2020 Leadership and Rising Star Award Recipients

DAWN Leadership Award Recipient

Dr. Saundra F. DeLauder

Saundra F. DeLauder, Ph. D. serves as Provost and Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Chemistry at Delaware State University. Dr. DeLauder is the first women selected to serve in this role at Delaware State University. In this capacity she provides management and oversight for all academic programming and student academic services at the University and leadership for the recently established Global Institute for Equity, Inclusion and Civil Rights. She is also a member of Delaware State University’s Gates Working Group. Now in Year 6 of Gates Foundation Funding, the Gates Working Group is the core team responsible for meeting the grant deliverables focused on transformation of campus infrastructure to meet student success metrics: retention, graduation and gainful employment. Previous appointments include: Interim Provost (1/2020 – 6/2020); Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research from 2013-2018; Interim Associate Provost (2015-2016); and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs (2016-2017).

Prior to her arrival at Delaware State University in 2013, Dr. DeLauder held faculty appointments in the Departments of Chemistry at Morgan State University (1995-1996) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) (1996-2013). She served as lead scientist on NCCU’s Environmental Risk and Impact in Communities of Color and Economically Disadvantaged Communities (ERICC). Funded through a cooperative agreement with the USEPA from 2001-2007, the overarching goal of ERICC was to better understand environmental exposures and their impacts through development of adaptable, community-level environment assessment tools for environmental justice communities. Following promotion and tenure at NCCU in 2003, she served in several administrative capacities including Chair of Chemistry (2004-2006), Associate Dean/Interim Dean College of Science and Technology (2007-2009), Interim Dean, School of Graduate Education and Research (2009-2011) and Special Assistant to the VP Graduate Education and Research (2011-2012). She was selected as a 2006-2007 American Council on Education Fellow hosted at Duke University. A major outcome of her fellowship year was the Duke-NCCU STEM Partnership Program. Supported by Duke University for two years (2007-2009), the primary focus of the program was to build sustainable partnerships through faculty research experiences. She co-authored NCCU’s first Ph.D. Program in Integrated Biosciences; approved in 2012 and served as the NCLSAMP Campus Director from 2005-2013, NCLSAMP Director of Cohort III of the Bridge to the Doctorate Program (2007-2009), and Program Director for the NCCU Minority Biomedical Research Program (MBRS) from 2011-2013.

Dr. DeLauder is a native of Greensboro, NC, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State University, respectively. She earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Howard University in 1992. A Kodak Fellowship funded her graduate research appointment at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB), Rockville, MD. She was an American Society for Engineering Education postdoctoral and faculty fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC. (1993-1994 and summers 1996-1998) and conducted additional research through the Summers of Discovery program in the Laboratory of Structural Biology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC; summers 1999-2003.

Dr. DeLauder is married to Mr. William B. DeLauder, Jr. Their daughter, Rachel Mariah is a graduate student at Drexel University.

DAWN Rising Star Award Recipients

Jennifer Daniels

Jennifer Daniels is the past Associate Director in the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Delaware. She is currently a full-time Ph.D. student in UD’s School of Public Policy and Administration, and a part-time Research Assistant with the Community Engagement Initiative. Jennifer, who holds a graduate degree in social work, oversaw diversity and inclusion educational programming and various diversity initiatives for the University of Delaware community geared explicitly toward staff and faculty. Jennifer has provided diversity education to over 2,000 UD faculty, staff, and students. In addition to providing educational workshops and keynote speaking, Jennifer has engaged with various community partners such as the Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, YMCA-Delaware, McCullough Middle School, and Delaware State University to provide diversity and leadership education. She has presented at several regional and national conferences. In 2017, the University of Delaware distinguished Jennifer with the Louis L. Redding Award that recognizes individuals whose efforts have resulted in a significant change in the campus climate and composition within the University community. Jennifer is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. Most recently, the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management awarded her with the 2020-2021 APPAM Equity and Inclusion Fellowship. Jennifer is a skilled professional who continues to make an impact on the Delaware community.

Brittany Hobbs

Brittany Hobbs joined Goldey-Beacom College in October 2012, first as an Admissions Representative, then the Recruitment Coordinator. She was promoted to the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions in 2019. She supervises the undergraduate admissions team, as well as maintains responsibility for her own student recruitment market. She is an active member of the College’s Student Success and Retention Committee and enjoys working with new students as they begin their college career. She has opened our doors to high school students as an SAT testing facility so even more students can discover the hidden gem of GBC. Brittany is a role model for many people at the College. She is quick to pitch in with suggestions and new ideas, always offers support and honest feedback. Quite notably, her office has not had any turnover in more than two years, which may be an industry record for Admissions.

