Skip to main content

We are thrilled to work with a highly talented set of professionals who lead Graduate School courses (GRAD courses) through the CareerWell program!

Melissa Hull Geil

Melissa Geil, Ph.D., teaches GRAD710 Professional Communication: Writing and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management & Corporate Communication at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds BAs in English and Economics from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MA and PhD in English from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Geil’s research interests include communication in entrepreneurship, venture pitching, and inclusive communication practices in business and professional schools with a focus on disability.

Beth High

Beth High, M.Ed., is a senior consultant with Loeb Leadership Development Group, and she teaches GRAD 712 – Leadership in the Workplace. As a leadership development specialist Beth works from a core belief that demonstrating exemplary leadership: is possible for anyone, starts with a personal choice, and takes practice. Beth is a Certified Master Facilitator of The Leadership Challenge® and has worked around the globe introducing the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model. She has developed several online programs including The Leadership Challenge® Online Workshop and L.I.V.E. Leading in the Virtual Environment®. These programs tap into the potential of online learning communities for follow-through, practice and professional development.  She and her partners created FollowThruOnline(TM) is a turnkey service that provides an Online Mentoring Hub for Professional Development Training. She worked closely with the authors on the 2nd edition of The Student Leadership Challenge®, and co-authored The Student Leadership Challenge Student WorkbookThe Student Leadership Challenge: Facilitation and Activity Guide, and The Student Leadership Challenge Activities Book newly released in 2014.

Beth is committed to the concept that leadership development is a process, not an event. Her consulting work specializes in the development and implementation of customized programs focused on continuing practice and commitment for leaders. Beth has worked with the School of Government at UNC to develop and deliver programs for local government employees, elected officials and judges. She has also worked with organizations in many different sectors including SAS (software development), the University of North Carolina (education), UBS (banking), and the NC Department of Transportation (state government) This work has taken her to Canada, The Middle East (Saudi and UAE), Asia, and South America. Beth has a compulsion to help maximize the leadership potential in everyone and finds equal opportunity in these arenas to identify and encourage leadership potential.

Her educational background includes a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.Ed. in Instructional Design from University of North Carolina. Beth lives in Chapel Hill with her family. Free time is spent with family, friends, and on the yoga mat.

Michael Levy

Michael Levy, MBA, teaches GRAD 770 – Introduction to Digital Transformation. He is a healthcare executive turned entrepreneur, with a purpose-driven mindset. Earning his BS in Neurobiology from Tulane University and his MBA from Elon University, coupled with high technology literacy from his experience at Apple at the turn of the century, he is on a path to unite culture, process, people, and technology to create a new operating system for the 21st century.

Michael previously held leadership roles as Vice Chair of Administration for the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Health System, the Director of Clinical Operations for UNC Health Care’s specialty ambulatory clinics and several other leadership roles at UCLA Health within various clinical departments. Michael also served as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Center for Health Innovation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has designed and developed their Digital Health Program in support of UNC’s Digital Transformation strategy.

As an entrepreneur, Michael was COO of Digital Therapy, a cognitive computing platform powered by IBM Watson in the behavioral health space, as well as, most recently co-founded Bluedoor Group, a digital transformation consultancy. He now spends his time leading the Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) a 501(C-3) that supports communities through the process of digital transformation.

Kelley O’Brien

Kelley O’Brien, MPA, teaches GRAD 711 – Professional Communication: Presenting. She has over 15 years of experience as a communicator, grant writer, project manager, and administrator in higher education and nonprofits. Kelley teaches extensively on grant writing and communications. In addition to her work in the areas of grant writing and communications, Kelley is a Strategic Search Parter for Elinvar, an executive search and leadership development firm. She has a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, Urban Studies from the University of Georgia. More recently, she has completed the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Executive Program in Innovation and Harvard Division of Continuing Education’s Design Thinking Program.

