Building upon a well-established culture of academic excellence and engaging experiential learning, Jacksonville University has named educator and corporate strategist Dr. Lisa A. Sutherland as Executive Director of the University’s Honors and Scholars Program, effective immediately.
"Dr. Sutherland brings more than 20 years of experience and expertise leading forward-thinking efforts that improve lives, build stronger communities and empower individuals to achieve their potential,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “That’s exactly what we’re inviting her to do here at Jacksonville University: cultivate an environment in which ambitious, intellectually curious, motivated students can challenge themselves and each other as they learn and grow together.”
As Executive Director, Sutherland will build on the solid foundation of the current honors program by making recommendations for strategic improvements that ensure honors students have deeper learning, global citizen opportunities, memorable experiences and are well positioned as leaders and changemakers when they graduate. She will work with key campus leaders in academic affairs, enrollment management, office of people and culture, student affairs, athletics, as well as the five college deans, four institute heads, and departments across the University to elevate and enhance the honors program and ultimately the experience of all Jacksonville University students.
“I’m honored to join the talented faculty and bold leaders at Jacksonville University, and I look forward to working closely with them to create a best-in-class experience for our students,” Sutherland said. “In the first few months, I am focused on listening to our students and faculty. Their input and engagement will factor significantly into the long-range plan and success of this program, which, at its core, is built to serve students and position them to excel, lead and create change in their futures ahead.”
Sutherland is uniquely qualified for this new role having spent her 20-year career in the academic and corporate sectors. She founded Sutherland Group, LLC and grew it into a multi-million-dollar consulting firm specializing in crafting innovative strategies and programs that advance public health, wellness and corporate social responsibility while achieving the business objectives of her clients. Sutherland has advised some of the largest global consumer brands including Walmart, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, Kraft-Heinz, Ocean Spray, Ahold-Delhaize, and Chobani.
In her six years as the chief nutrition advisor to Walmart Stores Inc., Sutherland led the company’s five-year healthier food initiative and outcomes assessment, in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. Prior to founding her firm, Sutherland served as Kellogg’s vice president of nutrition where she was responsible for setting the nutrition strategy and agenda for the company’s five business units, which included multiple billion-dollar brands.
Sutherland also served on the faculty at Dartmouth College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her duties included teaching, academic advising, serving on institutional review boards, admissions and governing committees, leading her NIH research portfolio and team, and scholarly publishing.
Sutherland earned her B.S. in Food Science and Nutrition from Simmons University (previously College), doctorate in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention and control at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center.
The Jacksonville University Honors and Scholars Program offers advanced courses, experiential learning opportunities, research and enrichment activities to approximately 475 undergraduate students selected through a competitive application process. The program offers scholarships, mentorship and advising, interdisciplinary seminars, priority class registration, and cross-cultural experiences.