Sweet Briar names new human resources director

Nicole Whitehead has been named Sweet Briar College’s director of human resources and community engagement effective Jan. 1. Whitehead is currently a human resources training and organizational development officer, as well as corporate education consultant and trainer at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C. She also teaches courses in business and human resources at Catawba, and online human resources certification courses for Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

Nicole Whitehead
Nicole Whitehead

“I am elated and honored to join the Sweet Briar community during such a pivotal moment in the school’s history. I am looking forward to being a part of the next chapter in a phenomenal legacy of Sweet Briar excellence,” Whitehead said.

“Nicole brings to Sweet Briar twenty years in human resources, consulting and operations, and overall business leadership, as well as teaching. This breadth of experience will be invaluable to us going forward,” said Phil Stone, president of the College.

Whitehead completed a Bachelor of Science in business and an MBA with a human resources concentration and executive leadership certification at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. She is currently completing her Ed.D. in higher education and organizational change, and expects to receive her degree in 2016 from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.

Whitehead is a Senior Certified Professional and a Senior Professional in Human Resources. A native of Joliet, Ill., she transitioned from industry to higher education following relocation to Hickory in 2010. Whitehead said she sees her education and experiences as “tools to aid in building as well as supporting a ‘community of excellence’ where individuals and differences are valued.”

Whitehead also is passionate about helping others remove barriers to their purposes, and she volunteers at the Safe Harbor Rescue mission, her church, and in her community. She says she prides herself on serving as a mentor to many women in their quests to become leaders and global citizens.

She will be on campus for a week in December to begin the assimilation and transition planning process. In January, she will move onto campus with her husband, Garrick, and their family.

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