February 26 | 3 p.m. | Mitchell Hall

Join the College of Engineering for the 2nd Annual Leading While Black, an event that will examine leadership development and experiences of Black professionals and the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in society.

A fireside chat between UD Engineering’s Dean Levi Thompson and guests Ayanna Khan, president of the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce and Julius Korley, associate vice president of UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships, will share how personal experiences have shaped their careers.

Co-sponsored by the UD student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Schedule of Events

3 p.m. Fireside Chat

4 p.m. Reception


Levi T. Thompson

Levi T. Thompson

Dean, College of Engineering
University of Delaware

Levi T. Thompson is Dean of the College of Engineering and Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering. Previously, Thompson was the Richard E. Balzhiser Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and director of the Hydrogen Energy Technology Laboratory and the Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.

He is an award-winning educator and is internationally recognized for his research to design and synthesize nanoscale materials for catalytic and energy storage applications. Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at UD in 1981 followed by master’s degrees in chemical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Photo of Ayanna Khan

Ayanna Khan

Founder, President and CEO
Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce

Ayanna Khan received her Masters in Human Services Administration from Wilmington University. Ayanna has a background in finance for a major communication and technology Dow 30 company for 10 years. She has also been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society since 2006. Ayanna sits on the committee for “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”, whose primary focus is fundraising and raising awareness. Ayanna has successfully secured her first sponsorship from Wal Mart, and has also secured her first grant from the Delaware Division of Arts for a local non profit organization in 2013.

Julius Korley

Julius Korley

Associate Vice President,
Office Economic Innovation and Partnerships
University of Delaware

Dr. Julius N. Korley is a businessperson, entrepreneur and scientist with expertise in several areas of biotechnology, including biomaterials, drugs, drug-delivery systems and medical device development. Presently, Dr. Korley is the Associate Vice President for the Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships (OEIP) at the University of Delaware. He also holds a secondary appointment as an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Previously, Dr. Korley was the Director of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Partnerships for the College of Engineering (COE) at the University of Delaware. In this role, Dr. Korley was responsible for driving commercialization by helping COE faculty, postdocs and students develop their technologies and connecting them to the startup and industry communities. Korley is also National faculty for I-Corps at NIH and Co-Director of the NSF I-Corps Northeast Hub.

Video & Photos from the 2023 event