*Agenda updated each week with confirmed new speakers, sessions and topics*




How do leadership qualities shift over the course of one’s academic career and what do you need to do now to prepare for tomorrow?  We’ll look at how we are building leadership skills in academia and we’ll bust through the myths about what it looks like to lead a business school.


8:45-9:00 Opening Session: Pedal to the Metal, Let's Crank Up the Velocity

Lisa Leander, Founder & CEO, Women in Business Education

Momentum [ moh-men-tuhm ] the force that keeps an object moving; the quality that keeps an event developing or making progress after it has started.

Our opening session will dive into our theme of momentum, and how we can collectively increase the velocity for gender equity and diversity and inclusion in business schools.  It is time for change and we want that change to happen quickly.

Join us for our opening session as we look to the future and launch a movement.

9:00-10:00 Keynote Firestarter: Resist Inertia, Become the Mass in Motion, Momentum Unleashed

One editorial director.  Two trailblazers.  An hour of inspiration.

Our firestarter conversation will strike the match and open the summit with the incredible journey of two women of color that made huge leaps in their careers in the middle of the pandemic.  In the spring of 2021, Joanne Li was named to Chancellor at the University of Nebraska Omaha while Wanda Costen was named Dean at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada.

Dr. Li started out as an international student to the US and Dr. Costen represents one of only a few black female business school deans. They both have overcome significant  barriers to achieve impressive career goals.

This session will share their incredible journey to leadership, and inspire us all to keep on moving.  No matter what.

Wanda Costen, Dean,  Smith School of Business, Queen’s University (July 2021)

Joanne Li, Chancellor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha 

Moderated by:  Lucy Swedberg, Editorial Director, Harvard Business Publishing


10:00-10:30 Break / Networking Lounge Open

Join us in the networking lounge to meet fellow participants or in the exhibitor breakouts.

10:30-11:15 Breakout 1 - Speaking Up to Reinvent Campus Collaborations

Despite the call for more interdisciplinary collaborations across the academy, the old systems of participation often exclude women from engaging fully. By thinking creatively and speaking up, women have an opportunity to reinvent campus collaborations for more inclusive partnerships.

Jen Vellenga, Co-Founder, Voice First World

As the co-founder of Voice First World, Jen Vellenga is on a mission to help professional women advance their position of leadership and influence through voice and performance training.

Jennifer Vellenga is a stage director, actor, former professor, and the co-founder of Voice First World. She is on a mission to help professional women advance their positions of leadership and influence through voice and performance training. Jen spent over twenty years in higher education as a Professor of Theatre and the Associate Director in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University and as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami (FL). While many of her former students enjoy successful careers on Broadway and in TV/Film, Jen has also coached the voices of professors, university administrators, provosts and presidents, lawyers, politicians, journalists, doctors, entrepreneurs, YouTubers, and even a member of the Blue Angels flight squadron. Jen is the host of the Ditch Your Backup Plan podcast. She and her co-founder, Jennifer Rettele-Thomas are launching the Speak With Presence™ podcast in October, available on all podcast platforms.

10:30-11:15 Breakout 2 - Be Scared and Do it Anyway

After being diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 28, Lauree Ostrofsky learned first hand what it means to Face Fear. The same lessons that propelled her forward into a new career, new city, new relationship and making a more meaningful impact through her work are the ones you can use now as you’re facing unforeseen challenges, seeking new opportunities, and putting yourself out there more than ever before. We are in this together.
Lauree is the founder of Simply Leap, LLC helping successful women leap into more meaningful careers and their own businesses. She has served as a speaker, career coach and marketing consultant for nearly 20 years working with corporate clients and executives at organizations such as IBM, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Liz Claiborne’s domestic violence awareness program Women’s Work, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Regis University and the University of Maryland. 
Seven years ago she founded Hudson Valley Women in Business, the largest community of women business owners north of New York City with 3,000 members and growing. Her books are, “Simply Leap,” a happy how-to about facing the fear of reinvention while enjoying the crap out of your life, and “I’m scared & doing it anyway,” a memoir about her own reinvention after her brain tumor diagnosis. She received the Women in Business Award from Hudson Valley Magazine in 2019 and is a 2020 Athena Leadership Award honoree. Find out more about her writing, speaking and hugging at, and her business community at

Moderator: Jill Green

11:30-12:30 Breakout 1 Europe & MENA Disrupted, Leading Through Uncertainty

In partnership with: The European Marketing and Management Association (EUMMAS) Women’s Forum

European trade, markets and higher education institutions face considerable disruption.  An unpredictable future remains for travel and trade while recovering from the pandemic and Brexit.

