About HERS

Overview

HERS is dedicated to creating and sustaining a community of women leaders through leadership development programs and other strategies with a special focus on gender equity within the broader commitment to achieving equality and excellence in higher education.

The 20th century witnessed great strides in the advancement of women’s rights and equality in the U.S. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX in 1972, a clearer path was set forth for women wanting to pursue and hold leadership positions in various sectors – including academe.

The progress made during the previous century for women’s advancement remains at a standstill in the academic sector. Currently, female students have higher enrollments and have more advanced degrees conferred than their male peers; this percentage has yet to translate into more women in leadership roles within those institutions.

According to the Colorado Women’s College 2013 Benchmarking Women’s Leadership in the United States report, the average percentage of women holding leadership positions in higher education is a startlingly low 24.53%.

At this critical time, higher education needs more women prepared to assume senior leadership roles, both to fill the openings from anticipated presidential retirements and to provide their leadership as decision makers at all levels of the institution.

For nearly 40 years, Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) has been answering this call to action by providing a curriculum of leadership development to advance women to senior leadership positions throughout the ranks of faculty and staff.

Between 1976 and 2014, nearly 5000 women faculty and staff members – from 1200 campuses in the United States and abroad – have participated in intensive residential leadership and management development at one of three HERS Institutes: HERS Wellesley Institute, HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, and HERS Denver Summer Institute.

Since its inception, HERS has described its mission with the phrases “advancing women leaders and advocating gender equity.” These terms captured the critical dual mission as HERS Institutes offered a leadership development curriculum to women faculty and administrators and prepared them to return to their respective campuses as leaders of institutional change.

In October 2013, looking to its golden anniversary in 2022, the HERS board adopted a broad mission statement for its new strategic plan HERS at 50:

“HERS is dedicated to creating and sustaining a community of women leaders through leadership development programs and other strategies with a special focus on gender equity within the broader commitment to achieving equality and excellence in higher education.”

To advance a community of women leaders in the decade ahead, HERS will hone—and reach extensively beyond—its signature residential Institutes.

Board of Directors

  • Darlyne Bailey (Ex-Officio)

    Dean & Professor, Graduate School of Work and Special Assistant to the President for Community Partnerships, Bryn Mawr College

    Darlyne Bailey is Dean and Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College where she also has the honor of serving as Special Assistant to the President for Community Partnerships. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and certificate in Secondary Education, Darlyne completed a master’s degree from the School of Social Work at Columbia University.

    After working as an administrator and a clinician in the field of mental health, Darlyne later earned a doctorate in Organizational Behavior from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. A recognized leader, Darlyne has been the recipient of many awards and honors and is a very proud alumna of the W.K. Kellogg National Leadership Program, as a Group XIII Fellow.

    Biography
  • Kim Bottomly (Ex-Officio)

    President, Wellesley College

    Kim Bottomly, a renowned immunobiologist and former deputy provost at Yale University, is Wellesley College’s 13th president. A Montana native, Bottomly graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in zoology and earned her doctorate in biological structure from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Before joining the Yale faculty in 1980, she did postdoctoral work in immunology at the National Institutes of Health.

    In her role as deputy provost for science, technology and faculty development at Yale, Bottomly was responsible for an array of academic, administrative and budgetary activities across many departments and divisions. She also initiated and oversaw efforts to enhance faculty career development and was instrumental in Yale’s efforts to recruit and retain women in the sciences and underrepresented minorities in all fields. In 2009, Bottomly was elected to one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and center for independent policy research, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

    Biography
  • Kimberly Wright Cassidy (Ex-Officio)

    President, Bryn Mawr College

    Kimberly Wright Cassidy became Bryn Mawr College’s Interim President on July 1, 2013. A faculty member at Bryn Mawr College since 1993, Cassidy served as the College’s Provost from 2007-2013. During her tenure as Provost, Cassidy was instrumental in leading a number of important initiatives, many of which will continue to inform her work as interim president.

    These initiatives include facilitating curricular renewal in collaboration with faculty leaders, the development of the College’s new interdisciplinary 360° courses, the introduction of new academic programs, including an International Studies major, and the advancement of digital initiatives within the classroom. Central to all these initiatives has been Cassidy’s unwavering support of the scholar/teacher model in which faculty research and the instruction of students are inextricably bound. She earned her master’s degree in psychology and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in psychology from Swarthmore College.

