Join the International Women’s Day celebration on March 8 at 5:30 p.m. with Ship’s virtual leadership Seminar, “From Challenge to Change: Leading the Next Generation of Women for Change in a Global Economy.”

Five leading female African American college presidents/administrators will lead the discussion, focusing on the the them “A changed world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.” They will provide guidance in how authentic leaders support gender equity in academic institutions.

Seminar Panelists :

  • Dr. Laurie Carter, President, Shippensburg University
  • Dr. Vernell A. Bennett-Fairs, President, LeMoyne-Owen College
  • Dr.  Muriel Howard, Former President of American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and SUNY Buffalo
  • Dr. Maria Lumpkin- Interim President, St. Augustine University
  • Dr. Anna Ponder VP, Development, University of South Carolina Beaufort
Who should attend? 
  • A professional woman seeking leadership lessons
  • A PASSHE college student between the ages of 18 – 35
  • Anyone interested in learning more about how you can support gender equity in academia
Join the virtual seminar:

Speaker Bios

Dr. Laurie A. Carter

Dr. Laurie A. Carter became Shippensburg University’s 17th president in 2017. Since that time, she has been a tireless champion for students and their success. She has fortified student success efforts by creating a first-year experience program, a first-generation college students program, a comprehensive student success center, and an academic center for student-athletes. These efforts collectively increased retention by 6% in three years.  Carter has worked to integrate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of the university creating an executive level Chief Diversity Officer, and  developing new programming including a State-wide Black Male Symposium and an Anti-Racism Institute.

Prior to her presidential appointment, Carter served as executive vice president and university counsel for Eastern Kentucky University. Before her appointment at EKU, she held various inaugural leadership positions during her 25 years of service at The Juilliard School including Juilliard’s first African-American administrator.  She developed the institution’s student affairs program, initiated diversity initiatives, created the Office of the General Counsel and co-created the Jazz Studies program which included the development of an international touring program.

Carter serves as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Keystone Health Board of Directors, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Board, a Millennium Leadership Institute steering committee member and Chair of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission President’s Council. She attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, received her masters from William Paterson College, and earned her JD from Rutgers University.

Dr. Vernell A. Bennett-Fairs

Dr. Vernell A. Bennett-Fairs became the 13th president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Janaury 2021. Before LeMoyne-Owen College, Dr. Bennett-Fairs served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Delta State University. During her tenure at DSU, Dr. Bennett-Fairs transformed DSU’s Office of Admissions’ recruitment operations and marketing. Her all-hands-on-deck approach to recruitment fostered successful collaborations across the campus and community. Dr. Bennett-Fairs began her postsecondary career at Kentucky State University spanning 20 years with her final role as the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Dr. Muriel A. Howard 

Dr. Muriel A. Howard joined Academic Search, Inc in 2018 as a leadership consultant to support and advise higher education leaders. In 2017, she retired as President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) after 8 years of service. Dr. Howard was the first African American to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington D. C. and the first female President /CEO of the American Association of State colleges and Universities. Previously, she served as the President of Buffalo State College (SUNY) from 1996 -2009.  Dr. Howard holds a B. A. Degree in sociology from the College of Staten Island (CUNY) and received a Master of Education degree and a Ph.D. in organization, administration and policy from the University at Buffalo (SUNY). She is also the recipient of a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and holds seven honorary degrees.

Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin

Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin is an innovative higher education executive, transformative leader, and experienced academician who currently serves as interim president at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU). Dr. Lumpkin served as the university’s chief operating officer managing institutional operations and stewarding matters of policy and governance. Dr. Lumpkin has recently been credited with a $5.9 million increase in net assets, the forgiveness of $20 million in debt, and leading the team that procured a $3.5 million Emergency Assistance grant from the United States Department of Education.

In her more than two decades of experience in higher education, Dr. Lumpkin’s compelling record of measurable successes includes serving in progressive leadership roles in two of the largest university systems in the nation — the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). She also worked in the Atlanta University Center (AUC), the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) consortium in the country.

Dr. Lumpkin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Saint Augustine’s University, a Master of Urban Studies degree from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA). She also holds certification from Harvard University School of Divinity’s Institute for Case Teaching.

Dr. Anna Ponder 

Dr. Anna Ponder, Ph.D. Vice Chancellor for Advancement Executive Director, University of South Carolina Beaufort Education Foundation Adjunct Professor, Political Science In her role at the helm of university advancement, Dr. Ponder oversees development, marketing, communications and press, alumni affairs, government affairs, and community affairs strategies for the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) Dr. Ponder teaches Introduction to American Politics or The Price of Freedom: Restoring Civility to American Politics each fall. In her career, Dr. Ponder has served as Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Institute, Director of Marketing and Investor Relations for several hedge fund firms.  Dr. Ponder holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Language and European History from Spelman College, a Master’s degree in International Economics and African Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University, where she focused on African Politics, African-American Politics, and Contemporary Political Theory.