In the Middle East and North Africa, women are breaking through barriers everyday, but much work remains to the path of gender equity.

This regional roundtable will bring together senior women leaders  to share their inspiring journey of navigating their institutions and teams through the midst of the unknown.

Prof. Dr. Nino Enukidze

President of the Eummas Academic Consortium / Rector of Business and Technology University

Prof. Dr. Nino Enukidze is the Rector of Business and Technology University with more than 10 years of experience of working in education sector, engaging stakeholders in innovations and technology agenda of the country. She launched Global Startup Foundation to operate at Silicon Valley Tbilisi in collaboration with Israel’s Silicon Wadi. Professor Enukidze acted also as a Dean at BTU and Deputy Director and Dean at the Management Institute of Illia State University. She is a member of the EUMAMS Honorary Board and the EUMMAS Women’s Forum.

Prof. Dr. Lidija Weis

President of the Eummas Women’s Forum / Dean of the B2 Ljubljana School of Business

Lidija obtained her PhD at the University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business, in the field of service profit chain in adult education. For the last 12 years, she has held top positions at privately-owned educational institutions. Her research work covers the field of social sciences. Since 2015 she has been an active member of the Beta Gamma Sigma. Professor Weis is a Vice President of the EUMMAS Honorary Board and the first President of the EUMMAS Women’s Forum. 

Dina Yacout

Vice President of the Eummas Women’s Forum I Vice President of the Advisory Board

Dr. Dina Yacout, MCIM, CMKtr is a Chairman of the Businesswomen Committee in the Federation of the Chambers of Commerce in Egypt. She is also a Mentor and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom. Dr.  Yacout is a Member of the syndicate of Egyptian pharmacists and a member of the pharmacists’ committee in the Chamber of Commerce. She excels in business development and marketing consultancy to organizations within the fields of Pharma, Agriculture, Training companies and FMCGs as well as in customized in-house training.

Nneka Okekearu

Nneka Okekearu heads Gender and is Deputy Director at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University. She has a 1st degree in Banking and Finance, an MBA and is currently doing a doctorate in entrepreneurship with SMC University. She started her career as an audit trainee at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation before going into the banking industry as a pioneer staff of the then Standard Trust Bank now UBA. Her passion for impact led her to the Enterprise Development Centre. In the last decade plus she has consulted and trained  for numerous SMEs across various sectors. Nneka sits on the board of Assemblyhub a catalytic platform aimed at strengthening the capacities of creative entrepreneurs. She also sits on the the board of Recycle Point an award winning recycling social enterprise focused on the climate and environment. An avid believer in mentoring as a tool for development she also is on the Mentoring Committee of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. A lover of Arts and Music Nneka also  sits on the Governing Board of the Yemisi Shyllon Museum for Art. Nneka is a World Bank Master Trainer and Assessor, and LPI Certified on-line trainer, Certified Leadership trainer from the Centre for Creative Leadership US, Global Mentor with the Michigan State University. Her passion lies in helping for profit and social enterprises clarify their Position, Profits, Processes.
She is married to Cj a serial entrepreneur and has 2 lovely children.


11:30-12:30 Breakout 2 Vision Accomplished: How to Transform your Life and Career

Helen Krug von Nidda,

Founder & Chief Executive Optimist, With Helen

Helen specializes in coaching ambitious and accomplished female global citizens transition to their desired life dream. She is a contagiously optimistic coach, trainer and speaker, that has advanced countless career paths for individuals at the United Nations, in the  nonprofit  and private sector.  She was the HR Strategic Partner at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly Director of Talent Management at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She also worked for UNICEF, the United Nations, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and, in the private sector, for Reuters and Sotheby’s.

She has lived and travelled internationally — from London to Lome, Oslo to Ouagadougou, Niamey to New York. Fluent in French, she is a graduate of Smith College, and holds a Masters in Human Resources Management, and is currently completing her Doctorate in Adult Learning at Columbia University. She is an accredited and certified Coach and a licensed Career Counsellor.

