Working Groups Established to Explore Lifetime Learning Unit

Establishing a new academic unit is a long process, and Tech is at the very beginning.
Georgia Tech Campus

Georgia Tech Campus

The Georgia Institute of Technology is announcing its intention to launch a new academic unit dedicated to lifetime learning. The new unit will bring together three entities whose work underpins its mission and vision: Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), and the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U).

This launch means opportunities for new and expanded research, curricula, students, and professional support for educators at every stage “from K to grey.”

Establishing a new academic unit is a long process, and Tech is at the very beginning. Dean Nelson Baker and Dean Charles Isbell are leading the effort, which currently has three working groups:

  • Academic vision, research, faculty governance, and strategic planning
  • Business model and operations
  • Change management and communications

The Institute has engaged an external consultant, Accenture, to survey the existing state of the lifetime learning market and to provide guidance on possible benchmarks against peers and competitors inside and outside of higher education, market opportunities, and best practices of lifetime education ventures.

In the coming weeks, the working groups will ask members of the Georgia Tech community to contribute their knowledge and creative energy to the process. A series of listening sessions will be offered to members of CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE to provide input starting later this month. More information and a sign-up form will be provided to faculty and staff in those units in the next week. If you are outside of these units and wish to participate in the process, please fill out this web form and you will be contacted for events in the spring. The working groups will integrate insights from the community, the consultants, and from earlier working groups into a detailed proposal for the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia. That proposal will be submitted in early spring next year.

The idea of a lifetime learning unit has been in development for some time. Georgia Tech’s Commission on Creating the Next in Education and its subsequent report led to the formation of an Institute Strategic Plan working group called “GTPE Next,” also chaired by Deans Baker and Isbell. That group made the recommendation to form the new unit.

The members of the lifetime learning working groups are as follows:

Academic Vision, Research, Faculty Governance & Strategic Planning 

Co-chaired by: Charles Isbell, Dean, College of Computing and Jonathan Clarke, Associate Professor of Finance, Scheller College of Business

  • Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, Executive Director of Strategic Consulting
  • Richard Barke, Associate Professor, Public Policy
  • Juana Cunningham, Senior Director of Strategic Consulting
  • Lizanne DeStefano, Executive Director, CEISMC and Professor, Psychology
  • Charles Domercant, Senior Research Engineer, Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Ashok Goel, Professor, Interactive Computing
  • Stephen Harmon, Interim Executive Director, C21U, Associate Dean of Research, GTPE, and Professor, Industrial Design
  • Bradley Hastings, Executive Director of Development, Colleges of Computing and Engineering
  • David Joyner, Executive Director of Online Education & OMSCS, College of Computing
  • Greg King, Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Institute Relations
  • Julia Kubanek, Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research
  • J. Rhett Mayor, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Secretary of the Faculty
  • Mark Nolan, Associate Vice President of Corporate Engagement
  • Stephen Ruffin, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, GTPE
  • Rohan Sohani, Undergraduate Student Body President

Business Model and Operations 

Co-chaired by: Nelson Baker, Dean, Georgia Tech Professional Education and Daren Hubbard, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology

  • Mary Albertson, Director of Technology Licensing, Commercialization
  • Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, Executive Director of Strategic Consulting
  • Pam Buffington, Director of External and Faculty Engagement, C21U
  • Juana Cunningham, Senior Director of Strategic Consulting
  • Jeffrey Fischer, Director of Information Technology, GTPE
  • Brandi Foley-Rodgers, Senior Director of HR Strategy and Faculty Administration, Office of the Provost and Office of the EVPR
  • Kathleen Gosden, Associate General Counsel
  • Laura Hessler, Senior Director of HR Support, Administrative Service Center
  • Cindy Hope, Associate Vice President, Research Administration
  • Glenn Hopkins, Principal Research Engineer, Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Emily Howell, Senior Director of Budget Reform
  • Gloria Kobus, Bursar
  • Cynthia Martin, Director of Institute Financial Support for Research
  • Patrice Miles, Assistant Dean of Business Operations, GTPE
  • Brandon Mitchell, Director of Finance, CEISMC
  • Reta Pikowsky, Associate Vice Provost and Registrar
  • Tanesha Steward, Director of Affiliated Organizations, Office of the General Counsel
  • Kellye Terrell, Senior Director, HR Business Partners, Georgia Tech Human Resources

Management and Communications

Co-chaired by: Renee Kopkowski, Vice President, Institute Communications and Jennifer Herazy, Associate Vice President for Strategy and Administration, Office of the Provost and Office of the Executive Vice President for Research  

  • Brittany Aiello, Communications Program Manager, C21U
  • Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, Executive Director of Strategic Consulting
  • Susan Burns, Associate Chair for Finance and Administration, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Ann Claycombe, Director of Communications, College of Computing
  • Juana Cunningham, Senior Director of Strategic Consulting
  • Michael Hagearty, Assistant Vice President of Campus News and Special Events, Institute Communications
  • Shannon Helton-Amos, Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy, GTPE
  • Susie Ivy, Director of Organizational, Academic and Research Communications, Institute Communications
  • Morgan McCombs, Director of State Relations, Institute Relations
  • Alex Orso, Associate Dean of Off-Campus and Special Initiatives, College of Computing
  • Rachael Pocklington, Program Director of Strategic Communications and Initiatives, Institute Communications
  • Laura Pusateri, Director of Employee Engagement and Well-Being, Georgia Tech Human Resources
  • Joëlle Walls, Communications Manager, CEISMC
  • Sara Warner, Senior Director of Communications, Student Engagement and Well-Being


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