    Biography
  • Waded Cruzado, Board Chair

    President, Montana State University

    Since January of 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado has served as the 12th President of Montana State University, and during that time she has significantly reshaped the face and future of the state’s first land-grant institution. An articulate and inspirational speaker on the role of the public university, President Cruzado has become well-known for her understanding of the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant university system 150 years ago.

    During President Cruzado’s tenure, MSU has competitively won more than $400 million for research. In 2011-12, MSU set an institutional record of $112.3 million in research expenditures. Prior to coming to MSU, President Cruzado served as executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University, posts she held since Sept. 1, 2007, and served as NMSU’s interim president from 2008-2009. President Cruzado has a master of arts in Spanish and a doctorate in the humanities, both from the University of Texas at Arlington.

    Biography
  • Debra K. DeMeis

    Former Dean of Students, Wellesley College

    Debra DeMeis became the Dean of Students in July 2008. As dean, she is responsible for overseeing the Division of Student Life, which includes those offices and services that foster students’ growth and development particularly in their out-of-classroom activities and experiences. Her interest in understanding and promoting women’s development has been the core of both her research in maternal employment and her work in higher education.

    Prior to coming to Wellesley, she was a professor of psychology at Hobart and William Smith College and served as dean of the college at William Smith College. As a resident on the campus, she can often been seen on her evening walks joined by her husband, Joe, and her very large dog, Lily.

    Biography
  • Brontè Burleigh-Jones

    Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dickinson College

    Brontè Jones joined Dickinson College as the Vice President for Finance and Administration in September 2013. Previous leadership positions include Treasurer of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and Vice President for Administration and Finance at Houston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas.

    In 2008, Dr. Jones was honored with the Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Award for her community involvement in the Annapolis area. She also received a NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her appointment as the first person of color to serve as an executive officer in the 310-year history of St. John’s College. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Higher Education and the HERS Wellesley Institute. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA from American University and a doctorate in higher-education administration from the University of Texas, Austin.

    Biography
  • Mary Kennard

    Vice President and General Counsel, American University

    Mary E. Kennard is the vice president and chief legal counsel for American University. She has over 30 years of experience in university administration and legal affairs. Ms. Kennard has served as a senior administrator at both public and private colleges and universities. In addition, Ms. Kennard has served as the chief development officer for both the University of Rhode Island and American University, planning and kicking off two successful capital campaigns. She has taught at the University of Pittsburgh – College of General Studies, University of Rhode Island – College of Business Administration, and the Washington College of Law at American University.

    In May of 2013, Kennard received an honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Rhode Island in recognition of her commitment to diversity in U.S. higher education. Kennard was the first African American Vice President of the University of Rhode Island, and the first African American to serve as legal counsel for an entire state system of higher education in the United States.

    Ms. Kennard attended Boston University and received her undergraduate degree in applied science. After earning her Juris Doctorate from Temple University, Beasley School of Law in 1980, and Master of Laws in international and comparative law from The George Washington University, National Law Center, she served as counsel to the University of Pittsburgh, Howard University, the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College, before joining American University in 1995.

    Biography
  • Carolyn P. Landis (Ex-Officio, Chair Emerita)

    Managing Member, Catalyst Partners, LLC

    Carolyn P. Landis assists corporations to prepare business plans and to acquire capital through private placement investors. For non-profit clients, she guides the strategic planning process and advises on organizational issues. Based in Princeton, NJ, Ms. Landis provides strategic services through Catalyst Partners, LLC where she is a Managing Member.

    Prior to becoming a consultant, she served as CEO of a computer manufacturing/ refurbishing firm in NY and of a holding company, which owned and operated restaurants in NJ. Earlier, she directed consulting, member services, and financial affairs as an officer of a non-profit consortium of 500 universities with headquarters in NJ. She currently serves as a trustee for McDaniel College and a director of non-profit corporations including: Per Scholas, a corporation which recycles computers, trains computer technicians, and brings technology to underprivileged families; and Food Studies Institute, a nonprofit organization promoting food education.

    Biography
  • Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet

    Former President, Antioch University Seattle
    Former President, Diné College

    Chosen as president for Antioch University Seattle in July 2007, Dr. Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet became the first Native American woman to ascend to the presidency of an accredited university outside the tribal college system.

