What is The Forward Leader College?
The mission of The Forward Leader College is:
To inspire and empower GPTC faculty and staff members to leverage leadership skills for the service of the GPTC college community.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Forward Leader College is an 11-month leadership experience committed to strengthening new and emerging leaders from across the college community. The Leader College is designed for individuals who have the capacity and desire to have a positive influence on our college. Leaders will engage in college leadership and improvement strategies, as well a lead impact projects within their individual areas of passion.
Leading Georgia Piedmont Technical College:
Meet the 2021-2022 Forward Leader College participants
N. André David
Instructor, Business Technology & Business Administration
N. André David is a motivated professional with over 20 years of experience in higher education and 25+ in private and public service. He has served as an Adjunct, Assistant Professor, Department Chair, Division Chair, Dean of Students, Assistant Director of a Community College campus, a Senior Program Manager, and owned a consulting company.
Education includes a BBA in Finance/Economics, an MBA in Management, completion of all course work sans thesis for an MPA, graduate studies in Applied Computer Science, and currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Administration after changing from Computer Information Security and Data Science.
He is a Naturalized American, born and raised in British Guyana, South America, emigrated to New York, then relocated to Georgia after serving eight years in the US Army. He is a father of four, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., active in community service, likes to read and travel.
Computer Information Systems Instructor
Cuong Nguyen is a CIS instructor at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. He holds a master’s degree in Management Information Systems at University of Houston Clear-Lake and has over 10 years working experience in IT before joining the college as an adjunct instructor. In addition, Cuong also has certifications from Microsoft (MCTS, MCP), Oracle (OCP), and Cisco (CCNA). Becoming an educator opens a new chapter in his career path.
In the future, Cuong would like to advance his career by obtaining more certifications and pursuing a PhD degree.
At home, he is a husband to a devoted wife and a father of two pretty daughters. He enjoys spending time with his family, especially in entertainment and education. Cuong also loves to play musical instruments like the guitar and keyboard in his spare time. In addition, he loves to study new advanced IT technologies and wants to build a learning system similar to Blackboard software that the college uses for its students.
Ella Sizemore began her career in Procurement at Atlanta Technical College in 1998 as a Procurement Technician. She has obtained the following achievements: Graduate of Atlanta Technical College-Information Technology-Diploma, 1998; Certified Professional Public Buyer, CPPB, 2005; Georgia Certified Purchasing Associate, GCPA, 2009; Bachelor of Science, Business Administration-Finance, 2014; Master of Business Administration, 2016; Master of Science-Organizational Leadership, 2018; Georgia Certified Purchasing Manager, GCPM-2021.
Sizemore enjoys playing league and tournament kickball. She is a diehard fan of Alabama football. And she loves spending time with family and grandkids.
Director, Financial Aid
Felicia Ailster is the Director of Financial Aid at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Felicia has been working in the Financial Aid profession since she was a Federal Work Study student at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Within her diverse career in higher education, she has served in various leadership positions at several institutions in Georgia. Felicia is very active in her state and regional associations(GASFAA & SASFAA), having served as her state’s Diversity Chair, Program Chair, Leadership & Mentorship Chair, Legislative Affairs Chair, Secretary, Vice President and President.
Felicia received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida, then received her Master’s Degree from Shorter University.
During her free time Felicia enjoys traveling to Caribbean Islands with her family and friends and relaxing by the sunset. Felicia has three handsome boys: Evan, 21 (Georgia Southern University), Myles, 18(Vanderbilt University), and Aidan, 15.
Director, Law Enforcement Academy
Major Gene McKinney is the Director of the Georgia Piedmont Technical College Law Enforcement Academy. His goal as an academy director is to provide the highest quality training possible to area law enforcement officers to better serve their communities.
Gene has served in various roles at police departments in Middle Georgia before coming to GPTC. He has been in law enforcement for 10 years and has been an instructor for almost 7. He holds various Specialized Certifications, including Senior Instructor, Defensive Tactics, and Firearms. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Georgia College and State University.
Gene enjoys training and walking his boxer Moose with his wife Erika. He also has a passion for the gym, and competes as a bodybuilder.
Gene is currently working towards completing his Master Instructor Certification and has a future goal of completing his Master’s Degree.
