Elevating women in higher education to new levels of personal and professional success



›››››  2020  ‹‹‹‹‹
By Wisr



Kate Volzer  

Co-Founder & CEO at Wisr


As a former first-generation college student, Kate is extremely passionate about improving educational outcomes for college students across the country. After working in Admissions and Career Services for the University of Chicago, Kate became interested in how technology can be used to support student outcomes. She returned to Northeast Ohio as VP of Business Development at DecisionDesk before founding Wisr in 2016.

Kate is heavily involved in Cleveland’s entrepreneurial community as the Chair of the JumpStart Leader’s Council and serving on the DigitalC Fund Advisory Board. Kate was a member of the varsity volleyball team at the University of Chicago, where she received her BA and MBA. 



Mari Fuentes-Martin 

Associate Vice President & Dean of Students at Louisiana State University


Dr. Fuentes-Martin joined the LSU staff on August 24, 2015, and serves as the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. As the official second-in-command to the Vice President for Student Affairs, she is the chief administrator for the Office of the Dean of Students, which advises Student Government and oversees the departments of Campus Life, Disability Services, Greek Life, and Student Advocacy & Accountability, Transfer Student Programs, and the William A. Brookshire Military and Veterans Student Center.

Fuentes-Martin received Bachelor’s degrees in History and Business Administration and a Master’s degree in not-for-profit administration, both from the University of Notre Dame, and received a Doctorate of Education from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Prior to LSU, Fuentes-Martin held positions at the University of Texas-Pan American, as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students from 2013-15; and Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley from 2014-15. She has also held positions at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, as Dean of Students from 2000-04 and Associate Vice President and Dean of Students from 2004-13; Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, as Assistant/Associate Dean of Students from 1994-2000; and the University of Notre Dame, Assistant Director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs from 1991-94, Assistant Director of Alumni Clubs from 1990-91 and Minority Student Recruiter from 1986-89.

Fuentes-Martin is also the proud mother of three sons: Jacob and Zachary graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2018; and her youngest son, Michael, is attending LSU this Fall. She and her husband Randy have been married for 23 years. Randy is an LSU police officer.


Yolanda Page 

Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dillard University




To Be Announced



LaQueta Wright 

Executive Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Richland College


Dr. LaQueta Wright serves as the Executive Dean for the School of Social Sciences and Wellness at Richland College in the Dallas County Community College District.   She taught full-time at Richland College for 16 years as a Professor and Lead Faculty for Sociology and served as the Program Coordinator for the Social Sciences, Studies in Cultural Diversity and African-American Black Studies programs at Richland College for over 7 years.  She is the Chair of the Richland College Minority Serving Institution Convening, a national conference that focuses on helping higher education institutions effectively use data to improve minority student success.  She is a graduate of the 2019 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) John E. Roueche Future Leaders Institute and the 2013 Kaleidoscope Diversity Leadership Institute for women of color.  Prior to working at Richland College, Dr. Wright worked for Southern Methodist University for 10 years where she served as the Assistant Dean of Student Life; the Director of Intercultural Education and Minority Student Affairs and an Academic Advisor.  She is a member of the American Sociological Association, a Fulbright-Hays Fellow (Senegal, West Africa), a Global Citizenship Alliance Fellow (Potsdam, Germany), and a Life Member of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education and the OU National Black Alumni Society.  Dr. Wright’s commitment to excellence has led her to facilitate local and national workshops on personal development, diversity, equity and inclusion, servant leadership,  community involvement and professional excellence.  She has contributed to the success of several college initiatives and community programs, including Achieving the Dream, Cooperative Learning, Global Education Advisory Council (GEDAC), Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Faculty in Support of Advising, the African-American Connections (AAC), Visions of Excellence (VOE), Intercultural Competence Training.  Sharing her talents to mentor faculty/staff, students and community volunteers, for Dr. Wright is a joy and a privilege.  She holds a BA in Journalism and a MA in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of North Texas.  


