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MI ACE Conference Keynote Speakers

June 4 Keynote Speaker: Mona Hanna-Attisha
First generation Iraqi immigrant and Detroit-raised pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha is the whistleblower who exposed the dangerous levels of lead in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water after testing blood lead levels in its children. Dr. Hanna-Attisha announced her research findings to the national press and then took further action, including founding the Flint Child Health and Development Fund, which has raised millions of dollars to date. She is director of the pediatrics residency at the Hurley Medical Center and an assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where she leads Hurley Children’s Hospital Public Health Initiative, an innovative program that provides the public health tools to advocate for Flint’s children’s healthy development. In 2016, TIME Magazine named Mona one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
June 4 Luncheon Speaker: Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D.

Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea became the seventh president of Mott Community College  in August 2014. Mott Community College has a legacy of student success and academic excellence that Dr. Walker-Griffea is proud to join. Recently under her leadership, Mott Community College was once again selected by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program as one of the nation’s top community colleges.

Walker-Griffea has been a long-time advocate for collegiate student success, serving community college students in various capacities for more than 20 years. Dr. Beverly, as she prefers to be called, has a passion for ensuring all students have access to quality, affordable, and effective learning experiences. She chose to share her talents with community college institutions because of her deep connection to the community college mission and commitment to meet the academic, training, and lifelong learning needs of communities by educating all citizens that desire to learn. She believes community colleges must support the local community’s economic viability by preparing a skilled and successful workforce.

Since joining Mott Community College, Dr. Beverly has worked together with the MCC family of faculty, staff, administrators, and students to chart the College’s preferred future. Together MCC has established new programming, created structured student completion pathways, reduced potential enrollment and retention barriers, revamped the College website, improved and remodeled facilities and continued to foster a safe and healthy college environment. Under Dr. Beverly’s tenure, Mott Community College has maintained the legacy of serving Flint and Genesee County as a stable foundation, anchor for the region and a safe haven for MCC students.

Prior to joining the MCC family, Dr. Walker-Griffea served as Senior Vice President for Student Services at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, Vice President of Student Affairs at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia; Dean of Student Development at Houston Community College-Central Campus; and Interim Dean of Health and Environmental Sciences at Spokane Community College. Additionally, while at Spokane Community College, Dr. Beverly earned tenure in three years as a counseling faculty member leading the award-winning Single-Parent Program, and served as Chair for the Institutional Diversity Department.

Service is important to Dr. Beverly. She serves nationally as the Immediate Past President for the American Association for Women in Community Colleges and as a member of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors, as well as Chair of AACC’s Leadership and Professional Development Commission. She also Chairs the Oklahoma State University Division of Institutional Diversity, Advisory Council.

Locally, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Flint Health Coalition, McLaren-Flint Hospital, Carriage Town Ministries, Metro Community Development, and the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA). In addition, Dr. Beverly is a member of several committees for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce including the Operating Board of Directors, Genesee Global Action Team, and the Regional Leadership Council. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Flint Rotary Club, and the Flint Chapter of the NAACP.

Dr. Beverly is the first female and first African American president in Mott Community College’s history. She is committed to academic excellence, student access and success, dynamic industry partnerships, and significantly impacting local economies. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, she holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Child Development from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Broadcasting from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

June 5 Keynote Speaker: Judith Simpson White

Dr. Judith S. White has been president and executive director of Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) since June 2005. During the early years of her tenure, the signature HERS Institute was redesigned and expanded to three locations, offering an enhanced curriculum to serve 200 women faculty and administrators annually. She has led HERS’ efforts to recruit more intensively among women of color and women at historically minority-serving institutions and community colleges.

She now leads HERS’ partnership initiatives, including the 2012 and 2014 HERS Summits for Women Presidents and Chancellors; a research collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership; and most recently a $450K grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for supporting women in STEM Leadership. Dr. White was a co-author of the HERS Research Report, Stories from the Summit Trail: Leadership Journeys of Senior Women in Higher Education, and author of articles about HERS and women’s leadership topics.  Additionally, she currently writes a monthly column for Inside Higher Education, “Leading with HERS.”

Dr. White has been a Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), serving as Chair of the Campus Women Lead Initiative.  She served on the board of Re: Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women).  She has been active with the American Council on Education (ACE) Moving the Needle Initiative and presented with the ACE State Women’s Network at the International Leadership Association Women and Leadership Conferences, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Before her tenure at HERS, Dr. White was an administrator and faculty member at Duke University, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She earned her A.B. at Princeton, M.A. at Columbia, and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Dr. White is a HERS Bryn Mawr alumna of 1996.

June 5 Closing Speaker: Kathy Beauregard

Kathy Beauregard, the Director of Athletics at Western Michigan University, has been involved with the Broncos in several capacities over the course of the past 37 years and is in her 21st season as Athletic Director in 2017-18.

Beauregard is the longest serving athletic director in the Mid-American Conference and is just one of eight female Athletic Directors at the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. In addition to her responsibilities overseeing the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, Beauregard sits on the President’s Senior Leadership Cabinent, assisting WMU President Dr. Edward B. Montgomery in decision making process as an advisor on his leadership counsel.

Beauregard initially came to WMU in 1979 as head women’s gymnastics coach. In nine seasons (1980-88), she produced two MAC title teams and was twice named the conference’s coach of the year.

