Professor Shanita Baraka Akintonde, MBA, M.Ed., DTM is a published author, McGraw Hill podcaster, newspaper columnist, and award-winning marketer who is propelled by passion and love.
As an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago Professor Akintonde has played a personal role in transitioning thousands of students from the classroom to the boardroom during her 20-year tenure at the institution. An expert in the areas of branding, diversity and leadership, Professor Akintonde has an impressive professional repertoire which includes account management work at several global firms including Burrell Communications Group, BBDO, and Porter Novelli. While in that capacity, she managed branding activities for blue-chip clients such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble.
Professor Akintonde has spearheaded successful initiatives as well including one of the largest collegiate career advice, leadership and networking conferences for media arts students and alumni called ADSTOCK. During its 10-year life span, ADSTOCK attracted over 15,000 participants and connected many of them to internships and/or permanent jobs in the fields of marketing, advertising and PR.
On a national scale, Professor Akintonde has delivered presentations around the globe from Johannesburg, South Africa to New Orleans, LA; Honolulu, HI to Houston, TX. She is a contributing author in two books, “Leading from The Heart” (2018) and “Unleash the Leader Within You: How to Achieve the Success that You Deserve” (2006). In addition, her column, On the Front Porch, appears in The Chicago Defender newspaper. The Chicago Defender is the oldest, journalistic venue to highlight matters of relevance and importance to members of the Black community.
She holds three degrees: a BA in advertising and fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago; an MBA in marketing and international business from Illinois Institute of Technology; and a Master’s degree in Higher Education, Leadership and Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Her certifications include the Art of Leadership (Lake Forest College of Management), Advanced Advertising Studies (University of Illinois—Champaign-Urbana) and Media Planning & Buying (Hamburger University). She is also a Distinguished Toastmaster.