North Carolina Central University Leaders Selected for Inaugural National Leadership Program

Durham, N.C. – North Carolina Central University’s Leah Kraus, chief information officer, and Toya Corbett, Ph.D., executive director of Student Engagement and Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs, have been selected to participate in the inaugural class of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Emerging Leaders Program, an initiative designed to strengthen and enhance leadership skills of promising mid-career professionals and faculty leaders

in higher education.

Kraus and Corbett were among 25 individuals chosen nationally to participate in the three-day seminar June 11-14, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Emerging Leaders Program participants will engage in a national dialogue with experienced administrators and thought-leaders in higher education and develop a network of colleagues from across the country. The program includes opportunities for hands-on practical exercises, a leadership self-assessment, and plan development designed to help participants achieve leadership goals.

“Ms. Kraus and Dr. Corbett’s selection to American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ new initiative highlights the nationally-recognized trendsetters and leaders we are nurturing here at North Carolina Central University,” said NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White. “Faculty and staff are not only committed to providing students with premier educational experience but also to furthering their contributions to higher education,” she said. “The Emerging Leaders Program will not only advance their careers, but also add to their capacity for increasing student success. These individuals make great contributions to NCCU and they help set the stage for NCCU to continuously produce some of the best students in the nation.”

Kraus joined NCCU as CIO in February 2014. She has since overseen numerous upgrades to university technology systems, including expanding available wireless access across campus and streamlining operations in several divisions. In 2015, Kraus was honored by the Triangle Business Journal for advancing local business through excellence in information technology. She has more than 20 years of experience in education and technology. She earned a bachelor of science in office systems administration and Master of education, supervision and instructional technology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Corbett was appointed executive director of Student Engagement and Leadership in March 2015. In academic year 2015-16 within the Division of Student Affairs, the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership launched the “Rock The Mic” Lecture Series, which welcomed notable guest speakers such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Angela Davis and Nikki Giovanni to campus. Corbett has more than 15 years of higher education experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as a master’s and a doctoral degree in history from Morgan State University.

“We need a robust pipeline of talented professionals interested in advancing their careers in higher education,” said Muriel A. Howard, AASCU president. “AASCU has a long history of providing successful leadership development programs at every professional level of higher education administration. We identified a void at the mid-career level, and we believe our new Emerging Leaders Program will be an important complement in service to our members and others interested in advancing their careers.”

Presidents, chancellors and cabinet-level administrators nominated candidates for the program based on demonstrated potential for advancement at their campus or another institution. Upon completion of the program, nominators will identify a project, initiative or assignment that will expand the participant’s knowledge of the university and facilitate his or her growth as leader by using the skills learned during the program.


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