Sensible Living for a Lifetime . . .
SWI VOLUNTARY PERSONNEL (A-G)
Ruby Belton-White was born in Kershaw County, South Carolina, but raised in New Haven, Connecticut. She grew up during the height of the sixties, the Civil Rights Era, and the cry of Black Power. She honors the year 1965 because that is the year the official Voting Rights Act passed. This act allowed her parents to vote although their inability to read well had previously been used as a reason to stop them from voting.
Ms. Belton-White became a single parent at the age of twenty-one, giving birth to her son, Ashante Lemuel Warner. She credits the love and sacrifice of her now deceased mother, Elizabeth Kibler Belton, with her ability to complete college. In 1977, Ms Belton-White graduated from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.
Years later, Ms. Belton-White, who has remained unmarried, returned to school “with the help and love of God” and in 2010 earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut. Currently, she is employed by the New Haven City School District.
In reference to the Sensible Women Initiative, Ms. Belton-White made the following statements: “I’m honored to lend my talent to help this project lean forward. The Sensible Women’s Initiative will engage, enrich, and empower girls growing into womanhood; it’ll support their greatness for this nation.”
Mrs. Kathy Bones was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She comes from a family of six in which she is the third child in a family of all female children. During her early schooling, she attended School No. 4 (officially named George Mather Forbes) in the Rochester City School District. At School No. 4, she participated in the drum and tambourine group, foreshadowing how skillful she would become in using her hands during her career.
For high school, Mrs. Bones attended and graduated from Madison High School, which is also in the Rochester City School District. During her high school years (at age 14), she got her first taste of what it is like to hold down a job. She began working for Action for a Better Community (ABC), an agency that aids low-income community members. Her work ethic followed her, and she has been working ever since. Her various jobs include, but are not limited to, working as a sales clerk, a hostess, and a cashier.
Graduating from high school in 1972, Mrs. Bones set about preparing herself through higher education to pursue a career as a beautician, running a beauty shop in her home; a realtor, selling houses for Century 21 (a notable Rochester Real Estate Agency); and later, a driver, working for the Rochester Transit Service (RTS), the city’s main bus line.
In her various work opportunities, Mrs. Bones sharpened her personal and professional skills. As a salesperson, hostess, and casher, she gained experience in working well with the public and doing a skillful job for her employers. As an entrepreneur and beauty shop owner, she excelled in developing sound business practices and cultivating a stable clientele. At RTS, she was a member of the RTS Women’s Group and served as a mentor to new drivers. During her career at the RTS (1982-2020), she was awarded both a One-Million and Two-Million Mile Safe Driving Award.
Mrs. Bones is the mother of four adult children (three sons and one daughter) and Step Grandmother to several others. In her retirement, she would like to share her career experiences with young people and help them to make wise choices about their own careers.
Dr. Priscilla (Ann) Brown is an Associate Professor of English at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where she also served as Director of the McNair Scholars Program (2017-18) and is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship advisor.
Dr. Ann completed teaching appointments in Arkansas public schools and at the Sheridan School in Washington, DC. Her work in the United Arab Emirates, where she taught for six-and-a-half years, included teaching at both a private secondary school and on the university level. As a faculty member at CERT-Higher Colleges, Dr. Ann conducted workshops for public sector entities, including the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and the military’s English language program. Her ability to communicate effectively in different settings bears witness to her philosophy of meeting people where they are.
As evidence of her belief that the best way to navigate today’s global changes successfully is to engage in face-to-face dialog and hands-on ventures with people from various groups, Dr. Ann has visited nearly twenty countries as a matter of personal travel. In addition, she completed a Senecorps work-study program in Senegal, a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program, and a Korean American Teacher Workshop. These experiences continue to enhance her understanding of “broad sympathy” and her commitment to equipping US citizens to thrive in a global marketplace.
A native of Augusta, Arkansas, Dr. Ann earned degrees in English education from Arkansas State University (B.S.E.) and Harding University (M.S.E.). She completed her doctorate in Literatures in English at Howard University.
Presently and professionally, Maureen D. Campbell is employed as a Senior Technical Support Specialist in the Marketing and Sales Division at UIL Holding Corporation in Orange, Connecticut. In addition, she has been a licensed Insurance Producer since 1991 and a licensed registered representative since 1995. She successfully completed and received a certificate in the Fundamentals of Marketing in 2006 from the American Management Association and also a certificate in Strategic Marketing Advanced Course in 2007 from the American Management Association.
Maureen served as a Board member for several years for the New Haven Preservation Trust. The NHPT is an organization that honors and preserves New Haven’s architectural heritage-historic buildings and neighborhoods – through advocacy, education, and collaboration. In addition, she was also an active Board member for Fair Haven Community Management Team, where she served as a secretary for several years. The Fair Haven Community Management Teams helps residents have a voice in neighborhood improvement and revitalization efforts and are an important link to the police and to other city and social service agencies.
