Speakers & Presenters


Rev. Dr. Thomas Bodie

Rev. Dr. Thomas Bodie is the staff chaplain at the Behavioral Care Unit of Akron Children’s Hospital. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Divinity, and ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Rev. Dr. Bodie’s professional career includes teaching at the university level, serving as a minister to several congregations, and as a hospice and hospital chaplain in Pittsburgh. Rev. Dr. Bodie has served in his present capacity at Akron Children’s Hospital for the past six years.


Darrell C. Claytor

Darrell established his financial service practice in 1982. As a professional CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP™), Darrell helps clients organize their financial affairs, networks with other financial and legal professionals to provide a comprehensive financial strategy, and provides a steady hand as they navigate life. In 2012, he received Lifetime Achievement award the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Financial Planning Association*. He has been a guest columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, Essence Magazine, and Black Enterprise Magazine. He is also a member of the Association of African American Financial Advisors. Darrell is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a Masters in Taxation. In 2021, he was awarded the Distinguished Business Alumni award. He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and is married to Theresa. They have four adult children and three grandchildren. Darrell is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and is past president of the Akron and Cleveland Ohio alumni chapters. He is a major supporter of the fraternity’s endowed scholarship at the University of Akron

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Mary Cooke & Donald Jensen

Mary Cooke and Donald Jensen are Assistant Directors of Career Services & Student Employment at The University of Akron (UA). Donald and Mary assist prospective students in major and career exploration, current students in career development, finding and applying for internships, co-ops, and other experiential learning, graduate school preparation, part-time and full-time job search, and anything else career related! We also assist alumni of UA. Mary holds a master’s degree in educational Foundations - Instructional Technology from UA and has served in different departments and roles in over 15 years at the University, being part of the team in Career Services since 2018. Donald holds a master's degree in Sports Science/Coaching from UA and has been a team member in Career Services since 2020.


Jose Carlos Garcia Barahona

Jose Carlos Garcia Barahona is a senior international student at The University of Akron. He was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and came to the United States in Fall of 2019. He is majoring in Electrical Engineering and is set to graduate this May of 2024. Jose is extensively involved on campus, having served as president of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, founder of the International Student Organization, and a liaison for the Undergraduate Student Government. He was also a student presenter for UA’s episode of Amazon Prime Series The College Tour and a nominee to the 2022 Homecoming Court. Jose has actively volunteered for One of a Kind Pet Rescue, Akron Rotary Club, Big Brother Big Sister, Donate Life, and more. Throughout his college days, Jose has made sure to contribute to DEIB efforts through community-based activities and engagement, as one of his main life goals is to empower others to become the best version of themselves, especially those who may be underprivileged. Following graduation, Jose will be working for RoviSys Building Technologies in Aurora, Ohio as a Systems Engineer.


Dr. Paul E. Levy

Dr. Paul E. Levy was named vice president and chief of staff on July 1, 2022. In this role, he serves as an advisor to President Gary L. Miller. Previously, Levy served as a professor in the Department of Psychology for 33 years and served as chair of that department for 17 years. Levy received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology from Virginia Tech in 1989 and has been a faculty member at The University of Akron since that time. He chaired the nationally ranked Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program for 10 years prior to becoming department chair. Levy is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association. His consulting and research interests include performance appraisal, feedback, motivation, coaching and leadership. He is the author of one of the leading I/O textbooks in the field and was the associate editor of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering organizational behavior and psychology, for seven years. He has more than 80 publications, with many appearing in the top journals in the discipline, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Academy of Management Journal and Personnel Psychology. Levy has supervised the dissertation work of 30 Ph.D. students who have completed their work under his direction. His expertise in the areas of leadership development and coaching have served many organizations including the federal government, large private organizations and local not-for-profit entities. Levy is the vice chair of the board of the Victim Assistance Program and will be representing UA on other civic and non-profit boards.


Tanya Lundy

Tanya Lundy is a UA alum currently employed at The University of Akron in the Office of Student Financial Aid. During her 32 years as a UA employee, Mrs. Lundy has been an advocate for students at UA and the Akron area community. She has conducted workshops on Financial Aid, Scholarships and FAFSA filing to assist parents and students. Mrs. Lundy actively volunteers in the community, serving on the Board of Directors at the Akron Urban League and president of the AUL Guild. She volunteers with Akron Public Schools on the Career Academy Board and has mentored for Project GRAD. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority/Akron Alumnae Chapter. She is also an entrepreneur. Mrs. Lundy has a BA in business and organizational communications as well as an associate degree in liberal arts and several certificates from The University of Akron.


