About Me


 

 

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Tonya Harris Cornileus, Ph.D.

“I just want the world to know I was here and I cared.”

I’ve built a career on enabling others to realize their potential. Whether as a teacher in the classroom or as an executive in the boardroom, I spend my time helping to facilitate learning and organizational systems that enable individuals, teams and organizations to thrive.

 

My passion is education.

The message I heard from my parents is that education gained can never be taken away. Personally, I believe attaining a quality education is vital to personal and professional success and economic empowerment. Unfortunately, too many of our children, particularly those of color and the poor, are underserved due to inequities in our educational systems and resources. These inequities create an opportunity cost that all of us pay. I want to create a conversation with others who feel as I do – it’s time to ensure all children and young adults have access to the tools, resources and supportive environments they need for academic and career success.

 

I am a scholar-practitioner.

I have over 20 years as a learning and organization development leader in corporate America. My career began working in various school systems, teaching English and journalism in middle and high schools. I transitioned to corporate America as a training manager for a small telecommunications company in 1996, and continued to expand my experiences in leading talent management, learning and development and organization development functions in Fortune 100 companies. Currently, I am a human resources executive with a large sports media and entertainment company, where I am responsible for aligning people and business strategies and serving as adviser to the company’s senior leadership team.

I received my bachelor of science degree in telecommunications from the University of Florida; my master of education degree in human resource and organization development from The University of Georgia; and my doctor of philosophy degree in adult education with emphasis in human resource and organization development from The University of Georgia. As a scholar, one of my research interests is the facilitative and repressive structures in the workplace that impact the career development of women and people of color. Specifically, my doctoral research, A Critical Examination of the Impact of Racism on the Career Development of African American Professional Men in Corporate America, focused on issues of race and gender and the strategies employed to ensure career success. It was clear through the data that inequities exist in corporate America, just as they exist in America’s classrooms.

I am a fierce advocate for ensuring equity and equality at school and work. I believe there are others who are just as passionate. I invite you to join me in advocacy and conversation through The Social Scholar as we learn and share together the policies and practices that help or hinder academic and career success for all. Together, we can make a difference.

With gratitude,

Tonya