Psychology Department/ Diversity Management Program

Program Faculty & Course Facilitators

Diversity Management Program Faculty
Philip R. Belzunce, Ph.D. Paul Putman, Ph.D.
Carla Carten, Ph.D., emeritus Deborah L. Plummer, Ph.D., emeritus
Timothy Ewing, Ph.D., adjunct Steve Slane, Ph.D.
Lisa P. Gaynier, M.A., Program director, adjunct faculty Victoria R. Winbush, Ph.D., adjunct
Lalei E. Gutierrez, Ph.D. Melodie S. Yates, Ph.D., emeritus
Linda Koenig, M.A., adjunct  
Course Facilitators, Executive Leadership Coaches, and Research Partners
Swagata Banik, Ph.D. Christina M. Royer, JD, GPCC, ACC
Ellen Burts-Cooper, Ph.D. Michael Sermersheim, Esq.
Debra L. Dunkle, Ph.D. Marcy Levy Shankman, Ph.D.
Eric Lutzo, Ph.D. Deborah Sharply Lampkin, Ph.D.
Martha "Bibi" Potts, Ph.D. Sarah Spengler, MSOD



Lisa (Tong) P. Gaynier, M.A., Program Director, Adjunct Faculty

Lisa GaynierLisa Gaynier joined the Cleveland State University as Director of the nation’s first and only Master’s program in Diversity Management—a transformational organizational leadership program. She comes to the position with twenty years experience as a consultant and business owner. Her special areas of practice are leadership, particularly within the context of cross-cultural competence, change leadership and global competitiveness.

In her position as Director of the Diversity Management Program, Gaynier bridges the academic world of theory and research with the “real” world challenges experienced by people whether in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, or government entities. In this capacity, she has established the annual Diversity Management Conference: Translating Theory and Research into Best Practices.

A native of Hawaii, Gaynier is of Asian/Pacific island and European descent— truly embodying America’s multicultural heritage. She is the author of an award-winning multi-cultural cookbook and academic papers on cultural competence for leaders, mediation and Gestalt approaches to organizational effectiveness. She was the winner of the 2006 Best Paper award at the MBAA International Conference.

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Philip R. Belzunce, Ph.D., SMFT, DAPA, RPP, CPE, CPC

Philip BelzunceDr. Belzunce is a diplomate in psychotherapy, and a psychotherapist, lecturer, worldwide consultant, and supervisor for AAMFT. He applies a systemic approach integrating Gestalt, Ericksonian hypnosis, and family therapy methodologies. His training includes family therapy with Virginia Satir, Jay Haley, and Chloe Madanes. He is a certified Tao instructor and a Reiki Master.

He is also certified in polarity therapy and as a spine realigner. He is the author of What Really Matters Is the Heart and Heart Shadows, and the co-author of Once upon a Doggie.

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Carla Carten, Ph.D., emeritus

Carla Carten picCarla is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Cleveland State University.  Her primary concentration of work is with the university's Diversity Management Program.  Dr. Carten's research is focused on cross-cultural collaboration through effective communication and positive relationships.  She has 12 years of experience as an independent Organizational Development Consultant where her concentration has been in the areas of building cross-cultural collaborative partnerships. As a consultant and as a researcher she has conducted workshops focused on building organizational capacity through global partnerships in the U.S., East and West Africa, Latin America and Asia.   She has facilitated diversity management and team training workshops with Procter and Gamble Sales, NASA, Case Western Reserve University's Office of Student Affairs, and the Office of Career Planning and Placement, The Christian Reformed World Relief - Latin America, The Cleveland Municipal School System and Parma Public Schools.  Dr. Carten has served as an Instructor and a Professor’s Assistant at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Carten is the Executive Director of the East Cleveland Parks Association and a Business Development/Human Resource consultant with the BioSignal Division of Cleveland Medical Devices, Inc. as well as Orbital Research Inc.  She has 12 years of field sales experience with The Procter and Gamble Distributing Company.

Dr. Carten holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, a Masters of Science degree in Organizational Development and Analysis from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

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Timothy Ewing, Ph.D., adjunct

Tim is a diversity and organizational development consultant with over 10 years of international and domestic consulting experience ranging from the classroom to the boardroom. He assists clients in creating high-performing, productive work environments where multicultural organizations leverage their differences to meet the organization’s goals & objectives. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University, a Master’s in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University. His research interests include: diversity and inclusion, leadership development, positive transformation and change. As an executive coach, trainer and facilitator, Tim is able to support his clients in strengths-based development and change. In addition, he holds a teaching role at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland in the coaching and training programs.

