Academic Women's Forum


All faculty, academic staff, post-docs, librarians and graduate students who identify as women are cordially invited to participate in the MSU Academic Women's Forum. The forum has been created to provide a safe-space to connect, build community and explore issues that are relevant to the success, support and empowerment of academic women at Michigan State University.

Academic Women's Forum programs and seminars are open to all. 

Current Events

Tuesday, January 15, 2019: Boundary Negotiation: The Role of Personal and Institutional Leadership 
(Register for this session at:
3:30-5:00 p.m. Chittenden Hall, Room 110 (466 W. Circle Drive) and via Zoom

In the spring of 2017, Melissa McDaniels ran a workshop at the Academic Women’s Forum entitled, “Boundary Negotiation as an Engine for Success in the Academic Workplace and in Life.” This year, McDaniels will return to talk about the important role that leadership – personal and institutional – plays in supporting healthy boundary negotiation. Interested participants should come prepared to think and talk about the intersection of their formal and informal leadership roles and their ability to negotiate boundaries and support boundary negotiation in others. (Attendance at last year’s workshop is not required for participation).


Tuesday, February 19, 2019: A Key to Professional Success: Micro-Mentoring
(Register for this session at
3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Chittenden Hall, Room 110 (466 W. Circle Drive) and via Zoom

Mentoring is one of the key components for promoting career success. It has been increasingly recognized as a bilateral exchange between a mentee and a network of mentors, with one of the primary goals being to increase the knowledge, skills, and strategic moves of mentees in preparation for advancement in current or future professional objectives. However, not everyone is comfortable asking someone to be their mentor when they do not really know the individual, or are not seeking a long-term commitment. Developing shorter-term mentoring connections, or “micro-mentoring”, can provide links to advice and information without committing to a formal mentoring relationship.

For micro-mentoring to work, the mentee needs to have a clear vision of the type of help they are looking for and have some idea of who has knowledge in that area. Speaker Dr. Beronda Montgomery will begin the session by providing a foundation to help participants determine both short and long-term mentoring needs. Using these skills, participants will then have the opportunity to engage in their own micro-mentoring session.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Intercultural Communication Skills for a Globalized World
(Register for this session at
3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Snyder-Phillips Hall, C304 and via Zoom

In today's globalized world, it is crucial that one be able to communicate appropriately and effectively across cultures. The importance of intercultural competencies such as motivation, tolerance of ambiguity, empathy, curiosity, open-mindedness, knowledge and skill cannot be overstated. In this workshop, we will explore sources of cultural misunderstandings and strategies for overcoming them. Specific attention will be paid to how these competencies are critical in academic settings, such as classrooms, advising and research.

Speaker: Amber Cordell, Educational Programs Manager, Office for International Students and Scholars


Wednesday, April 17, 2019: Microaggressions and Internalized Sexism: Strategies for Reflection and Response
(Register for this session at
3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Chittenden Hall, Room 110 (466 W. Circle Drive) and via Zoom

In this session we will discuss strategies for identifying and working with power inequalities and stratification within shared identity categories. Activities will include deconstructing common workplace dynamics and exploring strategies for addressing microaggressions through storytelling; power mapping; and roleplaying.

Presenters: Wenda Bauchspies, Dessie Clark & Sara Bijani, Center for Gender in Global Context



Beginning in the Spring 2019 semester, sessions of the Academic Women's Forum will be expanded to include a new component focusing on supporting women, GradAWF. 

The 30 minutes immediately following AWF sessions will continue the discussions for graduate students, facilitated by graduate students participating in the Graduate Student Life and Wellness Leadership Fellows Program. Additional registration is not required for GradAWF sessions.


Past EventsAcademic Women's Forum wordmark

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016


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The forum is co-sponsored by the MSU WorkLife Office, Office of the University Physician-Employee Assistance Program & Health4U, Academic Advancement Network, and Graduate Life & Wellness.