VCU Leadership Mentors

Participants in the VCU Leadership Development program receive a mentor from senior level administration. The program pairs current and emerging leaders among the faculty, staff, and administrators with a senior level university leader to: enhance his/her leadership development experience, foster University connections across professional levels, disciplines, and campuses, support the growth and development of program participants by sharing of experiences and strategies for success in academia, and provide practical guidance for dealing with professional dilemmas and career progression.

VCU Leadership Mentors are key decision makers within the university with social and political capital of benefit to the development of the protégés. Mentors who participate in the program are selected based on: their senior experience in a variety of university settings, diversity, professional background, their recognition as successful leaders, and their personal commitment to sharing their professional experiences in the development of others. If you would like to be considered for service as a mentor, please email our office at

Mentor of the Year

Annually, a "Mentor of the Year" award is given at the conclusion of the program. The awardee is selected by the program's participants and honors the mentor who has made the biggest impact on his/her protégé.

Award recipients:

2016 - Daniel Woodward, Director of Executive Communication, University Relations

2015 - Quincy Byrdsong, Vice President for Clinical Research Administration and Compliance

2014 - Michael D. Davis, Interim Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs

2013 Catherine Howard, Vice Provost, Division of Community Engagement

2012 Martha Lou Green, Special Assistant to the Provost for Student Veteran Support

2017 VCU Leadership Mentors

Jihad Aziz


University Counseling Services

Cathleen C. Burke

Assistant Vice President of Human Resources

VCU Human Resources

James Burke

Director, Performance Management Group

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Maria Curran

Vice President, Human Resources

VCU Health

Andrew Daire


School of Education

Cecil Drain


School of Allied Health Professions

Dorothy Fillmore

Associate Director for Academic Operations

Department of Psychology

Jean Giddens

Professor and Dean

School of Nursing

Donna Gilles

Associate Professor, Executive Director, Partnership for People with Disabilities

School of Education

Karol Gray

Vice President of Finance and Budget

Finance and Budget

Mary Hermann

Associate Professor, Counseling Education

School of Education

Cathy Howard

Vice Provost

Division of Community Engagement

Heidi Jack

Executive Director of Financial Management and Policy

Office of the Provost

Chuck Klink

Interim Vice Provost

Division of Student Affairs

Susan Kornstein

Professor, Director of Clinical Research

Department of Psychiatry

Samantha Marrs

Senior Associate Vice President for Development Operations

Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Darcy Mays

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research, College of Humanities and Sciences

Aashir Nasim

Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Office of the Provost

Michael Newsome

Associate Vice President and Director of Finance and Administration

Office of Research and Innovation

David Sarrett


School of Dentistry

W. Scott Street, IV

Associate Professor

Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

Mary Secret

Associate Professor

School of Social Work

Brian D. Shaw

Senior Executive Director

Office of the President

Kathleen Shaw

Vice Provost for Planning and Decision Support

Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Diane Simon

Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs

School of Education

Deborah Speece

Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development

School of Education

Jamie Stillman

Director of Strategic Communications

Office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

John Ulmschneider

University Librarian

University Libraries