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Board of Directors | Founding board members

Joseph Ahlo, PhD(c) | Chair | Strategic Initiatives

  • Joseph Ahlo is earning a doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) from Union Institute and University. Joseph has an MSc in Organizational Behavior from the London School of Economics in the UK and a BSc from the Grenoble Graduate School in France. He also has significant experience working as a corporate strategist, brand building, and product development. His expertise also includes relationship development and product launches in oversees markets such as China and France, complemented by his work as an ongoing international business adjunct instructor.

Cheryl Counts Lauderdale | Chair | Engagement

  • Cheryl Counts Lauderdale is a graduate of Notre Dame College with a degree in marketing. For more than 25 years Cheryl has been part of leadership and management teams in development, alumni relations, and special events at Case Western Reserve University. She was Assistant Director at the law school (1996-2009) and Associate Director at the Weatherhead School of Management (2009-2015). In 2011, Cheryl received the President's Award for Outstanding Service. In 2015 she was invited to return to the law school to take on management of the Deans’ Office as Executive Aid and Project Manager.

Larry T. Crudup, PhD(c) | Chair | Faith Outreach

  • Rev. Larry T. Crudup serves as the Senior Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. Rev. Crudup received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Religion and The Arts with a minor in Secondary Education from Belmont University, Nashville, TN in May, 2010. He is also a graduate of Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX where he earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree.  He is currently Pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Ethical and Creative Leadership from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, OH

Kris Hege, Ph.D.(c) | Chair | LGBTQ Outreach

  • Kris Hege is a doctoral candidate at Union Institute & University conducting research in the area of educational studies and humanities. She earned her Master of Arts with a concentration in Feminist and Justice Studies at Goddard College. Her master's thesis, “Love and Rage: Creating Survivor-Centric Justice in Opposition to Rape Culture,” includes a model framework for community-based survivor-centric support systems for victims of sexual violence. Kris is also a data expert currently working as a Data Engineer for Sonnax Transmission a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway Company.

Denise Pratt | Chair | Public School Outreach

  • Denise Pratt is an elementary music teacher in Charles County, Maryland.  She is an advocate for the importance of arts education as part of a well- rounded public education for all children.  As part of the curriculum writing team for her local school district, she has written and implemented a general music curriculum to make elementary music instruction consistent throughout the Charles County School District. Her passion for public education also has taken her into leadership positions within Education Association of Charles County as well as the Maryland State Education Association and the National Education Association.  Denise currently serves as the secretary of the Arts Education Caucus of the NEA. 

Sherette Rhodes, PhD(c) | Board Chair

  • .Sherette L. Rhodes is a policy expert with extensive experience in juvenile criminal justice and juvenile correctional facilities management who served as an Ohio juvenile corrections officer for 13 years. Sherette’s expertise includes juvenile justice policies, delinquency, offender treatment, legislative remedies, and data analysis. She received a bachelors of science in Organizational Management from Wilberforce University, and Masters of Science from Central Michigan in Policy Administration. Sherette will receive her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in 2019 with a concentration in Public Policy from Union Institute and University. Some of her research interests include disproportionate minority incarceration, policy and minority access, and capitalism, and juvenile justice

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