Rutgers GSE CMSI

MSI Aspiring Leaders Convene in Chicago

Philadelphia, Pa., October 8, 2018 — This weekend, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) will host a Mid-Program Convening for their MSI Aspiring Leaders program in Chicago, IL. The three-day event will take place from Friday, October 12 to Sunday, October 14 and will focus on cohort-building and addressing the distinct challenges associated with being a president of a Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

Similar to the format of the MSI Aspiring Leaders forum, the Mid-Program Convening will contain sessions that explore the various responsibilities and roles that college presidents may encounter during their tenure. With sessions ranging from presidential fundraising to government and state relations to managing institutional crises, Aspiring Leaders will engage in meaningful discussions that will provide them with best practices on how to effectively lead an MSI from presenters and presidential mentors with experiential expertise.

Throughout the program, there will be time allotted for Aspiring Leaders to engage with one another and to learn more about the individuals in their cohort.

“This convening will focus on building community and making connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities,” shared Marybeth Gasman, Director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions and Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education. “We believe that not only can Aspiring Leaders learn from their designated mentors and the invited speakers, but they can also learn from the other Aspiring Leaders in the room.”

Additionally, the program contains sessions aimed at understanding Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), two kinds of MSIs that are underexplored and often overlooked. These sessions will allow Aspiring Leaders to learn about the history and opportunities associated with these federally-designated institutions. 

“Leading an institution can be challenging; having the tools and understanding the techniques to address the issues that may arise are important. This convening will strengthen the peer network between Aspiring Leaders, ” shares Paola “Lola” Esmieu, Associate Director of Programs at the Center for Minority Serving Institutions.   

Supported by $815,000 from the ECMC FoundationThe Kresge Foundation, Apple, Samsung, HP, Intel, Pinterest and the Penn Executive Doctorate in Higher Education program, MSI Aspiring Leaders brings together prominent MSI leaders to engage with mid-career Aspiring Leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.
In an effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, MSI Aspiring Leaders is free of program fees to all invited participants. Participants also receive travel stipends to offset the cost of their travel and lodging.

About the Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The 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. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Monday, October 8, 2018
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