Faculty & Staff

Cheryl S. Clarke (Co-Project Director) a former foundation director and teacher, is the Chief Executive Officer for the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP) since 2008. She directed the Foundation Giving program, created the Diversity program, and worked in Human Resources at Freddie Mac for 25 years. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Clarke taught special education for seven years in the D.C. Public School system working with emotionally and behaviorally challenged boys.

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Ph.D. (Co-Project Director and Curriculum Lead) is Associate Professor of Communication and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland. Dr. Whitehead is an award-winning former middle school Social Studies teacher (2006-07 Maryland History Teacher of the Year), a curriculum writer, and a Master Teacher.

Michelle Scott, Ph.D. (Historian) is associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of Blues Empress in Black Chattanooga: Bessie Smith and the Emerging Urban South. Dr. Scott is the 2015-2018 UMBC Presidential Teaching Professor and received a 2015 University of Maryland Regents’ Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

Martha Wharton, Ph.D., J.D. (Diversity and Inclusion Specialist) is a diversity trainer, grief counselor, spiritual director, and consultant to others who work in these fields. Dr. Wharton served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity for Loyola University Maryland from 2002 – 2014. She is currently developing a new curriculum and training program for local spiritual support personnel who will guide families who experience loss due to homicide in Baltimore. 

Isaiah Buchanan (Master Teacher) is a middle school history, geography, and ethics teacher at the Gilman School for boys in Baltimore. Mr. Buchanan has thirteen years of teaching experience and is an alumnus of Liberty University where he received degrees in History and Psychology. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. 

Geri Reinhart Tse (Program Coordinator) is a freelance writer and award-winning video producer. For NVLP, she produced visionary interviews, short-form documentaries and supported the production of an annual week-long oral history seminar for college students.