University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Emerging Women Leaders Forum

Call for Nominations
Deadline: July 12, 2023

The Emerging Women Leaders Forum provides leadership development for early-career professional women at Illinois who aspire to become organizational leaders. The women are nominated to participate in this 9-month program by senior administrators.

The focus of this program is to equip participants with leadership skills and strategies that will positively impact their departments and the communities in which they live and serve. The selected women attend monthly seminars where campus and community senior women leaders will share their insight and experience on topics ranging from networking to identifying individual strengths to navigating organizational politics.

2023 – 2024 Participants

  • Kathy Adams, Illinois Human Resource
  • Domonique Arnold, University Library
  • Wendy Balthazor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Brooke Bear, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising
  • Amanda Christenson, National Soybean Research Lab
  • Katherine Dalpiaz, Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning
  • Keri Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Norma Garcia, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Elizabeth Good, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Shawna Graddy, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
  • Chelsea Hamilton, The Grainger College of Engineering
  • Emily Harrison, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement
  • Katherine Johnston, Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • Elizabeth Asako Kinase-Leggett, Illini Union
  • Anne Marshall, Office of the Provost
  • Kala Maturi, Technology Services at Illinois
  • Megan Nickrent, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
  • Moira Nolan, Office of Corporate Relations
  • Kjellrun Olson, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
  • Audrey Ramsey, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Laura Reiter, The Grainger College of Engineering
  • August Schiess, Strategic Communications and Marketing
  • Sarah Sheeley, Department of Chemistry
  • Jyotika Sirohi, Technology Services at Illinois
  • Hannah Stites, Materials Research Laboratory
  • Dana Tempel, Center for Academic Resources in Engineering
  • Gabrielle Venatta, Technology Services at Illinois
  • Geetanjali Verma, Technology Services at Illinois

Past Participants

2022-23 Participants

Alisa (Kristy) Mecum, Division of Public Safety

Allison Payne, ACES Technology Services

Amy L. Powell, Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion

Ann Fredricksen, Disability Resources and Educational Services

Beth Conerty, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Carolyn Randolph-Kato, College of Fine and Applied Arts

Charisse Coleman, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Daniele Frerichs, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation – Administration

Dimitria Johnson, School of Information Sciences

Dionna Harper, Department of Accountancy

Emelie Mies, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Heather Wright, Internal Medicine

Heidi Gharst, Technology Services at Illinois

Holly Fuson, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

Janet Jones, Technology Services at Illinois

Jenna Zieman, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation – Administration

Jennifer McNeilly, Department of Mathematics

Kelly Jo Hoffmann, Facilities and Services Capital Programs

Laura Czys, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Leslie Sherman, Internal Medicine

Lexie Kesler, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Maria McCullen, Parking Department

Marissa Siero, Parking Department

Melissa Whitt, Grainger Engineering IT Shared Services

Rebecca Hodson, School of Information Sciences

Shauna Clayborn, Office of Minority Student Affairs

Sowmya Anand, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation – Administration

Susann Sears, Disability Resources and Educational Services

Xiao (Helen) Zhou, Library Administration

2021–22 Participants

Libby Ebelhar, Director, Financial Operations, Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

Kate Abney, Associate Director of Intercultural and Global Learning, LAS International Programs, Student Academic Affairs Office, College of Libera Arts and Sciences

Kelly Birky, Associate Director, Marketing & Strategic Communication, Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning

Stephanie Brownstein, Assistant Scientist, Research Engineer, Prairie Research Institute – Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

Bethany Carmien Onwodi, Senior Student Financial Aid Administrator, Office of Student Financial Aid

Amy Carr, Office Manager, Naval Science

Jenny Cox, Associate Director for Administration, Chemistry

Aurora Cruz-Torres, School of MCB Academic Advisor and Education Justice Project Academic Advising Coordinator, School of Molecular & Cellular Biology and College of Education

Jamey Dunn-Thomason, Assistant Director, U of I System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs

Leslie Froeschl, Senior Project Manager, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Alisha Funkhouser-Walker, Records Supervisor, Division of Public Safety

Katrina Hagler, Associate Director of Recruiting and Data Management, Gies College of Business

Amber Hall, Human Resource Associate, Prairie Research Institute

Katie Harrell, Associate Director of Advancement, Performance Management, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

Angie Helmuth, Assistant Director of Financial Service for University Housing, University Housing

Meagan Hennessey, Assistant Director of IT Operations, IT Partners at Gies

Arianna Holterman, Assistant Dean, Student Assistance Center

Kortney Jones, Assistant Director for New Student Programs, Office of Student Success & Engagement 

Karla Lucht, Assistant Director for MSLIS Advising, Information Sciences

Elizabeth Mason, Academic Skills Specialist, Undergraduate Affairs Applied Health Sciences

Elise McCarren, Chemistry Merit Program Director, Chemistry

Angie Powers, Associate Director, Career Services, Gies Career Services

Kimberly Powers, Academic Advisor, School of Chemical Sciences

Ana Rodriguez, Digitization Coordinator and Registrar, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University Library

Tina Rolfe, Academic Accommodations Specialist, Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

Roxana Ryan, Associate Director, Research and Analysis, Office of Corporate Relations

Hileri Shah, Human Resource Associate, Shared Human Resources & Admin Services, Illini Union

Jennifer Sturner, Manager, Integrated User Services, Technology Services

Kristin Tennant, Creative Director, Gies College of Business, Marketing & Communications

Julie Wagner, Records and Information Management Services Coordinator, Records and Information Management Services, AITS

Emily Wuchner, Associate Director for Student Experience, Graduate College

2020–2021 Participants

Marissa Barlaz, Affirmative Action Data Analyst, Office for Access & Equity

Wendy Bartlo, Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives and Research Relations, College of Applied Health Sciences

Kalina Borkiewicz, Senior Research Programmer, Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Haruka Brown, Research Administration Manager, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering

Rachel Chlebanowski, Director of Degrees, Gies College of Business

Katherine Darr, Corporate Relations Coordinator, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ulyssia Dennis, Associate Director of Engineering Career Services, Grainger College of Engineering

Margaret Edwards, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the School of Information Sciences

Lin Fan, Lead Specialist, Grainger Engineering Information Technology

Madeline Farrell, Advocacy and Wellness Coordinator, Women’s Resources Center

Akua Forkuo-Sekyere, Advocacy and Wellness Coordinator, Women’s Resources Center

Kelly Foster, Program Coordinator, IQUIST Grainger College of Engineering

Kate Gardiner, Visiting Extension Outreach Associate, Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources

Ilalee Harrison James, Associate Director of The Hoeft Technology & Management Program

Oulay Harvey, Administrative Aide, Illinois Business Consulting, Gies College of Business

Eden Haycraft, Associate Director, Online Graduate Programs, School of Labor and Employment Relations

Lauren Karplus, Academic Advisor/Experiential Learning Coordinator, College of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

Debra Larson, Coordinator of Communications & Alumni Relations, Department of Aerospace Engineering

Jill Moore-Reynen, Senior Coordinator eLearning, Gies College of Business

Jessica Perez, Associate Director of Education and Inclusivity for an Engineering Research Center, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering

Danielle Runyon, Director of External Engagement, College of Applied Health Sciences

Deborah Seiler, Extension and Public Engagement Connection Center Coordinator, Illinois Extension

Allison Sivers, Coordinator Fiscal Planning and Budget, University of Illinois System

Rashimi Tenneti, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications, Office of Corporate Relations

Talisa Thompson, Director of HR at Gies College of Business

Lissette Venable, Student Records Coordinator, College of Media

Kelli Wendt, Director of Budget and Resource Planning, Beckman Institute

Jeanice Wiard, Charge Auditor, Veterinary Teaching Hospital