She served on the Board of Directors for The Fair Haven Community Health Center for six years. The Fair Haven Community Health Center is a not-for-profit primary health care organization that has been serving the greater Fair Haven Community since 1971. The Center provides comprehensive health care – from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult, and geriatric. Maureen, who is also a patient, played a key role in being one of the neighborhood’s most vocal advocates for the residents in making their concerns known to the Board of Directors in order to address them.
Maureen holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Norwalk Community College. After dedicating her life to her family and encouraging and helping to support her husband and two adult children through college, she decided to return to college after thirty-two years to get her degree. She worked more than 40 hours per week, due to her perseverance and determination; and finally, in May 2014, Maureen graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. She is also a new member of Kappa Gamma Pi National Catholic Honor Society.
She is the daughter of the late Lascelles A. Burke, Sr. and Gwendolyn Burke and has five siblings. Maureen is married to Earl Campbell and has a son, Earl Campbell, Jr.; a daughter, Leah Campbell; and a wonderful grandson, Blake Andrew Campbell.
Kendra Fields is a native Washingtonian and proud alumna of Howard University. At Howard, Kendra earned her Master’s degree in Social Work, following her matriculation at the illustrious Winston-Salem State University. Kendra currently serves the District’s children and families as a Family Care Coordinator for DC Public Schools. In this position, she helps families navigate early intervention services and start their academic journey.
Of note, Kendra worked at AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, a managed care organization, for 4 years where she aided with ensuring quality healthcare service provision for the District’s residents. While in that role, Kendra was able to exercise her love for community service by taking the opportunity to volunteer with the company’s “Care Crew” and serve the residents that were impacted by the day-to-day work.
Kendra looks forward to further demonstrate her love for community service with the Sensible Women Initiative. Fun fact: In her free time, Kendra enjoys creating organic balloon garlands and event planning and decorating.
Dr. Vanecia L. Fluelling is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Business and Economics at Towson University. She is also the owner of Deserving Indulgence Kitchen.
Vanecia has a thirst for knowledge, an inquisitive mind, and an affinity for practicality. Born in Guyana, S.A., and raised in the United States, Vanecia is appreciative of all the opportunities afforded to her by her parents, Richard and Colleen Duggan. Taught from a very young age to appreciate academia, there was no doubt that Vanecia and her sister Oneka would be attending college.
Vanecia began her journey in higher education at Towson University in Maryland. Once at Towson, this introverted young woman blossomed and found her passion in technology and business as well as in educating others. Feeling as though many students were not equipped with knowledge about one of her fields, e-Business, Vanecia founded the e-Business Association (eBA). Later she went on to also be a founder of the College of Business and Economics Student Leadership Council (CBE-SLC), a student organization, made up of all the college of business student organization presidents, created to offer insight to the Dean about the student body and to breed collaboration between organizations. Vanecia graduated from Towson with a Bachelor of Science degree, double majoring in e-Business and Marketing and minoring in Computer Information Systems.
After a year of working as a Branch Sales Associate at M&T Bank, Vanecia returned to school. Within one academic year, she completed her Master of Business Administration in Leadership and Organizational Change in the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore in Maryland. Vanecia rejoined the workforce and became an Internet Marketing Manager at Healthy Directions, LLC. Seeking academic stimulation yet again, she left Healthy Directions after three years and set out on her next academic pursuit, her Doctorate. In 2019, Vanecia graduated with her Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems from the Earl Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University in Maryland.
While completing her dissertation, she worked as a Lecturer in the Information Systems Department at Morgan State University, teaching Digital Literacy and Application Software as well as Database Management. She was a part of the Morgan Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in the STEM program and implemented multiple diversity and equity initiatives within the classroom. Just prior to attaining her Ph.D., Vanecia accepted a position in Marketing at Towson University. The opportunity to give back to the university that gave so much to her was a wish come true. She is currently teaching Principles of Marketing and Database Queries and Visualization at the university. Her current academic interests are in Marketing Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Data Analytics, and Knowledge Management.
In addition to her work as a professor, Vanecia launched her microbusiness, Deserving Indulgence Kitchen, at the end of 2020. While working on her dissertation in the Ph.D. program, Vanecia encountered many personal trials and tribulations; however, she identified a way to transform negative emotions into positive energy. Vanecia learned a new skill – baking and cake decorating. Feeling as though this skill could be of benefit to others, she opened Deserving Indulgence Kitchen. Her kitchen feeds your mind and body. You receive a healthy dose of comfort treats, validation, knowledge that you are not alone when you are struggling, and a reminder that You are Deserving!
Vanecia is the mother to a toddler, Grayson Fluelling, who inspires her everyday to parent through leading by example. He is her greatest gift.
Vanecia credits her success thus far in life to hard work, determination, resilience, and a wonderful support system. She hopes to pay forward the mentorship and guidance she has received by making a positive impact on others both inside and outside of the classroom.
