CES Faculty Advisory Board

Dr. Linda Brown
Willa B. Player Endowed Professor
English & Foreign Language

dr-cottonDr. Michael Cotton
Department Chair, Biology




Valerie JohnsonDr. Valerie A. Johnson
Mott Prof. & Director, Women's Studies
History, Philosophy and Religion (Interdisciplinary)

Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson is the Mott Distinguished Professor of Women's Studies and Director of Africana Women's Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She holds a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College and M.A. in Sociology from Atlanta University, (now Clark Atlanta University).

Scholarly interests in bioethics, health care and gender issues led to fieldwork in various places such as Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles Islands, Tanzania, Eritrea, and the United States.

Dr. Johnson is a member of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and board member of the following organizations: North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) ; Our Children's Place (advocacy and educational program for incarcerated women and their young children); Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee and most recently Planned Parenthood Health Systems. Dr. Johnson serves on the North Carolina Historical Commission and North Carolina Council for Women. She recently published "Bringing Together Feminist Disability Studies and Environmental Justice" in the 2011 Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities.

McLucas-webDr. Karla M. McLucas
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Political Science, Social Work and Sociology

Dr. Karla M. McLucas is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bennett College. Prior to joining the Bennett faculty, Dr. McLucas held senior positions in several local, state, and regional agencies.

Dr. McLucas's research interests and projects include assets and wealth generation challenges and opportunities; international economic development strategies in West Africa; and alternatives to minority rural land losses in the United States.

Dr. McLucas received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned her A.B. and J.D. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, and her M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rhonda SharpeDr. Rhonda V. Sharpe
Associate Professor, Business & Economics

Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe currently serves as an Associate Professor of Economics at Bennett College the Director of Financial Literacy at Bennett College and the Associate Director for the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics at the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke University. She has served on the faculty at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on three primary areas: affirmative action policies and their impact on faculty diversity; the impact of disparate treatment in education policy; and discrimination in labor and sports markets. She earned her Ph.D. in economics and mathematics from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Yvonne WelbonDr. Yvonne Welbon
Dept. Chair/Assistant Professor, J&M Studies
Journalism & Media Studies

Yvonne Welbon is an award-winning independent filmmaker, educator, and entrepreneur. She started her first business, a premiere arts and leisure magazine, at the age of 23 in Taipei, Taiwan with $300 and ran it for 5 years. She has successfully produced and distributed over 20 films which have screened on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO and in over one hundred film festivals around the world. 

Welbon received a B.A in History from Vassar College, a Masters of Fine Arts degree in film and video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University. Welbon is currently Chair of the Journalism and Media Studies Department and Assistant Professor of Africana Women's Studies at Bennett College for Women.

DrWrenn-webDr. Sara Wrenn
Assistant Professor, Psychology

Dr. Sara Wrenn received her A.B. in psychology from Duke University, her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from North Carolina State University, & is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Bennett College. Her research interests include effects of victim impact evidence on sentencing decisions, comprehensibility of judges' instructions, antecedents of causal thinking, working memory & self-control, on-site SAT availability & minority presence/economic disadvantage, & atypical Stroop performance among college students. She teaches courses in statistics, developmental psychology, educational psychology, ethics, & social psychology. She has also taught for Meredith College, NC Teach, & Duke University's TIP program, & was a consultant for the Duke University Medical Center Ergonomics Division.

CES Professors 

Kenya Cherry

Kenya Cherry is the sole owner of Kenya A. Cherry, CPA. She serves not-for-profit agencies, small businesses and individuals. Prior to opening her firm she served as the Chief Financial Officer at the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development in Durham, NC. Her previous work experience includes being a senior accountant for Ty Cox Accounting Service and an auditor for Deloitte & Touche in their former Washington, DC office.

In addition to working with clients, Ms. Cherry also teaches classes on Setting Up Your Books, Record Keeping, Taxes for Small Businesses and Budgeting.

Ms. Cherry received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Hampton University. Ms. Cherry is a member of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Black Accountants.

ElliottKathy Elliott
Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship

Kathy Elliott has been in the field of Small Business Development for over 20 years ranging from:

  • Assisting businesses with start-up, expansion and federal government contracting
  • Served as the Director of the Corpus Christi Small Business Development Center
  • Managing a family owned construction company in Texas for over 10 years
  • Currently develops and implements small business programs for the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

Kathy is originally from Connecticut, served in the US Navy, has a BS in Business Administration from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and a Master's in Entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University.

CES Staff


Dr. Cynthia V. Clemons
Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Associate Professor


Sacha Blalock
Program Associate

Nicole Meeks
Student Assistant

Fast Facts