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Rhonda Sutton, PhD

Adjunct Extension Assistant Professor

Director of CALS Leadership Programs

Interim Assistant Director of Student Success

216 Patterson Hall


Rhonda Sutton currently serves as the director of leadership programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. She is also an Extension Assistant Professor (adjunct) in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences. Dr. Sutton has over 19 years of experience as an administrator within a university setting and has taught for 17 years as an adjunct professor. Much of her career has been at NC State, serving as: the second director of the university’s women’s center, the first director of the university’s postdoc office, an organizational development leader for Extension, and an assistant vice provost in the former Office for Equal Opportunity.

In her current role, Dr. Sutton develops and delivers leadership programs for graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty, staff and external stakeholders. She provides tailored trainings, as requested, on team building, communication, work/life balance, and other topics related to professional and leadership skills. Dr. Sutton is certified to administer a variety of assessments that help build self-awareness such as the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), DISC, Gallup Strengths, Crucial Conversations, Influencer, Working Genius, Change Style Indicator, and FIRO-B. In addition to training and development, Dr. Sutton is a certified mediator and a licensed professional counselor. In all of her professional roles, Dr. Sutton has provided professional and personal development training with the overarching goal of helping people develop their talents and realize their potential. Dr. Sutton received her B.S. in business administration from Appalachian State University, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in counselor education from North Carolina State University.

More information about Dr. Sutton’s work and professional experience can be found on LinkedIn at:

Programs and Initiatives

  • Agricultural Leadership Learning Institute (ALLI)
  • Learn to Lead (L2L)
  • Individual to Leadership (i2L) 
  • Academy to Advance Leadership within Extension (AALE) 

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • AEE 565: Community Leadership

Contributing Websites

Professional Honors/Offices/Recognitions

  • 2005 – Distinguished Performance Award Nominee, NC State University
  • 1990 – Distinguished Performance Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community, NC State University

Selected Publications


BS Business Administration Appalachian State University

MEd Counselor Education NC State University

PhD Counselor Education NC State University

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Leadership
  • Team Building
  • Self-Awareness
  • Communication
    • Grants

      Date: 08/15/22 - 7/31/27
      Amount: $40,778.00
      Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

      At its core, the RISE UPP Alliance will help Scaling Partners act as a system to facilitate the recruitment, training, community and network building, and subsequent hire of underrepresented minority (URM)1 postdoctoral scholars into tenure-track positions at R1, R2, and teaching-intensive institutions within participating state university systems.

      Date: 05/01/09 - 4/30/10
      Amount: $1,000.00
      Funding Agencies: North Carolina Career Development Association

      Although many postdoctoral scholars desire a tenure-track position once their postdoc appointment is complete, the reality is that there is strong competition for faculty positions and there are more PhDs available than there are tenure-track faculty positions. "Beyond the Bench: Alternative Career Paths in Science" is a program series that will be developed for postdocs and will focus on the types of careers postdocs can seek outside of academia. Postdoctoral scholars are often overlooked in terms of their career counseling needs. Therefore, the goal of this program series is to provide postdoctoral scholars with insights as to how the academic work environment differs from other employment settings as well as how scientists, well-skilled in research prepare for a rewarding and successful career within a non-academic culture. These seminars will help postdocs identify other career path options and will provide them with both career search basics as well as professional development skills that, in turn, will make them more marketable for careers outside of higher education.

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