Ala’Torya V. Cranford is a visionary higher education professional with 12 years of progressive leadership experience where she has served in the areas of institutional advancement, alumni relations, student activities, student affairs, academic affairs, athletics, student success and admissions and recruitment; along with being a DEI trainer in the workplace; with each developing her professionally and personally to better serve today’s student.
She is a native of Hartsville, South Carolina and a graduate of Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology in Darlington, South Carolina. Ala’Torya is a graduate of Paine College where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, holds a Masters degree in Higher Education with a concentration in College Teaching and Learning from Walden University, a certification in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. Her ability to lead and develop current and future leaders is reflective in the creation of her company, To Inspire One; an educational-based consulting company committed to aims to empower, expose, and educate individuals for personal and professional growth through avenues of engagement from the classroom to the boardroom.
Dr. Cranford has had many opportunities through To Inspire One, LLC to share in motivational and public speaking alongside best-selling author, Stephan Labossier and television personality, Toya Wright. From commencement speeches, middle school awards programs, sharing her knowledge and experiences with both HBCU and PWI leaders and its students, presenting for higher education conferences, women’s empowerment seminars, conducting leadership and diversity trainings, and partnering with high schools to discuss college transitioning, there is no greater purpose she would prefer to have.
Her previous honors include being listed as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Top 30 Under 30 by HBCU Buzz for her impact and achievements. She has also been acknowledged as an Outstanding Young Alumnus by United Negro College Fund (UNCF) National Alumni Council (NAC) for her commitment and support of her Alma Mater, Paine College, acknowledged her for her time as the Director of Alumni Relations and recently received The Annie R. Carthon Service Award at Fort Valley State University. She is also a recipient of the CSRA Shero Late Quincy Murphy Vision Award and a member of the sensational group, Trey McLaughlin and the Sounds of Zamar.
Dr. Cranford is a Paine College Top 40 Under 40 Inaugural Inductee, an Augusta New Leaders Council (NLC) Fellow, a Higher Education Leadership Foundation (HELF) Fellow, a HBCU Times Magazine Ambassador and Content Provider, and presently serves on the board of directors for Creative Impressions, Up Next Initiative, and the American Red Cross of Central Midwest Georgia. Recently she was elected as the Vice-President of Programs for the United Negro College Fund National Alumni Council. She strongly believes, she may not have gone where she intended to go, but she thinks she has ended up where she intended to be with her faith and trust in God.