The Leadership and Excellence by Tuskegee University Students — or LET US — Academy, continues its motivational “Life Series” speakers program this spring with a lineup of alumni speakers who will help students envision professional success. The speakers series is open to students of all majors and classifications.
“Bringing alumni back to campus to share their experiences helps students visualize what they are capable of becoming,” said Walter P. Cooper Sr., who coordinates the LET US Academy program. “The program also helps the university deepen its relationship with alumni by involving them in our student development efforts.”
All presentations are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Henderson Hall Auditorium. This semester’s speakers include the following:
Wednesday, Feb. 26
Patrick Davis ’03, Principal Development Lead, Chick-fil-A Corporate
“Do You Have What It Takes”: Building on Strengths and Passion
A career commercial real estate development services professional, Davis currently is a principal development lead for Chick-fil-A Corporate, where he focuses on real estate development deals in the company’s Southwest Region. His career has spanned both U.S. coasts — before his current work in Atlanta, he served as vice president for Los Angeles-based JLL’s Project and Development Services group, for which he oversaw public private partnership deals, student housing, laboratory research centers, healthcare, industrial and office development projects that overall totaled well over a billion dollars in construction. Passionate about mentoring and creating opportunities for youth and young professionals, Davis founded the nonprofit Building Legacy Foundation Inc., which provides workshops, events and experiences that support youth and the community in the Metropolitan Atlanta area — in addition to his involvement in other youth-focused initiatives.
Wednesday, March 25
Candi Cylar ’96, Experience Director, Candi Cylar Agency
“I Love Me Some Me”: Managing Priorities and Stress
Cylar focuses on being an effective leader, minister and project manager through her many professional endeavors, which have spanned more than a decade since graduating from Tuskegee. In her current role as the lead experience director for the Candi Cylar Agency based in Atlanta, she consults with nonprofits and faith-based organizations on their event and special projects needs. Before her ministry-focused career, which includes earning a master’s of divinity from the Columbia Theological Seminary, she worked for the Ford Motor Company as a process engineer. Now focused on church administration and programs, she has created, coordinated and led programs and projects ranging from worship service experiences to leadership conferences — and everything in between.
Wednesday, April 22
Foster “Trey” Ware III ’98, Birmingham Division External Affairs and Marketing Manager, Alabama Power Company
“The Path I Must Take” (Achieving Excellence with Integrity)
In his role with Birmingham-based Alabama Power Company, Foster achieves growth targets across customer segments and manages policy for community and governmental stakeholders as the company’s Birmingham Division external affairs and marketing manager. Since graduating from Tuskegee with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, his career spanning two decades has included leading and motivating teams in the engineering, medical, sales, energy and governmental affairs sectors. It has also included earning an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. While a student at Tuskegee, Ware served as president of the Student Government Association, and as a student-athlete, he was named to Coca Cola’s Division II All-Academic Football team.
Based in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, the LET US Academy assists first-year STEM students with developing the “soft skills” required of today’s job market. Cooper noted that its year-round programs help students develop the communication and interpersonal skills they must combine with the technical classroom knowledge required of their chosen career fields.
“Introducing these skills at an early stage affords our students the opportunity to secure internships so that they can continue to refine these skills. This will make their transitions easier when they graduate and go into the real-world,” he emphasized.
Although the Life Series speakers program is open to all students, the LET US Academy is only open to freshman students and provides them with an experiential learning experience that comes in the form of shadowing professionals in a variety of industries. The program assists students with receiving more experience in their chosen career fields through a holistic approach to student development and service partnerships with local schools throughout Macon County.
To learn more about the LET US Academy, visit https://www.tuskegee.edu/programs-courses/colleges-schools/caens/daes/undergraduate-research-and-mentoring/let-us-for-stem.
© 2020, Tuskegee University