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Lalei E. Gutierrez, Ph.D., R.P.P., S.M.F.T.

Lalei GutierrezLalei is a holistic psychologist, an approved supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, a Registered Polarity Practitioner, a life and wellness coach, a body process therapist, a holistic health educator, and a certified healing Tao Instructor and Reiki Master.

She is a faculty member of the Gesalt Institute of Cleveland’s programs “Couples/Family and Small Systems”, “Working with Body Process”, and the post-graduate Gesalt Training Program.  She is also a faculty member of the Diversity Management Program at Cleveland State University.

In her integrative and holistic practice with individuals, couples, families, professional groups, and organizations, her range of interests and expertise include bridging Eastern and Western approaches, and the integration of body-mind-spirit and diversity processes in therapy, consultation, mentoring, holistic health education, and life and wellness coaching.

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Linda Koenig, M.A., adjunct

Linda is an executive coach, organizational effectiveness and human resources consultant. She provides executive coaching in leadership, motivation, critical-thinking and survival skills in turbulent work environments. She specializes in helping executives overcome obstacles that keep them from achieving their highest potential. Linda is also a certified mediator and helps resolve disputes between various employees and groups. Linda has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree from Ohio University. She attended Kent State University for postgraduate work and studied Organizational Development at the National Training Laboratories Institute. She also completed extensive postgraduate work at the internationally known Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

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Deborah L. Plummer, Ph.D., emeritus

Deborah is a nationally recognized psychologist and diversity solutions thought leader. She is a consultant and founder of D.L. Plummer & Associates, a firm specializing in diversity management and organizational development for over twenty years.  She has consulted for a variety of national and local corporations including Fortune 500 companies, community mental health agencies, public and private school systems, and faith-based institutions.  Deborah also has extensive experience inside organizations and has held past roles as a chief diversity officer, university professor, founding director of a graduate degree program in diversity management, and a staff psychologist.

Deborah is the Editor of the Handbook of Diversity Management and author of Racing Across the Lines: Changing Race Relations through Friendships.  She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the American Institute for Managing Diversity in Atlanta, the nation’s leading nonprofit think tank dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity leadership through research, education and public outreach.

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Paul Putman, Ph.D., adjunct

Steve Slane Paul Putman is a Program Officer at the Cleveland Foundation. In addition to his cross-sector grantmaking work, he oversees a number of special projects advancing the education, arts, and human services sectors. Prior to joining the foundation, for nearly 20 years Paul had an extensive career in higher education (both teaching and in student development roles) at institutions in Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio. He has presented at local, regional, national, and international workshops and conferences on a range of topics related to leadership, service, nonprofits, technology, and philanthropy.

Paul holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a focus on Leadership and Lifelong Learning from Cleveland State University. His research interests include leadership development and technology in relationship to adult education. He earned a master of arts in psychology, with a specialization in diversity management jointly conferred from CSU and the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science (DMP 4) and a master of science in education, guidance and counseling with a specialization in higher education from Eastern Illinois University. His  B.A. is in English from Kent State University.

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Steve Slane, Ph.D.

Steve SlaneSteve Slane is one of the founding faculty members of the Diversity Management Program. His training is in Social Psychology and Statistics and Research Design from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. His research interests are in the areas of interpersonal relationships, perception/use of time, and diversity issues. He is currently conducting research on stereotype threat in healthcare interactions. Steve has held a variety of positions at CSU and in the Department of Psychology, including chairing the Departments of Psychology, Health Sciences, and Speech and Hearing. Most recently Steve served as Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Sciences and Heath Professions. He has also directed the following Psychology Department programs: Clinical/Counseling, Diversity, Consumer-Industrial, and Undergraduate.

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Victoria R. Winbush, MSSA, MPH, LISW, Ph.D., adjunct

Victoria WinbushVictoria has over 20 years experience as a diversity consultant and has worked primarily with human services organizations and those delivering health care, mental health, educational services.  She previously served as the director of the Multi Cultural Training Institute and implemented a cultural competency curriculum geared toward mental health professionals employed in county-funded agencies in Greater Cleveland.