12:30-1:00 Break / Networking Lounge Open

Designated time to connect with participants in the lounges.

1:00-2:15 Breakout 2 Managing Yourself Comes Before Leading Others

Margaret Andrews

Founder, Higher Education Associates, Instructor, Harvard University

Leadership is an inside-out proposition – it’s about understanding and leveraging what makes us unique. In this fast-paced one-hour session, we will look at stories from our own lives and mine them for new insights about our purpose, perspectives, values, and strengths – and how these can enhance our leadership capabilities. Leadership takes courage and we can find that courage by connecting with the leader inside and bringing her out, more fully, into the world.


Margaret Andrews is the founder of Higher Ed Associates and brings over twenty years of professional experience in higher education, business, consulting, and teaching to the firm. She has taught and consulted across the globe and is adept at bringing ideas, people and processes together to improve individual and collective results. 

Margaret believes in the power of education to improve the world and has made this her life’s work. She teaches courses and executive programs in leadership, strategy, creativity, and innovation and through a variety of positions – including Associate Dean at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education, Executive Director of the MBA Program, Alumni Relations, and Marketing at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Vice Provost at the Hult International Business School – has deep experience in higher education and leading for innovation. 

1:00-2:15 Breakout 1 Women championing women: Mentoring and support for emerging talent

  Mercedes Bidart – Co-founder & CEO | Quipu Market


Giselle Ramos – Director of Experiential Learning – Austral Education Group

Mariana Resende – Strategic Partnerships Manager – Experiential Learning Team – Austral Education Group

Mercedes Bidart – Co-founder & CEO | Quipu Market


Business Challenge Activity: Brainstorming & Participation from the Audience.
Austral Group will host a guided ideation session. We will work with a challenge presented by the co-founder and CEO of Quipu Market from Colombia, a platform that enables communities to re-design their economies by changing the way micro-businesses transact and the way credit assessment is done. Mentorship is extremely important to make informed decisions, leveraging the experience of others.  During the session, we will collectively come up with tactics to increase the amount of female mentors that can support emerging entrepreneurs in Latin America’s very patriarchal society.

2:30-3:30 Breakout 1: Turning Our Research into Practice, Our Policies into Programs

In this fireside chat/Q&A, we’ll inquire about what the research shows in terms of the factors influencing women’s advancement in academia and industry. We’ll also consider what we can do to address some of these factors, both in the short and long term. 

Ruchi M. Watson

Managing Director of Goff Strategic Leadership Center, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah


Dr. Ruchi M. Watson, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Goff Strategic Leadership Center and a faculty member in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the University of Utah (UofU, U). She also serves as co-chair for the university’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, a board member on the Utah Women in Higher Education Network (UWHEN), and was a founding chair of the UofU chapter of UWHEN. Prior to working at the U, Watson spent ten years in the corporate sector at Fortune 500 companies. Watson graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in chemical engineering and earned an MBA from Northwestern University. She holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Leah Sheppard

Associate Professor of Management with the Carson College of Business at Washington State University


Dr. Leah Sheppard is an Associate Professor of Management with the Carson College of Business at Washington State University. Her research focuses on gender stereotyping in organizational contexts, and how this impacts women’s attainment of leadership positions and success in entrepreneurship. Leah’s work has been published in top academic and media outlets, including The Atlantic, and has been discussed by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, CBS News, New York Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. In addition to her research, Leah provides seminars/workshops and evidence-based consulting and coaching services to organizations. 

2:30-3:30 Breakout 2 Developing Leadership Among the Ranks of Biz-Ed: Stories From the Field
3:30-4:00 Networking Lounge Open / Exhibitor Booth Sessions





How can we disrupt the traditional roles in business education and ensure that we are a part of any future we make? Leaders in fields such as artificial intelligence, future studies and business academia will discuss how they broke through barriers, and how you can (and will)  too.  The future is bright, lets get you to where you need to go.


8:30 - 9:00 Networking Lounge Open - Coffee & Conversation

Join us in the networking lounge while you sip coffee and make new friends.

