Mercer Women Begin Chapter of ACE Net

See photos below

Interested Mercer women have begun a chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) at Mercer. A "kick off" luncheon on Oct. 27 attracted a large group of staff and faculty members. Steering Committee members are Khalida Haqq, Donna Richardson-Hall, Barbara Jefferson, Laurene Jones, and Andrea Lynch. This national organization supports women leaders in higher education.

Haqq served as mistress of ceremonies at the luncheon, and said the idea for a Mercer chapter began when she attended a conference at Rutgers on minority women in higher education. She was asked to approach our college president with the idea of starting an ACE Net chapter here. "We are planning to see what types of activities you are interested in here at Mercer," she said, encouraging all to give their feedback.

In a brief talk Tom Wilfrid said that 30 years ago, "The world was significantly out of balance," when it came to the numbers of women in leadership positions. "The same movement to develop women leaders is good not only for the women but for the institutions and the students who get to benefit from the contributions that women leaders make."

Guest speaker Linda Milstein, outreach and community development director at Brookdale Community College, formerly worked in Mercer's noncredit division. She described the ACE Net organization and its programs. She said there are 1200 community colleges in the country, and within the next five years, 400 presidencies will be vacant. "We need to identify and bring forward all the talent that is needed."

Mercer's Diane Campbell gave a dynamic talk -- about the challenges of leadership positions, how to prepare for them, and how to "work within our gifts."

She encouraged all to take advantage of the "transitional people" who can change our lives -- those who are the gatekeepers. "When they open the door you have to have the courage to go forward. You have to recognize the value of timing. Sometimes this is the moment and if you don't go through at this moment the door may close and it may never open again."

Her main points for success are: have a vision and a plan; make the necessary preparations; recognize transformational people in your life; recognize the value of timing; support other women and recognize the gifts of women who are different from you; have mentors; learn how to deal with disappointment and adversity; have people around that love you; build a support system; and love yourself.

Director of PASS programs Khalida Haqq.
Guest speaker Linda Milstein of Brookdale Community College
Dean Diane Campbell
Staff and faculty members enjoyed the luncheon and speakers.

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