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Organizational Development & Engagement (ODE) Team

ODE experts assist with leadership development and workforce planning, and provide counsel to managers throughout the system. The department also helps employees learn, grow and upgrade skills. Training and classes are available on each campus, online or by webcast.

Find currently scheduled classes listed on UNT World Learning.

 ODE uses professional and best practices human resources guidelines to attract, develop, motivate and retain productive, engaged employees. The goal of ODE is to create a high-performance, sustainable organization that meets its strategic and operational goals and objectives.

The ODE Team consists of:

R. Mark Miles headshot
R. Mark Miles, Ed.D.
Senior Director of Organizational Development & Engagement

Dr. R. Mark Miles serves as the Senior Director of Organizational Development & Engagement. He has worked in Higher Education, Corporate, and Government sectors in organizational development, and training and consulting. Dr. Miles previously served as the Director of Professional Development at Lone Star College-University Park in Houston, TX. Dr. Miles is a UNT alum with BA in Journalism (Public Relations), MA in Organizational Communication (Training and Development) from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and an Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama.

Paula Bearden, M.A.
Organizational Development Consultant

Paula Bearden serves as the Organizational Development Consultant.  Prior to joining ODE, Paula served as the Associate Director of Campus Support Services for UNT Dallas, and previous to this position Paula served at UNT System HR as the Training and Development Specialist from 2015 to 2019.  Paula has a wealth of knowledge in higher education working for over 10 years in many areas including finance and administration, academic affairs, risk management, student affairs, and enrollment management. Paula holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sam Houston State University. 

As consultant, Paula is responsible for providing responsive, strategic, transparent consulting services to UNT World in the areas of organizational development, change management, employee engagement, training and development strategies, with the goal of improving the work environment and developing high-performing teams.

Suzanne Gravois headshot
Suzanne Gravois
LMS Administrator and Digital Learning Consultant

Suzanne is the administrator of UNT World Learning which is used to manage online and classroom-based training for UNT World. She is also the LinkedIn Learning administrator for staff and will consult with departments looking to create learning plans for staff. Prior to joining UNT System HR, Suzanne worked for the UNT Health Science Center in the Library, Information Technology Services and the HSC Human Resources department. Suzanne has more 30 years of experience in training, also working for organizations such as Pennzoil, the U.S. House of Representatives and several technical training centers. Suzanne received a bachelor's degree from Nicholls State University.

Amanda Fisher, M.S., CTP
Senior Learning & Development Specialist

Amanda currently serves in the role of Senior Learning & Development Specialist for the University of North Texas System after joining the team in 2015.

Prior to joining UNT System HR, Amanda worked for Hill College in Hillsboro Texas for 9 years, providing a multitude of HR related functions including training & development, employee relations, recruitment & selection, and employee recognition. She also served Hill College for 2 years as the Assistant Director of Human Resources.

Her current position is focused on identifying learning and development needs for the UNT World and providing training and development solutions that align with each organization’s mission and strategic priorities.​ Amanda holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Kansas State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Development (with a minor in Business) from Texas A&M University. Amanda is a Certified Training & Development Professional.

Sony Simon headshot
Sony Simon
Leadership Program Coordinator

Sony has served in K-12 and Higher Education for 19 years. Previously, she worked as a leadership trainer for Lone Star College-University Park. Her professional background includes training experience across both academic and student services including but not limited to: payroll/human resources, division operations, academic affairs, student success, technology, and professional development.

In her current role, Sony is responsible for the management and day-to-day operations of all cohort leadership programs. Sony received her Bachelor of Science (Psychology and Communications) from the University of Houston, Downtown. She also has a certification in Train- the- Trainer from the Association of Talent Development.