Ms. Lakesha Fowler is a graduate of Saint Augustine’s University, located in Raleigh, NC, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies in 2013. During college, she received several commendations and participated in several activities including, but not limited to, making the Dean’s List, NC State’s EXCITE Program Participant, Brain Muscle Participant, Focus on Children, Inc. Member, and Peace College Racial Discussion Participant. She served as a student representative for Judicial Affairs as well as president of the Modeling Troupe. Academically, she maintained a 3.3 GPA and received a 4.0 her last semester in undergrad.
Ms. Fowler is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management via DeVry, Keller Graduate School of Management. She expects to receive her graduate degree in January 2019.
Since May 2017, Ms. Fowler has been an employee of Acosta Sales & Marketing as a Claims Resolution Analyst. Prior employment for her includes working in the Student Affairs Department at St. Augustine’s University, serving as a YMCA counselor and tutor, and working as teacher assistant for several NC Public Schools.
Ms. Fowler has been a member of the Sensible Women Initiative since 2015, at which time she served as Assistant Chapter Coordinator for Towson University’s Beta Chapter in Towson, MD. Currently, she serves as SWI Director of Mentoring. She prides herself in assisting young ladies ages 5-25 in making more sensible choices. Mentorship, leadership, education, professionalism, and service are several key terms around which Ms. Fowler revolves her life. More importantly, she is a living testimony of the value of making better choices.
She has relocated to the Charlotte, NC area where she volunteers with the Charlotte Alumni Chapter of Saint Augustine’s University. However, she still manages to find time to help with Girl Scout Troop 2311 in Washington, DC and SWI’s Beta and Gamma Chapters at Towson University and Delaware State University, respectively.
Ms. Fowler’s goals are to aid in the development of SWI’s Mentoring Curriculum as well as furthering her own entrepreneurial endeavors after graduate school. More importantly, Ms. Fowler wants to maintain her sensibleness, always be mindful of her choices, and grow spiritually. She is always willing to help and be an avid listener.
She is inspired by a quote from Marian Anderson which states: ” If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there is no end to the number of things you can accomplish.”
Born in Canada, Wandah Gibbs travelled to every single European Country before she was 15 years of age. She and her family lived in the South of France and Scotland where she attended grade school. In fact, a native English speaker, she started 1st Grade in a French school, even though at the time, she spoke no French at all. She had to adapt and did. Upon her return to Canada, she attended an all-French school where she excelled in French and English and was placed in Advanced Placement classes in both subjects.
Wandah married an American Air Force airman and moved to the US into a completely different culture. She had to adapt and did. She moved to California and started a family then on to Germany for seven years. She had to adapt again and did. In fact, she was living in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War was over.
She and her husband, decided to volunteer to exit the Air Force, and for a number of good reasons, moved to a city they had never visited before. She had to adapt and did. Meanwhile her young family was growing up when tragedy struck, and her husband of 20 years was killed in a motorcycle accident. Suddenly, head of household and needing to provide for her family, Ms. Gibbs worked full-time and attended college in the evenings part-time where she excelled and earned a scholarship to Syracuse University at the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Within three years, she completed a dual-major, Bachelor’s in Public Relations and International Relations. Though going back to school as an adult was tough, she had to adapt and did. Soon after that, she completed a Master’s in Television/Radio and Film Production and was named Newhouse Scholar, an award bestowed upon few.
She became Director of Operations for a large Educational Company managing contracts under the No Child Left Behind era. She spent several more years both as Director and Director of Operations of student-centered programs both in the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds.
In 2016, Wandah Gibbs earned her Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College. In October of 2017, Dr. Gibbs and her business partner launched a publishing company: WGW Publishing Inc. Being an entrepreneur has had its challenges. Again, she had to adapt and did . . . To date, they have published 14 books with several more on the way.
Though life has its challenges and she’s had to adapt . . . , she did.
Dr. Cheryl R. Grice is a university strategic partner for community engagement and regional workforce development focused on attracting, retaining, training, and employment. She has made contributions towards: Diversity awareness and inclusiveness in the workplace; community engagement; talent acquisition and retention; leadership and staff development; retention and professional development of transitioning soldiers, veterans, and family members; strategic planning and mentoring students.
Dr. Grice has over 25 years of human resource experience in management, talent acquisition and retention, training, hiring managers, dual career partnerships, developing and facilitating supervisory training, workforce development, and communication initiatives.
Her research and interests include the adult learner and workforce development, diversity awareness perceptions in the workplace, and assisting transitioning veterans and their family members with career path and educational or professional development opportunities.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with emphasis in Human Resource Management from Upper Iowa University, a Master of Science in Adult and Continuing Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration, both from Kansas State University.
She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a graduate of Leadership Manhattan and the Coffman Leadership Institute. Dr. Grice is also a founding member of the Fairy Godmother Fund, Greater Manhattan Community Foundation Volunteer of the Year, and 2018 Manhattan Chamber of Commerce C. Clyde Jones Volunteer of the Year recipient.