MICHAEL HODGE, PH.D.
INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dr. Michael E. Hodge is the interim executive director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium. He is the immediate past provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Morehouse College. He has also held the position of associate provost for research, scholarship, and creative production at Morehouse and served as acting president. His areas of interest focus on racial and ethnic inequality, including health disparities as well as socioeconomic inequities. He has also taught at the University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, and Georgia State University. His 2009 book, Voices from Beneath the Veil: Analysis of the Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of Middle Class African Americans examines the experiences of middle class African Americans. He is a past president of the Georgia Sociological Association.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Tamala Fortson, director of operations, manages the day-to-day operations of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, ensuring effective organizational leadership, program management, planning and staff management. She also helps to ensure that AUCC member institutions accomplish their civic engagement and community revitalization goals through community-oriented programs and services. Under the direction of the executive director, Fortson is responsible for monitoring accounting, budgeting, auditing and other financial and related functions to ensure the financial integrity of the organization. In addition, she manages personnel and operational matters.
SAID SEWELL, PH.D.
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ACADEMICS, RESEARCH AND STUDENT SUCCESS
Dr. Said Sewell is the director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium’s Office of Academics, Research and Student Success, providing leadership to the Consortium’s premier collaborative programs, including the Dual Degree Engineering and Career Services. Also, he is tasked with driving innovation and increased effectiveness for these programs. In addition, Sewell will assist in expanding collaboration with member and partner institutions, including exploring and catalyzing cross-institutional programs and research. This involves undergraduate research; identifying and deploying models for student success, including financial empowerment and improved processes, including Title IX and cross-registration operations. Additionally, he will be forging communities of practice to incubate academic and research collaboration across campuses, including topics such as social justice.
TALITHA WASHINGTON, PH.D.
DIRECTOR, DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE
Dr. Talitha Washington is the inaugural director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Data Science Initiative. This new initiative seeks to provide data-driven solutions to current and emerging societal problems, especially as it pertains to the African American community. Poised to bring new diverse perspectives to data science, Dr. Washington is a professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University, and is an affiliate faculty member at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College. Dr. Washington is a former program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Convergence Accelerator. Previously, as a program director in the Division of Undergraduate Education, she was instrumental in building and establishing NSF’s first Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program which funded $40,000,000 in awards in FY19. Her research interests include the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Beverly James is Director of Communications, Marketing and Events for the Atlanta University Center Consortium Inc. In this role, James is responsible for external and internal communications, raising awareness of the AU Center and its programs while also promoting the power of the collaboration with member institutions, media training and establishing top administrators as thought leaders. In addition, James directs major events.
CHRISTOPHER G. ELLIS, PH.D.
PROGRAM MANAGER FOR THE DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM AND CAREER SERVICES
Dr. Christopher Ellis has taught in both secondary and post-secondary educational institutions in a variant of roles, including classroom instructor, department chair, dean of students, academic dean, and campus president. He has conducted professional development seminars, program assessments, and policy evaluations in education for private institutions, local, state, and federal governments, as well as academic enrichment and tutorial services for families.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, AUC DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE
Bettina Gardner’s duties include financial oversight, operations and administration management. Previously, Gardner was the assistant director of the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at Clark Atlanta University and a 2017-2018 Fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin, Germany.
She served as deputy director of international affairs for the City of Atlanta during the Kasim Reed administration.
Nora Pattman is the executive assistant for the Atlanta University Center Consortium, coordinates activities related to scheduling, reception, reporting, and numerous business functions. In addition, she provides direct administrative support to the exective director.
Jerry Volcy, Ph.D., is deputy director at the AUC Data Science Initiative. In this position, Volcy coordinates research and educational programs; oversees activities and projects including establishing the AUC Virtual Computer Lab; develops relations with industry partners; and supports programs and activities at the AUC Consortium member institutions.
In addition, Volcy serves as the Brown-Simmons Professor of Science and Director of the Innovation Lab at Spelman College. Previously, he provided software solutions to a range of industries, including biomedical, education, fiber optics, robotics and medical imaging.
Volcy earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Tommy Taylor Jr. is the communications specialist at the AUC Data Science Initiative. Taylor manages communication planning, project management, content development, branding and marketing, digital and social media, and develops an electronic newsletter.
Taylor previously worked at the National Science Foundation where he developed content, branding and outreach strategies. Also, he has produced commercials and creative content for various organizations, from Comcast to the Special Olympics.
Taylor earned degrees in computer engineering, engineering, and public policy and drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Also, he earned an MBA in marketing and supply chain management from Howard University and Georgetown University.