Dr. Nicole R. Robinson

Founder & CEO

Before launching her company in September 2018, Dr. Nicole R. Robinson served as the Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Leadership Fellow at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT). Before this role, she was the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Presidential Endowed Professor of Music Education (University of Utah). She also served on the music education faculty at the University of Memphis, Syracuse University, and Virginia Commonwealth University throughout her 22+ year academic career.

Dr. Robinson founded Cultural Connections by Design (CCBD) with the primary aim of supporting organizations in establishing equity-centered processes and implementing best practices to shift the organizational culture towards a culture of belonging – a culture that accepts, values, and leverages the strengths among differences.

Drawing from her extensive educational background, Dr. Robinson understands that for transformation to occur, learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion had to evolve from a “training” process to an “educational” process. Using her knowledge about teaching and learning and her creativity as a music educator, Dr. Robinson can navigate the complexities of the cultural landscape using creative, innovative, and “out of the box” techniques that make her approach like no other.

Her proprietary, technology-infused “games,” Matrix of Intersectionality, and impact are the cornerstones of her work. Although she initially crafted these learning tools for her classroom, demand for these “games” and her sessions was requested at colleges and universities nationwide, soon extending to national and global corporations.

Since the company’s inception four years ago, CCBD has worked with approximately 90 organizations and presented more than 950 professional development sessions, workshops, and consulting services to academic institutions, health care organizations, government agencies, non-profits, and corporations across the United States, Canada, and abroad.

Dr. Robinson is a nationally acclaimed educator, scholar, speaker, and author who has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, published articles in several industry-leading research journals and co-authored three academic textbooks.

Dr. Robinson holds B.M.E. and M.M. degrees in Music Education from North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, and a Ph.D. from The Florida State University in Music Education. She started her career as an elementary and middle school music teacher in Durham Public Schools and Chapel-Hill Carrboro Schools in North Carolina.

Our Team

Allison Thombre

COO & CFO

Dr. Adenike Webb

Director of Academic Services

Tyrell Jim

Administrative Assistant

Dr. Lisa Sanon-Jules

Director of Research & Assessments

Michael Sturgis

Information Technology Support

Mindy Johnston

Web Designer & Developer

Omoruyi Otalor

Video & Media Production

Dayna Otalor

Junior Administrative Assistant

Dr. Whitney Covalle

Faculty