Skip to main content Skip to footer
SVSU logo on a blue tessellated background with

PRE-CONFERENCE SPEAKER
Dr. Rebecca Dedmond

Rebecca is Professor of School Counseling at The George Washington University where she founded The Transition Initiative and has written and validated Transition Standards at both the high and middle school levels. She served as Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Resource Center for the Disabled; Directed the School to Work Federal Grant for the Territory of the Virgin Islands; and collaborated with Father George Clements (One Church One Family) to co-found The Connections Group, a private, not for profit that established adult and youth learning centers within faith-based organizations.

Rebecca has been a Consultant to the World Bank where she spend one year designing and implementing Career Centres at the three Universities in Ghana, West Africa. She was the Career specialist for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, and has been a counselor, K through university. She is a certified National Career Development Association (NCDA) Career Development Facilitator and Instructor (CDFI) and has conducted classes throughout the United States and certified all school counselors in the Territory of Guam.

Rebecca holds leadership positions in national organizations, makes contributions to the counseling profession and has been recognized for her work in related volunteer activities, publications, presentations, curriculum, and product development. Most recently she was awarded Fellow in the field of career development by the National Career Development Association.

CONFERENCE KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Dr. Christopher B. Howard

Dr. Chris Howard is the eighth president of Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and earned a doctorate in politics as a Rhodes Scholar from the University of Oxford. He also has an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, and in 2018 he received the school's Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Howard's service to his country began as a helicopter pilot, then as an intelligence officer, where he was assigned to the elite Joint Special Operations Command. He served in Afghanistan in the Air Force Reserve and was awarded the Bronze Star. He also served as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia.

Dr. Howard aims to make RMU the preferred strategic partner for corporations, organizations, professionals, and aspiring professionals in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. The university is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report and is now undertaking a $50 million capital project, the largest in its history, which will include the UPMC Events Center.

Before coming to RMU, Dr. Howard was President of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and vice president for Leadership & Strategic Initiatives at the University of Oklahoma. Previously he worked in General Electric's Corporate Initiatives Group and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Corporate Associates Program. Dr. Howard has served on the National Security Education Board, appointed by President Barack Obama, and the MyVA Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Young Presidents Phi, also known as the Boule, the oldest African-American fraternity in the United States Organization. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a member of Sigma Pi.

Dr. Howard won the Campbell Trophy, the nation’s highest academic award for a senior college football player. He is a member of the Verizon Academic All- American Hall of Fame and a winner of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. He also is a member of the National Football Foundation Awards Committee, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

Dr. Howard is the founder and a trustee of the Impact Young Lives Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings South African college students of color to the U.S. for summer educational and cultural tours. His wife, Barbara Noble Howard, is the foundation's executive director and a native of South Africa. The Howards have two sons, Cohen and Joshua.