August 2021 Discussion Panel

Addressing the "She-Cession": Getting Women Back to Work

August 18, 2021 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Our Moderator: Michelle Meggs, DAH

Our Panelists: Fatma Mili, PhD; LaToya Faustin, MBA; Deidra Sheppard-Calloway, MS; and Dana McDonald, PhD


Michelle Meggs, DAH

Our Moderator is Michelle Meggs, DAH, the Executive Director of the Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA).  Dr. Meggs, whose diverse background includes work in academia, the nonprofit sector and ministry, envisions the W+GRA becoming the place for scholars across the state and nation to come together to advance gender equity and social mobility.  Dr. Meggs seeks to connect community organizations doing work on the ground with university researchers whose research relates to women’s health, economic security, employment, civic and political engagement and violence against women.  Dr. Meggs holds a Doctor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in Africana Women’s Studies from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johnson C. Smith University.


Fatma Mili, PhD

Fatma Mili, PhD, is the Dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte since August 2017.  She came to UNC Charlotte from Purdue University where she served as the Department Head of Computer Information Technology, then as Associate Dean for Educational Research and Development, and then as the founding and Executive Director of the TransSTEM Center. At Purdue, she led a major transformation of the undergraduate education in the College of Technology that led to its rebranding as the Purdue Polytechnic. Prior to joining Purdue, she was a faculty member, as Associate Dean, and a Department Chair in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan.


Mili holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris, France. Her research interests are in the areas of decision-making, formal methods in computing, and complex and self-organizing systems. The role that Higher Education plays as an agent of social change has been an underlying theme in her work throughout her career. She advocates for a STEM education embedded in ethics, for a curricular design and pedagogy where inclusivity and equity are key ingredients rather than afterthought add-ons, and for a research agenda grounded in the most pressing challenges and focused on long-term impact.


LaToya Faustin, MBA

LaToya Faustin, MBA, is the Executive Director of She Built This City.  A passionate executive who has devoted her entire career to empowering underserved populations, LaToya Faustin has used her background in business and education to support upward mobility efforts here in Charlotte for the past 9 years.  She is now the Executive Director at She Built This City where she is a staunch advocate for workforce development pathways and access to the construction industry for women and other marginalized communities.


Deidra Sheppard-Callway, MS

Since September of 2018 Deidra Y. Sheppard-Calloway, MS, has served in the role of VP of Programs for the Urban League of Central Carolinas (ULCC).  As VP of Programs she is responsible for the overall strategic planning and operations for all program areas.   Prior to joining the ULCC she has spent the last 20 years working in the non-profit sector serving the Omaha (NE) metropolitan area.  Where she held several mid to Executive level positions that included Director of Programs (Heartland Family Service); and, Director of Development & Marketing for the Urban League of Nebraska; Major Gift Officer for the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and, being the first Executive Director for the Neighborhood Center for Greater Omaha (NCGO).

Mrs. Sheppard-Calloway has a Master’s Degree in Business Management; and, holds an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice.  Aside from her accredited degrees she has received supplemental training in the areas of Donor management, Human Resources management, Diversity & Inclusion, and has a certification of Fund Development from Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy.  Her professional skill sets include: program management, grant writing, marketing, training and community organizing.

She has been very engaged in both civic and community activities and has served on several Boards and committees.  Some of her involvement includes, but not limited to, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen – NE Affiliate, Women Investing in Nebraska, and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  And, recently has been included to participate in the inaugural 2021 class for the Charlotte Black Leadership Social Capital Initiative.

Deidra is a wife and proud mom of three: Shane (29), Diya (25) and Ayrian (8); and, in her spare time enjoys traveling, cooking, entertaining and decorating in African motive design.


Dana McDonald, PhD

Dana McDonald, PhD, is the Vice President of Talent Development for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont in Charlotte, NC where she leads the range of talent development solutions for both clients and team members which includes training and coaching as well as all employer and industry engagement activities.

Throughout her career Dr. McDonald has worked in range of capacities:  Associate Dean; Senior Vice President in financial services; a senior consultant with Development Dimensions International (DDI), and a senior faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership.  She has also worked in a wide range of industry contexts:  healthcare, energy/fossil fuels, pharmaceuticals, international humanitarian aid, and various other for profit and not for profit settings.  Dr. McDonald specializes in strategy development and implementation around Leadership and Talent Development systems and solutions.

She has authored publications on using assessments in a global environment, training and executive development and has delivered executive development solutions throughout Europe, India, and China.

Dr. McDonald earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University.

In her spare time, Dana tries to spend as much time as possible with her daughter who is a college student.  She enjoys travel, live music, movies and reading.