The “Spotlight” feature was created to foster a culture that recognizes outstanding work, encourages peer support and promotes Black excellence. Each month we will highlight a Black I/O professional or student on our social media platforms. During the month, current and future members will have the opportunity to engage with Spotlight Members about IO experiences and what they are currently doing.
Dawn Gates is a 2nd-year student in an I-O Psychology master’s program with a focus on and devotion to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) issues. She hopes to use her I-O education to help shape and lead organizations that want to honor the needs of its most vital asset, their employees. She is a retired veteran of the Virginia Army National Guard where she served as the senior diversity leader for her unit and has trained and led military personnel through 3 overseas deployments. She also has a background in communications and recently began her coaching business focusing on transformational leadership.
Dawn is the chair for BIOP’s DEI Task Force and a member of SIOP’s External Relations committee. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and watching the world through her tiny giant son’s eyes. She hails from Fort Knox, KY, but presently resides in Maryland with her husband and son.
Kenyatta is extremely motivated and organized with first-hand experience in training and development. She is a passionate team player and loves to meet new people. She's creative and takes great pride in her work and prides herself in taking a vision and making it a reality through sound strategy development. Kenyatta intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together into a coherent whole, helps others extend their thinking, and drives material business advantage. Her truest aspiration is to become an inspirational leader and IO professional. Respected as a credible voice in decision-making, Kenyatta tends to earn a seat at the table wherever she serves.
Dr. NaTasha Jordan, or Dr. J for short, is an IO Psychologist who stands at the center of Marketing, Psychology, and Org Design.As an IO Psychologist, she is a budding expert on how organizations can grow during uncertain times through building the right team, providing the right direction, and embodying shared and lived values. She has been recognized as the first black woman to be awarded the Consulting Psychology Presidential Citation. Chosen by James Orsini, President of The Sasha Group to work alongside Gary Vaynerchuk's handpicked leaders, Dr. J advises SMB leaders on designing their organization for the now helping her clients operationalize their strategies and turning their visions into reality through strategic organizational transformation.
Alicia Kumar is currently a 2nd-year student in the I-O Psychology M.S program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Her background in healthcare and I-O psychology helped shape her initial interest in the field of I-O. During her time at UTC, she has worked on projects that include organizing a food pantry for students and mentoring minority students as they prepared for higher education. Alicia also assisted with the development of inclusive teaching practices and facilitated discussions on student diversity within her department. She is currently working as a Manpower and Events intern for a manufacturing organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In her role, Alicia works on both the recruitment and DEI side to attract a diverse pool of talent and support employees during their time at the manufacturing organization. She is also a member of the PRIDE Employee Resource Group and the African-Americans Building Leadership Excellence (ABLE) Employee Resource Group, where she works to foster an inclusive work environment for employees from different backgrounds.
Her work and research interests include racial and gender equity initiatives, occupational health and safety, and mitigating organizational burnout.
Post-graduation, Alicia aims to work in the consulting field and guide various organizations in their efforts to implement DEI initiatives.
In her free time, Alicia likes to read, hike with friends, travel internationally, and spend time with her family.
Alexis Graham is an HR & Talent Operations manager for an Education Technology company. She is from the DMV area and has resided locally for all her life. She has a master’s degree in Psychology and is currently an I/O Psychology Ph.D. student with a concentration in Coaching. Working with corporations to assist in mitigating burnout and hiring biases is Alexis’ passion. Not only is she focusing her research on these topics, but she puts them in practice daily, volunteering for a Diversity Inclusion steering committee to ensure that interdepartmental policies remain equitable and fair for all. As a certified coach, Alexis recently started a growth coaching business and enjoys continuing to move the needle in the IO Psych space forward by helping clients see their full potential in the workspace.
In her free time, Alexis enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants. Whether throwing the ball with her pup Marley or enjoying an espresso martini on an international beach, Alexis truly takes pride in embodying work/life balance in everything she does.
Teresa "Terri" White is a lifelong resident of Central California with a small stint of time spent in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a mother of three awesome children Isaiah, Ambiance, and Daniel. Teresa started her journey into I/O Psychology in my Master's program where she learned that psychology could do more than help better understand the mind but also help relationships in our everyday lives. She is passionate about helping professionals from all walks of life find and thrive in their God-given gifts and talents. Currently, Teresa is pursuing a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from Northcentral University. Her goal is to offer I/O services to organizations such as non-profits and faith-based organizations and congregations that would not normally have access to these services.
Shaneeta Dickens began her career in the Public Health field working as a Nutritionist for the state of Georgia and evolving into a Private Practitioner offering Wellness Coaching for individuals striving for an improved quality of life. She has worked in private mental health settings, community health, hospitals and corporate organizations as a hands-on facilitator, public speaker and business development consultant. She works with adolescent and adult clients focusing on stress management, wellness recovery plans, work-life balance and executive functioning.
She understands how important it is to identify all aspects of an individual’s life that impact their well-being including support systems, work/school environment, spirituality and life purpose. Under her consulting firm “Black Magenta Consulting” Shaneeta compassionately works with each of her clients by meeting them where they are and empowering them with new life skills during their journey.
Shaneeta enjoys gardening, traveling, music, and poetry. She loves meeting new people and spending quality time with her family and friends. She is also a dedicated breeder of English and French Bulldogs.