9:00-10:00 Keynote Conversation with Debora Spar: Work, Mate, Marry, Love

 In this session, Professor Spar will examine how technology is altering our deepest and most intimate experiences – and how we should be thinking about these transformations as both business leaders and individuals. What happens to marriage and parenthood when babies can be created by one parent, or three, or none? What happens to love and sex and romance as our relationships migrate from the real world to the Internet? How does living on Zoom affect life as we used to know it?  Drawing on research from her recent book, Spar will work lead a conversation about how the technologies of the present will shape our human futures.

10:00-10:30 Networking Roundtables - Discuss what you heard
10:30-11:00 Empowering the next Generation of Female Business Leaders: How to Implement Holistic Admissions Strategies in your Business School

The reality of graduate admissions is that programs need to make swift determinations about complete strangers with limited information. Is there a way to gather better information about applicants to improve your decision making? In this session, learn about ways to clearly see applicant potential, fairly admit qualified students and achieve diversity goals. We will also discuss how to mitigate the drawbacks of each admission component to create a holistic, equitable process that works for you.


Maria Kirilova

                     GRE Client Relations Specialist

Maria Kirilova is a Client Relations Specialist for the GRE® Program at Educational Testing Service (ETS®). She is responsible for working closely with universities, higher education organizations and business schools in the EMEA region, assisting them in attracting top talent to their Master’s and PhD programmes by using GRE® scores as part of their holistic admissions practices. Maria also works closely with student bodies to spread ETS’s mission to advance quality and equity in education for all learners worldwide.

Prior to joining ETS, Maria’s experience has taken her to three different countries and various fields within the higher education sector – recruitment, admissions and internationalization. Maria has also worked extensively in the online education field and on digitalization initiatives. She holds an MBA from the University of Liverpool in the UK.

10:30-11:00 Acceleration, Adaptation, Application & Action: Leading and Learning in the Flow of Work

Michellana Jester

Lecturer, Global Economics and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

Dr. Michellana Y. Jester is a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management. She has 15 years of experience as a creative leader in leadership and organizational development. She has extensive experience enabling leaders and future leaders via leveraging learning strategies (including action learning) as well as managing teams and projects and has provided many years of management consulting to clients facing organizational and leadership challenges.

At her current role at MIT, she has a breadth of responsibilities including leading MIT Sloan’s most popular experiential learning course, Global Entrepreneurship Lab. She received her master’s degree from Harvard and her PhD from Columbia.

Moderator:  Kerry Laufer

11:15-12:15 Breakout 1: Innovate. Collaborate. Disrupt. The Future of Teaching and Pedagogy

Svenia Busson

Founder at LearnSpace; Author “Exploring the Future of Education”

Since the research push in academia after WW2, Business Schools have been building their reputation, respectability and authority through research. Academics are expected to publish frequently, which sets aside other considerations such as teaching & pedagogy. International rankings feed this constraint, by relying on criteria such as academic reputation, impact of research, percentage of faculty with PhD etc.

In order to efficiently groom future generations to the realities of tomorrow, we need to give significantly more weight to teaching methods (pedagogy). How well students learn should be at least as important — if not more — as how many papers are published each year.

Svenia Busson will host a panel discussions with professors innovating in their teaching practices. These professors are the finalists of the LearnSpace 2021 call for business education innovations. They will share about their innovative pedagogical methods and the positive impact they had on student engagement and performance.


Svenia Busson is a global Learning Innovation explorer, she travelled 19 countries to source and map the most innovative teaching and learning practices. She is the author of ‘Exploring the Future of Education’ a book about education innovations from Europe and founded LearnSpace, a Learning Innovation Hub in Paris, which organizes an annual call for nominations to uncover the best teaching innovations in business schools.

11:15-12:15 Breakout 2: What is AI? Is it a Threat or an Asset to Business Schools?

Andree Bates

Founder & CEO, Eularis & AI-cademy

Artificial Intelligence is changing both the way we work and learn. Business schools prepare their students for their careers and are in an advantageous position to take advantage of this shift in how work is done. Although some business schools are leading the way, many business schools are still not taking full advantage of their position in this space. This begs the question, ‘Will the MBAs of today be equipped for jobs of the future?’ Traditional business schools need to update their curricula to help their students adapt to the new world they will find themselves in. This also provides a huge opportunity for business schools to differentiate themselves. Dr. Bates will dive into how AI is driving change around the world and what business schools need to think about to not be left behind in the information curve.