Dr. Winbush is also a member of the teaching faculty at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and is an adjunct instructor and research adviser at the Smith College School for Social Work.  She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical social work from Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, MA.  She also holds a Master’s degrees in social work administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and a Master’s of public health administration from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

She is a licensed social worker and enjoys working with adolescents and their families.  Her research interests include identifying the processes used by parents to facilitate mental health treatment for their youth, and better understanding the impact that  diversity has on both clinical practice and on organizational change initiatives.

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Melodie S. Yates, Ph.D., emeritus

Melodie S. YatesDr. Yates is a founding faculty member of the Master’s program in Diversity management and has taught continuously in the program for 18 years.

She joined Cleveland State University in 1981 as Assistant to the Vice President for Student Services and has served in progressively responsible positions including five years as Director of Affirmative Action for the University. She has published research on diversity and inclusion in academic settings including Campus Climate Race Relations: It’s All about Change. In 2010 she retired from her position as Director of Diversity Training and Research, but she continues to teach in the Master’s program in Diversity Management.

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Swagata Banik, Ph.D.

Dr. Banik’s research is intent on reducing health disparity among medically and socially disenfranchised populations both  nationally and  internationally. Being born and raised in India, Dr. Banik brings in his cultural background and international training experiences to the programs. His primary focus is to develop innovative and efficacious behavioral interventions to promote health among marginalized population in the US as well as in India. Along with other colleagues in the Diversity Management Program, he is investigating the impact of stereotype threats in social interactions between healthcare workers and their patients. He has been elected as the treasurer of the Mid Continent region of the Society for the Scientific Studies on Sexuality.

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Ellen Burts-Cooper, MBA, Ph.D., Six Sigma MBB
Dr. Ellen Burts-Cooper is the owner and senior managing partner of Improve Consulting and Training Group, a firm that provides personal and professional development training, coaching and consultation. She is a book and workshop curricula author, as well as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University in the Weatherhead School of Business MBA program and the Macromolecular Science and Engineering PhD Program.

Previously, Ellen served as a Senior Vice President and Senior Director of Operational Excellence, IT Performance Management and Governance for PNC Financial Services. Prior to the financial services industry, Ellen worked in the electronics industry, where she led global teams in several functions at 3M Company in St. Paul, MN. She still consults in the area of new product development and advises science outreach programs.

She earned a BS in chemistry from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa Alabama, her PhD in organic/polymer chemistry from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Virginia, her MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business and her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from 3M Company.

She is also an active volunteer and supporter for a host of community related organizations across the US.

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Debra L. Dunkle, L.I.S.W., Ph.D.

Debra DunkleDebra Dunkle is a psychotherapist in Cleveland Heights and is on the faculty at the Gesalt Institute of Cleveland.  Her professional passion is empowering people to speak across differences; she consults with regional organizations around that theme, including religious denominations and for-profit organizations.

Clinically, she specializes in working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) communities, with mixed-class couples, and with people in the arts.

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Eric Lutzo, Ph.D.
Eric is the founder and principle of Forward Thought, a coaching and leadership development practice that specializes in developing leadership skills for the individual as well as teams within organizations.

Eric brings over 10 years of experience to coaching and organizational consulting.  He has earned his Masters of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management and his Bachelors in Business Administration from Kent State University. Currently Eric is pursuing his Phd also at Weatherhead. He is also the President and co-founder for PLEXUS, Cleveland’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

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Christina M. Royer, JD, GPCC, ACC

An Ohio native, Christina M. Royer earned her J.D. with highest honors from the University of Akron School of Law, graduating first in her class and served as Editor-in-chief of the Akron Law Review. She also holds an M.A. in French from Kent State University and a B.A. in French and a B.S. in Secondary Education from Miami University.

Chris has been practicing in the area of employment law, representing individuals, for the past 11 years.  Practicing exclusively in this area has given her a breadth of experience in dealing with all manner of issues that arise in the workplace.  Because many of those issues cannot be addressed from a legal standpoint, Chris earned earned an Associated Certified Coach (ACC) credential from the International Coach Federation.

Chris’s coaching practice focuses on all manner of workplace issues, with special emphasis on helping clients to attain work and career satisfaction and to build leadership skills and abilities  to enhance their careers.  Chris also works with managers and employees whose work performance or behavior presents challenges to the organization, to assist them in becoming effective contributors in the workplace.

