Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar, Principal Management Consultant of Economic Strategolutions, LLC is a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) certified with the SBA. In March 2020, was recognized as Distinguished Educator of the year by the (EduCtr) a non-profit organization that recognizes educators of color for excellence in teaching. I received the CTU Dean’s Excellence in Research award as a doctorate student in 2010. I hold a Doctor of Management and Executive MBA from Colorado Technical University, and Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods from Rutgers University of NJ. Expertise is in Management with a concentration in Environmental and Social Sustainability. My research is the development of a leadership coaching model rooted in the gender based life skills schools of Sierra Leone, West Africa that teach 16 leadership attributes used in coaching leaders. I was also granted dual citizenship by the President of Sierra Leone in 2019 during the year of return and had my name changed by a council of Paramount Chiefs and Elders in my ancestral village Bo Kakua Chiefdom to MaBondo Kayacoh, Leader and Head of the Bondo and Sande Societies due to my confirmed DNA lineage to the Mende and Limba people of Sierra Leone and the Mandinka People of Senegal, West Africa. A documentary was filmed and is on my webpage sandeleadership.solutions
What role do you play in education?
I have increased educational access by modeling excellence to the MBA degree students that I teach to include historically marginalized ethnic groups and genders with compensation disparities in the U.S. I have done this by teaching some of the tougher courses like Applied Managerial Decision Making (Business Statistics) to students that include those with math anxiety and low confidence in their ability to succeed in challenging courses that require data analysis. I also have been a substitute in 12 schools since 2019 to assist in covering teacher shortages due to the pandemic. I have also mentored 10-12th grade students as a small business owner by providing internships in Cyber Security in partnership with the Pikes Peak Business and Education Alliance, so the students can earn one college credit. I also practice physical and mental health and wellness through my performing arts programs delivered to library districts in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, and Denver since becoming an Artist in Residence, Author on Tour with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s National Arts and Letters Commission, and was a National Public Radio Storyteller since 2017 to present for youth and adult audiences.
How long have you been in education?
I have a total of 21 years in education. I have been in higher education for 15 years and 6 years in secondary high school education.
What do you love most about your role?
I love being recognized for excellence in teaching, research, and having a resulting community impact on youth and adult audiences that changes their lives and the communities that they live in.
What is the best advice you have received about impacting the education sector?
The best advice received was to be a scholar practitioner. Such has expanded opportunities to be a professor and operate a business as a Principal Management Consultant that is African American and female. This allows me to share real-world knowledge with middle, high school, and undergraduate students taught and current graduate students who are often middle-level managers, have Master’s or Doctorate degrees, and are now pursuing an MBA. I cover a broad range of ages in my teaching, subbing, and mentoring of interns.
What do you think are the top 3 things that help create a healthy learning environment? Please Explain
Holding students accountable for excellence and doing their best in preparing for their career field while taking pride in being their authentic
Being an ethical professor and inadvertently role modeling for students.
Building positive and collaborative relationships with other faculty, students, and staff.
These three areas a crucial to success in higher education and upward mobility.
What do you think is the most important quality in an educator? Please Explain
Today, given all the issues regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion what is most important to being a quality educator, is to have good business ethics in how conflict is addressed and be respectful to students and staff from different ethnic groups, cultures, religions, and gender identities. Also develop curriculum that reflects these values and how they can be practiced in work and life. Demonstrate and model positive leadership attributes.
What advice would you give to the younger generation about their education?
Learn and recall your ancestral history, otherwise you are bound to repeat mistakes or you can repeat what has contributed to success. Focus your energy and time on issues that matter and make a positive contribution to society.
What encouragement would you give to those who are interested in being in education?
If a professor, publish for students, academic business, and business practitioner audiences. Perform keynote speaking and presentations for general audiences that focus on current issues. Remember that you are a legacy and the work that you create is an extension of your legacy.
As a Black Person, what obstacles have you overcome, or are you overcoming to excel in education?
Being an African American female professor and woman owned small business, I have had to prove my excellence in teaching business and management since successful women in business have not fit the paradigm of traditional western Caucasian business owner. I have overcome this obstacle recently discovering my African lineage to Sierra Leone, West Africa in 2019 and three nations of people there who are and were entrepreneurs, scholar philosophers and female gender-based society women leaders who originated a female African leadership model started in the 15th century. This knowledge and participation in my culture became the topic of sustainable practice in my dissertation research and has contributed to my physical, social. and mental well-being.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Having been renamed after a leader and head of the female society in Sierra Leone, West Africa it was confirmed that my origins are from great leaders who I have lineage to, so my leadership skills, scholarly knowledge, and business talent are in my DNA and knowing this gives me power.
Wanda Tisby-Cousar, DM, EMBA |Principal Management Consultant |Associate Adjunct Professor Colorado Technical University Online| Limited Term Lecturer in Organizational Leadership, Purdue University, Fort Wayne