Eastern Michigan University to host Women in Leadership Panel on March 13

A pastel watercolor background and Women in Leadership Panel script lettering from the event poster

YPSILANTI – In honor of Women’s History Month, Eastern Michigan University's Women’s Resource Center and the Advising and Career Development Center will host a Women in Leadership Panel from 6 - 7 p.m. on Monday, March 13, at the EMU Student Center room 310 AB. Panelists representing diversity, education, communications, nursing, STEM, political and non-profit sectors will share their professional journeys and ability to acquire leadership roles in their respective industries.

According to womenshistorymonth.gov, Women’s History Month originated as a national week-long celebration in 1981. After being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed a resolution in 1987 designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued annual proclamations in honor of the month to celebrate women's contributions to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made throughout American history in various fields.

“This event is important because it allows students to see that women can succeed in leadership roles and work to break the glass ceiling, especially in male-dominated fields,” said Deanna Kowaleski, program coordinator for the Women's Resource Center at EMU. “Our leadership panel allows us to honor and celebrate the different panelists contributing to women making leadership strides daily to break the glass ceiling.”

Students will learn from an expert panel about how they succeeded and landed their leadership roles so they can take the steps they need to become leaders. Panelists include: 

Kiana WenzellKiana Wenzell, co-executive director of Design Core Detroit

Kiana Wenzell has 19 years of experience researching, planning, and executing design projects in metropolitan Detroit. In her current role, Wenzell is the co-executive director of Design Core Detroit, a non-profit economic development organization housed within the College for Creative Studies. She also serves as director of Detroit Month of Design, Drinks x Design, and manages other key Design Core public programming. Wenzell has an undergraduate degree in interior design from Eastern Michigan University and a graduate degree in technical writing and professional communication from Lawrence Technological University. She was born and raised in Detroit.

Jenita MooreJenita Moore, chief of staff to Senator Sarah Anthony

Jenita Moore currently serves as the chief of staff to the first African American Senate Appropriations Chairwomen Sarah Anthony. She is the principal aide and strategist and directs, coordinates, and supervises all Sen. Anthony’s office operations. Before joining the Michigan Senate, she served as the legislative liaison for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. She has served as senior advisor for Policy and Legislation for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services and as deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Division for Governor Jennifer Granholm. She is a native Detroiter who received her Bachelor of Science from Eastern in 1993 and her Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University in 2004. Moore is a member of various organizations and has served in multiple capacities at EMU. 

Doris FieldsDoris Fields, Ph.D., interim chief diversity officer at Eastern Michigan University

Doris Fields is the interim chief diversity officer and professor of communication at Eastern Michigan University. Fields completed a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from Eastern. Fields later pursued a Doctor of Philosophy degree in communication education from Wayne State University. Fields’ areas of specialization include interracial/interethnic communication, intercultural >communication, public speaking, gender, and persuasion. Additionally, Fields has designed and facilitated several workshops on diversity, race, and communication. Fields is the recipient of various prestigious awards.

LaTasha GoodallLaTasha (Tasha) Kaye Goodall, principal, University of Prep Science and Math Middle School 

LaTasha Goodall graduated with honors from Eastern’s education program. She obtained her master’s degree in K-12 Administration in 2009. Since then, she has served in various teaching and leadership positions. Goodall is in her fifth year as a middle school principal in Detroit. She is married to her loving husband with two children.

Nicole BrownNicole Brown, mayor of Ypsilanti

Nicole Brown earned her Bachelor of Science in communication and social work and Master of Social Work from Eastern. Brown serves as a program supervisor at a children’s mental health agency. In addition to guiding her teams, she also supports some of the most vulnerable members of our community by helping youth and their families to navigate daily challenges. Her role within the community mental health system allows her to directly engage with employees, clients, key stakeholders at the state and local levels, and community members. She actively engages in various areas, including quality, compliance, employee and program development, and reflective supervision to ensure that all needs are met. She also serves as one of the leaders and facilitators of the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. 

Bia HamedBia Hamed, Ph.D., director of K-12 STEM Outreach at Eastern

Bia Hamed is an advocate for girls in STEM. As director of K-12 STEM Outreach at Eastern, she helps build and develop on-campus programming for middle and high school students in various areas of STEM education. One of her programs, the Digital Divas Conference, has served thousands of middle and high school girls from southeast Michigan for 12 years. With the support of corporate partners and donors, she has developed a multitude of outreach programs such as the Digital Dudes Conference, STEM Kits for Kids program, after-school programs, two all-girl esports teams located in Ypsilanti and Detroit, and a television program on PBS.org and the Michigan Learning Channel named the Future of Me. In 2020, Bia founded the Office of K-12 STEM Outreach to standardize and magnify programming for students from urban and rural communities on the university’s campus.  This office’s mission is to provide an environment of belonging for all students at Eastern Michigan University while familiarizing them with their educational opportunities.

Bia earned a doctorate in philosophy of educational leadership from Eastern. 

Jennifer AveryJennifer Avery, Ph.D., RN, interim director of the School of Nursing at Eastern 

Jennifer Avery completed her Bachelor of Science in nursing at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she was also active in the theater department. After graduation, Avery worked as a nursing tech until she passed the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to become a registered nurse. She later pursued her master's degree as a primary care gerontological nurse practitioner at Marquette University while working as a graduate assistant. Avery then started Marquette's doctorate of nursing practice program before ultimately switching gears and completing her Ph.D. in nursing.

In 2015, Avery moved with her husband to Michigan and briefly worked for South University in Novi, Michigan, before serving in various capacities at Eastern’s School of Nursing. Avery attributes her successes thus far to her somewhat level-headed nature, accompanied by the multiple mentors and experiences she has been privileged to have. 

The Women in Leadership Panel is LBC-approved. For more information, contact Deanna Kowaleski at dkowales@emich.edu.


About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.


March 08, 2023

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher