Accelerate to Industry




Accelerate to Industry (A2i) is a workforce development program that allows graduate students to explore diverse career paths with our industry partners in the Charlotte region and beyond.  This program offers a variety of modules that teach students how to transfer the skills they’ve acquired in their degree programs to meet the needs and challenges of industry. From one-day company site visits to semester-long team projects, A2i creates a host of meaningful interactions between sponsor companies and top Charlotte graduate students and postdocs.

Interested in presenting an A2i talk or workshop? Contact Dr. Jill Huerta (





Date Partner Workshop Presenter
January 26 Career Paths for Graduate Students with Data and Computer Science Skills Matt Bryan -Squad Leader for Manufacturing in Enterprise Data & Advanced Analytics







Transferring Your Academic Skills to Private Industry

Matt Bryan, Squad Leader for Manufacturing in Enterprise Data & Advanced Analytics


12:00 - 1:00

Diversity at Atrium Health: Aligning Values

Shawn Anderson, Vice President of Talent Acquisition

Shawn Simmons, HR Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion



The Seven Ingredients to Success Part II

Kim Henderson, System Chief of Staff to CEO and Enterprise Officer


11:30 - 12:30

Working with Search Firms Throughout Your Career

Jamie Martin, Executive Recruiter



Equitable Purpose-Based Leadership at Equitable 

Susan Clifford, HR Leadership Partner

Mark Berkowsky, Head of Corporate Recruiting and On-Boarding

Jarian Kerekes, Head of Equitable Foundation and Social Impact




Cross-Team Leadership

Pat Sellers, Director of Operations




Listen up!: Developing  and Improving Effective Professional Communication Skills is the first event in the Fall A2i series. It will take place on October 1 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM via Zoom and is facilitated by JELD-WEN. Space is limited, and an application with a resume is required in order to participate. Applications are due by September 28! 

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, JELD-WEN  is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of doors and windows, and operates in 25 countries with 116 manufacturing facilities located primarily in North America, Europe and Australia. We are thrilled to have JELD-WEN's partnership as the special industry sponsor of this Fall's A2i series! 


Thriving in a Hybrid Workforce: How to Adapt and Grow (October 15, 2021 - Zoom 11:00am-12:00pm)

While teleworking has been around for a while, the need for so many people to work remotely during the pandemic has vastly expanded its use. As you graduate and enter the workforce, you will likely face many workplace options including face-to-face, remote, and hybrid environments. Each one has its own challenges, etiquette, and opportunities. Join professional development specialist Kim Harris for an interactive session that will teach you how to figure out which environment will best support your professional success and how to navigate and thrive in each of these settings.


Giving and Receiving Feedback in a Professional Setting (October 22, 2021 - 11:00am-12:30am)

We've all heard the expression, "feedback is a gift," but it's a gift that can be difficult to give and difficult to receive. When we receive feedback, it's easy to become defensive and stubborn or insecure. When we need to give feedback, we may feel hesitant to criticize a team member who has worked hard on a deliverable. Yet, figuring out how to use feedback to improve ourselves and our teams is one of the most important keys to professional success. This Accelerate to Industry(A2i) session, run by our industry partner, Tresata will be a  90-minute interactive workshop, in which participants will learn how to have honest discussions about improvement without damaging important relationships.

There will be a presentation and then practice in small-group breakout rooms where participants will receive (you guessed it) feedback from Tresata leaders. Space is limited and an application with a resume upload is required. Applications are due by October 19. 


Check back soon, as we are currently adding more events to the Fall A2i lineup!


Listen up!: Developing  and Improving Effective Professional Communication Skills

Judith Malveaux-Ellerbe, JELD-WEN’s Manager of Internal Communications

Holly Milanese, Manager, Corporate Onboarding & University Relations

Cammeron Jacobs, University Relations Lead

10.15   Thriving in a Hybrid Workforce: How to Adapt and Grow Kim Harris, innovative business professional
10.20 Giving and Receiving Feedback in a Professional Setting

Tresata representatives:

Sagar Sharma; Pat Sellers; Charla Fields


Spring 2021: A2i Leadership Series

March 5 - April 1, 2021 | Online

3.5 Optum

Difficult Conversations: How to Manage Up, Down, and Across the Hierarchy

Kim Harris, MSc, Business Operations Specialist | Internal Consultant


Leading from Behind

Chris Cardwell, Head of Product Go To Market

Alex Feliciano, Director of Client Delivery

Kristen Koehler, Technical Sales Lead

3.19 Charlotte Hornets Behind the Ball: Diversity and Inclusion at the Charlotte Hornets

Nadia Thomas, Manager of Accounting, Finance & Co-Chair Diversity & Inclusion Council

Josh Rosen, Senior Director of Communications & Co-Chair Diversity & Inclusion Council

Ronnie Bryant, Chief Information Officer, IT & Co-Chair Diversity & Inclusion Council

4.1 JELD WEN Goal Setting and Tracking at JELD-WEN

Holly Milanese, JELD-WEN, Corporate Onboarding & Early Career Programs Lead

Nicole Schachter, JELD-WEN, Talent Development Business Partner

Cammeron Jacobs, JELD-WEN, University Relations Program Lead


Fall 2020: A2i Job Search Strategies

In this 8-week developmental series, experts from industry will provide virtual workshops, career panels, and presentations that will help graduate students from all disciplines prepare for internship and job searches. 

 October 2 - November 20, 2020 | Online

10.2 Center for Graduate Life Job Search Due Diligence: Researching Opportunities and Potential Employers Ivanna Garibaldi Campbell, Executive-in-Residence and Managing Partner, People Tech HR Consulting Group

AIC Mindset

Negotiations & Networking Essentials  Amir Ismail, Founder

Novant Health

The Seven Ingredients to Success Kim Henderson, Chief of Staff to CEO, SVP of Executive Leadership Development
10.23 London Stock Exchange Group Showcasing Your Experience on Your Resume

Candace Coaxum-Richardson, Requirements Officer 

George Meeks, Recruiter

Kayla Dyson, Recruiter

10.30 Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Are You Even Remotely Successful? How to Thrive in a Remote Environment

Amy Kazmiercak, Chief People Officer

Angela Genaro-Ruilova, Director of Talent Management

Jamie Martin, Manager of Talent Acquisition

11.06 Equitable Life-Long Learning and Adaptive Leadership

Susan Clifford, Lead Director & Sr. Human Resources Business Partner

Mark Berkowsky, Senior Director of Recruiting & On-boarding

Michelle Schultz, Lead Director, Innovation & Design Office 




Translating Your Academic Career to the Workplace

Jennifer Hull, Ally, Early Talent Recruiting Manager

Holly Milanese, JELD-WEN, Manager, Corporate Onboarding  Program & University Relations

11.20 Atrium Health Diversity, Inclusion, & Talent Acquisition at Atrium Health

Tanya Bacon, VP, Talent Acquisition & Recruiting

Beatriz Rodriguez, HR Business Partner

Arlene Cash, Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion




For more information, please contact Dr. Jill Huerta, Director, Center for Graduate Life and Learning.