The director of Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Funeral Services Technology program, EbonēDukes, has been selected as one of the top 20 National Emerging Leaders in her field.
The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has chosen Dukes to take part in the organization’s first-ever National Emerging Leaders Program. She is not only the sole honoree from a community college, but also the sole honoree from a higher education institution.
“Mrs. Dukes values her work and desires to instill care, empathy and clinical skills in every student she teaches,” said Dr. Stephanie Mullins, dean of Northwest’s School of Health Sciences. “It is an honor to have her as a School of Health Sciences faculty member.”
Dukes said she is honored by the recognition and looks forward to taking advantage of the opportunity to further her knowledge.
“I am truly honored to have been selected to serve in the inaugural class of the National Emerging Leaders Program,” she said. “This program will allow me the opportunity to be mentored by the best in funeral service, which in turn will propel me into the best version of myself as a funeral service educator and professional.”
According to NFDA, the new National Emerging Leadership Program features a practical and theoretical approach to advanced leadership topics. The curriculum will cover topics such as mentorship, ethical leadership, employee relations, collaborative decision-making, strategic planning, servant leadership, communication skills, small business ownership, and more.
Participants will also have access to mentors, engage in high-level networking and work with fellow program participants on a group project that will teach them to apply the skills they are learning in real-world scenarios.
“Over the next year, I hope to increase my communication and leadership skills, expand my knowledge in this profession and develop innovative ideas to assist in advancing the profession,” Dukes said.
For more information about the National Emerging Leaders Program, visit nfda.org/EmergingLeaders. For more information about Northwest, visit northwestms.edu.