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UPenn Center Brings Together Researches and Practitioners from Minority Serving Institutions

August 23, 2017

The following article is from The Huffington Post

The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) recently announced its first cohort of the MSI Aspiring Leaders program. The three-day forum and mentoring program is designed to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, nonprofit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.

“This forum will celebrate the diversity of experiences from those in the nonprofit and education sectors and will cultivate collaborations that will build the next generation of MSI college presidents,” said Dr. Marybeth Gasman, director of the Center.

Developed by the Gasman and her staff to create a space for prominent Minority Serving Institutions’ (MSI) leaders, the MSI Aspiring Leaders program is supported by $765,000 in grants from the ECMC Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Penn Executive Doctorate program.

The 3-day forum will include discussions and workshops on topics including the presidential nomination process, managing relationships with faculty, using data to make decisions, fiscal management, strategic fundraising, assessing student learning, and navigating the media. 

Following the forum, mentors and their mentees will participate in a one-on-one relationship over two years. A part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, CMSI will facilitate these relationships and provide benchmarks to be completed at various points throughout the two years, with the hope that these relationships may be part of a future longitudinal study to measure the influence of such mentorship on mentees’ aspiring leaders’ career trajectories.

The structure of the MSI Aspiring Leaders program aims to cultivate future MSI presidents by strengthening pathways to leadership and building connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities.

The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions.

CMSI’s goals include elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities.

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