Leadership Symposium Guest Speakers


  • Susan Raines, Ph.D.

    Dr. Raines is Professor of Conflict Management in the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development at Kennesaw State University, and Editor-in-Chief, Conflict Resolution Quarterly

    While her primary fields of interest include international, environmental and public policy conflicts, Professor Raines is interested in conflict management at all levels. She regularly mediates commercial and domestic relations court-connected cases, facilitates public meetings, facilitates long-term governmental decision-making processes, and designs conflict management interventions for corporate enterprises. In 2007 she was appointed Editor-in Chief of Conflict Resolution Quarterly. Professor Raines frequently presents her work at both national and international conferences and in a variety of academic and practitioner journals. In addition to her academic pursuits, she has designed ADR programs for numerous state agencies in Indiana, trained managers with the United Nations and arbitrators with the European Union, trained judges and attorneys inside and outside of Georgia, evaluated Florida’s mediation training requirements, and has participated in the evaluation of the United States Postal Service’s REDRESS Program. Currently, she is writing two books: One on “Conflict Management for Managers” and one related to “Benchmarking Mediation” (with Jean Poitras).


    • Lisa Lewis-Fears

      Lisa Lewis-Fears is the Associate Director at Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) Center for University Learning. She consults with university leaders, faculty, staff and teams to provide professional development and career enrichment at KSU and for the University System of Georgia’s Professional Development Consortium. Lisa holds several professional certifications and designations including Professional in Human Resources, Registered Corporate Coach, MBTI Practitioner, FranklinCovey Facilitator, Development Dimensions International Facilitator, DiSC Facilitator, and a certified speaker, coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team. She received a graduate degree in Human Resource Development from Georgia State University and an undergraduate degree in Communications from Boston University.


      • Tanya Smith

        Tanya M. Smith is the Founder & CEO of Life In Quarters, LLC a Leadership Development consultancy.

        Ms. Smith honorably retired from the US Army in November 2016 after 24 years of total service. She began her military career as an Army Reserve Radiologic Technician. Wanting to experience the Army on a full-time basis, she resigned from her position as Acting Director for New Jersey’s largest residential facility for male juvenile delinquents. She then enlisted as a Cryptologic Linguist and graduated with Honors from the Spanish Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, California.
        She successfully served in both traditional and nontraditional Army leadership positions. Her station assignments include Fort Drum, New York, Fort Meade, Maryland, Fort Hood, Texas, and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), Monterey, California. She deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq in support of peacekeeping and combat operations.

        Ms. Smith’s civilian education includes Associate degrees in Spanish, Intelligence Studies, and Applied Science, a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. She has also completed the University of Pennsylvania’s Master Resiliency Trainer Certificate program and Cornell’s Executive Leadership Certificate programs in High Performance Leadership and Executive Leadership.

        Her combined civilian experience and years of service to the nation have provided her invaluable opportunities to see and understand the world from unique perspectives. These experiences have contributed to her ability to develop effective leaders and enhance organizational growth. As a life-long learner with a passion for adding value to organizations and individuals, she also became a certified speaker, coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team.

        Traveling and reading are her two most enjoyed activities.


        • Tammy DeMel

          University Relations (bio coming soon)


          • Dr. Linda M. Johnston

            Dr. Linda M. Johnston is the Executive Director of the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics, and Character and a Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests include sports-related violence, police violence, ethics, bullying, racial and ethnic conflict, health-related conflict, narrative and discourse theory, and world view theory. She is a trained mediator, negotiator, ombuds, and facilitator. She works both domestically and internationally. She has received grants from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Endowment for the Arts. She had a Fellowship to begin a dialogue between Egyptians and Americans. She has also done work in Ukraine, Republic of Georgia, Barbados, Nigeria, Egypt, Mongolia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Zambia, Viet Nam, and in the U.S.

            Dr. Johnston serve as the President of the International Peace Research Association Foundation for nine years, served on the Peace Research Grants Committee, and administered the Senesh Fellowship Program. She currently serves on the Nobel Peace Prize committee for the American Friends Service Committee, teaches at the UN School of Peace in Costa Rica, and has taught at the Dag Hammarskjöld Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in Zambia. She served on the Board of Hands Along the Nile. Her book “Sports, Peacebuilding, and Ethics” was published in 2014.


            • Crystal Money

              Crystal Money is the Program Specialist for the Siegel Institute. Her academic background is in American studies, African Studies, and Ethical Leadership. She manages the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Ethics program and mentors the Siegel Institute Ethics Research Scholars.


              • Mashaun D. Simon

                Mashaun D. Simon joined the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a Diversity Specialist in September 2015. A 2009 graduate of Kennesaw State University, Simon earned a Masters of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Prior to joining the office, the Atlanta native worked in the Office of Advanced Professional Studies at Columbia Theological Seminary. A former print and new media journalist, Simon’s bylines have been published in print and online periodicals such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Black Enterprise Magazine.

                Currently, Simon is a contributing writer for NBCNews.com and an ordained minister. His passion for diversity and inclusion is born from his own experiences in tackling prejudice. In addition, he has a lifelong concern for marginalized communities. Much of his research focuses on race, sexuality, identity and faith.


                • Harry Vardis

                  Harry is the Director of the Center Of Business Innovation - Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University. He is a professional facilitator, trainer and consultant in the field of innovation and creative thinking. He is a lifetime member and a trainer at the Creative Education Foundation

                  Harry is the founder of Creative Focus, Inc. a Market Research consultancy located in Atlanta. Harry’s clients include FORTUNE 500 companies such as AT&T, Verizon Information Systems, Delta Air Lines, Mohawk Industries, Assurant Solutions, Cox Media, Autotrader.com and others.

                  Universities where Harry has introduced his course on innovation are: Emory University, Kennesaw State University, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, University of Illinois, Southern Polytechnic, Albany State University, Anahuac University, and Novartis University

                  He loves sailing, fishing and trekking.


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