Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Oakland Center, Suite 150
312 Meadow Brook Rd
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3496

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesdays with extended hours 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.


Oakland University Women's Leadership Institute

Oakland University Women’s Leadership Institute at (OUWLI)

Fostering a community of individuals committed to creating unique, research-based leadership learning experiences for women.


OUWLI programming is designed to create meaningful opportunities for discussion, collaboration, and problem-solving issues facing professional women in the workplace.

Experiences include opportunities for personal and professional growth for women who want to be challenged, expand their leadership potential, be energized by professional insights, and learn about scholarship and best practices.

Our Friday, Nov. 4  inaugural conference is sold out, but you can follow a live stream of the day's events on our Facebook page. See the conference details below.

Conference patrons, the P2 parking lot has been reserved for off-campus guests until 9 a.m. For a map of the lot, click here.

Featured speaker

Sara Laschever, author, editor and cultural critic has written extensively about women’s life and career obstacles. She is the co-author, with Linda Babcock, of “Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation – ­and Positive Strategies for Change.” Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Harvard Business Review, The New York Review of Books and other publications.

Conference Program

Asking for More: Positive Strategies for Change
Oakland University Women’s Leadership Institute
Inaugural Conference
November 4, 2016

8 - 8:45 a.m.Registration and Welcome Coffee, Oakland Center Banquet Rooms
8:45 - 9 a.m.

Beth Talbert, Director of OU Women’s Leadership Institute
Dr. George Hynd, Oakland University President

9 - 9:10 a.m.Introduction of Panel Moderator and Panelists

9:10 - 10:20 a.m.

A Personal Conversation: Lessons from Top Women Leaders in Detroit

  • Beth Chappell, President and CEO, Detroit Economic Club
  • Sue Novak, CPA and Audit Partner, Plante Moran
  • Mary Zatina, Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Community Affairs, Beaumont Health
  • Barbara Whittaker, President and CEO, BW Limited

Panel Moderator:
Jennette Smith, Editor, Crain’s Detroit Business

10:20 - 10:25 a.m.Panel wrap-up
10:25 - 10:45 a.m.Break
10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Matilda Talks and Intentional Networking #1
Not quite a TED Talk and not quite a research seminar – enjoy this fast-paced presentations centered around the theme of women and negotiation.

Gold Room A, Oakland Center

  • Rev. Faith Fowler, Executive Director, Cass Community Social Services
    "Are You Smarter than a Circus Trainer?"
    The talk will address how to balance the demands and expectations of others with your personal and professional goals.

  • Florence Dallo, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Program Director of Wellness, Health Promotion, School of Health Services
    "The Experience of Negotiating among Immigrant Women."
    The experience and perspectives of immigrant women negotiating salaries and their place in the workforce will be presented.
Linda H. Gillum, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs and Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Gold Room C, Oakland Center
  • Jay Hutchins, Director of Faurecia University-North America
    “The Power of Asking for What you deserve.”
    A personal story on what happens when women speak up and ask for what they deserve and my observations on the differences between men and women on this critical point that determines a significant portion of career success.
  • Chaunda L. Scott, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator of the Master of Training and Development Program in the Department of Organizational Leadership; Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Office of the Dean, School of Education and Human Services
    “Persisting Challenges Women of Color are Confronted With in the Workforce.”
    This talk will shed light on the persisting challenges women of color are confronted with in the workforce and offer suggestions regarding how these challenges could be addressed. 

Jo Reger, Ph.D., Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program; Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice; Editor, Gender & Society

Oakland Room, Oakland Center

  • Sandy Fiaschetti, Ph.D., Magnet Consulting Co-Founder and Managing Principal 
    Treaties, Troubles, and Trinkets: Competencies for All Negotiations.”
    Do you feel like everything you do, whether at work or at home, is a negotiation? This talk will cover the competencies and behaviors that underpin successful negotiation from the point of view of an organizational psychologist. 

  • Rebecca Mercado Jones, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication, Department of Communication & Journalism
    “Negotiating incomplete and/or presumptive narratives.”
    This talk will address how to negotiate the incomplete or presumptive narratives others may have about who you are and what you are capable of based on stereotypes and prejudices.

Jasmine Bailey, Project Manager, School of Education and Human Services Outreach and Program Services

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Lunch, Oakland Center Banquet Rooms
12:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Featured Presentation: Sara Laschever
Co-author of Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What they Really Want, and Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Intentional Networking #2
Next Steps

3:45 - 4 p.m.

Closing Remarks
Beth Talbert, Director of OU Women’s Leadership Institute

4 - 5 p.m.

Matilda R. Dodge Wilson Afterglow Reception, Oakland Center Banquet Rooms
Networking reception and special recognition of OU founder, philanthropist, and leader, Matilda R. Dodge Wilson


Sara Laschever has spent her career investigating the obstacles, detours and special circumstances that shape women’s lives and careers. She has written extensively about women in literature and the arts, women in the sciences, women in academia, and women in business. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Harvard Business Review, The New York Review of Books, Vogue, Glamour and many other publications. She has taught writing at Boston University and served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Work-Life Policy, a nonprofit think tank devoted to exploring the issues that matter most to women at work.