Brittany earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from the University of Delaware in 2007 and Master in Education from Wilmington University in 2009.

She currently resides in Pike Creek, DE with her fiancé James and her one year old son, Carter. Outside of work, she enjoys running, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.

Natalie Ridgeway

Natalie Ridgeway is a creative problem solver who is brand focused and forward-thinking. She has been working as a professional designer in higher education for over ten years. Natalie received her BFA in Graphic Design from Shepherd University in West Virginia. After graduation, Natalie began her career at a small design house/publishing company based in Fredrick, MD. In 2008 she transitioned into higher education as a graphic designer for a for-profit, 100% online institution in the Washington DC area. There, she learned about marketing and how impactful it can be when combined with visual concepts.

In 2011, Natalie and her husband relocated to the Eastern Shore, where she accepted a Graphic Design Associate position with Wilmington University, which allowed her to continue pursuing her passions for design and marketing. In 2014, she transitioned to the Creative Services Manager for the WilmU’s University Relations team. In that same year, she completed her MBA with a concentration in Marketing Management from Wilmington University. Since that time, Natalie has been leading a team of highly creative individuals that meet the creative needs of WilmU’s administrative departments, multiple sites, and seven colleges. In her role, she has worked closely with executive leadership to establish the branding standards for the University, as well as developing training programs and support services for University staff, faculty, and partners, that focus on the importance of building and maintaining brand consistency. In 2018, she was promoted to Assistant Director of Creative Services. Natalie is also an adjunct instructor for Wilmington University’s College of Technology. She shares her industry experience with her students to help prepare them for careers in the fields of Graphic Design and Marketing.

Natalie lives in southern Delaware with her husband Barry and their two daughters, Lucy (5), and Isabelle (2). Originally from West Virginia, opportunity brought them to the Eastern Shore. They miss the mountains but love being able to spend the day on the beach with just a short drive home.

Jarso Jallah Saygbe

Jarso Jallah Saygbe currently serves as Associate Vice President (AVP) for the division of Student Success at Delaware State University. As the AVP, she provides leadership and directs the implementation of student success initiatives campus wide. Prior to assuming the role of AVP she served both as Director and Executive Director of Academic Advisement, at Delaware State University. Her work has continuously supported low-income and first-generation students’ progress through the academic pipeline.

Jarso’s career trajectory spans nearly 20 years. She is a graduate of Rhode Island College, and has a MA in Counseling, and BA’s in Sociology and Communications. Additionally, she is currently a doctoral candidate, pursuing an EdD in Higher Education Administration.  Jarso took a hiatus from DSU to serve as Deputy Director General for Liberia’s Premier Management Development Institution and Country Coordinator for the Anglophone West African Regional Public Sector Management Training Program. While serving in this position, she gained invaluable experiences in multiple streams of leadership. Notably, she co-developed a “Women in Leadership” and “Transformational Leadership” training curriculum for the World Bank Public Sector Modernization Project.

She has collaboratively written and overseen numerous grant projects, including major awards from the U.S. Department of Education and several multilateral development organizations including the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development-USAID, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency-SIDA, United Nations Development Program -UNDP, German Development Agency-GIZ, and the African Development Bank-AfDB.

She is a Liberian; a devout Christian and has two teenage daughters.

Erin Schutt

Erin Schutt is a dedicated higher education professional who is committed to helping all students, no matter their background or academic goals. Erin is a bright soul who helps bring energy to any room she enters and plays an integral part of the campus life experience. She goes above and beyond to ensure students feel welcome, are connected, and discover opportunities to try new things and expand their comfort zones. Erin is confident in speaking with students experiencing challenges or difficult times, helping them to connect with community resources. She brings her whole self into all that she does – dedication, experience, energy, empathy and a commitment to ensuring equality and access for all of our students. As a Student Life Program Manager, Erin is responsible for oversight of  clubs and organizations and directly advises Student Government Association. In this role, she empowers student leaders to help to implement their ideas, ensures the students’ voice is heard in spaces where maybe it hasn’t previously echoed, and works tirelessly to offer in-person (and now virtual) opportunities for students to network, participate in entertainment, and gain knowledge or skills that will aid them throughout life. For her colleagues, she uses coaching and empathy in equal measure, making her a highly innovative event managers. Her attention to detail and openness to engage in projects helps her to be a go-to staff member for events and initiatives at the college.