Elizabeth Palacios 

Dean for Student Development at Baylor University


Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) D. Palacios currently serves as the Dean for Student Development at Baylor University and Special Assistant to the President on Diversity. She is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and has over 37 years of experience in higher education. Dr. Palacios received both her bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in student services and professional counseling at Baylor University. Since 1981, she has served in various areas at Baylor including graduate minority recruitment in the Graduate School and community service in the Department of Student Activities. In 2002, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in School Psychology and joined the faculty in School of Education.

Dr. Palacios taught undergraduate courses in secondary education and graduate courses in school psychology and educational administration. In 2006, she was named Dean for Student Development in the Division of Student Life overseeing Multicultural Affairs, Community Engagement and Service, and the Academy for Leadership Development. She currently teaches in the Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program at Baylor. In 2015, she was charged with leading the Division of Student Life in both student leadership education and development as well as cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion. In 2016, she was named the first Special Assistant to the President on Diversity at Baylor University. In 2018, she was elected President for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, a statewide organization focused on the promotion of Latina/os in higher education as scholars and leaders.

Dr. Palacios has authored numerous publications, presentations, a book chapter in the National Association of School Psychologists primer on training and research on multiculturalism in the schools, and in 2018, a book chapter in the NASPA book on Latino/a/x Student Affairs leaders in higher education. She served as an inaugural faculty member for the NASPA Escaleras Leadership Institute for Hispanic Student Affairs professionals. She serves on various national, regional, and local boards on higher education, retention, diversity, and leadership development


Sandra Harper 

President at McMurry University


Dr. Sandra S. Harper, a native of Dallas, Texas, began serving as the President of McMurry University on October 1, 2013. Prior to her McMurry appointment, Harper served as the President of Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 2006-2013 and as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi from 1998-2006. Harper’s other administrative posts included serving as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma City University and as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at McMurry University. Harper served as a faculty member in the communication and theater department at McMurry University from 1985-1995.

Harper received her B.S. degree from Texas Tech University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. Harper also completed the Harvard Management Development Program and the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas. Harper is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges and chairs a compliance and reports committee. She is the chair of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) and she also serves on the boards of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, the Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators, Inc. (EIIA), the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, the Abilene Industrial Foundation, and the Grace Museum. Harper was elected to serve on the United Methodist University Senate for the 2017-2020 quadrennium.

In 2011, Harper was named a Distinguished Alumna by the Texas Tech University College of Education. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in American Education. Harper has received the Management Excellence Award from the Society for the Advancement of Management, the Y Women in Careers Award from the Corpus Christi YWCA, the Outstanding Faculty Award and the Outstanding Administrator Award from McMurry University, and the American Association of University Women Abilene Branch Women of Outstanding Achievement.

She is married to Dave Harper, who coached at Abilene High School for nine years and other high schools in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The couple has two sons, who spent most of their childhood in Abilene. Justin Harper, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, and his wife and four children are stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Jonathan Harper is the Assistant Director of Equipment Operations in the athletics department at the University of North Texas. He, his wife and son live in Denton, Texas.



Stephanie Helms Pickett 

Associate Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement, Training and Education at North Carolina State University


Stephanie Helms Pickett holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio & Television Broadcasting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University.  She has worked at private, public, single-sex, predominantly White and historically Black institutions of higher education, in residence life, commuter life, multicultural affairs, orientation, leadership, international student affairs, disability services, academic support services and as an Education Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. 

Most recently, Dr. Helms Pickett was appointed as the Associate Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement, Training and Education in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity at North Carolina State University. Prior to the appointment, over the last 12 years, she served as the Director of Assessment and Professional Development, as well as the Director of the Women’s Center in the Division of Student Affairs at Duke University.  Dr. Helms Pickett has held faculty appointments at Bennett College for Women, Walden University, Duke University and Grand Canyon University. Her research interests are in the areas of higher education policy, women’s engagement, cultural competency and leadership.  She most recently served as board president of the Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women which engages in preparing incarcerated women for reentry. She is married, with two young adults.

She is a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is the author of three books, “Later Never Came Until Now,” “Her Name Is SHE” and “Worshipper in the Workplace.” Dr. Helms Pickett writes a weekly blog that may be found on the website, drhelmspickett.com. 


