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Laura Johnson Initiative

The Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders

Created in 2008, The Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders is a leadership development program for women faculty and staff at the University of Hartford. In its inclusion of faculty and staff together, this popular program succeeds not only in building leadership and confidence, but also in fostering greater community on campus. Reflecting the legacy of Hartford College for Women, this program was named for Laura Johnson, a former Dean and President of Hartford College for Women who embodied leadership and instilled confidence in the many Hartford College for Women students whose lives she touched.

Through monthly learning sessions participants experience an innovative leadership training program, meet one another and significant women leaders, engage in a campus or personal development project, and gain exposure to higher level decision making within the Universityand beyond. There is no cost to participants thanks to the generosity of WELFund’s donors - a community of women and men who believe that advancing women’s potential is a personal and collective priority. These donors include faculty, staff, and students who have benefited fromone of WELFund’s program, including many Laura Johnson alumnae.

Since 2008, 74 female faculty and staff from all of the University’s 7 colleges and more than 21different departments (academic and student affairs) have participated.

2014-2016 Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders:

Cat Balco,
Associate Professor, Art and Drawing

Paige Bray, Associate Professor, ENHP

Amber Dubnov, Assistant Business Manager, Athletics

Stephanie Field, Psychotherapist, Counseling and Psychological Services

Jenni Freidman, Visiting Assistant Professor, HAS

Yingcui Li, Assistant Professor, A&S

Allison Joslyn, Project Manager, A&S Center for Social Research

Kyle Lynes, Reference Librarian, Libraries

Torshia Maxwell, Assistant Director of Community Service & Student Conduct, Student Affairs

Geralyn Merrill, Asstiant to Dean, CETA

Dawn Neese, Visiting Assistant Professor, A&S

Cindy Oppenheimer, Office Coordinator, Psychology 

Collette Ranaudo, Assistant Director, Admissions and SFA

Beth Richards, Director of Rhetoric and Prof. Writing, A&S

Larissa Schroeder, Assistant Professor, A&S

If you are interested in applying for the 2016-2018 Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders program, please contact Amy Jaffe-Barzach, WELFund Director at or (860) 768-5471 or click here for application. Our next program will start during the fall 2016 semester. Check back for application deadlines.