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


2012-2013 Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders:


Mary (Cater) Arico,
Assistant Professor, CETA;

Joyce Ashuntantang, Assistant Professor, Hillyer;

Elizabeth-Leigh Bradley, Coordinator of Academic Services/Adjunct Faculty, Psychology, A & S;

Kelly Cofiell, Director of Collegiate Student Services, CETA;

Alexandra Coury, Assistant Athletic Director/Student-Athlete Services, Athletics;

Mari Firkatian, Professor of History, Hillyer;

Karen Hunter, Writer/Assistant Director, Office of Marketing and Communications;

Kiku Ichihara, Grants and Restricted Funds Accountant, Financial Accounting;

Beth Kavaler, Manager of Student Services and Evaluations, Barney;

Andrea Miller, Associate Director Student Success Center;

Nancy Philip, Scheduling Coordinator, Registrar’s Office;

Katherine Presutti, Assistant Director, SFA, Admissions and SFA;

Cindy Sanders, Assistant Director, Assessment and Technology, Residential Life;

Beverly Smith, Assistant to the Dean, Barney;

Bettina Viereck, Program Specialist, Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology/Adjunct Faculty;

Natalie Wing, Coordinator of Academic Studies, Hartt

If you are interested in applying for the 2014-2015 Laura Johnson Initiative for Women Leaders program, please contact Amy Jaffe-Barzach, WELFund Director at barzach@hartford.edu or (860) 768-5471 or click here for application. Our next program will start during the fall 2014 semester. Check back for application deadlines.

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