Jo Allen 

President at Meredith College


Jo Allen, Ph.D., Meredith College Class of 1980, took office as the eighth president of the College on July 1, 2011. She is the first Meredith College alumna to assume leadership of the 128-year-old institution, one of the largest private colleges for women in the United States. Allen brought her extensive experience as a faculty member, administrator, and scholar to her current role.

A North Carolina native, Allen earned her Master’s degree from East Carolina University and her doctorate from Oklahoma State University. Both her M.A. and her Ph.D. are in English literature, with an emphasis in Technical and Professional Communication. Her B.A. from Meredith is also in English. She served as tenured associate professor of English at East Carolina University and tenured associate professor at North Carolina State University in addition to her administrative roles. Dr. Allen was an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Virginia.

Allen previously served as senior vice president and provost, and tenured professor of English, at Widener University, in Chester, PA. There she oversaw academic and student affairs on four campuses in two states for approximately 6,500 students and more than 700 full- and part-time faculty. Other leadership positions held by Allen at East Carolina University and at North Carolina State University include special assistant positions for various projects, as well as associate vice provost and interim vice provost.

Allen has made numerous contributions to the advancement of higher education. She has been the featured speaker and facilitator at programs including the American Council on Education Chief Academic Officer’s Institute and the Pennsylvania State University's Academic Leadership Academy. She was a Commissioner for Middle States Commission on Higher Education, for whom she also led training workshops on assessment and led site visits for regional and international institutions’ accreditation. She also served on the Board of Trustees and has been a frequent site reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges.  

She has been recognized by Meredith College as a Distinguished Alumna and by East Carolina University as an Outstanding Woman of ECU.

Currently, she is chair of the Executive Board and serves on the Audit Committee and the Administration Committee for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). She is also the past treasurer and current vice chair of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). She serves on the Presidents’ Council of the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges and on the Presidents' Council of USA South, Meredith's athletic conference. In addition, she is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors. 


Sue Wasiolek

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at Duke University


For the past thirty-eight years (except for a brief nine-month hiatus to practice law), Sue Wasiolek has worked in the Division of Student Affairs at Duke University.  In her role as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students she has oversight

for student health, wellness education and programming, counseling and psychological services, crisis response, student conduct, and parent and student veterans’ programs. She has served for over thirty-five years as an academic advisor to freshmen and sophomores and has taught courses in education, law and cultural anthropology. Sue has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science Education, a Master of Health and Hospital Administration and a Master of Law degree from Duke.   She has also completed a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University and a Doctor of Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Having served as a peer reviewer for the NCAA, Sue enjoys intercollegiate athletics from an intellectual and spectator perspective.  Her master’s of law thesis was entitled “Intercollegiate Athletics and Federal Income Tax Policy” while her doctoral dissertation focused on the efficacy of the NCAA self-study certification process.

In 2008, Sue co-authored a book entitled, “Getting the Best Out of College,” with the second edition released in March 2012.

Sue currently resides in an all-freshman residence hall at Duke and loves it!



Adanna Johnson 

Senior Associate Dean of Students and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at Georgetown University


Adanna Johnson is the senior associate dean of students and director of diversity, equity and student success. She thinks equity, diversity, inclusion and access automatically are centers of the conversations we have around our Jesuit identity.  

We are beholden to our commitments to caring for the whole person and developing people for others, and she believes these should be at the center of the ways in which we approach our pedagogy, work with students and function as an institution. When we centralize needs for the vulnerable, we automatically foster the most positive experiences for all our students, faculty and staff and virtually anyone who comes through Healy Gates.

Before joining Georgetown in July 2018, Adanna was at Loyola University Maryland for 10 years. She served as an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland and in her last four years there was the director of the African and African American Studies Program. 

At Loyola, she taught courses on diversity at the undergraduate and graduate levels and as a tenured professor was often pulled into conversations about equity and inclusion. This led to her work with a colleague on racial justice training across the institution – including students, faculty, staff and administrators.


Donna Harper 

Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management at James Madison University


Donna Harper is the Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management at JMU.  She has served in various positions at the university since graduating in 1977 including Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Health and Recreation, Associate Vice President for Students Affairs and Executive Assistant to the President.  She has enjoyed the various roles and responsibilities she has had the opportunity to have and strives to encourage and support others at the university to find their passion.  As an undergraduate she played field hockey and is a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha.  She continues to be involved through the Duke Club and advising ASA.  Donna also serves as the co-coordinator of the College Student Personnel Administration graduate program and teaches a graduate class in the program.

