In the News: Jacqueline J. Royster, Dean of Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts featured in Atlanta 5×5 Series

Jacqueline J. Royster, Dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, was featured in Women at the Frontier’s profile series, Atlanta 5×5. The series is in collaboration with InvestAtlanta and The City of Atlanta and highlights 5 role models, influencers, and visionaries in the Atlanta area.

Here is a excerpt from the feature:

Reader. Writer. Talker.

 When asked to define her career, Jacqueline Jones Royster responds with these three words. Her voice resonates through the office as she speaks them, each syllable articulated with pure conviction. The words may be simple, but they matter to the distinguished scholar. Later, we learn why. She explains, “Before my mother died, she would ask what do you do. She ended up with her own answer to that. She said I read, write, and talk for a living. And I do!”

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know there’s a bit more to Royster’s resume. She continues to thrive in the academic environment where only 2% of African-American women hold tenured positions.

Royster is the first African-American to hold the Ivan Allen Jr. Dean’s Chair in Liberal Arts and Technology at The Georgia Institute of Technology. As a professor of English in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, her renowned research centers on rhetoric, literacy, and women’s studies. Prior to her role at Georgia Tech, Royster was named the first African-American Dean of the College of Humanities at The Ohio State University (OSU). OSU later appointed her Senior Vice Provost and Executive Dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, making her the highest-ranking African-American woman on campus.

In speaking with Royster, one gets a sense she’s more than a list of firsts. Before the accolades, she’s a daughter, friend, teacher, mentor, colleague and passionate storyteller. She’s an academic willing to abandon the ivory tower and share the narratives of her Role Models: nineteenth-century African-American women. Beyond a university administrator, Royster is a teacher whose goal is to “never teach anyone to write,” but “to encourage the creative imagination.”

So, get ready to be inspired. The professor is in, and she’s sharing her story— a tale of wonder, curiosity, conflict, and old-fashioned hard work. We promise not to spoil the ending, but we’ll give you a hint how her story transpires.

She Reaches.

She Conquers

She Rises.

For more of the feature, click here!

In the News: GWEI 2015 Fellow, Persis Ashers featured on


Photo by Kenyatta Collins

GWEI 2015 fellow, Persis Ashers of Kenya, was recently featured on She Inspires Her is an online platform with a focus on women entrepreneurship where women entrepreneurs can inform and inspire each other in the fast growing sector. Below is an excerpt of Persis’s feature.

Persis Ashers always wished to lead an exciting life. The entrepreneur, mentor, volunteer, and wife has fit a lot into her 26 years and she’s only just getting started. Not content with overseeing operations for the fastest growing research market consultancy in Africa, meeting US President Obama, and being selected as a Global Women Entrepreneurship Institute Fellow, this Kenyan go-getter is in the midst of getting the non-profit Akilah Academy, a girls’ professional development institute, on its feet. Successful by anyone’s standards, Ashers’ motivations are refreshing.

“For me, success has never had anything to do with money or external definitions, it’s centered around my relationship with God, my husband, my family and my networks. If I’m able to be the best version of me and add value to each of these, then I am successful. The money, the exposure, the fellowships … they follow these successes.”

Click here for the full article!

In the News: Women Entrepreneurs from Around the World Gather in Atlanta for First Ever Global Institute [Atlanta Blackstar]

[November 2015, Atlanta]

The Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts launched the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Institute (GWEI) in Atlanta, Georgia from November 1-4. The four-day event was birthed from the highly successful Africa Atlanta 2014, a citywide yearlong series of events highlighting Atlanta as the nexus for reinventing the cultural and economic bonds among Africa, Europe and the Americas.

This invitation only event hosted approximately 45 women, many of whom were participants from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia as well as local participants from the City of Atlanta.

The GWEI has partnered with leading local and international private and governmental entities to select and connect African and Atlanta-based women entrepreneurs who represent the industries of agribusiness, technology, manufacturing and media/entertainment.

Managing director of the GWEI, DeShawn Jenkins, said that the initiative is important, as there are so many commonalities among women regarding business.

For the full article, click here!

Women of AT&T- Atlanta Chapter present the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award


GWEI is proud to recognize the winners of the Women of AT&T-Atlanta Chapter Award, Narkie Agbettor (Ghana) and Felicia Davis (Atlanta). These women, one from U.S. and one from Africa were selected among their peers and the advisory board for having exuded all of the ideal characteristics of an ‘Entrepreneurial Woman who embrace the Women of AT&T – Atlanta Chapter principles…‘GROW.INSPIRE.LEAD.SERVE’.

  • They were:
    GROW. Inquisitive and Risk Takers: they were not afraid or too embarrassed to ask the crazy questions (#whattheheckissnapchat?), they were constantly networking and connecting even amongst a group of strangers.
  • INSPIRE. Tenacious: entrepreneurial women that are persistent and courageous in face of challenges and adversity.
  • LEAD. Gracious: demonstrated exceptionally decorous conduct, and expressed gratitude to be included among such an extraordinary cohort; and
  • SERVE. Supportive: lifting as they climbed, offering help to others via advice, contacts, and words of encouragement to another sister.


Special thanks to Twlya Johnson of AT&T for her support throughout the 2015 GWEI Institute!