We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Cheryl Sutton

Oct. 10, 2017

Ask Cheryl Sutton about her role at UNCW, and she will respond with a series of titles that share a common goal: helping individuals become successful business leaders and entrepreneurs.

As the Office of Facilities’ special assistant and HUB coordinator, Sutton reaches out to minority and women-owned businesses in the community to encourage them to become Historically Underutilized Business-certified. She connects those companies to resources to help them grow their businesses.

“Working with diverse groups of people is always a positive learning experience,” said Sutton, who joined UNCW in April 2003. “I enjoy being busy and being involved in projects that have a campus-wide effect.”

When Sutton first arrived at UNCW, she wanted to improve the relationship between the university and the minority business community. “I made it my mission to eradicate age-old barriers and welcome all contractors onto campus,” she added. Before joining UNCW, Sutton was director for the Minority Contractors Business Assistance Program with the City of Dayton, Ohio.

Within the past two years, Sutton has expanded her roles to include Diversity and Inclusion Partnership Liaison through UNCW’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Entrepreneurship Program Director through Cameron School of Business.

“The roles were a natural fit for my career goals,” she explained. “Once I completed my doctoral studies, my plan was, and still is, to secure a role in higher education administration where I can effectively merge my skills and work experiences to benefit the organization and community. Gaining knowledge in multiple arenas within the university setting better prepares me for community outreach.” Sutton earned her doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Argosy University in December 2016.

As the youth program director, she leads a summer program for high school entrepreneurs who hope their innovative ideas will change the world. Through her role as OIDI’s partnership liaison, Sutton’s responsibilities include managing the university’s Cape Fear Minority Enterprise Development Week activities.

She constantly looks for ways to involve students in the projects she oversees. This year, UNCW business students will have an opportunity to network with local business leaders during the MED Week event on Oct. 19. Cape Fear MED WEEK will also host a “Launching Leaders Lecture Series” presentation for Isaac Bear Early College High School students on Oct. 20 at the Cameron School of Business.

“I believe firmly that introducing students to an array of experiences helps develop social skills, builds confidence, launches lifelong goals, and other professional competencies which prove useful throughout life,” she said. “I want to see all students maximize their potential.”

-- Venita Jenkins