Dr. Andree Bates is a Pioneer entrepreneur with blended expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Healthcare, and Marketing. Dr. Bates is known for being steps ahead of the curve, diving in, and strategically conquering the “unknown” before competitors. She founded Eularis ( in 2003 to provide cutting-edge analytics based on artificial intelligence within the Pharmaceutical Industry and has delivered significant improvements in financial results to healthcare companies using AI. She then founded AI-cademy ( for women’s day in 2021 to help female entrepreneurs embrace the time saving and revenue generating benefits of this powerful tech.

She has been a guest lecturer on Healthcare Innovation and AI in several university MBA programs: INSEAD Business School and St Josephs’ University, and Fordham University Global Healthcare Innovation Management postgraduate program as she is passionate about helping the business leaders of tomorrow stay ahead of the curve.

12:15-1:00 Break / Networking Lounge Open
1:00-2:00 Breakout 1 - Dean's Roundtable: The Upside to Disruption

Monica Adya

Dean, Rutgers School of Business


Dr. Monica Adya serves as the Dean of the Rutgers School of Business–Camden. She is a skilled administrator and a noted scholar in information systems. Her research interests include participation and experiences of girls and women in information technology careers. She also conducts research on decision systems with an emphasis on forecasting support systems. Her commitment to developing ethical business professionals, who not only receive an excellent foundation in business education but are equally cognizant of their social responsibility, is reflected in her approach to teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs.


Nicola Kleyn

Dean, Executive Education and Professor of Corporate Marketing at RSM Erasmus University


Nicola is the Dean: Executive Education at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management, CEO of the RSM BV and a professor of Corporate Marketing. Prior to joining RSM, Nicola was the Dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. In addition to conducting research and teaching in the arenas of corporate branding, corporate reputation and business ethics, Nicola is also passionate about building connections between the worlds of academia and business.


1:00-2:00 Breakout 2 - Moving Forward with Backwards Instructional Design

Floria Volynskaya

Training and Education Manager, QOMPLX


Floria Volynskaya is currently managing Education and Training at a cybersecurity data analytics firm, and has led Learning and Development Teams in higher education, financial sector, and non-profit organizations for the past 7 years. She believes swell-designed educational programs are the best ROI for improving a company’s competitive advantage and retaining its employees.

She has over 17 years of experience in strategic education initiatives, including launching global distance education programs; establishing blended business and language programs and corporate training initiatives; developing, directing, and organizing eLearning and in-person programs and face-to-face, blended, and online courses, and creating interactive, SCORM-compatible, Section 508 compliant, UDL, web-based resources, printed course kits, multimedia, teaching, and training materials.

2:00-2:30 Break / Networking Lounge Open (1:1 Meetings)
2:30-3:30 Breakout 1: Embrace Diversity with Cultural Intelligence in Your Business School

Gillian Oakenfull, Professor of Marketing, Faculty Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Director, Center for Kickglass Change, Farmer School of Business, Miami University

This interactive workshop will provide participants with an overview of the components of cultural intelligence (CQ) and how it can be an actionable and measurable solution at both an individual and organizational level within your business school.


Gillian Oakenfull is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Farmer School of Business. She serves as the Director of Experiential Learning, leading the department’s commitment to engaging its students in client-based learning opportunities. She teaches both Strategy Works and Highwire Brand Studio undergraduate senior capstones and recently developed and taught an online version of Principles of Marketing, the Farmer School of Business’s first online offering. She teaches the Globalization and Marketing Strategy course within the MBA program.

2:30-3:30 Breakout 2: Your Best Future Self: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Teresa Sande

Executive Coach, Author Imposter Syndrome

Teresa Sande is an accomplished HR executive who is passionate about equity in the workplace, healthy corporate cultures, and ensuring people are valued and rewarded for all of their contributions—those seen and unseen. Teresa holds her M.A. in Organizational Effectiveness and Communication and has over 20 years of corporate experience as an executive at companies such as Intel, Capital One, Cargill, and UnitedHealth Group.

