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Caldwell, N.J., August 22, 2017 –Thomson Ling, Ph.D., associate dean of Caldwell University’s School of Psychology and Counseling, has been selected for the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) inaugural MSI Aspiring Leaders Forum to be held from Friday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov.19.

The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

MSI Aspiring Leaders is a three-day forum and mentoring program developed by CMSI that will create a space for prominent Minority Serving Institutions’ (MSI) leaders to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education and non-profit sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.

“I was honored to be selected as a MSI Aspiring Leader and I am looking forward to the opportunity to gain the leadership tools needed to improve college success for underrepresented students,” said Ling.

The program is supported by $765,000 in grants from the ECMC Foundation. 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.

Following the forum, mentors and their mentees will participate in a one-on-one relationship 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’ aspiring leaders’ career trajectories. The structure of the MSI Aspiring Leaders program aims to cultivate future MSI presidents by strengthening pathways to leadership and building connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities.

Marybeth Gasman, Director of CMSI, shared, “This forum will celebrate the diversity of experiences from those in the nonprofit and education sectors and will cultivate collaborations that will build the next generation of MSI college presidents.”

In an effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, MSI Aspiring Leaders is free of program fees to all invited participants. In addition, all meals and materials will be provided by CMSI. Participants will also receive travel stipends to offset the cost of their personal travel and lodging.

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: