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ELEVATE: The Diversity & Inclusion Career Institute

March 2024 Elevate Summary

2024 Agenda

  • Alexis Andrews: Center for Career Exploration and Suc ess, Assistant Director for Global Career Development
  • Jen Benz: Center for Career Exploration and Success, Assistant Vice President
  • M. Cristina Alcalde, Ph.D.: Office of Transformational and Inclusive Excellence, Vice President

Industry Leader Panel

  • D. Ellis Rates: Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Associate Director for Intercultural Initiatives
  • Pat Achoe: Kroger, Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alix Davis Harris, P&G, Senior Counsel
  • James Hudgens: Cincinnati Children’s, Senior Specialist in Diversity and Inclusion
  • Doronna Vickers: Cincinnati Insurance Company, Resource Manager


  • Jocelyn Wimberly: Center for Career Exploration and Success, Assistant Director of Career Education and Inclusion
  • Taylor Conteh: Center for Career Exploration and Success, Associate Director of Employer Relations

Closing Remarks

  • Shayna M. Smith, Interim Director of Career Education and Inclusion

 2024 Attending Employers



Pat Achoe Pat Achoe

Pat currently serves on the continuing education committee of the Cincinnati Pharmaceutical Association and is a lifetime member of the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA). She also serves on board of the NPhA Foundation. 

A native of Detroit, Pat enjoys meeting people and traveling. She resides in Cincinnati with her husband Howard. 

James Hudgens James Hudgens

James Hudgens, a Senior Specialist in Diversity & Inclusion at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Since 2016, James has been working tirelessly to promote inclusivity among the hospital's internal associates and vendor partners. He currently serves as the program manager for the hospital's nine Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), overseeing programming, organization, event planning, coaching, and communications. 

D. Ellis Rates Moderator: D. Ellis Rates ’14

D. Ellis Rates is a 2014 graduate of Miami University who earned his bachelor's degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies with a minor in Film. In 2020, he obtained his master's degree from Walsh University in Counseling and Human Development with a focus in Student Affairs in Higher Education. From there, he landed a role at Hiram College as the Director of Campus Involvement/Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

In 2022, D. Ellis returned to Miami to bring his insight, experience, and fun-loving attitude to the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion. Try starting a conversation with him about movies, TV shows, video games, Cleveland sports, cartoons, music, and/or random pop culture trivia. You can also read more about his career journey on our blog.


Doronna VickersDoronna Vickers

Doronna Vickers is a motivated people leader, supporter of professional development and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion at The Cincinnati Insurance Company. With 20 years in the Information Technology department, she actively mentors and coaches associates to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Doronna played a pivotal role in the company’s DEI journey, leading one of the four foundational DEI pillars, Increased Visibility.

Alix Davis HarrisAlix Davis Harris

Alix Davis Harris is a marketing attorney, serving as Senior Counsel for North American Hair Care brands at The Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Skilled at formulating creative solutions on advertising issues, she works with a wide range of multicultural, iconic, and innovative brands like Head & Shoulders®, Old Spice®, Mielle®, My Black is Beautiful®, Pantene Gold Series®, and Waterl<ss® to help the business achieve successful campaigns and promote superior products.

2024 Attending Student Organizations/Clubs

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha, Lambda Mu chapter
  • Black Student Action Association
  • Career Academy Participants
  • Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Mu Chapter
  • Diversity Affairs Council
  • Humanities And Social Science Scholars
  • Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Delta Chapter
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
  • Love You Like A Sister
  • National Association of Black Accountants
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • O*STEM
  • Women In Business

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Center for Career Exploration and Success

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