To oversee the operation and management of the Consortium, the CEC employs an Executive Director and a Project Director who are charged with planning and implementing all programs and events, guiding all committee projects, and acting as liaisons between all the Leadership Academy members and the Board of Directors.


Dr. Stephen R. Cheshier, Executive Director


Dr. Cheshier is a graduate of Memphis State University, Purdue University and the University of Illinois. He has degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering and Engineering Education.

He has been Executive Director of the Cobb Education Consortium, as well as President Emeritus of Southern Polytechnic State University, since 1997. For seventeen years prior to that, he was the first president of Southern Poly. Throughout the decade of the 1970’s, he was a tenured full professor and department head at Purdue University. During the late 1950’s and throughout the 1960’s he was in the U.S. Navy as an electronics specialist and instructor.

Dr. Cheshier has served on many national boards, committees and task forces. Several memberships include: National Director, Centennial Award winner and Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Commissioner and Fellow of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

He has been recognized with various honors, including: the ASEE’s national James H. McGraw Award, the first ever Tau Alpha Pi National Distinguished Service Award, the James G Dwyer Outstanding Teaching Award at Purdue, and five other teaching awards. He is a member of Mensa and seven national academic honor societies, including those in all of his academic disciplines.

He has written a book, published over 50 scholarly papers (including a "Best Paper of the Conference" award) and has been a speaker at some 60 national conferences plus many regional meetings. He served on the editorial board for three professional journals and he has editorially reviewed over 100 textbook manuscripts for various publishers.


Sonya Fowler, Project Director


Sonya Fowler is a native of Harlan, Kentucky. She graduated with honors from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Education and received her Masters in Professional Writing degree from Kennesaw State University. Sonya taught elementary and junior high school in Kentucky for several years before moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband John. While in Knoxville, she worked for the University of Tennessee College of Law.

In the fall of 2002, Sonya and John made the move to Georgia. Sonya has been with the Consortium since then and is currently the Project Director. She assists the Executive Director in coordinating the programs and events for the CEC Leadership Academies and represents the CEC on all committees.