Cisco exec to speak at UCCI commencement

| 09/07/2019
CNS Local Life
(Seated L-R, starting second from left) UCCI president Dr Stacy McAfee with Shari Slate and Dr Cynthia Temesi of Cisco, and UCCI officials and students

(CNS Local Life): Shari Slate, vice president of Cisco Systems, will be the keynote speaker at the University of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) commencement ceremony set for Thursday, 7 November. A first-generation American whose family hails from Cayman Brac and Jamaica, Slate is also the chief inclusion and collaboration officer for the global tech company.

In a press release announcing the keynote speaker, UCCI called Slate a “respected and highly regarded” as a leader in the areas of diversity and inclusion. In accepting the invitation to speak, Slate said S accepted UCCI’s invitation upon learning of this year’s theme, “Nation Building: Transforming the Future”. She added that UCCI president and CEO Stacy McAfee “had me at hello”.

Slate toured the UCCI campus this week, while on holiday, along with her colleague Dr Cynthia Temesi, Cisco’s innovation advisor within its country digital acceleration team. The two women met with UCCI’s leaders, and members of the faculty and the Student Representative Council, “leading brainstorming sessions and planning collaborative projects”.

McAfee said Slate has inspired people at UCCI. “Shari’s passion for making a difference in the lives of others, her excitement about UCCI’s commitment to nation building and her dedication to lifelong learning energised us all and fuelled our resolve to fulfill our big dreams for Cayman,” she said.

Slate, who is responsible for leading Cisco’s office of inclusion and collaboration, as well as global community relations, has been “widely recognised for her visionary leadership and transformational views on the business value created at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration and technology”, the press release said.

Slate, who joined Cicso in 2010, previously served as chief inclusion and collaboration strategist for the company’s sales organisation, responsible for increasing inclusion in the revenue-generating arm of the business and incubating new strategies for fostering full spectrum diversity.

Her recent honours include the Catalyst Award from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business Award for 2019, Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America list for 2019, and Black Enterprise’s Top Executives in Corporate Diversity list for 2018.

Slate holds a bachelor of arts degree in political, legal, and economic analysis from Mills College.

UCCI’s commencement ceremony will celebrate the achievements of about 200 graduates receiving technical-vocational and professional certificates; associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees; and post-graduate diplomas.

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Category: Education, Local News

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