Donna enjoys working in the community and currently serves on the Rockingham Educational Foundation and The Community Foundation, serving as officers on both boards.  She received her B.S. in Business, M.S. in Counselor Education/College Student Personnel Administration, and Ed.S. in Counselor Education from JMU.  She and her husband, Randy, live in Port Republic and their two children also graduated from JMU.  They both enjoy “babysitting” their two grandchildren (who already know how to say “Go Dukes!”).


To Be Announced



Bonita Jacobs 

President at the University of North Georgia


Bonita Jacobs is President of the University of North Georgia, which serves about 20,000 students across five campuses and offers a range of degree programs from the associate to doctoral levels.

Jacobs took office as the seventeenth president of North Georgia College & State University, prior to its consolidation with Gainesville State College to become UNG, in July 2011, becoming the University’s first woman president and only the second woman to lead one of the country’s six Senior Military Colleges.

She has been named by Georgia Trend magazine one of the "100 Most Influential Georgians" and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the "Top Education Leaders in Atlanta" and to its list of “Women Who Mean Business.”

Jacobs currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Council on Economic Education, and the BB&T Georgia Regional Advisory Board.

Previously, Jacobs served as Executive Director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (2009-2011), Vice President for Student Development (1998-2009), and as a tenured professor of counseling and higher education at the University of North Texas. She also served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and as Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Development at Western Carolina University and in student development positions at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Jacobs received bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and history and a master’s degree in counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University. She earned her doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University.

A recipient of multiple awards for leadership in higher education and student development, Jacobs is a frequent speaker on transfer and student success issues. Jacobs is the former editor of The Journal of College Orientation and Transition and has served on three other editorial boards. Her publications include The College Transfer Student in America: The Forgotten Student and Starting From Scratch: Your First-Year Experience, as well as numerous chapters, journal articles and reviews.

Jacobs is originally from Huntington, Texas, and she and her husband, Glenn, live in Dahlonega.


Jennifer Stephens 

Deputy Chief of Staff at Georgia Gwinnett College


Dr. Jennifer H. Stephens serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She provides strategy formulation and operational support to the Chief of Staff, President, and Executive Leadership team.

She is active in the American Council on Education (ACE) where she serves as the State Chair for the ACE Women’s Network in Georgia, the Georgia Association of Women in Higher Education. In 2015-2016, she participated in the ACE Fellowship Program, a leadership development program that focuses on identifying and preparing the next generation of senior leadership for the nation’s colleges and universities.

Prior to the Fellowship, Stephens was the associate vice president of Public Affairs at Georgia Gwinnett College, the first four-year, public college created in Georgia in more than 100 years. The College opened in August 2006 with an inaugural class of 118 students and an access mission focused on student success. Today, it serves 13,000 students. She has been intimately involved in almost every facet of the creation of the new institution and its strategic planning.

Prior to her role at GGC, Stephens served as the chief PR officer at Georgia Perimeter College, the largest two-year college in the state.

Stephens has a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia. She holds an M.Div. in biblical studies from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in psychology and a B.A. in graphic design from Auburn University. She and her husband, Todd, live in Suwanee, Georgia, with their two daughters.


Pamela Scully 

Vice Provost of Undergraduate Affairs at Emory University


Pamela Scully is Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Professor of African Studies, at Emory University. She has held a number of administrative roles at Emory, including directing the Institute of African Studies, chairing Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and directing the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence. As Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, she also led Emory’s Academic Leadership Program, which included Emory faculty as well as faculty from Atlanta universities and colleges.  In her current role, she works across the university to ensure student success and thriving, paying particular attention to the experiences of first-generation students and students from under-resourced backgrounds.