Creative Design Coordinator
Justin Clay graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. He went on to work for the Walt Disney World® Resort as a professional graphic design intern in their parks’ communication department. From there, Justin interned for a global marketing agency, FleishmanHillard, at an office located in Atlanta. Afterward, he was employed with the Georgia Department of Corrections as a graphics and visual arts specialist in their public affairs department. Justin worked there over two years before being employed with the Technical College System of Georgia at Georgia Piedmont in its marketing department as the creative design coordinator.
When not working, Justin enjoys spending time with his pet cats Todd and Remy, drawing portraiture, gaming and writing fiction. He has completed approximately six novels. He enjoys spending time with his family and vacationing at the beach.
Director, Criminal Justice and Forensics
Kelli Owen has been employed with Georgia Piedmont Technical College for approximately seven years. She is the Program Director for Criminal Justice and Forensics, bolstered by her professional experience as a police officer since 1996. Her career began in 1995 as a 911 Dispatcher. Kelli was then hired by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as an undercover narcotics agent. She worked as a N/A for approximately one and a half years before being promoted to a special agent. During her time as a special agent, she worked in the special operations unit (commercial gambling), the Atlanta Regional Field Office (child abuse specialist), and under the High Technology Investigations Unit (internet crimes against children).
Kelli has also worked as the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Coordinator for the Henry County Police Department. Furthermore, she assumed the role of a public safety instructor at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Outside of work, Kelli enjoys reading and spending time with her children.
Student Success Specialist
Kimberley Alexander is an aspiring educator. Her mission is to inform to transform. She has obtained an AASIS from GTPC, a bachelor's degree in Communications from Grand Canyon University, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Communications at Troy University.
She has lived in Metro Atlanta since her father retired from the United States Air Force. She received her first taste for working in academia at Georgia State University, the first college she attended and the location of her first full time job. She worked there for several years until the desire to earn more led her elsewhere, eventually leading to an 18-year career estimating and selling commercial HVAC systems. She took an early retirement from that career when her and her father’s health became a concern, and she was led by prayer and contemplation to make a change. God’s continued guidance led her to Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
She has one grown daughter. When Kimberley is not working, she is caring for her parents, working on her master’s degree, painting, or doing some other creative thing.
Instructional Coordinator, Adult Education
Mary Baxter completed a MEd in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Georgia (2009). She works at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in the role of instructional coordinator for adult education and formerly served as ESL program supervisor. As instructional coordinator, she designs and implements adult education programs and courses, assists and trains faculty, and builds online curriculum. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked with immigrants and refugees in a variety of roles for more than 12 years, including as refugee resettlement specialist with World Relief Atlanta. Mary is a pianist, an avid runner, and enjoys exploring state and national parks.
Director, Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Patricia Wilkins, DrPH, MSPH, BSN, RN
Director, CNA and Allied Health Program
Dr. Patricia Wilkins, Program Director, CNA has been an educator and advocate for geriatric care for 25 years. She received her Bachelor of Nursing from Brenau University in 1996, a Master of Public Health/Community Health from Walden University in 2009, and the Doctor of Public Health from Walden University in 2020. A lifelong learner, she is dedicated to ensure the next generation of nurses receive quality nursing instruction and advisement. She has held membership in the National Society of Leadership and Success; the Golden Key International Honour Society; Public Health Association; Hospice and Palliative Nurse Association; Association of Nurses in AIDS care; Georgia Nurses Association; Advisory Board Winterville Retirement Center; and Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executives, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs.
When not at school, she enjoys working in her butterfly and vegetable garden, hunting gemstones at local and out of state mines, and reading.
Lead Adult Education Program Instructor
Philandria is a proud native of Columbus, GA and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English/Secondary Education and her M.Ed. from Columbus State University. She began her teaching career in Muscogee County School District in Columbus before transitioning to The Kindezi Schools in Atlanta. She has also been an adjunct English instructor for various colleges in the state of Georgia. Philandria is currently an English instructor in Adult Education at Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s South DeKalb campus. She has been at GPTC for three years and enjoys assisting students with earning their high school diploma. In the near future, Philandria hopes to pursue her passion for school counseling to support the academic and social development of high school students. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cycling, trying new restaurants, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.