    Prior to her appointment in Seattle, Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet served as the first woman president of Diné College, the first tribally-controlled community college, located on the Navajo reservation in Tsaile, Arizona. Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet is the great, great granddaughter of Navajo Chief Manuelito. At Oregon State University, she founded and directed the Indian Education Office. She has worked in various student service and counseling positions at the University of Oregon, University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, University of Wyoming and Montana State University. Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet received her B.A. in Social Work, M.S. in Counselor Education, and her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Management, with a specialization in higher education administration.

    Biography
  • Holiday Hart McKiernan

    Vice President, Operations & General Counsel, Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc.

    Holiday Hart McKiernan serves as Vice President, Operations and General Counsel for the Lumina Foundation for Education. McKiernan directs the Foundation’s legal affairs and also leads Lumina’s exploration of the Bologna Process and the implications of that reform effort on American higher education.

    She speaks frequently on legal, governance and policy issues concerning nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. McKiernan began her career practicing law concentrating on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and prior to joining Lumina in 2003 was executive director and counsel for Alpha Chi Omega and advised universities on approaches to high-risk student behavior. McKiernan is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and earned her law degree, cum laude, from Indiana University.

    Biography
  • Belinda Miles

    President, Westchester Community College

    As president of Westchester Community College (WCC), Dr. Belinda S. Miles leads the largest college in Westchester County, New York serving more than 26,000 students annually. Since her arrival in January 2015, Dr. Miles’ leadership has resulted in increased graduation rates, the largest graduating class in the institution’s 70-year history, and membership in Achieving the Dream–the national reform network of community colleges committed to improving student success. WCC is SUNY’s first federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution.

    Dr. Miles serves on numerous local and national boards promoting leadership development, economic impact and access to high quality academic programs.  Prior to joining WCC, Dr. Miles served as provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio serving 60,000 students. Additional prior roles include president of the Eastern Campus, dean of Academic Affairs, and assistant dean of Liberal Arts at Cuyahoga and faculty and administrator roles at LaGuardia Community College, Nassau Community College, and Columbia University.

    Biography
  • S. Georgia Nugent (Ex-Officio, Chair Emerita)

    Interim President, The College of Wooster
    Senior Fellow, Council of Independent Colleges
    Former President, Kenyon College

    Dr. S. Georgia Nugent currently serves as Senior Fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges. Beginning in 2003, she served as President of Kenyon College. In the six years since at Kenyon, Nugent increased the quality and diversity of faculty and students, dramatically increased resources for financial aid and for faculty development, improved the conditions of employment for staff members, built a child-care facility for faculty and staff, and enhanced “family friendly” policies.

    Previously, she was Dean of Princeton University’s Harold W. McGraw Jr. Center for Teaching and Learning. In 1969, Nugent became a member of Princeton’s first coeducational class, graduating cum laude in 1973. She also holds the distinction of being the first female graduate of Princeton to hold a full-time faculty appointment at the university. Nugent received a Ph.D. in classics from Cornell University and began her teaching career as an instructor at Swarthmore College before returning to Princeton as an assistant professor in 1979.

    Biography
  • Mary A. Papazian

    President, San Jose State University

    Dr. Mary Papazian, a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of teaching and academic administrative experience, joined San Jose State University (SJSU) as its president on July 1, 2016.

    Papazian most recently served as president of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Conn. There, she demonstrated a singular focus on student success, establishing a task force in her first year as president to review practices and develop recommendations for change. Under her leadership, SCSU launched a predictive analytics advising tool and hired additional advisors in key areas to support first-year experience, sophomore, transition programs and degree programs. She developed partnerships with local community colleges to expand advising resources for prospective transfer students and established a summer scholarship program for undergraduate research. Papazian holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

    Biography
  • Shirley Pippins, Vice Chair

    President, Victory University
    Former President, Suffolk County Community College

    A native of East Chicago, Indiana, Dr. Pippins is President of Victory University. Prior to joining Victory University, Dr. Pippins served as the Senior Vice President of Programs and Services for the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, D.C. In this role she led a division that included the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity; the Office of Women in Higher Education; and the Center for Lifelong Learning.

    Earlier in her career, Dr. Pippins served as the President of Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) for five years, the largest community college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Dr. Pippins was the first woman, and the first African-American, to lead the college in its history. Prior to her association with SCCC, she was the President of Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia. Dr. Pippins earned her doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University and has completed studies at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

    Biography
  • Jacqueline Pollard

    President & CEO, The Pollard Group
    Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Morris Brown College

    Dr. Jacqueline Pollard is President/CEO of The Pollard Group, a management consultant company. Currently, Dr. Pollard is serving as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia.

