Senior-Level Leadership Shadow Program

The Michigan ACE Women’s Network, through its Professional Development Committee, established a senior-level leadership shadow program for women who aspire toward those positions.

The program allows mid-level women aspiring toward senior-level positions to learn from mentors, gain diverse institutional perspectives, and develop knowledge and skills. The program utilizes best practices from a variety of existing fellowship and job shadow opportunities to create a unique experience for select women in higher education in Michigan. The personalized nature of the program allows learning to take place through both observation and applied learning.

group of seven women posing

Pictured above, from left to right, are MI-ACE board member Nancy Giardina, Julia Heck, MI-ACE board member Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Joi Cunningham, Michelle Bruner, Dorine Lawrence-Hughes and Amber Benton.

The 2019-2020 cohort is pictured.

• Amber Benton, director of diversity programming & student engagement, Michigan State University; Julia Heck, associate director, Office of the Ombuds, Eastern Michigan University; Dorine Lawrence-Hughes, assistant dean, Undergraduate Education, University of Michigan; Joi Cunningham, assistant vice president, Academic Human Resources, Oakland University; Beth Kubitskey, associate dean of students and curriculum, College of Education, Eastern Michigan University

These mentees are matched, respectively, with the following mentors:

• Suzie Nagel-Bennett, AVP/dean of students, Western Michigan University; Beverly Walker-Griffea, president of Mott Community College; Don Ritzenhein, provost and vice president for the Learning Unit, Macomb Community College; Dave Veneklase, executive vice president for organizational development, Davenport University; Anita Welch, dean, College of education, Wayne State University

Applications for the next cohort will be accepted in July 2020. MI-ACE will oversee the application and pairing process, and award a $500 scholarship to each participant who meets the expectations of the job shadow experience.

Questions can be directed to Marlene Kowalski-Braun, MI-ACE executive board member and associate vice president for inclusion and student affairs at GVSU, at

Read about the 20182017 and 2016 (inaugural) cohorts.