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Dr. Phyllis Worthy-Dawkins

Higher Education Consultant

Dr. Phyllis Worthy-Dawkins

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, is a woman with extensive higher education experience who is adept at the inner workings of HBCUs, having worked at six (South Carolina State, Johnson C. Smith University, Dillard University, Cheyney University, Bennett College, and Clark Atlanta University). Dawkins was a tenured and full professor and worked as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bennett College, Cheyney University and at Dillard University.

Currently, she is the Executive Program Director of the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute at Clark Atlanta University (HBCU ELI at CAU). In terms of other professional development activities, Dawkins is a Co-founder of the HBCU Faculty Development Network, and a former past President of the Professional and Organizational Development Network (POD).

Dawkins currently serves on the Boards of Goddard College in Vermont, the George Floyd Memorial Center and was a thought partner with the Minority Broadband Initiative of NTI NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration). She consults with or presents at several HBCUs (81/101), organizations, professional meetings, summer institutes, conferences, etc. on fundraising, grant writing, assessment, academic program evaluation/reviews, education technology, accreditation, learning communities, faculty development, etc.

From 2018-2020, Dawkins served on the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. On December 11, 2019, she was appointed as a National Senior Fellow to the Council Exchange Board of Trade (CEBOT). In this role, she is serving as the National Executive Director of Higher Education.

During her tenure as the 18th President of Bennett College, she spearheaded a successful bipartisan legislative effort with UNCF that enabled Bennett and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to get deferments on payments to the HBCU Capital Finance Loan Program in 53 days. She also led the nationwide StandWithBennett Campaign that yielded 9.5 million dollars in 60 days and 10.5 million with the June 2019 audit.

In her career, she has fundraised more than $19 million and acquired over $54 million in state and federal grants. In terms of federal grants, she wrote/co-wrote and secured funds with colleagues from the National Institute of Health on Minority Health Disparities, NSF HBCU-UP Grant: Interdisciplinary Approach to Increasing Minorities in SMET Disciplines and Title III. She has also secured several private foundation grants.

She is married to Bob G. Dawkins, and they have two daughters (Malia & Demi).


Dr. Robbie K. Melton

Tennessee State University

Dr. Robbie K. Melton

Dr. Robbie K. Melton, selected as one of the 2024 Top 50 Women Leaders in Education, serves as Interim Provost/Vice President for Tennessee State University Academic Affairs and Vice President of Technology Innovations for the SMART Global Technology Innovation Center, and tenured professor at Tennessee State University. She serves as a global researcher and international consultant for SMART Artificial Intelligence (AI) an Academic eSports for Education and Emerging IOE (“The Internet of Everything”) Smart Mobile Technology of mobile devices, smart phone-tablets, wearables, smart gadgets and tools, and mixed reality of VR and AR. She formerly served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Emerging Technologies for the Tennessee Board of Regents and the primary developer and chief administrator for the system wide Regents Online Degree Programs.


Her tributes include: The 2023 Top 50 Women Leaders in Education, 2019 USDLA Hall of Fame, 2018, Distinguished Women of Legend, 2017 OLC Leadership, 2016, WCET Life Time Achievement, 2014 Top 30 Technologists, 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator, 2012 Top Fifty Technology Innovator; and 2012 WOW EdTechnology Awards. She was a featured speaker at the International UNESCO Mobile Learning Symposium. She known as an ‘Appologist, for her extensive research of best practices with mobile devices (smart phone, tablets, wearable, and the creation of a Mobile App Resource Center. Currently advocating for Open Education Resources (OER) for global access to education content. Plus, serving as an Education Technology Trainers for Malawi and various countries in South Africa in promoting worldwide that “Everyone Can Code and Create” and “Academic eSports – Mixed Reality Gamification” for the new innovations of SMART Immersive Teaching and Learning and a passionate advocate for empowering underserved populations, especially Black females, in becoming innovators and entrepreneurs for the digital world.

Robbie Melton Bio
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