    She has forty-five years of experience in the education and corporate sectors, serving in senior leadership positions. Dr. Pollard was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, Bennett College for Women and Albany State University. Additionally, she held a myriad of management positions at CIGNA, Spring Garden College, the University of Pennsylvania, Wellesley College and Spelman College. During the Clinton Presidency, Dr. Pollard served on the President’s Transition Team in the Education and Labor Cluster. Dr. Pollard has an A.B, degree in Sociology/Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.A. degree in Human Resources Management from Central Michigan University and, an Ed.D. in Administration and Supervision from Atlanta University.

    Biography
  • Karan Powell, Board Secretary

    President, American Public University System

    Dr. Karan Powell is president of American Public University System. Dr. Powell leads the university system to advance the achievement of its strategic goals of academic excellence, managed growth and institutional effectiveness.  Her leadership places a core focus on expanding APUS’s reputation and recognition as a premier quality provider of and partner in student success in higher education. She has more than 30 years of experience in higher education and online learning, leadership development, organization performance enhancement, and transformation in education, non-profit, business, and government settings.  She also has more specialized expertise in learning at a distance, evaluating equivalent work learning for college credit, regional and specialty accreditation, instructional technology, online faculty workload, program review and evaluation, leadership development, system change, organization transformation, and spirituality in the workplace.

    Prior to becoming president in July 2016, Dr. Powell served APUS as provost since 2011, leading university academics to ensure academic quality and online teaching effectiveness, student success, advocacy for the faculty, and the adoption and creation of innovative online instructional strategies and technology.  She also served as interim chancellor in 2004, dean of the School of Business, Management and Graduate Studies in 2005, and academic dean from 2006 to 2011, advancing the academics department in areas of curriculum, programs and faculty. Dr. Powell holds a doctorate in education from George Mason University, with a specialization in organization development and organizational learning. She has more than 30 years of experience in learning, leadership development, organization performance enhancement, and transformation in education, non-profit, business, and government settings.

    Biography
  • Cynthia Teniente-Matson

    President, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

    Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson is the second president of Texas A&M-San Antonio. A&M-SA is the first Texas A&M University System of eleven institutions opened in a major city and one of the fastest-growing universities in Texas.

    Previously, she served as the Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer at Fresno State.  In her tenure at Fresno State, Dr. Matson executed many initiatives such as the Henry Madden Library revitalization and fundraising, the Campus Master Plan, partnerships with other government agencies, and several process improvement initiatives. Dr. Matson is the past board chair of the National Association for College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and past president of the Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUB0).  Dr. Matson came to Fresno State after working in leadership roles at University of Alaska Anchorage for 15 years. Dr. Matson earned her Bachelor of Arts in Management and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Alaska and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fresno State.

    Biography
  • Judith S. White

    President & Executive Director, HERS

    Dr. Judith S. White has been President and Executive Director of HERS since June 2005. During her tenure, HERS Institutes were redesigned so that the three Institutes could offer an enhanced curriculum to serve 200 women participants annually.

    She now directs HERS leadership and partnership initiatives, including the HERS Summits for Women Presidents & Chancellors and research collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership. Before coming to HERS, Dr. White was an administrator and faculty member at Duke University, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and serves on the board of Re: Gender. She earned her A.B. at Princeton, M.A. at Columbia, and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Dr. White is a HERS Bryn Mawr alumna 1996.

    Biography
  • Blenda Wilson, (Ex-Officio, Chair Emerita)

    President Emerita, Nellie Mae Foundation
    President Emerita, University of California – Northridge
    Chancellor Emerita, University of Michigan, Dearborn

    A nationally known speaker on higher education policy issues, Wilson served as the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation from 1999 to 2006.

    During Wilson’s seven-year tenure, the foundation distributed more than $80 million in grants to educational institutions and non-profit organizations to improve access to college. During Wilson’s tenure as President of California State University, Northridge, she enacted a strategic plan to better serve the populations of the San Fernando Valley, and led the university’s recovery from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In 1988, Dr. Wilson became Chancellor of the University of Michigan, Dearborn – she was first woman to head a four-year higher education institution in the state – and was widely recognized for her outreach to Dearborn’s Arab-American community and Detroit’s African-American community. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education at Cedar Crest College, a master’s in education at Seton Hall University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration at Boston College.

