Spring 2019
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"It brings me joy to know that we are closing our program year better and stronger than ever."
- Dr. Lisa Jones

The ACEWNFL is committed to helping advance women in higher education. Since this is the last newsletter of the academic year, it is fitting to do a quick recap of our exciting network. We launched two new initiatives this academic year.

The "Spend-A-Day" Shadowing program and the virtual book club debuted in spring 2019. Other ACEWNFL signature programs include campus-based programs at each of the 35 member institutions, fall regional meetings in each of the three regions of the network (North, Central, and South), and the annual state conference.

In terms of growth, we welcomed a new institution to the network. Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) joined the ACE Women’s Network of Florida, and FGCU President Michael Martin nominated Ms. Monique McKay, University Ombuds and Assistant to the President, as FGCU’s Institutional Representative. We now have a total of 35 institutions of which 34% are from the SUS, 31% are from the State College System, and 34% are independent universities and colleges. We continue to have committed presidential sponsors including:
  • Dr. Judy Genshaft, President, University of South Florida
  • Mr. Kevin Hyde, J.D., Interim President, Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Dr. Wendy Libby, President, Stetson University
  • Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President, Florida Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Mark Rosenberg, President, Florida International University
  • Dr. Thad Seymour, Jr., Interim President, University of Central Florida
It brings me joy to know that we are closing our program year better and stronger than ever. We look forward to starting the next academic year with the same goal in mind which is moving the needle in higher education leadership. Have a great summer and I look forward to starting this important work up again in August.

Yours in service to women in the great state of Florida higher education, 
Lisa Jones

IR Regional Coordinators

To continue to meet the needs of the IRs and support the regional meetings, the Florida Network also created a new executive board position: IR Regional Coordinator. The regional coordinators will review program plans and annual reports, provide feedback to strengthen program plans, identify host institutions for the regional meetings, as well as advise and support the host in coordinating the regional meetings.

North Region IR Coordinator:
Dr. Gwendolyn Singleton
Dr. Gwendolyn Singleton is Chairperson and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida A&M University (FAMU). Dr. Singleton received her Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from Howard University.  In August 2011, she was elected as the Chairperson of the Department of Psychology at FAMU, becoming the first FAMU alumnus elected to this position.

Central Region IR Coordinator:
Janet Park Balanoff
Janet Park Balanoff is Associate Vice President of Equity and Diversity and Title IX Coordinator at Seminole State College of Florida, where she is responsible for equity, compliance with Title IX, and the College’s robust diversity programs in the community and on campus. Her longstanding career has included positions at the University of Florida, Florida State University, State University System's Board of Regents office, and University of Central Florida.

South Region IR Coordinator: 
Karen D. Pain, Ph.D. 

Karen Pain began a formal career in higher education at Palm Beach State College in 2000. Her teaching and leadership roles have included a full-time faculty position, curriculum writing and review, and numerous workshops. In her current position as Director, Assessment and Special Projects; Pain leads faculty, staff, and administrators in accreditation, assessment, and quality improvement initiatives.

2019 State Conference
On Thursday, April 11th, 2019 the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Network of Florida (FL Network) hosted its second annual state conference at Stetson University in DeLand, FL. Forty-three women leaders and partners from over 20 Florida higher education institutions participated. An estimated 25-40 additional women leaders from Florida institutions participated via live stream.

The day began with a musical welcome by Stetson University student, Ms. Abby Goodin. This was followed by an introduction by Dr. Lua Hancock of Dr. Wendy Libby, president of Stetson University and one of the FL Network’s presidential sponsors. Dr. Libby gave enlightening opening remarks to share her remarkable leadership journey. Dr. Libby and Dr. Lisa Jones of the University of Central Florida facilitated the event's welcome.

Opening keynote speaker, Dr. Victoria Rich, Senior Associate Vice President of USF Health and Dean of USF’s College of Nursing, gave a rousing presentation on the power of mentoring and its impact on career advancement. Dr. Gwendolyn Singleton of Florida A&M University then provided an overview of the network's shadowing and mentoring programs. A Women in Leadership Panel featured four accomplished women leaders who provided insights into their career paths and strategies for success.

Three skill-building sessions focused on the following topics: "Rounding out your portfolio: Skills acquisition to meet your personal and professional goals," hosted by Ms. Julie Holley, Senior Executive Search Consultant for Greenwood/Asher & Associates; "Being an impactful mentor," hosted by Dr. Victoria Rich of the University of South Florida; and "Being a great mentee" hosted by Ms. Lizzie Dement and M. Jes Day of Stetson University.

Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services and the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities co-sponsored the conference.
Dr. Wendy Libby (left), president of Stetson University, who shared her remarkable leadership journey at the conference.
Dr. Victoria Rich delivers an empowering keynote Address.       
Women in Leadership Panel facilitated by Dr. Sue Ryan, Dr. Elizabeth Bejar, Dr. Rosalie Richards, and Dr. Janet Balanoff
Dr. Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida and recipient of the Pioneer in Higher Education Award.
The network launched two new awards during the state conference:
Inaugural Pioneer in Higher Education Award: Presented to Dr. Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida. This is the network’s highest honor.
Outstanding Service by an Institutional Representative Award: Presented to Dr. Lisa Valentino, Associate Vice President for Academic Services at Seminole State College.
Motivational Quotes
A few motivational quotes shared during the state conference included:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”. – Paulo Coelho
“Your Best is good Enough.” – Keynote speakers Dr. Libby and Dr. Rich

"Spend-A-Day" Shadowing Program

The "Spend-A-Day" program provides women the opportunity to shadow leaders carrying out their role and responsibilities and engage with leaders to debrief/discuss what they observed.  Thus, this program provides a truly unique professional development opportunity for a behind the scenes, “day in the life” type of experience for a limited number of select women in higher education across the state. This program included an esteemed group of 29 leaders- 5 presidents, 11 Provosts/Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, 3 Deans, 3 Vice Provosts, 3 Vice Presidents, 2 Associate Vice Presidents, and 1 Chief Diversity Officer. 14 participants were placed with leaders, proving a successful launch of the inaugural program.

Virtual Book Club

The Florida Network's virtual book club kicked off this spring 2019 semester. The purpose of the book club is to connect women in the network and facilitate the discussion of relevant topics in higher education. The inaugural book chosen by the executive board was Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes by Margaret Heffernan.

Special thanks to book club coordinators Lua Hancock and Annie Becker, who were instrumental in getting this initiative off the ground!

ACE Women's Network of Florida Program Spotlights

Seminole State College 
Dr. M. Lisa Valentino of Seminole State College was recognized at the State Conference with the "Outstanding Service Award 2019" for her "Women Moving Forward" program. Highlights of this program include:
  • Endorsement of program goals received from Seminole State College president, Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz.
  • A "Lessons in Leadership" panel was held at Convocation.
  • Hosted a kickoff workshop for ACE, including presenters, a slideshow of inspirational women leaders, table talks, lessons in leadership, and a discussion that followed.
  • Creation of two book clubs.
  • "Finding the Connections" networking workshop.
  • "Committee Roles: Stepping Stones to Leadership" panel.
  • Creation of "Women Moving Forward" website, which contains information on events, meetings, conferences, and community organizations.
More information on this program can be found at
Dr. Lisa Valentino presenting on the "Women Moving Forward" program.
Florida Polytechnic University
November 7, 2018: ACE Fellowship Luncheon: The ACE Women's Network of Florida at Florida Polytechnic University Campus Committee sponsored a Fellowship Luncheon to discuss the mission and vision of the network followed by a discussion.
February 11, 2019: Girls in Science Meet and Greet: Florida Polytechnic University Campus Committee hosted a "Meet and Greet" for the International Day for Women and Girls in Science. Approximately 50 women attended the event.
Left Photo: Florida Polytechnic University's Campus Committee at the ACE Fellowship Luncheon
Right Photo: Florida Polytechnic University's Girls in Science Meet and Greet
The University of Central Florida 
October 15, 2018: Best Negotiating Practices Panel: Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, Dr. Christine Hanlon, and Mrs. Belinda Hyppolite discussed specific skills and emphasized the importance of remembering that ACE Women's Network at UCF is a "network" for all women in campus. Approximately 43 women attended the event.
March 4, 2019: March Panel for Women Faculty: Jana Jasinski, Stella Sung, and Linda Walters presented at the University of Central Florida, focusing on the journey from the classroom to administration.
Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, Mrs. Belinda Hyppolite, and Dr. Christine Hanlon at the ACE Negotiating Panel

Leadership Development

HERS Institute
Tara Mohr's "Playing Big"
Women's Leadership Success in Higher Education
AAC&U Millennium Leadership Initiative
President Speaks: Creating Leadership Pathways for Women in Higher Ed

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From The Editor
Dr. DeLaine Priest, University of Central Florida,
Associate Vice President of Student Success
Email: Phone: (407) 823-6250