Staff

  • sonia toson

    Sonia J. Toson, JD, MBA, CDP

    Interim Chief Diversity Officer

    Sonia J. Toson serves as the Interim Vice President of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Director of Diversity Relations for the Michael J. Coles College of Business. She holds a faculty appointment as a tenured Associate Professor of Law in the School of Accountancy and her teaching areas include the Legal Environment of Business, Negotiation Theory, Strategy, and Practice, and Employment Law. She is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned her B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She received both her Juris Doctorate and her Master of Business Administration from American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Toson has been a licensed attorney in the State of Georgia for since 2001. Before beginning a career in academia, she spent 8 years in private practice specializing in Entrepreneurship Law, Real Estate and Construction Law. Her research interests include the intersection between the law and social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, social responsibility and the legal environment of sports, and pedagogical aspects of the study of law and negotiation.

    • Johniqua Williams

      Dr. Johniqua Williams

      Deputy Chief Diversity Officer

      Dr. Johniqua Williams joins Kennesaw State University as the Diversity Curriculum Specialist in Fall 2021. With over twelve years of experience within diversity, she has a collaborative and intentional approach to creating an inclusive synergy and development between practice and partnership.  Dr. Williams provides engaging learning experiences for organizations of all sizes. Her workshops and trainings help participants identify hidden barriers to success for diverse talent caused by unconscious bias and create more inclusive work environments where diversity thrives so that the concepts of “diversity and inclusion” are more than just buzzwords.

      Dr. Williams has devoted her career to her passion for equity and social justice, specifically through her work in diversity, civil rights, and inclusion. Previously, Dr. Williams served Columbus State University as the institution's lead for the Office of Diversity Programs and Services, working collaboratively to provide services that promote successful university experiences for a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Williams was primarily responsible for creating an inclusive environment through recruitment, training, and activity planning. In addition, she served as a professor out of the college of letters and science, teaching social justice and equity courses.

      Dr. Williams is a Colorado native, initially from Denver. Her academic career began at Johnson C. Smith University, a Historically Black College University in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she received her bachelor's in Social Work. Followed by her Masters in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs from Central Michigan University. Completing her academic tenure, she obtained an Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Curriculum Development.

      • Jennifer Hoyt

        Dr. Jennifer Hoyt

        Diversity Planning Analyst

        Dr. Jennifer Hoyt joined the Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence as the Diversity Planning Analyst in May 2021. A former assistant professor of Latin American History, Dr. Hoyt chose to pursue a new career where she could focus on diversity and inclusivity. As the Diversity Planning Analyst, Dr. Hoyt tracks and assesses the Division’s various programs as well as oversees data collection and reporting for KSU’s Affirmative Action Plan. Her insights attest to the Division’s effectiveness and help identify new paths forward.

        Dr. Hoyt brings to the Division a genuine curiosity about the world and a desire to build diverse and inclusive spaces. In the classroom, Dr. Hoyt worked to show students a more complex understanding of Latin America and Latin American identity. She led program development and assessment in higher ed. She also advocated for non-dominant students and has been active in local politics in Rome, GA. In addition to race and ethnicity, Dr. Hoyt has particular interest in gender and disability issues.

        Dr. Hoyt is a Georgia native, originally from Savannah. She attended the University of Georgia where she majored in history and minored in Spanish. Dr. Hoyt continued her studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she completed a Masters and a Ph.D. in Latin American history. During that time, Dr. Hoyt regularly traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for research and visited other parts of South America. She taught history and Latin American studies at Samford University and Berry College before completing a data analytics certificate and joining KSU.

        • Ellori White

          Ellori N. White, M.S.

          Diversity Specialist

          Ellori White joined Kennesaw State University in the Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence in November 2021. With over seven years in University Housing, Ellori chose to follow her passion by focusing on diversity and inclusion. As the Diversity Specialist, Ellori oversees the Division’s Student Diversity Ambassadors Program, manages website and social media content, and coordinates marketing initiatives, programming and outreach to students, and Division signature events.

          Ellori White’s professional career started at Savannah State University, a HBCU (Historically Black College or University). However, while serving as an Area Coordinator at Auburn University, Ellori took an intentional shift in her career to become the Diversity and Inclusion Chair for the department. Through her position, Ellori collaborated with colleagues to provide engaging DEI workshops and training for student leaders, recruitment and retention practices to increase BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) student representation and, established signature programming in support of the department’s DEI efforts. Ellori also served as a First-Year Seminar Instructor and Leader-Shape Facilitator, teaching college readiness and inclusive leadership. Her additional experience includes advisement, student-staff supervision, conference presenting, campus partner collaborations, event management, and public relations.

          Ellori is a native of Georgia, specifically the Stone Mountain area. She is a two-time graduate from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, with a bachelor’s in Communications and a Master of Science concentrating in Student Leadership. She is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and additionally, holds certifications in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and the University of South Florida.

          • Donna Thedford

            Executive Administrative Assistant

            Donna Thedford joined Kennesaw State University in March of 2021 as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence.

            Previously, Donna worked in the banking industry at US Bank in the Mortgage Department. Prior to that Donna worked as an Executive Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Retail and Category Management at Anheuser-Busch, one of the largest brewers within the United States where she would later progress to the Sales and Marketing department. Before Anheuser-Busch, Donna began her career working for the Chicago White Sox Baseball Club as an Administrative Assistant.

            Donna is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She began her academic journey in St. Louis, Missouri at Fontbonne University and hopes to continue here at Kennesaw State University.

             

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