Don Rose

Don Rose, Ph.D., teaches GRAD 755 – Technology Commercialization Fundamentals. He is a Special Advisor to Hatteras Venture Partners, and has extensive experience in launching and building life science startups, most recently as Director of the University of North Carolina’s KickStart program. At Carolina, he helped spin out 80 companies which have gone on to raise over $500M. While at UNC, he published Research to Revenue: A Practical Guide to University Start-ups (UNC Press, 2016). He is also a Professor of the Practice for Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he teaches entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Carolina, he held senior leadership roles at a number of life science startups: Metabolon (metabolomics), Deerac Fluidics (nanoliter dispensing), and DataCentric Automation (high-throughput crystallography). Before those experiences, he was a partner with Catalysta Partners (now Hatteras Venture Partners), where he co-founded Phase Bioscience (NASDAQ: PHAS). Prior to Catalysta, he served as co-founder and VP of Research and Development at Cartesian Technologies, a leader in instrumentation for DNA microarrays and nanoliter dispensing. Earlier, Dr. Rose was a research scientist at Glaxo Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline [GSK]) where he developed and promoted a number of technologies in bioanalytical chemistry, combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening. Dr. Rose also developed various aspects of capillary electrophoreses instrumentation at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and a B.S. in nutrition from Carolina, he holds 6 US patents, and has published eight papers and two book chapters.

Brian Rybarczyk

Brian Rybarczyk, Ph.D., is the Graduate School Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Academic & Professional Development, and he teaches GRAD 725 Personal Branding. For the Graduate School, he also develops and implements academic and professional development training for graduate students across disciplines; manages the Graduate Student Center; teaches courses and directs the Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program (PITAP); is program coordinator for the SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellowship program and is co-administrative director at UNC for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL). Dr. Rybarczyk earned a doctorate in pathology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Ilona Sher

Ilona Sher, MBA, PMP, teaches GRAD 713 Applied Project Management: Frameworks, Principles and Techniques for the Graduate School, and she has been teaching courses in Applied Project Management for the University since the fall semester of 2015.

In addition to her teaching, Ms. Sher advises a Triangle-based software company and provides coaching services to senior executives at Triangle-based nonprofits. Ms. Sher is a PMP (Project Management Professional) certified project manager and uses her 25 years of experience to work with client contacts to understand their needs, priorities and timelines. Ms. Sher graduated with a B.A. in Math and Science from McGill University and received her MBA from The Wharton School.

Tanja Snively

Tanja Snively, M.Ac., teaches GRAD 714 – Introduction to Financial Accounting as well as courses online and in the classroom across many programs at UNC Kenan-Flagler, including the Undergraduate Business, Master of Accounting, and MBA@UNC. She serves as an MBA@UNC section faculty and a MAC online coordinating and section faculty. She also teaches financial accounting in UNC’s master of public health program.

Professor Snively won a team teaching award for an MBA@UNC course and the Weatherspoon Award for Teaching Excellence in the MAC Program in 2017. Before she joined the UNC Kenan-Flagler faculty, she worked in public and private accounting. She served as an auditor for BKD LLP, a controller for Monroe Bank, and as legal entity controller for Credit Suisse. She is a CPA and received her Master of Accounting with honors from UNC Kenan-Flagler and her BS in accounting from Indiana University.

Amy Strecker

Amy Strecker, MPA, teaches GRAD 711 – Professional Communication: Presenting. She joined the Graduate School as an instructor in 2013, and she also teaches professional communications courses for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. Amy works for Duke Energy leading the company’s philanthropic investments in North Carolina, and she previously worked on the company’s Corporate Communications and Local Government and Community Relations teams. She has also worked in the public policy arena, focusing on affordable higher education. Amy started her career with Teach for America as an English teacher in Warren County, North Carolina. Strecker earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Leah Townsend

Leah Townsend, Ph.D., is CEO of Pulvinar Neuro and a CareerWell Executive in Residence and teaches the GRAD 726 – Selected Topics course. Read Leah Townsend’s biographical sketch.