Amazing Students Profiles

Tina Woodard

Tina Woodard

Though she’s an assistant vice chancellor for the board of regents, Tina Woodard is also a student, taking advantage of opportunities at UGA’s Gwinnett campus to further her career and education while maintaining her advocacy for youth.


Originally Spartanburg, S.C.; currently Buford, Ga.

High School:

James F. Byrnes High School

Degree objective:

Ed.D. in adult education leadership

Other degrees:

I earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s degree in human resource development from Clemson University.

Expected graduation:

May 2013

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I received the American Society of Training & Development Champion of Learning Award on behalf of the University System of Georgia for learning and development programs we implemented in 2011. I was honored for completing the Georgia Executive Leadership Development Program, a one-year institute sponsored by the Governor’s Office.  I earned the Professional in Human Resources certification (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute as well as certificates in local government and in executive leadership from the University of Georgia.  As a passionate advocate for youth, I co-founded and serve on the board for I Am BEAUTIFUL, Inc., an award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing self-esteem and building leadership skills of girls and women.

Current Employment:

I began my role as assistant vice chancellor for organizational development with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in 2008. In this role, I collaborate with leaders of the system’s 35 colleges and universities to assess organizational and employee development needs and lead initiatives designed to close gaps in key development areas. I am also responsible for providing learning and leadership development programs for employees at all levels of the organization. As a critical talent management leader, I develop succession planning and talent assessment processes to drive career growth and to increase retention of key talent.

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first in my family to attend UGA.

I chose to attend UGA because…

… during the years that I attended Clemson University, I only knew of UGA as one of our toughest opponents in sports. When I moved to Georgia 10 years ago to transition from a career in engineering to human resources, I learned more about UGA’s excellent academic programs and outstanding faculty in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy.  I am particularly fond of the innovative format of the current Ed.D. program offered on weekends at the UGA Gwinnett campus and online to accommodate working professionals. The UGA Gwinnett campus is easily accessible and only minutes away from my home.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… sharing time with classmates. The Ed.D. program at the UGA Gwinnett campus is a cohort program with students who reside in various parts of Georgia. One of my favorite things to do is reconnect with friends in my cohort by sharing wings and fish tacos at Marlow’s Tavern around the corner from campus. It’s a nice way to unwind after class on Saturdays.

When I have free time, I like…

… family time. Unfortunately, I don’t have much free time while I am working full time and pursuing a doctorate. However, when I choose to take a break, I love hanging out with my husband and two daughters. We love to go to movies, play various sports and try out new restaurants in downtown Atlanta.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

… take a wrong turn. I enjoy the outdoors, so when my best friend relocated to Austin, Texas, we decided to cycle the two-mile trail at Town Lake Park during my first visit. We took a few wrong turns and somehow ended up on the 10-mile trail during the hottest part of the day with no water, mobile phone, money or map. After several hours of wandering in the scorching sun, we walked into a retail store, desperate and dripping in sweat, and begged for a cup of water. Fortunately, they gave us water and a map highlighting the directions to the park entrance.

My favorite place to study is…

… in my backyard because it’s peaceful and quiet enough to concentrate and contemplate while enjoying nature.

My favorite professor is…

… Dr. Wendy Ruona, my major professor, who has challenged me to think more critically about the field of human resource organizational development and about how to integrate theory with practice. I have grown personally and professionally under her advisement and mentorship. I have found her support and encouragement to be extremely helpful in completing this program with a high degree of quality and excellence.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

… I would love to share it with my late grandmother, Castina Arthur, after whom I was named. I admire my grandmother’s strong faith in God and her strength in the face of adversity. I also admire her wisdom, confidence, humor and commitment to our family. I would love for her to get to know my husband and children. I would also love to eat her famous peach cobbler again!

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… open I Am BEAUTIFUL learning centers for girls and women across the country to support their leadership development, educational achievement and career preparation with the ultimate goal of helping them to achieve their potential.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

… live at the beach. I would spend most days on the beach writing books and composing music to inspire others to develop a close relationship with Jesus and to live according to God’s word. I would spend other days volunteering at local schools mentoring and tutoring students who need extra help in reading and math. I would spend my evenings shopping and dining at the best seafood and Italian restaurants in town.

After graduation, I plan to…

… continue along my path of educating, advocating, coaching and leading in the workplace and in the community. My purpose is to facilitate growth and development for organizations and individuals to achieve greater levels of effectiveness.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… is the entire experience of the Ed.D. program’s four-day orientation retreat at the Athens campus. The retreat provided me with an opportunity to learn more about the expectations and requirements for the Ed.D. program.  The retreat also provided me with an opportunity to meet other students in the cohort who were equally excited as well as a little anxious about the program. I especially enjoyed the campus tour during which we learned the tradition of the Arch and took a group picture. The Arch became my symbol for graduation day and keeps me motivated to complete the Adult Education Leadership doctoral degree program. I am looking forward to taking a graduation picture with my family at the Arch in May 2013.