Women's Networking Association: Building Up Women Around You Panel


Women's Networking Association Presents: Building Up Women Around You Panel

A woman alone has power; collectively we have impact. By raising each other up and through the power of collaboration is how we will move forward, together, as women in the workforce. This panel will address how these women have experienced being lifted up by other women and how they lift other women up around them. How do you find your people? How do you amplify the voices of other women? What can you do, intentionally, to support the women around you?

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn from the examples of others.

2. Participants will learn about how women build other women up.

3. Participants will learn best practices. 

About the Speakers:

Amy Martin

Amy Martin is the Assistant Dean for Student Success Operations and Chief of Staff to the Associate Provost/Dean for Undergraduate Education at Michigan State University. Amy’s over 25 years of progressive leadership experience includes: researching women and leadership in higher education; advocating for and supporting equitable and student-centered academic communities on large, diverse campuses; tackling complex campus challenges; bridging the efforts of academic and student affairs; mapping and connecting a broad array of campus student success initiatives; and enacting strategic and inclusive leadership approaches. Amy earned a BA in Psychology at the University of Michigan, and her graduate degrees are from Eastern Michigan University (MA, Counseling - College Student Personnel) and the University of Maryland, College Park (Ph.D. - Higher Education and Leadership).

Brenda Nelson

Brenda Nelson is the Complex Dining Service Manager for East Neighborhood at Michigan State University. Brenda uses servant leadership principles to create a positive environment that promotes academic, personal, and professional success. She has supported and encouraged staff development at every level and constantly works to create a culture of love, compassion, and commitment. Brenda has delivered a multitude of moving presentations to encourage and motivate students and staff to define who they are and what passions drive them. The focus of her talks has been the concept of discovering and defining your authentic self.

Deborah Johnson

Deborah J. Johnson, Ph.D. (she/her) completed her doctorate at Northwestern University in human development and social policy. Currently, Professor of human development and family studies, she joined the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives as a faculty associate in 2015 and the inaugural Director of the Diversity Research Network since 2016. In 2020, Johnson served an interim term as Director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

Johnson leads the Diversity Research Network, a faculty centered campus-wide research centered networking and resource entity. Her efforts support faculty through these resources and facilitation, fundraising and a wide range of programming. She works with campus stakeholder units and interested faculty, staff, and student organizations to develop training and education efforts that address diversity broadly, and on racial literacy, specifically. She also works with faculty and campus units to develop diversity best practices pertaining to the recruitment, advancement, and retention of diverse faculty and academic leadership. Johnson's research emphasizes cultural adjustment and ethnic-racial dimensions of development, centrally in the area of racial/ethnic identity development and racial socialization in varying context, including young children, adolescents, and emerging adults principally among African-American and other ethnic children and families, domestically, and but also internationally (i.e., Caribbean, Zimbabwean, Australian, and Roma youth). Author of more than 90 publications including books, monographs, articles, and chapters. Her last three book volumes look at global and domestic issues of school, prejudice, and child rights. Newest volume, Handbook of Children and Prejudice: Integrating Research, Practice, and Policy (2019). Fitzgerald, H.E., Johnson, D.J., Qin, D.B., Villarruel, F.A., Norder, J. (Eds.). Springer. Her upcoming book on Re/Formation and Identity: The Intersectionality, of Development, Culture and Immigration, with emphasis on youth and families in global contexts.

Heather Shea

Heather came to MSU with a deep commitment to gender equity initiatives for students on college and university campuses, having recently worked as the Director of a Women’s Center in Idaho. She is committed to antiracist, intersectional feminism and working alongside college students who want to make the world a better place. She is a transplant to the midwest: she grew up in the western U.S., completed her undergraduate degrees and master’s degrees at Colorado State University. Heather completed her PhD at MSU in higher education administration. Her dissertation was a feminist narrative analysis of former college students’ engagement in a feminist play called The Vagina Monologues. In addition to working in Women*s Student Services, each summer she leads an undergraduate education abroad program called Learning, Culture, and Technology in Europe. Outside of campus, Heather loves to camp, hike, run, and garden. She is an avid reader and loves to travel to National Parks.