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First Year Experience (FYE)

Sophomore Year Experience 

The Sophomore Seminar is a required two-semester course for all second year students. The course is designed to reinforce the Spelman College mission. It is the fundamental belief that effective public speaking skills are vital for the success of our students as participants and leaders in our democracy and in a global society. Students must be articulate and express their ideas logically, clearly, succinctly, and persuasively. The course helps students become effective leaders, on and off campus, because it challenges the students to examine their approaches to leadership, consider decision making skills, and analyze their potential for contributing to social change. 


SYE Instructor Alexandria Harris
Alexandria Barabin Harris, Leadership & Public Speaking
Alexandria Barabin Harris is a leadership strategist and cultural educator dedicated to helping organizations and individuals create powerful change in the world through speaking, writing and facilitating workshops. For more than 10 years, Alexandria has conducted research, completed trainings and gained experiential knowledge of topics such as diversity, civic engagement and popular culture. With a fellowship from Syracuse University, Alexandria completed an M.A. in African and African American Studies with an emphasis on cultural identity in the African Diaspora.

In alignment with her personal passion to support personal leadership of women and girls, Alexandria has created Yes! S.H.E. Leads which provides community building, as well as coaching, for career professionals and entrepreneurs. Alexandria joined the Spelman College community as the program coordinator for the Social Justice Fellows Program in 2014 and began teaching the Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) class in 2015.
Sheryl Belizaire
Sheryl Belizaire, Leadership
Sheryl Belizaire manages and implements engaged scholar student development leadership programming, and civic engagement projects and initiatives for the Bonner Scholars Program, United Parcel Service (UPS) Community Service Program, and general body students. She is also an instructor for the Sophomore Year Leadership Seminar. Prior to Spelman, Belizaire worked at Miami Dade College as an academic advisor; program manager for the Center for Community Service; and budget manager for the Florida Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence.

Sheryl hails from the sunny state of Miami, Florida. She has two energetic sons (Alexander and Xavier). She has a Master of Science in Leadership from NOVA Southeastern University and Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Florida International University.
SYE Instructor Rapheal Gentry
Raphael Gentry, Public Speaking
Raphael Gentry was born in Saginaw, Michigan. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he played football and hosted a weekly radio talk show called “Word Up.” In 2001, he earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science, and in 2003, a master's degree in Mass Communications. Raphael continues to strive for excellence while currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program studying International Education. Today, he is a professor at the illustrious Spelman College, where he has been educating some of the brightest minds since 2010.
SYE Instructor Natalece Robinson
Natalece Robinson, Public Speaking
Natalece Robinson is an energetic results-driven leader in the child welfare community of Atlanta, Georgia. As director of operations of Fulton County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), she brings her expertise as Child Advocate Attorney and National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Child Welfare Legal Specialist to assist in enhancing advocacy efforts and ensuring operational success of the organization. Under her leadership, CASA has established its Training Department focusing on volunteer recruitment, enrichment and retention aimed at serving every child in Foster Care in Fulton County.

Natalece is a member of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, DeKalb Lawyers Association, and the Atlanta Bar Association. She is a graduate of Mercer University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law. In her spare time, Natalece serves as a mentor for court-involved young women with the Sister-to-Sister Program, Sunday school teacher for the Greater Travelers Rest Children's Ministry, and member of the Junior League of DeKalb County. Natalece is a travel and reading enthusiast.
SYE Instructor T.M. Mosley
T. M. Robinson-Mosley, Public Speaking
T.M. Mosley, Ph.D., NCC, currently runs Mosley and Associates Consulting, LLC, providing mental health counseling and treatment plans for individuals facing mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, stress, grief and loss, severe trauma, relationship difficulties, LGBTQ issues, anger management and identity development. As a small business owner of a consulting firm, she also recognizes the importance of providing women with the opportunities, resources and skills to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. Her passion for providing team-building and purposeful leadership development is the fuel that drives her dynamic enterprise.

Prior to starting her own consultancy, she served as the associate dean of students for Living and Learning at Agnes Scott College. She began teaching Sophomore Seminar at Spelman College in 2015. Other academic posts have included: interim assistant dean for the Office of Black Student Affairs for the seven Claremont Colleges and an assistant dean in the Office of Pluralism and Leadership and directed the Office of Black Student Advising at Dartmouth College. 

T.M. has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Psychology from the University of Alabama, and a M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Louisiana State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychological Services from Georgia State University and was awarded the Emerging Leader Fellowship by a division of the American Counseling Association.
Kelly Smith Beaty
Kelly Smith Beaty, Leadership
Kelly Smith Beaty is a communications and media strategist, who has enjoyed a celebrated career managing public information, branding, crisis and issues management, social advocacy and thought leadership campaigns across the globe. From Tanzania to our nations capitol, and many places in between, Kelly has been of counsel to leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Today she is president of The Girl Power Agency, a communications consultancy focused on the delivery of empowerment messages to women and girls. She recently established The Girl Power Agenda, the agency's nonprofit arm dedicated to advancing esteem and education for girls. 

Kelly received her B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College and her M.A. in Public Communication from American University in Washington, D.C.
SYE Instructor Shermela Williams
Shermela Williams, Public Speaking
Shermela J. Williams is a litigation associate with Thomas Kennedy Sampson & Tompkins LLP.  An accomplished and formidable trial attorney, Shermela has nearly a decade of hands-on litigation and trial experience, in both the civil and criminal realms – including Multi-District and Class Action Litigation. Her principal areas of practice are wrongful death, personal injury, premises liability medical malpractice, insurance defense and contractual relations. Prior to joining TKST, Shermela was a senior assistant district attorney with the DeKalb County, Fulton County and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Offices. While at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, she served as the director of the office’s Domestic Violence Task Force and a member of the Fulton County Gender Equality Initiative Panel.

Shermela is also an adjunct professor at Spelman College. A skillful leadership trainer and gifted orator, she has testified before the United States Senate Panel on Education and spoken to audiences in excess of 10,000 people. She has been a guest speaker and panelist at numerous community and academic events. Shermela ran youth leadership programs for five years, wherein she taught in and oversaw conferences with upwards of 800 students. She developed GirlsLead – a program geared towards arming young ladies for what they are sure to face ahead; educating them on etiquette, self-esteem, leadership, self -image, debunking media stereotypes, branding, goal setting, and other issues specific to today’s women.

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Studies
350 Spelman Lane SW, Box 1349
Atlanta, GA 30314
404-270-5698 (fax)

PFS Forms

Cover Sheet & Checklist (PDF)
Faculty Mentor Form (PDF)