Rutgers GSE CMSI

CMSI Announces the Third Cohort of MSI Aspiring Leaders and their MSI Presidential Mentors


Brandy Jones  | | 848-932-0788

New Brunswick, NJ, January 13, 2022— The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) will be hosting its third MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum from Friday, April 29, 2022, to Sunday, May 1, 2022. MSI Aspiring Leaders is a three-day forum and two-year mentoring program that connects prominent Minority Serving Institution (MSI) leaders with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.

We are pleased to announce the next cohort of MSI Aspiring Leaders:

  • Suzette Brimmer, Houston Community College
  • Tamara Brown, University of North Texas
  • Yvonne Hernandez Friedman, University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Detris Honora Abelabu, Boston University 
  • Kristie Johnson, Martin University 
  • Wayne Knox, Huston-Tillotson University
  • Ame Lambert, Portland State University 
  • Marilú Marcillo, St. Peter’s University
  • Santiago Piñón, Texas Christian University
  • Bobbie Porter, California State University, Fullerton
  • Sakinah Rahman, Bryn Mawr College 
  • Andrea Rehn, Whittier College
  • Francine Toliver Edwards, Delaware State University
  • Kent Willis, The University of Texas at Tyler

Read more about the selected Aspiring Leaders here. 

The program will also feature the following MSI presidential mentors:

  • Roslyn Clark Artis, President, Benedict College
  • John Bassett, former President, Heritage University and Clark University
  • Colette Pierce Burnette, President, Huston-Tillotson University
  • Mildred García, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, former Chancellor California State University, Fullerton, and California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • Saul Jiménez-Sandoval, President, California State University, Fresno
  • Charlie Nelms, former Chancellor, Indiana University East, University of Michigan-Flint, and North Carolina Central University
  • Linda Oubré, President, Whittier College
  • Alvin Schexnider, President, Schexnider & Associates, LLC, former Chancellor Winston-Salem State University, and Norfolk State University
  • William Serrata, President, El Paso County Community College
  • Vinton Thompson, President Emeritus, Metropolitan College of New York
  • Rowena Tomaneng, President, San Jose City College
  • David Wilson, President, Morgan State University 

“Right now we’re seeing a decline in leaders hoping to become college and university presidents. We hope to reinvigorate the incoming generation and prepare them for success as they navigate the road to presidency,” shared Marybeth Gasman, CMSI Executive Director and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education.

Funded by the Kresge Foundation and the ECMC Foundation, the forum will include a variety of sessions on topics such as presidential fit, fundraising, mentoring strategies, trustee relationship management, and crisis communication and media management. Additionally, MSI Aspiring Leaders will have the chance to focus on real case studies to learn firsthand what it’s like to lead an institution. 

Following the forum, Aspiring Leaders and their presidential mentors will participate in a one-on-one relationship over two years, managed by CMSI. CMSI will provide benchmarks to be completed at various points throughout the mentoring relationship.

In an effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, the 2022 MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum will be hosted without program fees to all invited participants. In addition, all meals and materials will be provided by CMSI. 

About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) 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. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For more information about CMSI, please visit

Thursday, January 13, 2022
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