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Martha “Bibi” Potts, MSODA, Ph.D.
Dr. Potts left a career at the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to pursue a doctorate in organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University. Her research focus is human systems transformation. Her passion is specific in regards to how individuals, groups, organizations, communities and nations achieve positive growth and sustainable transformation in the midst of adversity.  Her dissertation research explored the social complexities faced by the various groups of the Rwandan nation in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. She developed a theory that articulates how, on the individual, community and national levels, the Rwandan people are rebuilding their fragile social fabric.

Dr. Potts is an International Development Consultant currently working with non profits in Rwanda on the development and enhancement of processes of positive transformative change.

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Michael Sermersheim, Esq.
Shermershim Photo

Founder and owner of MDS Consulting Group, LLC, created to provide management consulting to businesses regarding the business needs for information privacy, information security, management of information, and a broad array of compliance matters for businesses today. 

Mr. Sermersheim served as in-house legal counsel, at The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio from 1976 until 2007.  As Associate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Industrial Security Supervisor, the focus of much of his practice was in the field of employment matters.  As a part of larger effort to effect preventive law efforts, he provided vision and insight into significant expansion of HR Employee Training.  Other significant implementations include:

  • Web Based delivery of University rules and other legal compliance information - 1996.
  • On-going web based provision of important legal information and search tools to campus, beginning in 1996.  Included in the delivery of this important communication to the campus employees and constituencies were selected presentations made by members of OGC staff.
  • Development and implementation of the University’s contract administration program.

Mr. Sermersheim received his BA from The University of Akron in 1970 and his JD from The University of Akron in 1973.

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Marcy Levy Shankman, Ph.D.
Marcy has been training and consulting in leadership development and organizational effectiveness with higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, and high schools since 1998.  Dr. Shankman co-authored the recently released Emotionally Intelligent Leadership:  A Guide for College Students (Jossey-Bass, 2008).  Four additional publications, including the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for Students:  Inventory and the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for Students:  Facilitation and Activities Guide are due out in late July 2010.  She has also published two assessments:  the EI Profile: An Emotional Intelligence Self-Assessment (2003) and the EI Full Spectrum, a 360° evaluation tool (2005).

Dr. Shankman applies her unique insights and capabilities to deliver meaningful and lasting impact for individuals and organizations interested in improving their effectiveness.  In her consulting practice, she specializes in facilitating strategic planning and visioning initiatives as well as designing and delivering leadership retreats.  Clients often request specialized trainings, workshops, and presentations related to leadership, primarily emotional intelligence and change management.

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Deborah Sharply Lampkin, Ph.D.
Executive and Career Coach, Leadership Developer, Global Executive and Diversity Recruiter

Deborah is founder and CEO of DABAR Knowledge Advising, LLC where she is an acknowledged executive, career coach and adviser, consultant and trainer, management leadership developer, global executive and diversity recruiter. She advises and coaches individuals on career choice, advancement, performance, leadership and transition. Deborah also recruits top executive and diversity talent for corporations, mid to small size businesses and not -for - profit organizations.

In her role before founding DABAR, Deborah led recruitment teams and served as an executive recruiter. Deborah’s recruitment experience includes the talent acquisition of C-suite executives for Eaton Corporation, KeyBank, and HC Smith Limited for clients such as The Cleveland Botanical Garden, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Orchestra and The Detroit Public School System. She was directly responsible for client management along with candidate identification, assessment, development, presentation, and experience. Deborah successfully advised and coached clients and candidates throughout the recruiting process. She also led diversity and executive recruitment initiatives, diversity recruitment training programs, and served as a member of human capital planning and talent management strategy teams.

Deborah is an avid sports fan and participant with a strong interest in health and wellness. She resides in Cleveland Heights with her husband Calvin.

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Sarah Spengler, MSOD
Sarah is an experienced leadership coach, facilitator, trainer and OD practitioner. She maintains an Organization Development consulting practice, Grace Partners, LLC, providing coaching, OD intervention and facilitation, and training and instructional design services.  She also works at MetroHealth as an Organizational Effectiveness Specialist. Over the past 25 years she has worked in the nonprofit sector including positions with United Way of Greater Cleveland, Neighborhood Progress, Inc, and The Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland.  She has a deep interest in adult learning and change using the “Accelerative Learning” approach. Sarah has her Masters in Organization Development from Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband and 3 cats.

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Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Dept. of Psychology
2300 Chester Rm 166
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
2300 Chester
Room 166
Phone: 216-687-2587
Fax: 216.687.9294

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