THE AUC DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

LEADERSHIP

TALITHA WASHINGTON, PH.D.

DIRECTOR, 

DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

 

Dr. Talitha Washington is the inaugural director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Data Science Initiative. This new initiative seeks to provide data-driven solutions to current and emerging societal problems, especially as it pertains to the African American community. Poised to bring new diverse perspectives to data science, Dr. Washington is a professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University and is an affiliate faculty member at Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College.

TOMMY TAYLOR JR

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST, 

DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

 

Tommy Taylor Jr. leads the strategic planning for all communications, branding and marketing here at the AUC Data Science Initiative.  Taylor also manages the content development, technology platforms, project management, digital and social media engagement, and handles our press/media outreach.

Taylor previously worked at the National Science Foundation as the Creative Media Producer pioneering new content, media strategies, and digital outreach. There, Mr. Taylor developed content focused on re-imagining how creativity and diversity can heighten scientific videos and connect with new audiences.   His efforts resulted in recognition by Forbes Magazine for producing the nation’s “Best Science Videos”.  Additionally, Mr. Taylor is an award-winning producer/writer/artist – working on projects from BET and HBO, to the Smithsonian Institution and the Special Olympics.

Taylor enjoys merging his creative abilities with his technical background.  He earned dual degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in electrical & computer engineering (ECE), and engineering & public policy (EPP)  with a minor in performing arts.  He went on to earn an MBA in marketing and supply chain management from Howard University and Georgetown University.

MANOAH FARMER

DATA ANALYST, 

DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

 

Manoah Farmer is our data and is responsible for the management, analysis, and visualization of data within the Data Science Initiative. Mr. Farmer also manages the AUC Virtual Computer Lab.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Claflin University. He then earned his master’s degree in Data Science from The George Washington University. Mr. Farmer enjoys being a part of the great work the AUC DSI is bringing to the community.

BETTINA GARDNER

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, 

DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

 

Bettina Gardner is responsible for the financial oversight, operations and administration management of the AUC Data Science Initiative. Previously, Gardner was the assistant director of the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at Clark Atlanta University and a 2017-2018 Fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin, Germany. She served as deputy director of international affairs for the City of Atlanta. 

Ms. Gardner received her bachelor’s in international business and Spanish from Florida State University, an MBA in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and a master’s in international affairs from Georgia Tech.

Dr. H. Justin Ballenger

DEPUTY DIRECTOR, 

DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

 

Dr. H. Justin Ballenger serves as the Deputy Director of the AUC Data Science Initiative and leads efforts to generate promising practices that broaden the participation of African Americans in data science. He works across disciplines to serve the AUC, K-12 schools, and the broader community.  His research agenda is focused on K-12 data science education, STEM-focused community outreach among minority-led non-profits, and data-driven strategies for broadening participation in STEM. His experience includes developing research-grounded outreach programs that partner with community-based organizations to support data science education, STEM engagement, and design thinking for educators and K-12 students from underserved communities.  

Dr. Ballenger is also an Assistant Professor of STEM Education in the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at Morehouse College.  As a researcher, instructor, and change agent, he enjoys creating equitable learning spaces that broaden pathways in data science and other STEM disciplines. 

EBONI DOTSON

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, 

DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVE

 

Dr. Eboni Dotson joins the team as our Executive Assistant!  In this critical role, Dr. Dotson will provide executive-level research, operational, and administrative support to the Director and ensure the efficient operation of the AUC Data Science Initiative.

As a lifelong scholar and proactive professional, Dr. Dotson has engaged in ongoing professional development by earning multiple post-graduate certificates from universities including, John Hopkins, Stanford, and Harvard. Her recent credentials include education in COVID19-related competencies, global health safety, and health equity.

Recognizing the importance of balance, Dr. Dotson finds equal fulfillment and enjoyment through volunteering in her community. Dr. Dotson is actively involved in the Georgia Association of Healthcare Quality (GaAHQ) Board of Directors, LATech4Good Leadership Council, and Clayton State University Alumni Board of Advisors.

Councils

The AUC Data Science Initiative benefits from knowledge, talent, expertise, and input from various contributing councils:

Council of Presidents

The AUCC Council of Presidents provides support by promoting collaboration and coordination among the AUC member institutions and engaging in outreach to advance the AUC Data Science Initiatives. The Council of Presidents consists of four voting members from each of the AUC member institutions.

Council of Chief Academic Officers

The AUCC Council of Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) provides strategic advice and counsel to the director to ensure conformance with core academic rules and regulations. The Council of CAOs consists of five members, including one member from each of the four AUCC member institutions and one member from the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the AUC.

Faculty Advisory board

The AUC Data Science Faculty Advisory Board advises and informs the AUC Data Science Initiative on projects involving academics, research, and scholastic achievement. It is comprised of diverse faculty and staff from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the AUC.