2022 Leadership and Rising Star Award Recipients


 Leadership Award Recipient

Tina Barksdale, Ed.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs & Alumni RelationsWilmington University

Tina Barksdale

Career highlights:

  • Doctor of Education, Nova Southeastern University, North Miami Beach, FL
  • Organizational Leadership, Dissertation: “Impact of a College Student Leadership Program: Focus on Student Leaders.”
  • Bachelors and Masters’ degrees, Business Administration, Wilmington University.
  • Researched and developed the Student Leadership Summit to provide leadership and community service opportunities for students. Since the inception of the Summit, over 200 students have completed the training and over 10,000 students have benefited from the program. Programs such as the student tour guides, student representatives, SGA, and student mentors are all students who successfully completed the Student Leadership Summit.
  • Over 27 years in Higher Education with a record of success in leadership, collaboration, strategic management, assessment, fundraising, and event planning.

 Rising Star Award Recipients

Norkia “Kia” Baker, M.Ed.Administrative Intern for Student AffairsDelaware Technical Community College, Wilmington Campus

Kia Baker

Norkia “Kia” Baker is the Administrative Intern for Student Affairs at the Orlando J. George Campus in Wilmington of Delaware Technical Community College where she works closely to advance initiatives and projects within the division of student affairs. Kia joined Delaware Tech as an academic counselor in 2017. Kia has held leadership positions on several committees within Delaware Tech. She is currently the co-chair of the Mardi Gras event for the George Campus, chair of the Equity Standing Committee and co-chair of the Stanton/Wilmington Graduation Committee. In addition, Kia has chaired the College’s Equity Summit for the past two years and served as co-chair in 2019.

Prior to joining Delaware Tech, she was an assistant director for Dual Enrollment & High School Initiatives at Delaware County Community College (Media, PA). Her career in higher education began in 2006 when she became assistant director of the Office of Student Activities at Howard University (Washington, DC), where she later served as associate director in the Office of Student Life and Activities. She was also a special projects coordinator for the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, where she initially served as a Public Ally and special projects assistant.

Kia is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. Kia is also a graduate fellow with the Advising Success Network and a member of the Post-Secondary Equity Leadership Committee with the Delaware Department of Education. Additionally, Kia is a member of the Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.

Kia holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Howard University, a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Widener University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership from Morgan State University.

Hannah Bakey, MBAInternational Student Coordinator | Title IX CoordinatorGoldey-Beacom College

Hannah Bakey

Hannah Bakey, residing in Wilmington, DE, has worked full-time at Goldey-Beacom College for five years. Hannah has worked as an Advisor and is now the International Student Coordinator, working with undergraduate and graduate international students from the point of inquiry through degree conferral and Post-Completion OPT. Additionally, since she started at Goldey-Beacom, she has been working as the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

She received her BA in English and Anthropology in 2016 from St. Lawrence University and her MBA with a Concentration in Marketing Management in 2020 from Goldey-Beacom. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Fiction at Arcadia University, which she is anticipated to complete in May 2023. Hannah is a voracious reader, enjoys watching horror, fantasy, and mystery drama movies, and listening to music and podcasts. If she could recommend a single book, it would be Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado.

Gabrielle “Gigi” Gaul, MBACoordinator of Professional and Continuing EducationWilmington University

Gabreille Gaul

Gigi Gaul is the Coordinator for Professional and Continuing Education at Wilmington University. In this role, she collaborates with team members across multiple departments to support the University’s continuing education offerings. Wilmington University offers professional development courses to anyone seeking to enrich their career with real-world skills that are in high demand by employers.

Gigi is a passionate lifelong learner, and she has supported the University through roles in Online Learning and Educational Technology as well as Academic Affairs. She is an Exemplary Level Adjunct Instructor as a part of the University’s Pathways for Instructional Excellence and as a proud WilmU grad, she values the opportunity to connect personally with students during their educational journey.

A native to Delaware, Gigi is a graduate of St. Mark’s High School. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and a MBA with a concentration in Organizational Leadership, both from Wilmington University. Gigi is a passionate advocate for women and girls in Delaware through her board service with the Fund for Women (FFW) at the Delaware Community Foundation. She is a 2020 Recipient of the FFW Driving Force Award. She is also a current Leadership Delaware Fellow, an organization that recruits outstanding Delawareans and prepares them with the knowledge, vision, and integrity to impact and transform their community.

Gigi enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family, especially her eleven-year-old niece, Adriana.

Sarah Pragg, MPA (12/2022)
Communications Specialist & Assistant Policy ScientistUniversity of Delaware

Sarah Pragg

Sarah Pragg directs communications for the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA), in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration. She develops print and online resources for IPA’s public service and research projects, which span from education to regional planning and development. Sarah develops asynchronous training programs and works on a variety of facilitation and strategic planning projects.

Sarah is a 2018 Leadership Delaware Fellow and UD Leveraging Equity And Diversity (LEAD) Ally. She received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design and geography from Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York. She will complete her Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree, with a specialization in design thinking and innovation, at the University of Delaware in December 2022.

Sarah lives in Newark with her husband Dwayne and their rescue dog Kona.

Lynae Spratley, M.S.
Academic Advisor in the College of Agriculture, Science, and Technology (CAST) Delaware State University

Lynae Spratley

Lynae earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. Lynae also earned a Certificate in Innovative Leadership from Carolina Christian College and was Certified as a Christian Life Coach from the same college.

Lynae is currently an Academic Advisor in the College of Agriculture, Science, and Technology (CAST) at Delaware State University. Lynae enjoys her position as an Academic Advisor. As an advisor, Lynae assists students in formulating a vision of what they want to become and help them realize and achieve their academic goals. Her desire is to empower students to become life-long learners and decision makers and to prepare students for a thriving and purposeful life upon graduation from Delaware State University. Lynae is also on the Title IX Committee and is the Math Assessment Liaison at DSU.

Prior to her position at Delaware State University, Lynae was a school counselor for over 15 years. In that capacity, she has worked with teens one-on-one and in groups. While working as a school counselor, Lynae created a course entitled “Woman of God” and taught it to high school young ladies. This course allowed Lynae the opportunity to talk with young ladies on topics of their interest and to help guide them in Godly principles. She also created a “Senior Summer Boot Camp” for rising juniors. This allowed students to get a jump start on their senior year and to prepare for college.

In addition, Lynae is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and has held several leadership positions and been on several committees. She was the coordinator for her chapter’s Domestic Violence Awareness and Elder Care Programs. Because of her dedication and great work ethics, as a coordinator, Lynae was eventually appointed to the State Coordinator position for Domestic Violence Awareness by her State Director. Lynae also earned Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s Organization Leadership Certificate. She is on the Board of Directors for Girls with Pearls, Inc., a youth organization that is empowering the next generation of female leaders. Also, Lynae chaired the scholarships committee for the Wilmington chapter of The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., volunteered on several committees within the Alzheimer’s Association and has volunteered with the Food Bank, Stocking for Soldiers, and was a Big-Sister with the Big Brother/Big Sister Association, and the Women’s ministry, and prayer team, at her church.

Finally, Lynae is a published author and wrote “Parallel Bars, My Journey to Conception.” She was inspired to write this book to help others understand the journey of believing for divine intervention. Lynae is working on two more books: “YOUnique” and “Monday Mornings for the College Freshmen.”

Lynae is blessed with one child, a daughter, who is a senior in college. When Lynae is not busy with work, school, and giving back to the community, she enjoys reading, cooking, talking with her sister on a daily basis, and spending time with family and in the company of her friends.