Mayor Shammas Malik

Growing up in Northwest Akron, Mayor Malik learned about the importance of public service from his mom, Dr. Helen Qammar, who taught chemical engineering at the University of Akron. Mayor Malik, a graduate of The Ohio State University and Harvard Law School, has been dedicated to public service, first as an Assistant Director of Law for the city, and most recently as the elected representative to City Council for Ward 8. As a city lawyer, he gained a first-hand understanding of every department in city government. Mayor Malik has successfully advocated for measures to build trust between police and the community, tackle our eviction crisis, and more. He has worked to include residents’ voices in city decisions, like in the planning process for redeveloping the Merriman Valley and advocating for a strategic plan for environmental issues and sustainability for the city. He also has pushed for the implementation of recommendations from the city’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Task Force, including hiring a full-time cabinet position focused on making equity and inclusion a priority in city government. Mayor Malik was sworn in as Akron’s 63rd Mayor on January 1, 2024 and he believes that if every one of the 190,000 residents of this city feels heard, we can get folks energized and empowered to be a part of real community-based solutions so everyone feels safe in their neighborhoods, so students can thrive in school, and so young people from Akron can build an amazing life without leaving home.


Mr. Albert Mclntosh

Mr. McIntosh is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with a Master of Science in Social Administration. He is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a Supervisor designation, and is licensed by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board. Mr. McIntosh, along with his wife, Donna R. McIntosh, MA, co-owns and serves as the CEO for Hope Behavioral Health, which is a multisite group private practice with 6 offices throughout Northeast Ohio. The focus of Hope Behavioral Health is to provide culturally competent, spiritually sensitive, trauma-informed services to improve lives and strengthen families. Mr. McIntosh has over 30 years of experience as a Mental Health Services and Child Welfare practitioner and Administrator. Mr. McIntosh served for two years as vice president of the Cuyahoga County Alliance for Child Caring Agencies, and previously served as an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University’s Graduate School of Social Work. Currently, Mr. McIntosh serves as president of the Professional Black Christian Therapist Network. He serves as an elder at his local church, along with being a frequent speaker on issues related to mental health within African American community.


Sharron Murphy-Williams

Sharron Murphy-Williams is an empowering leader and financial strategist. Director of the Phe’be Foundation, Sharron Murphy-Williams, MBA from the University of Toledo, is a distinguished advocate for "Financial Literacy as a Universal Right." With over 35 years in credit and debt management and homebuyer education, she's a pivotal force in the CMSD and South Euclid Lyndhurst school districts, impacting over 21,000 students since 1999.

With over 35 years in credit/debt management and homebuyer education, she is a pivotal force in the CMSD & South-Euclid Lyndhurst school districts, impacting over 21,000 students since 1999.

Her trailblazing initiatives have set standards in educational institutions, banks, and agencies, driving community economic empowerment and housing opportunities. Murphy-Williams is celebrated for her leadership in fostering behavioral change, program integrity, and operational excellence, dedicated to eliminating generational poverty.

Recognized for her visionary approach, she excels in solution-oriented and capacity-building strategies. Her leadership is defined by motivation, integrity, and a results-driven mindset. Her extensive network includes affiliations with the State of Ohio, Rotary International, United Black Fund, Dun & Bradstreet, US Chamber of Commerce, and United Way (211 First Call for Help), highlighting her broad impact and commitment to financial empowerment.


Chris Stimler

Chris is a two-time UA graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing and masters in higher education administration. During his time as a student, he was involved in various campus organizations including the Emerging Leaders, AK-ROWDIES and worked as a resident assistant for three years. Now, Chris proudly works as an associate director in the Office of Admissions serving students from Summit County.


Dr. Sheldon B. Wrice

Sheldon Wrice is currently the Vice President for Inclusion and Equity /Chief Diversity Officer. In this critical position within the University administration, Wrice provides strategic leadership for campus diversity, program oversight, diversity advising and mentoring, community relations and outreach, and policy duties that result in a learning and workplace environment that is welcoming and supportive to all. Dr. Wrice received his Doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron in May 1995. He also holds a M.A. in Urban Studies, an M.S. in Technical Education, a M.A. in Multicultural Education, a Master of Library Science degree, a MPA in Public Administration, an MA in Instructional Technology and a B.A. in English. Dr. Wrice is a graduate of S.C. State University, Clark-Atlanta University, Georgia State University and The University of Akron.