2018 Award Recipients

Recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education awards are Cindy Allen, vice president for Administration and Human Resources at Jackson College, and Olukemi (Kemi) Fadayomi, professor of biology at Ferris State University.

Presented by the Michigan ACE Women’s Network, the award honors women who have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding leadership to women in their institutions, in their profession and in society at large. The awards will be presented June 5 at the annual conference in Lansing.

Cindy Allenweb

Cindy Allen

Allen has held increasingly responsible positions throughout her 35-year tenure at Jackson College. She was instrumental in the founding of a Campus Health Clinic and spearheaded the creation of the Jackson College Oasis Center, which provides behavioral health services.

Daniel J. Phelen, president of Jackson College, called Allen an “inspirational role model for women seeking to advance their careers in leadership positions.”

Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in organizational leadership from Siena Heights University.


Olukemi (Kemi) Fadayomi

Fadayomi is also a Faculty-in-Residence at the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Ferris State. She co-founded and chaired the Women’s Leadership Program at Ferris, mentored faculty, and helped create fully funded training for eight female faculty at HERS.

Fadayomi received the 2018 Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award, University Board of Trustees Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of State Universities, among other honors. She is a Fulbright Scholar and served as a visiting professor at the University of Namibia in southern Africa.

She earned a doctorate in biology from North Texas State University, master’s degree in biology from Stephen F. Austin State University, and bachelor’s degree in biology from East Texas Baptist College.