Call for Applications: Apply Now for Our MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum and Mentorship Program

The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is pleased to open applications for our upcoming leadership development and mentorship program, MSI Aspiring Leaders. Supported by $745,000 in grants from ECMC Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, the program will bring together prominent Minority Serving Institutions' (MSI) leaders to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.

The MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum will be hosted at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA from Friday, November 17, 2017 to Sunday, November 19, 2017. In our effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, MSI Aspiring Leaders will be hosted without program fees to all invited participants. In addition, all meals and materials will be provided by CMSI. Participants will only have to cover the cost of their personal travel and lodging.

If you are interested in applying to participate, please complete the online application by no later than May 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Selected participants will be announced by email in late July 2017. For questions about the program, please contact our Associate Director for Programs, Paola "Lola" Esmieu, at with "MSI Aspiring Leaders" in the subject line.

MSI Aspiring Leaders includes both a leadership forum and mentorship program and has been designed to help promote diversity among higher education leadership, where nearly 60% of sitting university presidents are over the age of 60 and where many see a lack of opportunity for women and people of color. By providing professional development workshops focused on 21st-century skills as well as two years of post-forum mentorship, MSI Aspiring Leaders hopes to cultivate future MSI presidents by strengthening pathways to leadership and building connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities.

The forum will include discussions and workshops on topics such as the presidential nomination process, managing relationships with faculty, using data to make decisions, fiscal management, strategic fundraising, assessing student learning, and navigating the media. After the forum, mentors and their mentees will participate in a one-on-one mentoring relationship through in-person meetings, conference calls, and email over two years. CMSI will facilitate these relationships and provide benchmarks to be completed at various points throughout the two years, with the hope that these relationships may be part of a future longitudinal study to measure the influence of such mentorship on mentees’ career trajectories.

Future updates about MSI Aspiring Leaders will be announced on CMSI's website.
About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. For further information about CMSI, please visit



Tuesday, March 28, 2017