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Holmes Leadership Symposium 2020

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3rd Biennial

Holmes Leadership Symposium

Leadership for a Changing World

February 27, 2020

JHLP hosts a leadership symposium that bring a wide range of industry leaders and experts to discuss leadership topics with students.

JHLP is pleased to present our third biennial Holmes Leadership Symposium, Leadership for a Changing World. Attendees will enjoy plenary talks and breakout sessions featuring leadership perspectives from a diverse group of practitioners and researchers. We hope you will join us for an inspiring and educational day as we explore different ways to lead.

Early registration for students attending the morning workshops will open at 8:30 AM. Registration for the public will open at 11:00 AM in the Oklahoma Memorial Union. The main program will begin at noon.

Parking is available at the Oklahoma Memorial Union parking facility.  We ask that if you have an OU Parking Permit, that you park at another location so that visiting attendees, presenters, and those without a permit can park there instead.  We thank you for your consideration.


Symposium Itinerary 

Student Workshop: Start Smart Salary Negotiations
Scholars Room
Jasemine Brown, University of Oklahoma

Students will participate in a workshop learning about the the wage gap and receive advice on how to identify and communicate their own personal value and be paid what they are worth during their careers.

Student Workshop: LGBTQ+ Aspiring Ally
Associates Room
Liv Whitley, University of Oklahoma

Students will learn more about LGBTQ+ people and how they can take steps to be more inclusive and become more aware of implicit and explicit bias targeting their peers.

Centering an Indigenous Leadership Perspective in Our Work
Molly Shi Boren Ballroom
Dr. Robin Minthorn, University of Washington Tacoma

This presentation will give a contextual and contemporary approach to Indigenous leadership and how that can influence the approaches to leadership and work with all communities and peoples.

Grace at Work: A New Paradigm in Achieving Success in the Workplace and in Life
Regents Room
Cheryle Jackson, CEO of Grit and Grace, The Movement

There has been nearly a sole focus on “grit” as the key to achieving success. It is true that you’re not likely to be successful without grit but is it alone the only driver for achieving and sustaining success. What do you do when you’re battle-weary or out of fight? How do you find a way forward? This is a question for anyone but certainly for those who are “outsiders” or “onlys” in the workplace - women, people of color and under represented minorities whose baseline and everyday reality is a fight.

Panel: Creating an Inclusive Culture
Beaird Lounge

Moderated by Dr. Ryan Bisel, Professor at the University of Oklahoma; Department of Communication. Panelists include Dr. Shane Connelly, Pavitra Kavya, Marisa Flores, and Dr. Michael Kramer

The Neuroscience of Bias
Regents Room
Dr. David Gordon, Professor and Department Chair of Neurology at the University of Oklahoma

This talk will include a definition of unconscious bias as a normal consequence of experiential memory; the role of unconscious bias in group survival; and the potential effect of unconscious bias on leaders with methods for recognizing and modifying it when appropriate

Alumni Leaders Panel
Beaird Lounge

Moderated by Lynn Ghose Cabrera, Technical Communications Specialist at Excalibre Consulting. Panelists include Malik El-Amin, Yuenkeen Cheong, Tejashri Kyle, and Shantel Edwards.

Mini Career Fair
Career Services and Molly Shi Boren Ballroom

Students and professionals will have an opportunity to meet, network, and discuss career opportunities.

Engineering Quad Tours
Starting at Felgar Hall, western entrance facing Asp Ave.

Come join our engineering recruiters as we take you on a tour of our engineering facilities and discuss the various opportunities available to our engineering students.


Reception and Graduate Student Poster Session
Governors Room

Maximizing Organizational Potential
Molly Shi Boren Ballroom
Terri Kelly, retired CEO of W. L. Gore and Associates

Symposium Speakers

Jasmine Brown (she, her, hers) is the Outreach Coordinator for the Gender + Equality Center. Jasmine is responsible for creating working relationships with campus departments, faculty, staff, and underrepresented populations across the University of Oklahoma in order to promote and improve the resources and programs of the GEC.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at Baylor University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education, with an emphasis in Student Affairs Administration. Her current areas of research interest focus on a deeper understanding of the process and procedures of Title IX departments/offices, providing a broader understanding of women of color on college campuses, specifically, Black Women in Higher Education, and addressing the experiences of women of color in regards to sexual violence on a college campus.


Jasmine Brown

Jasmine Brown

University of Oklahoma

Liv Whitley (she, her, hers) is the Training and Development Coordinator for the Gender + Equality Center. In this role, she serves as the primary trainer for the full educational portfolio of the GEC and implements sequenced learning experiences for campus stakeholders. She received a BA in International Studies from Midwestern State University with a focus on American history. Liv is passionate about disrupting racial, social and gender-based constructs in her work and activism.

Liv Whitley

Liv Whitley

University of Oklahoma

Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn, Ph.D., is a citizen of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Umatilla/Nez Perce/Apache and Assiniboine Nations.  She is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington in Tacoma and the Director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. Her research interests include Indigenous leadership, Indigenous based doctoral experiences, the impact of Native American sororities, and Indigenous motherhood in the academy. She is the co-editor of the Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education book published by Routledge and Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education published by Rutgers University Press.

Dr. Robin Minthorn

Dr. Robin Minthorn

University of Washington Tacoma

Cheryle Robinson Jackson’s career has been marked by many firsts, spanning international business, civil rights, politics, government, not-for-profit and the media. Jackson is CEO and Founder of Grit and Grace, The Movement, a women’s empowerment, coaching and media company she founded in 2018. Until 2019, she served as Senior Vice President of Global Business Development and President of AAR Africa for AAR, a global aviation services company. In that role, she identified new business opportunities in emerging, existing and underperforming markets in Africa, Asia, South and North America and succeeded in expanding AAR’s footprint in Africa. Jackson also served as AAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development after joining the company in 2010.
Jackson serves as director on the boards of Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a national organization dedicated to facilitating person‐to‐person relationships between U.S. businesses and businesses and government leaders worldwide. She is a member of the Corporate Council on Africa and serves on the Illinois District Export Council. Jackson formerly served on the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Policy Institute, Northwestern University, The Field Museum, Chicago Foundation for Women.
Prior to joining AAR, Jackson was a candidate for President Obama’s once‐vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2010 and was the first female president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. In that capacity, she led one of the most transformational periods of growth at the venerable civil rights organization, shifting its focus from social services to economic development.
Jackson also served as communications director for the Governor of Illinois and was the first woman and African American in the state’s history to hold that position. Her professional experience also includes senior level positions at Amtrak and NPR (National Public Radio).

In her intimate TEDx Talk “Grit and Grace,” Cheryle validates the career trajectories of go-getters like herself but also implores women to self-advocate and practice grace, love in action toward self, as a sustainable model of success. The overwhelming response led Cheryle to consider ways to serve women on a broader scale with Grit and Grace, The Movement, which provides access to coaching, conferences, events and content to inspire and empower women.

“Grit + won’t let you give up and the other makes it OK to let go.”

Cheryle Jackson

Cheryle Jackson

Grit and Grace, The Movement

Dr. Bisel is a Professor of Organizational Communication. His research interests focus primarily on issues surrounding leadership communication, organizational culture, and behavioral ethics.

Dr. Bisel’s (2018) book titled, "Organizational Moral Learning: A Communication Approach" (Routledge) was honored with Book of The Year Awards from two divisions of the National Communication Association. Similarly, Bisel's research was honored with 17 Top Paper Awards and Panels from regional, national and international communication conferences. Also, Dr. Bisel was honored as the 2009 and 2011 Saxton Applied Research Award Recipient for his work in organizational change messaging and team learning, respectively. His 2013 article on team learning earned the Dennis Gouran Article Award from the National Communication Association. Furthermore, Bisel was awarded as the 2010 Longmire Prize winner for excellence in Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching. 

In addition to several book chapters, Dr. Bisel’s research is published in communication and management journals: Communication Monographs, Communication Theory, Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Research Reports, The Leadership Quarterly, Business Communication Quarterly, Health Communication, Communication Studies, Journal of Management Education, International Journal of Business Communication, Western Journal of Communication, Southern Communication Journal, Small Group Research, and Human Relations.

In addition to his academic experience, Professor Bisel has worked as a process consultant, speaker, trainer, and facilitator for organizations such as Sorb Technologies Fresenius North America, Crossed Cannons Brewery, Children's Hospital Foundation, Douglas County Visiting Nurses and Hospice, South Central Climate Science Center, OU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rose State College, Alphi Phi Foundation, OU Department of Mathematics, Marquette Corporate Communication Summit, Air Force Public Affairs Center of Excellence, OSU-OU Executive Education Partnership Program, OU Department of Anesthesiology, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Cornerstone Credit Union League, Governor's Executive Partnership Program (OK), Grace Fellowship, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, National Weather Association, and Kansas Health Foundation.

Dr. Ryan Bisel

Dr. Ryan Bisel

University of Oklahoma

Shane Connelly is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. She earned her Ph.D. from George Mason University and has over a decade of experience working with private industry and government organizations on applied research projects. Her research focuses on leadership, emotions in the workplace, and ethical decision-making. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Management, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Dr. Connelly has published numerous articles and serves on the editorial boards of The Leadership Quarterly and Human Performance

Dr. Shane Connelly

Dr. Shane Connelly

University of Oklahoma

Pavitra Kavya is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on organizational and leadership communication with an emphasis on understanding how people can derive more energy and joy in their work.

Pavitra Kavya

Patvira Kavya

University of Oklahoma

Marisa Flores is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Marisa does both qualitative and quantitative research in organizational communication and management, with a focus on issues of organizational temporality as it relates to communication of members' temporal perceptions, positive organizational behavior, and communication about work-life issues. Her current project explores the consequences of voicing social justice issues in the workplace.


Marisa Flores

Marisa Flores

University of Oklahoma

Michael W. Kramer has 16 years of experience as a department chair and has been chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma since 2010. His research focuses on leadership, decision making, and employee transitions as part of organizational membership. He has authored over 60 refereed journal articles in leading communication and interdisciplinary journals. He has written books on uncertainty management and socialization, and recently has coedited three books on volunteers and nonprofit organizations.

Michael Kramer

Dr. Michael Kramer

University of Oklahoma

Dr. David Lee Gordon joined the Department of Neurology in the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine as Professor and Chair in January 2007.  He received his medical degree from the University of Miami, completed his neurology residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, and a fellowship in cerebrovascular diseases at the University of Iowa. He served on the faculty of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine before joining OU.

Dr. Gordon has special interest and expertise in stroke, migraine, unconscious bias, and medical education.  He has been named by his peers as one of the “Best Doctors in America®” on numerous occasions, received the Outstanding Physician Award from the Mississippi quality-improvement organization, and received the American Heart Association’s national Award of Meritorious Achievement.  He has developed and led curricula for pre-hospital providers, nurses, medical students, physician assistant students, and resident physicians.  He has received numerous local and national teaching awards, including the OU College of Medicine Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award and the American Neurological Association Distinguished Neurology Teacher Award.

Dr. David Gordon

OU Health Sciences Center

Throughout her career, Lynn Ghose Cabrera (CBME '01) has worked in manufacturing operations, project management, EHS, supply chain, procurement, technical communications, and UX/product management. In her current role as a technical communications consultant, she "helps geeks speak" (and write).

As a student, Cabrera was active in Engineers' Club and wrote for The Oklahoma Daily. As a freshman student, she perceived the need for a professional network and sisterhood for engineering and science students and alumnae. She addressed this by researching, finding and founding the Beta Chapter of Alpha Sigma Kappa - Women in Technical Studies along with a group of her peers.

Lynn Ghose Cabrera

Lynn Ghose Cabrera

Excalibre Consulting

Malik B. El-Amin is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Griot Theatre. As an actor, he has appeared at regional theatres including Indiana Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Festival, among others. He has produced and directed both classical and contemporary plays at Griot Theatre. Malik holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, an MFA in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University, and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from American Jewish University. He is a member of both Actors Equity Association (AEA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA). When not conspiring to commit theatre, Malik volunteers with the Los Angeles chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America and works as a Senior Manager at Farmers Insurance, where he holds the designation of Project Management Professional.  


Malik El-Amin

Malik El-Amin

Griot Theatre

Yuenkeen Cheong is an alumnus of The University of Oklahoma. He arrived in Norman from Malaysia to complete his 4-year degree in Industrial Engineering.  Little did he knew he would stay on for almost a decade, eventually completing his PhD research under the direction of Dr. Randa Shehab and Dr. Chen Ling.   Y.K. considers himself multicultural, evident in his frequent cravings for nasi lemak, Cantonese stir-fries, chicken fried chicken, and fried catfish. He speaks Mandarin, English, Malay, and two other Chinese dialects.

Over 12 years in the industry, Y.K. has contributed to iconic consumer devices such as Motorola Q, Motorola Droid, and most recently Microsoft Hololens.  Y.K. now resides in the Seattle area where he is a principal human factors engineer at Microsoft.

YK Cheong

Yuenkeen Cheong


Tejashri Kyle is a proud alumna of the OU College of Engineering. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, Tejashri moved to Austin, Texas to pursue her graduate studies and began her career, first in private consulting and then in the public sector. Tejashri has 15 years of experience in design, permitting, project management, and environmental compliance. Currently, she serves as the Environmental Programs Manager at UT Austin. Tejashri is a 2019 graduate of the UT Austin Facilities and Administrative Services Leadership Growth Program. Excellence in leadership to her means humble leadership, self-reflection and continuing to grow personally and professionally.

Tejashri Kyle

Tejashri Kyle

University of Texas Austin

Shantel Edwards graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and the High School for Engineering Professions and received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.  She has over 20 years of petrochemical and oil and gas experience, working for companies and managing PSM and Mechanical Integrity specific projects for BASF, BP, Baker Hughes, Chevron Phillips and ExxonMobil among many other companies. Shantel started her career in the area of technical design for Mechanical Engineering services at BASF for their Freeport, TX and Charlotte, NC locations where her responsibilities included pipe stress analyses, piping and pressure vessel inspection and design support, and risk-based inspection evaluations. Her supervision over capital projects in the plant lead her career into project management when she later joined Berwanger, now Siemens in 2005.  She served as the primary project manager for Process Safety Management (PSM) accounts with a focus area in Mechanical Integrity. Mrs. Edwards is currently working for Siemens Energy as an Engineering Manager where she manages a group of 19 engineers with an average experience level of 10+ years.  Her primary responsibilities involve talent development and training along with coaching of the engineering staff in the area of technical consulting and business development.  Additional responsibilities include safety and quality management for the Solutions and Safety business unit ensuring industry compliance.  Through the span of her career, Mrs. Edwards has received numerous awards most notably, The Houston Area Engineers Week Young Engineer of the Year and the Siemens Compassion for Service Award.

Shantel Edwards is also an avid community supporter volunteering her time and resources to many causes and organizations such as the Dress for Success campaign, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Federation of Youth Sports.  Mrs. Edwards is also a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she has spent countless hours serving the community through the sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrusts: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness & Involvement, Physical & Mental Health and Political Awareness & involvement.  Mrs. Edwards has also been honored by the community with awards including The Booker T. Washington High School Distinguished Alumni and Delta Sigma Theta Houston Alumnae Chapter Community Service Volunteer of the Year.  While at the University of Oklahoma Shantel served as President of the Black Student Association, Chapter Chair of The National Society of Black Engineers, Founding Member of Women of Power and member of Engineers Club, Society of Women Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  Awards received while at the University of Oklahoma include the Minority Engineering Program Dean’s List, OU African-American Undergraduate of the Year and Pi Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Citizen of the Year. Shantel enjoys her hobbies of event planning, arts & crafts, traveling and photography and loves to spend time with her husband and three children.

Shantel Edwards

Shantel Edwards

Siemens Energy

Terri Kelly is the former President and CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates, a multi-billion dollar privately-held global Enterprise.  Gore specializes in advanced materials utilized in a wide array of demanding applications, including GORE-TEX® fabric, minimally-invasive medical devices, protective venting products, and cables used in space exploration, among other advanced technologies.  Gore is as well known for its unique management philosophy and culture, as for its unique products.  Ms. Kelly joined Gore in 1983 after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  Early in her career, she worked in various commitments including process engineering, product development, product specialist and business leadership.  In 2005, she earned the title of President and CEO, also serving as a Director of the Gore Board.

Terri is passionate about creating a collaborative and empowered work environment to achieve successful business outcomes.  Her areas of expertise include product innovation, strategy development, brand management, organizational and leadership development, associate engagement, and compensation oversight.

Kelly currently serves on two public boards; United Rentals, the largest rental equipment company in the world, and Netherlands based ASML, a global leader in the manufacturing of chip making equipment for the semiconductor industry.  She is also a long-standing member of the board for the Nemours Foundation – one of the nation’s leading children’s health care systems, and also serves on the board of trustees for the University of Delaware and Unidel Foundation.  In addition to her board commitments, Ms. Kelly is a member of the Management Executive Society, International Women’s Forum, Advisory Council for Serviam Academy and the University of Delaware College of Engineering, and as a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative for the Lerner College of University of Delaware.

Ms. Kelly was awarded the 2019 Delaware Women’s Leadership Conference Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 Executive of the Year from the W.P. Carey School of Business Arizona State University.  She was also recognized as a member of the Alumni Wall of Fame by the University of Delaware, and a Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts.  Terri resides in Delaware with her husband, John, and have four children; Bryan, Maddie and twin girls, Nicki & Lexi.

Terri Kelly

Terri Kelly



Northrop Grumman





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