She is also a consultant, coach, author, and speaker who works with leaders from all walks of life to build the future they want and to realize their vision. She builds effective leaders, teams, and cultures and does this by getting the root of what all leaders have in common – being human. She has had the privilege of coaching exceptional leaders around the world and through that coaching she has also become an imposter syndrome expert. Having battled imposter syndrome herself, Teresa knows firsthand how these feelings—particularly for women and people of color—are rooted in and fed by flaws that exist in organizational systems. Her debut book, Find Your Fierce: Interrupt Imposter Syndrome and Own Your Success.

3:45 - 4:15 What's the Story?: Process Improvement Through Storytelling

Kelly Sugrue joined Brandeis International Business School in November 2013 and currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Admissions.  Kelly has worked in undergraduate and graduate admissions at Fordham University, Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago. Prior to joining Brandeis, Kelly was the Director of Graduate Recruiting and Admissions in the University of San Francisco School of Management. She earned an M.S. in Education and a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University.

Dr. Jennifer Percival is currently in her 5th year at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she is the Associate Dean in the Manning School of Business. Her responsibilities include developing programs to support student success, growing interdisciplinary programming and research collaborations, scheduling, accreditation, and academic affairs. Prior to joining the Manning School of Business, Dr. Percival was at OntarioTech in Canada for 13 years where she progressed from assistant professor to associate dean – academic and research. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Engineering (Management Sciences) with a focus on the strategic integration of technologies with organizational practices.

MODERATED BY: Stephen Taylor
7:00 - 8:00 Breakout 1: Workshop: Thinking Outside the Box: Playing in the Informal Spaces of Business Schools to Cultivate Diverse Academic Talent

Nick McGuigan –

Establishing diversity enabling infrastructures within our institutions and among our stakeholders today may just require some rebellious thinking, positive activism and an appetite for creative risk-taking. This session aims to explore the creative, more informal spaces within a business school that can often be activated in a way that cultivates diverse academic talent.

 This session will show how connecting across informal learning spaces can build dynamic cultures that question traditional content and focus on developing individuals as co-creators of learning. Working at the margins and edges of the business school, blurring the formal lines of professions, academia, and industry can enable faculty and students to engage in unique and unusual ways.

Three unique examples that include, a business school artist-in-residence program, a queering business campaign, a First Nations business master’s program will provoke an interactive dialogue on how we can develop more creative cultures in business schools that cultivate diverse academic talent.




 How are we establishing a diversity enabling infrastructure in our institutions and among our stakeholders?   Creating deep impact across an institution takes allies. These sessions will focus on the connection between allyship and leadership, including male allyship and allyship to women of color to support those on their path to leadership.


9:00-10:00 Keynote Firestarter Conversation with Shani Barrax Moore

The fierce urgency of now is upon us. At this crossroads, we all are called to use our spheres of influence to facilitate equity, inclusion, and justice in our respective institutions. Join us in striking the match and blowing oxygen into our movement with the leading #Strategist #ChangeAgent #DEIExpert, Shani Barrax Moore, CCDP/AP.  Shani has spent 25 years aligning diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts with branding and communication that disrupts systems and invites others to join as accomplices for change and progress.

Recently transitioning from higher education to the corporate sector, Shani was the inaugural Assistant Vice President and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Texas. She recently joined the DEI team at Vizient, the country’s largest member-owned health care services company. Shani will share what we all can do to make organizations and institutions intentionally inclusive and equitable for People of Color, and the role of psychological safety and belonging in retention

We can’t create a talent pipeline and retain historically underrepresented leaders without recognizing and addressing the reasons of People of Color leave – or won’t come – to your institution.

10:00-10:30 Break / Networking Lounge Open
10:30-11:00 Breakout 1 - Beyond Leaning In

Melanie Ho

Author, Beyond Leaning in: Gender Equity and What Organizations are up Aganist

Much of the advice for professional women focuses on the need to lean in, but what about the barriers to doing so, or the unequal rewards (and even penalties) when women do lean in? Achieving gender equity requires that women and men work together to tackle systemic and cultural challenges, and that organizations understand how younger generations view the “lean in” mantra differently than previous generations have in the past. This session will discuss what’s needed for employees across genders and generations to collaborate with one another.

