Dr. Jeanie Cockell, Co-President, Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting, is a dynamic facilitator and a leader in Appreciative Inquiry as an organizational and community development process and a research methodology. Since 1999 Jeanie has worked as a consultant with education institutions and organizations in the private, public, and social-profit sectors. She has extensive experience in facilitating, presenting, training, coaching, working with conflict, leading, and collaboratively designing strategies for individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to build positive futures and to respond effectively to change.
Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair, Co-President, Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting, is an inspirational writer, speaker, and facilitator with more than 25 years of institutionally based work as an educator. Joan specializes in the use of Appreciative Inquiry in leadership, strategic planning, and innovative strategies for organizational development. She also provides short-term leadership through executive-to-go services.
Joan has fulfilled faculty, department head, dean, vice president, and president roles over her career at four diverse Canadian Colleges.
Dr. Amy J. Armstrong is chair and associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. For over 33 years, she has been involved in advocacy, education, and employment issues related to individuals with disabilities. Amy has extensive experience providing national personnel training on employment of marginalized populations, wellbeing, leadership, and motivational topics which has led her to utilizing Appreciative Inquiry in wellbeing/positive psychology leadership and personal/professional transformation.
Dr. Denise Henning (Cherokee/Choctaw) has had numerous roles in her 20 years in higher education with 13 of those years as executive leadership. As faculty and an experienced executive, Denise has worked with professionals and aspiring academicians to become strong - positive leaders. She is focused on fostering shared leadership using an appreciative framework at its core. Throughout her career, Denise has served as faculty and mentor in multiple leadership development institutes and is committed to making the academic environment a more positive and inspiring environment that is 'future focused and future ready.'
Irlanda Gonzalez Price is the Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, BC. Her career spanning nearly 20 years, has been dedicated to the many areas of student development. As a committed educator, Price has led several major campus initiatives resulting in improved access for under-represented and diverse groups, Strategic Enrolment Management, Indigenous Student Support Centre and establishing several bursaries to increase student retention.
Irlanda is a regular conference presenter and author. She is actively engaged in empowering women through her work with the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, an executive committee member for 100 Women Who Care and now is a new faculty/mentor for “Women Honoring Other Women” an appreciative leadership gathering for women leaders in academia. She has been a practitioner of Critical Appreciative Inquiry for nearly 10 years.
Irlanda is passionate about positive strength-based post-secondary education and equity and inclusion in higher education.
Dr, Symphony Oxendine (Cherokee/Choctaw) is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina, Her research includes critical awareness of the social and institutional issues that affect the educational performance and institutional support of American Indians and other underrepresented groups. Symphony is well known for her leadership with Historically Native American Sororities and in national/international organizations. Symphony became a practitioner in Appreciative Inquiry in 2014 and is committed to increased inclusion of women and underrepresented leadership in the academy.
Dawn Dixon is a seasoned professional who has worked in various industries including corporate, nonprofit and governmental agencies. She recently completed 17 years as an educational leader in the NC Community College System (NCCCS). Prior to joining the NCCCS, Dawn held senior roles at institutions including Northern Arizona University and Simmons College. During her career in education Dawn has held many leadership positions including Senior Program Director, Department Chair, Dean and Associate Vice President.
Throughout her career, Dawn has been passionate about educational access and student success. She has created numerous instructional programs geared toward students' academic and career development. Dawn serves on the advisory board for the Health & Fitness program at Johnston Community College, is the past board chair of Neuse Charter School, and continues to work with many community organizations such as Recruitment Ready, to better align secondary and postsecondary education. Dawn is currently pursuing her certification in Appreciative Inquiry Facilitation.