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Women in Leadership Initiative Announces Fall Programming
New York Ag Connection - 09/27/2021

After kicking off in the fall of 2018, the Women in Leadership (WiL) Initiative, under the direction of Michele Wheatly, special advisor to the Chancellor and President and professor of biology, is now entering its fourth year and recently concluded a strategic planning exercise. WiL also announces an expanded steering committee tasked with catalyzing the personal and collective advancement of women at Syracuse University.

Programming this fall launches with an opportunity for faculty and staff to reconnect through a collaborative brainstorming "design think."

"WiL wanted to create a space where community concern will be focused on the recent experiences of women and nonbinary faculty and staff, empowering them to process the emotional response to their experiences during the pandemic, to overcome the overwhelm, if you like," says Wheatly. "We want to convene our community in a way that validates their feelings and reinforces the interdependence of faculty and staff. WiL will use these learnings to inform programming that will leverage skills developed during the past 18 months to propel women to leadership opportunities."

The WiL Initiative seeks to build strong leaders that can adapt rapidly to change and adopt new skills to keep teams and organizations moving forward. All members of the Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry campus communities are invited to participate in these events. The initiative's fall lineup will again include course offerings in two tracks: an academic track and an administrative track.

The WiL steering committee includes the following members:

- Sue Ballard,* vice president for alumni engagement

- Candace Campbell Jackson, senior vice president and chief of staff to the Chancellor

- Susan Cornelius Edson, executive senior associate athletics director/communications

- Elisa Dekaney, associate dean of research, graduate studies and internationalization and professor of music education in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and School of Education

- Meghan Florkowski,* director, WISE Women's Business Center

- Marie Garland, assistant provost for faculty affairs

- Pam Gavenda,* associate director, organizational development and training, Office of Human Resources

- Catherine Gerard, associate director of executive education programs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

- Cydney Johnson,* vice president of community engagement and government relations

- Beth Myers,* executive director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education and professor of inclusive education in the School of Education

- Tina Nabatchi,* director, Program for Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration, and professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

- Dara Royer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer

- Stephanie Salanger,* director of communications, Institute for Veterans and Military Families

- Michele Wheatly, chair of the Women in Leadership Initiative; special advisor to the Chancellor and President; professor of biology

- Jamie Winders,* director of the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute; professor of geography in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

*Indicates a new steering committee member

Questions about fall 2021 programming may be submitted to Mallory Mitchell at or go to

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