2018 A2MEND Women Leadership Institute
Leadership Institute for Today’s Professional Woman
The A2MEND Women’s Leadership Institute focuses on essential leadership development for women participants’ internal strengths as well as external contextual intelligence in higher education that are necessary for leadership success. The day-long session provides leadership assessment, strengths and practical skill building, stereotype threat mitigation, and development for leaders’ internal edge and balance.
Dr. Ding-Jo H. Currie serves as Distinguished Faculty in the Higher Educational Leadership Program at CSUF College of Education. As a nationally and internationally recognized leader, Dr. Currie has over 30 years of experience in the community colleges under various roles. She had retired as Chancellor of Coast Colleges with oversight of three outstanding colleges in Orange County, California. She was also the President of Coastline Community College, a premiere leader in technology and distance learning.
Dr. Currie has been called upon to lead in distinguished leadership roles such as Board Chair of American Association of Community Colleges and Board of Director for American Council of Education (ACE), Chair of Advisory Panel for College board (CCAP), and she is currently serving as Board member, Women on the Move Network, Board member of Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), Board member of Air War University of US Air Force, and active on many other local organizations. Dr. Currie has been the recipient of many prestigious local and national awards, including the Lovejoy Mentor Award, Women Helping Women Award, the Outstanding Chinese Educator Award, the Small Business Administration District Director’s Award, the Visionary of the Year Award, the award for Woman of the Year in Community Colleges, Outstanding Alumni Award, Manchester University and Wright State University, and many more. Dr. Currie obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in Intercultural/International Education. She also holds degrees in Mathematics, Psychology from Manchester University and Masters Degree in Personnel Counseling from Wright State University.
Dr. Helen Benjamin
Helen Benjamin retired from the Contra Costa Community College District (District) after 26.5 years of service in the district and the last 11.5 years as chancellor. She began her career as a public school teacher, followed by administrative and teaching positions at Bishop College (undergraduate alma mater) and Cedar Valley College, one of the seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District. She came to Contra Costa in 1990 when she joined Los Medanos College as Dean of Language Arts and Humanistic Studies and held progressively higher level positions, including district vice chancellor for educational programs and services, interim president of Los Medanos College and president of Contra Costa College.
Dr. Benjamin earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, where she is being honored as outstanding alumna this April..
Dr. Benjamin has participated in a wide variety of professional and community organizations at the local, state and national levels. She is co-author of the recently released book on leadership with Darroch Young entitled Harvest from the Vineyard: Lessons Learned from the Vineyard Symposium and co-editor and contributor to the Chocolate Truth: An Anthology of Perspectives from Community College CEOs.
Dr. Shirley Pippims
Dr. Shirley Pippins joined Academic Search in 2016 as a senior consultant. Prior to this, Dr. Pippins served as president of two community colleges (Thomas Nelson in Hampton, Virginia and Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York), as a Sr. Vice President of Programs and Services at the American Council on Education (ACE) and as president of Victory University in Memphis, Tennessee. Recently, she took a leave from her nine-year tenure on the board of CAEL and assisted the organization as a Senior Fellow. In this role, she was instrumental in informing colleges and universities located across the country regarding the power of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). She also served as the two-time chair of the Commission for Women at the American Council on Education (ACE), Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and Vice Chair of HERS, an organization dedicated to creating and sustaining women leaders in higher education. In these leadership roles and volunteer capacities, Dr. Pippins has been actively involved in identifying and developing talent necessary to achieve and sustain excellence in higher education. Dr. Pippins currently serves as faculty for two nationally recognized leadership development programs: the Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) with UC Berkeley and Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute, which supports women of color. Both programs provide opportunities for the strategic development of talent pools for senior administrative positions within higher education.
She holds an Ed.D from Columbia University Teachers College, a M.A.T. from Manhattanville College, and a M.A. from the University of Illinois. Dr. Pippins is a Phi Beta Kappa of the University of Illinois. Over the course of her career, Dr. Pippins has identified and/or developed talented individuals for leadership positions in the institutions she has led