Vice Provost Scully is an expert on women’s leadership both through her professorial and administrative roles. As chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Scully led global initiatives through partnerships with Ewha Women’s University in South Korea, and with the Gender, Diversity and Migration Research Unit at Goethe Institute at Frankfurt University. Her academic work focuses on women’s and gender history, and she has published numerous articles and books.  Her book Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio University Press, 2016), examines the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s leadership style from her time as a student in the United States, to assuming the presidency of Liberia.

Vice Provost Scully is on the advisory board of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Young African Scholars Program, which mentors PhD students from the African continent. She is also on the board of Step Ahead Scholars, an Atlanta-based non-profit which aims to eradicate college inequality and empower underserved students to access, enroll, and graduate from college.



Maria Anguiano  

Senior Vice President for Strategy at Arizona State University



Executive Director of Career Services at Princeton University


Barbara Bichelmeyer  

Provost; Executive Vice Chancellor at University of Missouri – Kansas City



Director of the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mount Saint Mary's University



Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kent State University



Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, Teaching and Learning at the University of Arizona



Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Deputy Majority Leader; Office of Early Childhood Chair in the State Senate of Connecticut



Associate Provost for Faculty Development & Faculty Success at Wayne State University



Social Impact Officer Principal, EdPlus at Arizona State University



President; CEO of the Florida State University Alumni Association


Devika Dibya

Professor; Chair of the Commission on Diversity & Inclusion at Eastern Michigan University



Vice President of Inclusion & Equity at Towson University



Vice President for College Advancement at Wheaton College



Dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University



Associate Vice President for Student Affairs; Dean of Students at the University of Connecticut



Former Vice Provost of Student Access, Success, & Diversity at Illinois Institute of Technology



Associate Provost; Chief of Staff to the Provost at the University of Illinois at Chicago



Provost at Alvernia University



Vice President for Advancement at Kenyon College



Associate Professor of Human Evolution at Arizona State University



Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Texas A&M University System


Marthe Druska

Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations & DAR Communications and Marketing at Rice University



Secretary; Vice President for Student Life at Yale University



Associate Professor of Student Affairs at the University of Maryland; Editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education



Vice President for Campus Life &  Student Success at Stetson University



Head of The Agnes Irwin School; Former Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lafayette College



Associate Dean of Corporate Relations & Career Services at the New York University Stern School of Business



Associate Dean of Admissions at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business



Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement; Secretary to the Board of Trustees at the University of Pittsburgh



Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Mount Saint Mary's University



Senior Vice President for Global Partnerships at The New School



Associate Dean & Director of Graduate Student Professional Development at Princeton University



Managing Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions and Program at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business



Vice President for Inclusion & Equity;  Chief Diversity Officer; Title IX Coordinator at the University of Akron



Associate Vice President for Academic Operations at Texas A&M University at Galveston



Vice President for Enrollment Management at John Carroll University



Deputy Provost; Vice President for Academic Affairs at Arizona State University



Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs at Colorado State University



Chief Strategy Officer at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center



Executive Director for Organizational Culture & Inclusion at the University of Texas at Austin



Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer at Bowling Green State University



Director of Athletics & Recreation at the University of Chicago



Vice President; Chief Financial Officer at Northern Illinois University



Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Cincinnati



President at Hamline University



Associate Provost of Faculty Development & IR at Baylor College of Medicine



Associate Dean of Career Services & Corporate Relations at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business



Dean of the School of Arts, Science & Business at Chatham University



Vice President of Administration at the University of Colorado



Associate Vice President of Advancement at the University of Miami



Associate Dean of MBA Operations at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management



Vice President for Institutional Diversity & Equity at DePaul University



Dean of the Burnett Honors College at the University of Central Florida



Associate Vice President for Career Development at the College of William & Mary



Associate Vice Provost for Online Initiatives; Director of Distance Learning at Fisk University



President; CEO of the Common Application



Provost; Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at Ball State University



Chief of Staff at the Emory University Goizueta Business School



Provost; Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis



Vice President for Equity & Social Justice at Emerson College



Senior Director of Diversity Initiatives at the University of North Florida


Ronné Patrick

Vice Provost for Admissions & Financial Aid at Washington University in St. Louis



Vice President of Development at Prairie View A&M University



Deputy Chief Diversity Officer at Tennessee State University


Mai Nhia

Vice President of Enrollment Management at Hamline University