Meet the Staff
Mr. Tierney Bates is from Cleveland, Ohio and received his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Communications with a minor in African-American History from the University of Akron, and his Master of Arts degree in Higher -Education Administration from University of Akron as well has his MBA from Bryan College. He has worked at Baldwin-Wallace College, Bowling Green State University and most recently the University of Tennessee he is responsible for creating and founding numerous programs that still exist today at the University of Tennessee campus. He has worked in many roles supporting diversity and inclusion at the institutions of higher learning and corporate America in the Knoxville and Nashville community which garnered him a Chancellors Citation Award in 2008. A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., A Knoxville Business Journal Top 40 under 40 selection, a Leadership Knoxville Class of 2009 graduate, American Express Emerging Leader Program graduate 2010, and named by Urban Voice Magazine 2010 Upcoming Leader, as well as a Nashville New Leaders Council 2013 Fellow. He has also served on 5 major community boards like the United Way, the Public Building Authority, to name a few.
Associate Director, Sr.
Vickie Bridgeman is the Sr. Associate Director at the Cultural Center. Vickie has been at the University for 29 years. Her previous work experience includes: Dental School (Radiology), Housing Department, Admissions, Transitional Studies, School of Education and REACH. Vickie is responsible for the Excel Program and Retention and Assessment in the Cultural Center. Vickie's research interested is minorities in Higher Education and Developmental Education, and At-Risk students. Vickie serve on several university committee such as CODRE, Student Engagement Committee, Great Place to Work (Campus Climate), University Club Board of Directors, and University Wide Advising Committee (UWAC).
Phyllis L. Clark serves as Associate Director of the Cultural Center and advisor to the Society of the Porter Scholars. Other special projects and programs under her purview include Porter College, the Black Family Conference, the African American Graduation Reception, training and development programs and a number of collaborations and partnerships within the campus and local community. She received a Master's degree in Counseling & Psychology with emphasis in College Student Personnel from the University of Louisville and her Bachelor's degree in Music Education with emphasis on the violin from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She is a an adjunct instructor for the College of Arts & Sciences Department of Communication, a member of the University of Louisville Black Faculty & Staff Association (BFSA), is a newly appointed member of the International Professional Woman Network (PWN) Advisory board and has co-authored five self-empowerment anthologies for women and youth through Professional Woman Publishing.
Academic Counselor, Sr.
Ms. Sidney received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Louisville. She assists first year students in anticipation of a good transition from high school to college. She offers support and encouragement and directs students to campus resources as needed.
Program Coordinator, Sr.
Laine López is originally from Cuba and came to the U.S. in 1998. In 2007, she graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor Degree in Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies. A year later, Laine received her Master’s Degree in Spanish and the Graduate Certificate of Latin American Studies also from UofL.. Her goal is to coordinate outreach and assist the Latino community accomplish their educational aspirations and succeed in life. Laine is also a faculty member at the university teaching Basic Spanish classes in the department of the Classical and Modern Languages. In her new position as Program Coordinator Sr., Laine is responsible for all programming sponsored and co–sponsored by the Cultural Center. She enjoys dancing, swimming and spending time with her family.
Program Coordinator Sr.
Leondra Gully is a May 2010 graduate with a Master’s Degree e in Educational & Counseling Psychology with a concentration in College Student Personnel from the University of Louisville. She previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor degree in Pan African Studies also from UofL. Her primary research interests include retention and college readiness of students from underrepresented populations. As the Program Coordinator, her primary responsibilities include overseeing the development and implementation of policies and procedures relating the Cultural Center student organizations, student organization financial support and supervising student assistants. In addition, she also coordinates the Cultural Center Graduation Celebration as well as Cultural Center technological and operational activities. She also serves as the advisor to the Association of Black Students and the Woodford R. Porter Scholars.
James (Joey) Wilkerson is originally from New Albany, Indiana anreceived his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in 2006. He began his career in higher education in 2010 as an academic counselor at Ivy Tech Community College. He would move on the admissions department at Bellarmine University as the multicultural recruiter in 2011 where he would also earn his Master’s Degree in Communications. Currently, James is the program coordinator for the African American Male Initiative at UofL, a program dedicated to the retention and graduation of African American males on campus. A member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Wilkerson serves as a chapter advisor for the Alpha Chi chapter at UofL. Wilkerson also serves as a Human Resource Co- Chair for the Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling where his role is to implement programing for underrepresented students in both urban and rural areas of the Commonwealth.
Darla Frazier is the Administrative Associate at the Cultural Center. She started work at the university in 1982. Her previous work experience and training comes from UofL’s Admissions Office, Child Development Center, Physical Plant, and Delphi Center. Her previous work experience also includes 4C’s(Community Coordinated Child Care) and JCPS Adult Education . Darla is responsible for overseeing the administrative support function of the Cultural Center, which includes managing the operational budget, payroll and supervising the student staff. Darla assists with the ongoing day–to–day operations, as well as other program and special events. Her desire is to help others be the best at what they are called to do and to simply, "smile".
Program Assistant Sr.
Tamara Russell is the Program Assistant Senior at the Cultural Center. Tamara received her Bachelor of Science in General Studies and a minor in Sociology from Indiana University. As the Program Assistant Senior, her primary responsibilities are the coordination of the Black Family Conference, representing the Cultural Center on the Sustainability Operations Committee, assisting with training and development of students and staff, supervising student workers, administrative support for the Cultural Center staff and providing a warm welcome to all of its guests. Tamara’s previous professional experience and training has been focused in working with youth and their families. Her skills and training include, but is not limited to the following; emergency response, family preservation, family maintenance, family reunification, behavior modification, independent living skills, education attainment and community engagement.