    Biography

Staff

  • Judith S. White

    President & Executive Director

    Dr. Judith S. White has been President and Executive Director of HERS since June 2005. During her tenure, HERS Institutes were redesigned so that the three Institutes could offer an enhanced curriculum to serve 200 women participants annually.

    She now directs HERS leadership and partnership initiatives, including the HERS Summits for Women Presidents & Chancellors and research collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership. Before coming to HERS, Dr. White was an administrator and faculty member at Duke University, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and serves on the board of Re: Gender. She earned her A.B. at Princeton, M.A. at Columbia, and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Dr. White is a HERS Bryn Mawr alumna 1996.

    Biography
  • Raymonda (Ray) Burgman

    Director of HERS Institutes

    Dr. Ray Burgman began her tenure as Director of HERS Institutes June 2013. In this role, she leads the planning and delivery of the three signature HERS programs for leadership development for women in higher education – the HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, the HERS Denver Summer Institute and the HERS Wellesley Institute.

    Prior to this appointment, Burgman served as Associate Provost at New College of Florida and Associate Professor of Economics and Management at DePauw University. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of Florida. Burgman is an alumna of the HERS Wellesley Institute, 2006 and the Harvard Institute for Educational Management, 2009.

    Biography
  • Janet Ash

    Director of Business Operations

    Janet Ash joined HERS as the Director of Business Operations in September 2015.  In her role, Janet is responsible for the budget, accounting, and finance of HERS as well as data management and process planning.

    Prior to joining HERS, Janet served as Director of Operations for a local non-profit.  She is a former owner/manager of several businesses.  Janet earned her MBA from Regis University and BS in Organizational Management from Colorado Christian University. She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) as certified by the Project Management Institute.

    Biography
  • Suzanne Sable

    Communications Manager

    Suzanne Sable has served as the Communications Manager of HERS since November 2012. In this role, Ms. Sable is responsible for preparing strategic internal and external communications as well as supporting the HERS Institutes in various capacities. She also plays a key role in managing signature projects including the organization’s digital presence.

    Previously, she served as Program & Communications Officer at a Denver non-profit that educates the public and first responders on homeland security and counterterrorism measures. Ms. Sable also worked in Washington, DC, as an advocacy specialist at the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflicts. She holds an MA in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and a BA in Art & Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Biography
  • Christy-Dale L. Sims

    Program Manager

    Dr. Christy-Dale Sims joined HERS as the Program Manager in June 2017. In this role, she brings together her experiences event planning, developing curricula and training resources, online teaching, intercultural and interpersonal communication training, and advocating for social equity.

    Prior to this appointment, Sims was a teacher-scholar at the University of Colorado Boulder, James Madison University, and University of Denver. She received her doctorate in Communication and graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder.

    Biography
  • Hillary Riposo

    Program Coordinator, HERS Institute at Wellesley College

    Hillary S. Riposo is the Program Coordinator for the HERS Wellesley Institute. Ms. Riposo is a trained mediator and was an active mediator with Mediation Works, Inc. in Boston, MA, for several years. She participated in the small claims court mediation program at Plymouth District Court, where she mediated a variety of consumer, landlord-tenant, interpersonal, and business disputes.

    Mrs. Riposo earned her Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy. She has held positions in higher education administration at Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, Brandeis University, and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She attended the HERS Wellesley Institute in 1989-1990. Rejoining the HERS Institute in 2008 is fulfilling her personal goal of assisting other women in higher education to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals.

    Biography
  • D'Naie Hart

    Program Coordinator

    Dr. D’Naie Hart began her appointment at HERS as program coordinator in April 2017. Her experience in higher education and corporate environments include program development, assessment, accreditation, online instruction, grant development, strategic planning, and student success.

    Prior to this appointment, Hart served as the Dean of University College at The University of Toledo and Chair of Information Systems at Owens Community College. She received her doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Toledo. Hart is an alumna of the 2014 HERS Institute at the University of Denver.

    Biography

Our Supporters

HERS would like to thank our sponsor and partners for their exceptional support and generosity in helping us achieve our mission to create and sustain communities of women leaders in higher education. Contact us if you, or your organization, are interested in becoming a sponsor or partner. To make a charitable gift, please click here.

Sponsor

Partners

Contact Us

Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) is headquartered on the University of Denver campus in The Chambers Center.

Higher Education Resource Services (HERS)
University of Denver
The Chambers Center
1901 E. Asbury Avenue
Denver, CO 80208-1002

Office Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm M-F