Dr. Patti Rose, President & Founder of Rose Consulting and Author

Dr. Patti Rose acquired her Master’s Degree (MPH) from Yale University, followed by her Doctorate (Ed.D) from Teachers College, Columbia University. During the acquisition of her Doctorate in Education, she was able to pursue a broad range of study, which enables her teaching capability in varied subject areas. She has served as a Faculty member (from Adjunct Professor, Instructor, to the Associate Professor Level) at the University of Miami, Florida International University, Springfield College, Worcester State College, Nova Southeastern University and Barry University. She is the Director and Founder (her current role) of her own firm, Rose Consulting, and taught courses at Florida Atlantic University’s Graduate School of Business (both in-class and online). She has also served as President and CEO of Plainfield Health Center in Plainfield, NJ and as Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at The Jessie Trice Center for Community Health, one of the largest community health centers in the nation, in Miami, Florida. She is the author of several books, including, Cultural Competency for Health Administration and Public Health, Cultural Competency for the Health Professions, and Health Disparities, Diversity and Inclusion: Context, Controversies and Solutions, First Edition, published in 2011, 2013 and 2016 respectively, by Jones and Bartlett Learning. She is writing the second edition of the latter text, per her publisher’s request. She is also a visual artist, and was very involved with the development of the cover art, with her publisher, for her textbooks. Additionally, she recently published a financial literacy children’s book series, released in 2018, which she wrote and illustrated. Her artwork has been exhibited at an Art Show at the University of Miami entitled “Africa In Cuba,” along with very prominent artists. Her visual (drawing) artistic work has also been featured in LeMoyne College’s publication Salamander (Vol. VIII) in Syracuse, NY.

Internationally, In the summer of 2013, she served as a Visiting Professor for Chinese college students at Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China, for six weeks, and through the JNC Program, she was a Visiting Professor during the summers of 2014, 2015 and 2016 for five weeks in Guangzhou, China at Jinan University. During the summer of 2017, also through JNC, she served as a Visiting Professor and the Faculty Representative at Feng Chia University in Taichung, Taiwan and during the summer of 2018, at Jinan University in Shenzhen through the JNC Program, she was also a Visiting Professor. During the Summer of 2019, she will serve as a Visiting Professor for the new JNC and Essex County College (ECC) summer academic program and she is the Independent Educational Consultant for JNC, for said program, which she helped to develop. Dr. Rose has studied and has language skills in both Spanish and Mandarin based on her travels and intense written and speaking practice in both languages. She recently passed the HSK test I with a perfect score and will take the next level HSK text in April 2019.

Dr. Kauline Cipriani, Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Dr. Kauline Cipriani, Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, leads the development and implementation of initiatives and strategies to enhance access, diversity, cultural competence and inclusiveness within the School. Dr. Cipriani also is associate professor in the Public Health Leadership Program, where she lectures on inclusive leadership and facilitates conversations around social justice and inclusion topics specific to public health.

Dr. Cipriani most recently served as assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University. Her background includes coordinating academic affairs and diversity initiatives for the Office of the Provost at Purdue. She received a doctoral degree in food microbiology from Purdue’s Department of Food Science, a master’s degree in microbiology and genetics from Purdue’s Department of Biological Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas.

Dr. LaKeitha Poole, Owner of Small Talk Counseling and Consulting

Dr. LaKeitha Poole is the owner of Small Talk Counseling and Consulting, a Baton Rouge-based mental health private practice and consulting firm that serves a diverse clientele in an effort to meet the needs of cognitive and behavioral health and wellness, multicultural identity development, and positive interpersonal relationships. A native of New Orleans, LA, and graduate of Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and Regent University, Dr. Poole’s research emphases include mental health and wellness techniques, athletic and sport counseling, and vulnerability and resilience in communities of color.

She also serves as the Director of Sport Psychology & Counseling for the Athletic Department at Louisiana State University and as an adjunct instructor in the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education. In the SPC department, she works with student-athletes to overcome depression, anxiety, sport & career-related issues, dysfunctional eating, and relational conflicts. She also works with individual sports teams on creating wellness, team building, and mental skills training plans to increase cohesion and strengthen overall performance.

A former Assistant Director in the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs and coordinator of the LSU African American Cultural Center, Dr. Poole currently serves as the National President of the Association for Black Culture Centers (ABCC) and is a Board Member for the Baranko-Clark YMCA in Old South Baton Rouge. Her roles and expertise have allowed her to present to a number of campus, professional and community constituents including the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), the National Collegiate Athletic Association Inclusion and Human Resources group (NCAA IHR), the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A), the Sun Belt Conference (NCAA Division I), and the Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA).

In her free time, she enjoys taking trips home to New Orleans to visit family and attend festivals, traveling, reading, and lounging around with her Shih Tzu-Maltese, Cody.

Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR, Founder and Principal of the mpr group

Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR, is the Founder and Principal of the mpr group (www.mprgroup.info) a full service broad-based Human Resources and Management Professional Services Firm that he has operated continuously for the past 25 years. He has a lifetime Senior Professional in HumanResources (SPHR) certification, the highest level of official recognition in his profession. He is the youngest of 4 children born to the 67 year marriage of Marzet and Pete Rhodes. His greatest accomplishment is his marriage to wife Linda and their two children, Jerome and Lauren.

Mr. Rhodes is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow Class of 1999 and the author of “BRAND: YOU: Personal Branding for Success in Life and Business” and “BRAND: YOU The Workbook”. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Resources Management from Roosevelt University and a Master’s of Science degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Loyola University. In addition, he has completed his coursework towards a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Business Ethics at Loyola University and he completed a certified arbitrator development program through Cornell University and the New York State Employment Relations Board. He also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering – Rader School of Business.

Prior to forming the mpr group, Mr. Rhodes worked in leadership positions within Human Resources for several leading Fortune 100 Firms including; Mobil Oil, General Electric, Baxter Healthcare and Sara Lee. A former Vice President of Human Resources for a professional association, he also served as a field examiner for the National Labor Relations Board.

He is a much sought after thought leader, presenter, keynote and motivational speaker having presented nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to HR, personal branding, diversity, equity and inclusion (D E &I), risk management, emotional intelligence, risk and resiliency among others.

Dr. Gaarmel Funches, Director of Community Education and Outreach, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Gaarmel Funches, PhD joined the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in July 2000 where she serves as the Director of Community Education and Outreach. Dr. Funches is responsible for initiatives in regards to recruitment, outreach, pipeline and enrichment programming, provided to the university medical center students as well as the community. She has a three-phase focus of prepping, recruiting and retaining qualified students to attend UMMC.

Prior to joining the UMMC, Dr. Funches taught high school Chemistry and Biology at Piney Woods Country Life School for twelve years. She completed undergraduate work at Alcorn State University and received a B.S. degree in Biology and Applied Sociologyf rom Mississippi College (1993) and an M.S. from Jackson State University (1994) in Counseling. She has also completed her second M.S.H.S. in Health Administration at TUI University (2007) and her Ph.D. in the School of Health Management and Education at A.T. Still University (2010).

Dr. Funches and her husband Andre are the parents of three children, Kayla, Andre Jr.a nd Anasaja. They are active in their church Fresh Start Christian Church where she serves as an Usher. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated(1989), the Order of Eastern Star, National Association of Medical Minority Educators and a board member of Boys Baseball Association and Full Count; two initiatives that are helping African American Males succeed using baseball.