The Virginia Tech Women’s Center will receive the American Council on Education Women’s Network Leadership Award for its Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program.

The annual award recognizes “an outstanding, innovative, and visionary program… that helped advance or support women or women’s issues in higher education.” The center will receive the award at the ACE annual meeting March 14.

The Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program provides a cohort-based experience for post-masters professionals. The program includes monthly professional development sessions as well as the opportunity to be paired with a mentor for one-on-one coaching.

The program is in its eighth year with a cohort of 21 women. More than 200 participants, faculty members, and mentors have been part of the program.

Heather Evans, director of the Leadership Education Collaborative, was part of the 2010 cohort and now serves as a mentor. “The experience was crafted with great intention, innovation, and inspiration. I often reflect upon the program’s material and continue to learn with and from cohort members.”

Professional development sessions cover topics such as peer coaching, leadership style, career mapping, human resources, team building, budgets, and the higher education landscape. During individual mentoring sessions, participants can discuss session topics and their own personal and career goals.

Melissa Maybury Lubin, director of Virginia Tech Commonwealth Campus Centers in Richmond, Newport News, and Virginia Beach, teaches some of the sessions and serves as a mentor.  “I continue to be amazed by the impact this intentional relationship has on so many constituents. The mentees I’ve worked with are committed to the process and eager to partner in their personal and professional development. As a mentor, I have an opportunity to broaden my network — and frankly, it’s rejuvenating to inspire, guide and encourage a colleague along the way.”

“The Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program happens because of the investment that women make in women at Virginia Tech,” said Anna LoMascolo, co-director of the Women’s Center. “The program is a success because in all of the years of asking favors – for faculty, for mentors, for special topical sessions, for planning and feedback – I’ve never once been told no. For a Women’s Center director, it just doesn’t get any better than that.”

The program is designed for women who are aspiring higher education administrators who wish to gain leadership knowledge and experience. A call for nominations goes out in July via a Virginia Tech News campus notice.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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