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Executive Director: Amy Jaffe Barzach

Amy Jaffe Barzach joined The Women’s Advancement Initiative as director in November 2011. Under her leadership, The Women’s Advancement Initiative has successfully launched its innovative LEAD. Program for undergraduate students in 2012, and continues the success of its Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders and Dorothy Goodwin Scholars Program.  Developed in collaboration with partners in academic and student affairs, the LEAD. Program features pragmatic training in leadership and essential life skills, career connections and experiences, and one-on-one and small-group mentoring to help participants grow as individuals and as leaders. This distinctive opportunity in women’s education was inspired by the way students were challenged, empowered, and supported at Hartford College for Women (HCW).

Amy brings a passion for inclusive leadership and inclusive communities to The Women’s Advancement Initiative,  in addition to professional experience in marketing, community relations, non-profit management, and executive coaching. Amy was Founding Executive Director of Boundless Playgrounds, the first national non-profit dedicated to helping communities create inclusive, barrier-free playgrounds where children, with and without disabilities, could play and learn together. During Amy's tenure as its Founding Executive Director, this award-winning organization defined a new standard for playgrounds and partnered with 135 communities in 25 states to develop inclusive playgrounds at schools, parks, state parks, and hospitals.

When elected into Ashoka's Global Fellowship of Social Entrepreneurs in 2002, Amy was one of the first Ashoka Fellows in North America. Before founding Boundless Playgrounds, Barzach served as Vice President of Marketing for The Hutensky Group, Marketing Manager for the Rouse Company, and Regional Marketing Director for the Pyramid Companies.  In addition, she did training for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center in Washington, D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University at Albany, and an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

"Thanks to the support of people like you, The Women’s Advancement Initiative continues to grow and advance its mission of enhancing women’s education, empowering women to lead, and building community. It is a personal and professional pleasure to serve as the Director of The Women’s Advancement Initiative at the University of Hartford as we work to continue the legacy of Hartford College for Women.”


Program Manager, LEAD Director:
Shannon Mumley

Shannon Mumley attended undergrad at Eastern Connecticut State University with a major in Communications and a minor in Business. From there she gathered experience working for different companies doing marketing. Then she strategically placed herself in the University of Hartford community. She is now happily working and facilitating our LEAD sessions. Shannon will be finishing her masters in Organizational Psychology May 2017. She looks forward to her future here at the University of Hartford.

"Everyday, I help forge the leaders of our future. Working with the +100 plus amazing students allows me to share my experiences and mold program that will shape their lives. I am teaching young women how to build resumes, network, present and ask for a raise. This way when they leave college and step in to the real world they are prepared! I love what I do and am excited to see how our future has in store." –Shannon

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it" –Edith Wharton
I am the candle some days and others I get to be the mirror for the candles that were before me.