Dr. Nicole Stokes-DuPass, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Diversity and Professor of Sociology, has been named a member of The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions inaugural cohort. The goal of the program is to help mentor and mold future university presidents at minority-serving institutions. The group will be hosting the first Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Aspiring Leaders Forum from Friday, November 17 to Sunday, November 19.
Stokes-DuPass learned about the opportunity through her positions as the Pennsylvania State Chairperson for the American Council on Education (ACE) Women's Network. According to Stokes-DuPass, the application progress was rigorous, requiring institutional support, letters of recommendations from current university presidents, the possibility of applying for a university presidency within 5-10 years of completing the program, and an institutional case study that included a proposed five-year strategic plan, development/revenue budget, and marketing plan to address the challenges and opportunities facing Minority Serving Institutions in general. In the end, Stokes-DuPass was accepted into the program, along with 20 others individuals from unique universities.
“I was absolutely honored and thrilled to be selected for this amazing new opportunity,” Stokes-DuPass said. “It is a bit daunting as our universities are facing many challenges in our current social, economic, and political climate. Despite these challenges, it is an exciting time to learn more about how higher education in general is changing and how I and other future leaders will learn in the program how to rise up and overcome these challenges to create high quality and affirming educational opportunities for the students we serve.”
According to The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, hosted through the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, the MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum is a three-day mentoring program developed by the Center for Minority Serving Institutions that will create a space for prominent MSI leaders to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.
“The fantastic aspect of this program so far has been the mentoring,” Stokes-DuPass said. “It is designed to be a two-year mentoring relationship with currently serving presidents that formally begins at the convening this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania, but will continue to develop and deepen over time. Shortly after my acceptance into the program, I was assigned a mentor who is a current president at a Minority Serving Institution, given a reading list on higher education leadership development theory, and my institutional case study capstone project, which is due this weekend when we all meet at Penn.”
“My mentor and I have had 3-4 virtual meetings so far to discuss my project and to discuss approach strategies. She has been very helpful to me in terms of identifying my leadership strengths and additional skills and experiences that I would like to add and develop. So far, so great! It has been an amazing professional development opportunity thus far.”