelling, photovoice and art as data collection methods. As a community engaged scholar Outley is recognized for her expertise regarding diversity and inclusion in youth development programming, curriculum development, staff training and research and evaluation. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Corliss enjoys traveling, reading mysteries, the outdoors and anything Disney.

Noelle Paufler

Noelle PauflerDr. Noelle A. Paufler is an Assistant Professor – P-12 and the Program Coordinator for the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Education Systems Improvement Science in the College of Education at Clemson University. She is also Co-Director of the Leading Educational Administrator Development for Excellent Rural Schools (LEADERS) Center of Excellence. Paufler has experience as a high school social studies teacher, district administrator, and applied researcher in high-need districts and schools. Her research interests include K-12 educational policy, specifically how educational leaders enact policy into practice at the systems level and its impact on teachers and students. Areas of expertise include leadership development, learning and assessment and accountability. She is actively involved in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate as the delegate for Clemson University and dedicated to the reconceptualization of doctoral education for leadership preparation, especially in diverse, rural, and high-need communities. In her free time, Noelle enjoys reading and traveling with her husband, Tibor, and daughter, Emily.

Lesslie Pekarek

Lesslie PekarekDr. Lesslie Pekarek is the Medical Director for Student Health Services in the Division of Student Affairs. In addition to her administrative responsibilities in the management of Redfern Health Center’s medical operations, she collaborates with partners across campus, within the local community and throughout the state to help mitigate public health threats to the University population. Pekarek is a board-certified family physician and a graduate of Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina.  Prior to joining the medical staff at Redfern Health Center in 2016, Pekarek was in practice in the local community as part of the Baptist Easley Hospital system. She lives in Central with her husband, Jeff, and their two boys.

Harrison Pinckney IV

Harrison PinckneyDr. Harrison Pinckney IV is an Assistant Professor of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management and the Associate Director of the Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity (REYSE) Collaboratory. His primary interest is in helping Black youth reach adulthood with their souls intact. He first began his work with youth in Gainesville, Florida as a Recreation Supervisor overseeing summer day camps and afterschool programs. Since then, he has partnered with Rites of passage programs, community centers, and faith-based organizations to expand Black youths’ perceptions of the opportunities that are available to them. Simultaneously, Harrison has written papers, contributed to national panels, and served as a keynote speaker highlighting the ways in which systemic racism continues to harm the development of Black youth. Long-term, Harrison anticipates his work addressing system-level changes that will improve the lives of racially marginalized youth throughout the country. Pinckney enjoys life by spending time with his wife and four kids, lots of swimming, biking, hiking and movie nights. He also enjoys engaging in music and pretending to be on ‘Chopped’ while cooking at home.

Amanda Richardson

Amanda RichardsonAmanda Richardson is in her second year as Associate Athletic Director of Compliance. Richardson oversees all areas of Clemson’s Athletic Compliance Office, which monitors and interprets ACC and NCAA rules, as well as serves as a liaison to the NCAA. Richardson served as Associate AD of Football Compliance prior to her promotion in May 2020 and has been at Clemson within the compliance office since 2011.  Prior to her time at Clemson, Richardson spent three years at the University of Alabama in the compliance office – one year as a graduate assistant, and two in a full-time capacity. Richardson earned her B.S. in business from the College of Charleston in 2008, and an M.S. in sport management from the University of Alabama in 2009.

Philip Sikes

Philip SikesPhilip Sikes is a Strategic Communicator for University Relations and serves as the Communications Director for the Division of Student Affairs. In this role, he is a member of the Student Affairs Leadership Team and works directly with Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller and all departments within the division by providing strategic counsel, public relations insight, internal and external communications initiatives, targeted stakeholder communications, identification of storytelling opportunities and event planning/support. Previously, he served as associate director of athletic communications at Clemson from 2004-17, where his responsibilities were primarily as the Lead Communications Strategist and Media Relations Director for men’s basketball. Sikes earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson in parks, recreation and tourism management in 2002 and added a Master’s in Human Resource Development in 2004. A native of Aiken, South Carolina, he lives in Clemson with his wife, Jocelyn, and sons Ryan and Dylan.

Chad Sosolik

Chad SosolikDr. Chad Sosolik is a Professor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Prior to joining the University, he received his doctorate in Condensed Matter Physics from Cornell University in 2001 and was an NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Electron Physics Group at NIST-Gaithersburg. His primary research focus is on fundamental aspects of ion-solid interactions, combining experimental and theoretical methods to probe the mechanisms of energy and charge exchange. Sosolik received an NSF CAREER award in 2006 and an NSF MRI grant in 2010 which established the CUEBIT multicharged ion research facility. He is actively engaged with the South Carolina teaching community, having served as president of the regional section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and as part of a multi-year effort to bring math and physics education to K-12 teachers in local school districts. In 2020, Sosolik was awarded the George B. Pegram Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Physics in the Southeast by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society.

Deveraux Williams

Deveraux WilliamsDeveraux T. Williams serves as the IT & Training Manager in the Division of University Relations.  He manages the planning, organizing and execution of IT functions for the division, including directing IT operations to meet customer and project requirements as well as the support and maintenance of existing software applications and hardware. Williams began his Clemson career as a temporary employee doing IT support for the College of Education for 2 years before becoming an IT Consultant for Student Affairs for 12 years. He served a term as Staff Senate President in 2016-2017 (first and only African American at Clemson to date).  Williams earned both a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Engineering and a master's degree in Human Resource Development from Clemson University. A Charleston native, Williams lives in Pendleton and is soon to marry his lovely fiancée, Latonya.

Cairen Withington

Cairen WithingtonCairen Withington is Director of Program Review and Effectiveness in the Graduate School. She joined the Graduate School in 2017 to solidify, operationalize and implement a cyclical self-review process across all graduate academic programs at Clemson University. Graduate Academic Program Self (GAPS) Review is owned by, and for the benefit of, the academic programs at Clemson. It is supported by the Provost’s Office and administered through the Graduate School to ensure that Clemson continues to grow in excellence both in graduate education and in outcomes related to graduate education. Withington’s career at Clemson University spans nearly forty years. She has worked in or been a student in all but two academic colleges on campus and spent a great part of her career working for two research centers associated with the College of Education. Withington is married and has a daughter, son, and son-in-law who all graduated from Clemson University.