10:30-11:00 Breakout 2 - Cultivate Your Resilient Mindset

Felisa Preciado Higgins

Associate Dean, Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University, US

Dr. Felisa Preciado Higgins is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and a Clinical Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Smeal College of Business. Before assuming her role as Associate Dean, Dr. Higgins served as a 2016-2017 Administrative Fellow for the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses. Prior to joining Penn State, Felisa worked for Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KCC), where she was responsible for implementing process improvement solutions and demand planning methods throughout Latin America. Her previous work experience also includes the automotive and apparel industries. Dr. Higgins holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Florida A&M University.



11:15-12:15 Breakout 1: Create a Framework for Diversity & Balance in your Curriculum, One Case at a Time

Lesley Symons

Founder, The Case for Women

Lesley Symons is the founder of the The Case for Women and is passionate about getting more women into leadership positions. Whilst studying at INSEAD in France, Lesley noticed a distinct lack of women on campus, both as professors and as students. Even more noticeable was the lack of case material she read with a woman either as a lead or as a manager. This lead her to writing her thesis ‘Where are the Women Leaders?’. Hence, her particular interest is in the business school and tertiary education sector where she found women critically under-represented.

Lesley has ten years’ experience as an executive coach, facilitator and speaker. Prior to coaching Lesley had 20 years’ leadership experience in the fast moving consumer goods industry with companies such as L’Oreal and Estée Lauder. Lesley is based in London and Sydney.

11:15-12:15 Breakout 2: Become a Courageous Ally

Bertie Greer

Associate Dean, Strategy and Planning at Mike Illitch School of Business, Wayne State University

Dr. Bertie M. Greer is currently in her 5th year at Wayne State University where she is an Associate Dean for Strategy and Planning in the Mike Ilitch School of Business. Her responsibilities include strategic planning, accreditation, general operations, administrative direction on School facilities, leadership and guidance on financial plans and schools’ budget. Her direct reports include diversity and Inclusion Manager, Event Specialist and conference coordinator, information technology, instructional designer and the academic accreditation and compliance program manager. Prior to coming to Wayne State University, Dr. Greer was at Northern Kentucky University for 15 years where she is rose through the ranks to a Department Chair/full professor in the department of management. She earned her PhD from Kent State University in Business Administration with a focus on Mirco-Organizational Theory and a minor in statistics.

12:15-1:00 Break/ Networking Lounge Open
1:00-2:00 Developing a Culture of Inclusive Leadership

Many are aware that the impact that many small microaggressions can have on an organization’s
culture. This interactive panel will explore evidence-based programing to engage faculty and staff from
all ranks in being allies by identifying and intervene when microagressions occur. Gain insight on the
challenges and impact of implementing active bystander training sessions.

Sandra Richtermeyer

                      Dean Mainning School of Business, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Michelle Haynes-Baratz

Associate Professor, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell

2:00-2:30 Networking Break
2:30-3:30 Closing Keynote Conversation: Charting Your Course Towards Inclusion

Barnali Gupta

Edward Jones Dean, Chaifetz School of Business, Saint Louis University

 Barnali Gupta, Ph.D., currently serves as Edward Jones Dean and professor of economics at the nationally ranked Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University. In her role, Dean Gupta provides strategic direction and leadership for the school’s faculty, staff and students in 24 academic programs and four centers of distinction.


Dayle Smith

Dean and Professor, College of Business Administration (CBA), Loyola Marymount University

Dayle M. Smith, PhD, Dean of the College of Business Administration (CBA), Loyola Marymount University holds her PhD (1986) in Organizational Communication from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Prior to coming to LMU in June 2018, Dr. Smith was Dean at Clarkson University, and the Elmer D. Gates “50 Endowed Professor of Innovative Business Culture.  Most recently, Dayle  is a founding member of WiBE (Women in Business Education).   She was named to the international collaborative of deans and directors named to the Globally Responsible Leadership Institute (GRLI) to engage in dialogue and joint initiatives focused on developing responsible leadership and business practice worldwide.  Author of over 25 books and numerous articles in her discipline, Dayle’s research has focused primarily on leadership, communication and organizational behavior.

Jennifer Edmonds, Dean and Professor, School of Business & Digital Media, Georgian Court University


*Agenda updated each week with confirmed new speakers, sessions and topics*