Western Michigan has seen success on and off the field under Beauregard’s guidance as well facility expansions and upgrades. In total, WMU has won 53 MAC championships (27 female, 26 male), a CCHA championship in hockey, and 32 teams have made NCAA Tournament appearances. The WMU football team has been invited to six postseason bowls during her tenure, including a New Year’s Six bowl as WMU made an appearance in the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Across all sports, Western Michigan has produced numerous award winners, including All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, a Campbell Trophy and a Wuerffel Trophy recipient, and collected countless conference honors.

Beauregard herself has received multiple awards in recognition of her outstanding service and leadership, including the Gerald R. Ford Sportsman of the Year Award, presented by the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame; the Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award, presented by the YWCA of Kalamazoo; the Under Armour Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics; being named Athletic Director of the Year for the Football Subdivision in the Central Region by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics; the Athena Award from the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce; the “Glass Ceiling Award” from the Kalamazoo Network; an induction into the Kalamazoo Loy Norrix High School Athletic Hall of Fame; and Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater Hope College.

The Bronco football program soared to new heights in 2016, going undefeated during the regular season with a 13-0 record and making an appearance in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl as the Group of 5 champion, becoming the first MAC school to participate in the bowl. It was just the second time a MAC school had been invited to a New Year’s Six bowl. Western Michigan earned its first ever top 25 ranking and finished the season No. 15 in the Associated Press poll. WMU also became just the second MAC school ever to host ESPN College GameDay, as the crew took over the lawn in front of Sangren Hall to preview the Western Michigan versus Buffalo matchup on Nov. 19. In total, the 2016 football season brought the university and athletic department over $80 million in media exposure. The Bronco hockey team also had its share of success, finishing the 2016-17 season ranked No. 10, as WMU had two major men’s programs ranked in the top 15 in the nation.

For the first time in school history, Western Michigan was named the winner of the 2016-17 Mid-American Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award. WMU posted an overall athletic grade point average (GPA) of 3.253 for the 2016-17 academic year based on 398 students in 15 MAC sports. For the fifth time since 2007-08, Western Michigan also won the MAC’s Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) Men’s Academic Achievement Award. The FAR Awards are designed to recognize the conference institution with the overall highest-grade point average (GPA) rank by gender.

Under Beauregard Bronco student-athletes have posted 20 consecutive semesters of a combined overall GPA above 3.00. The student-athlete population, in any given year, ranges from between 350-400 students.

WMU athletic facilities have greatly improved under Beauregard’s leadership. The $8-million dollar Bill Brown Football Alumni Center and the $21-million Seelye Athletic Indoor Center have benefited numerous sports teams and provide top-notch facilities for Bronco student-athletes. Since 2013 alone, over $3 million dollars has been invested in the Bill Brown football facility to update the team room, weight room, renovate hallways, coaches offices and suites, as well as the general decor of the building with wall graphics, making it the premier facility in the MAC. The turf at Waldo Stadium as well as the turf in the Seeyle Indoor facility were also replaced in 2013.

Other major facility projects over the last decade include $2.2 million into the renovation of Hyames Field at Robert J. Bobb Stadium, the transformation of Baker Field into the WMU Soccer Complex, replacement of the indoor track in Read Fieldhouse, the replacement of the outdoor surface at Kanly Track, locker room updates to Lawson Ice Arena, new basketball court at University Arena, men’s basketball locker room expansion and upgrade, as well as the installation of video boards at Lawson Ice Arena, University Arena and Waldo Stadium which features a main video board and two auxilary videoboards. The Waldo Stadium video boards total $2 million dollars.

During the spring of 2012, Beauregard was awarded the 2012 YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a woman in the community who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the well-being of the community, state or nation, and has a record of accomplishment, leadership and positive role modeling as a volunteer and/or in a career.

Following the 2010-11 year Beauregard was recognized by NACDA at the national convention, receiving the Under Armour Award and was named the Athletic Director of the Year for the Football Subdivision in the Central Region by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The department captured the 2010-11 Jacoby Trophy, recognizing the most successful women’s athletic program overall. The Broncos also finished second in Reese Trophy voting (the men’s athletics equivalent of the Jacoby) in 2010-11.  Those two milestones along with WMU’s success in the classroom and in the Kalamazoo was reason enough for the Mid-American Conference to award Western Michigan the Cartwright Award during the fall of 2011, based upon the criteria of excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship.

Heavily involved in her profession, Beauregard assumed the chair position of the NCAA Olympic Sports Liaison Committee in 2001, a position which she held for two years. She represented WMU as a member of the NCAA Championships Cabinet and NCAA Football Bowl Certification Committee and has also served on the NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The Broncos won the Jacoby Cup Trophy in back-to-back years in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Under Beauregard’s direction, WMU also won its 100th MAC title all-time in 2005-06. In just her second year (1998-99), Beauregard provided support which helped the Bronco men’s athletic squads jump from 10th to first place in the Reese Cup standings, giving Western Michigan a share of its first men’s all-sports trophy in 17 years.

Previously the senior associate athletic director (1993-97), she supervised all revenue sports, the University’s compliance with NCAA rules, academic services, student-athlete welfare, and athletic marketing and communications.

Beauregard has been active in numerous community service organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Go Red for Women, the American Heart Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Glowing Embers Girl Scouts Council and the Boys & Girls Club.

Beauregard is a native of Kalamazoo and graduate of Loy Norrix High School.  She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College in 1979 and a master’s degree from WMU in 1981.

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