Sara worked as a research associate and principal interviewer for Project Access, a landmark Harvard University study funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Bunting Foundation. Project Access explored impediments to women’s careers in science — the hindrances, both external and internal, that prevent women from rising to the tops of their fields. Sara’s efforts contributed to the publication of two seminal studies in this field, Gender Differences in Science Careers: The Project Access Study and Who Succeeds in Science? The Gender Dimension, both by G. Sonnert, assisted by G. Holton.

Sara is frequently cited in the national and international media as an expert on the persistence of the wage gap, women and conflict resolution, work-life balance issues, and the multiple factors influencing women’s long-term career success.

In high demand as a speaker, she lectures and teaches workshops about women and negotiation for corporate audiences, colleges and universities, law firms, government agencies and women’s leadership conferences in the U.S. and around the world. She served as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Work-Life Policy (now the Center for Talent Innovation) and is a founding faculty member of the Heinz College Negotiation Academy for Women.

Sara Laschever earned her bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Boston University. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.


Beth Chappell

President and Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Economic Club (DEC)

  • The Detroit Economic Club is a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization serving as a platform for the debate and discussion of contemporary business, government and social issues.
Beth Chappell is at the helm of one of the nation’s premier speaking venues for CEOs and government officials. She began her career with AT&T Corporation, where she served in various capacities, including global services vice president, where she led relationship-sales efforts with large international clients; and director, network deployment, where she and her team oversaw the $14 billion installation of AT&T’s fiber optic network.

After 16 years, she left AT&T in 1995 to form The Chappell Group, a business consultancy. Four years later she joined Compuware Corporation as executive vice president, communications and investor relations. In April 2002, Beth became the president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Club.

Chappell sits on the boards of American Axle & Manufacturing Inc., Detroit Economic Club, Detroit Regional Chamber, Lawrence Technological University’s College of Management Board of Advisors, Michigan State University SE Michigan Campaign Cabinet, St. Joseph Mercy Foundation, The Parade Company, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and she is a trustee of Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Chappell earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Michigan State University and is a past recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award from MSU’s Broad College of Business.

Sue Novak, CPA

Southfield Office Managing Partner, Employee Benefit Plan Audit Service Group Leader Not-For-Profit Services Group, Plante Moran

  • Plante Moran is the nation’s 14th largest certified public accounting and business advisory firm.
Sue Novak has more than 30 years of public accounting experience, devoting her attention to two primary areas of client service within Plante Moran: she leads the firm’s employee benefit plan (EBP) audit practice and is an audit partner with the firm’s not-for-profit practice. She provides accounting, auditing, tax and management consulting services.

As the leader of one of the largest EBP practices in the United States, she organizes, directs, and is responsible for a practice that audits more than 1,200 benefit plans annually.

Based on her practice leadership skills, Novak was appointed to serve as the managing partner of Plante Moran’s Southfield office, the firm’s largest location. She has also served on the firm’s policy committee.

Novak earned her bachelor’s of business administration in accounting from Oakland University, where she graduated with honors.

Mary A. Zatina

Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Community Affairs at Beaumont Health

  • Beaumont Health is Michigan’s largest health care system and the clinical teaching site for Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
Mary Zatina’s responsibilities include managing government relations for Beaumont Health and managing community affairs. Previously, she served as senior vice president, government relations and corporate communications at Oakwood Healthcare Inc., leading marketing, communications, public relations, community health and government relations. Zatina joined Oakwood from the Office of the Governor, State of Michigan, where she served as an advisor to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and chief of staff to first gentleman Daniel Granholm Mulhern. Prior to working in state government, she was the senior vice president and director of corporate communications and strategy at Campbell Ewald and director of corporate communications for the MichCon/MCN Energy Group. Zatina's career has also included senior management positions in the radio and television industries.

Zatina is a member of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Fitness Board of Directors, Southwest Solutions Corporate Board and Development Committee of the Greening of Detroit, and was a founding member of the Arab American Women’s Business Council and the Chicago Boulevard East Block Club. Additionally, she was named a Crain’s Detroit Business 40 Under 40 winner.

A resident of Detroit, Zatina received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in mass communications and English at Wayne State University.

Barbara L. Whittaker

President, BW, Limited LLC Procurement and Supply Chain Solutions

  • BW Limited provides cross-functional change management, organizational transformation and restructuring and organizational strategy design and development.
Barbara L. Whittaker is a procurement and supply chain expert with extensive experience in the automotive industry, both original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and supplier base sectors.  She has worked for the General Motors Co. and Delphi Automotive in leadership positions of increasing responsibility over many years.  During this time she was responsible for leading and managing diverse global teams through some major organizational shifts, demonstrating unique transformational skills and abilities.

Whittaker’s experiences span the full array of procurement and supply chain categories from raw materials, marketing services, information technology, corporate administrative services, capital equipment and construction to service parts. She has dealt with many complex supply chain situations and has broad background and experience in program and order management. Barbara also holds Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and is well versed in lean production systems (GMS).

Whittaker has been recognized by numerous organizations and publications from woman of the year in African Americans on Wheels, to three GM Chairman’s Honors awards, and most recently 2009 Woman of Excellence from the Michigan Chronicle.

She received her undergraduate degree from Kettering University and an MBA from Wayne State University.

Jay Hutchins

Director, Faurecia University, NEO

  • Faurecia University offers more than 20 professional development training programs in a variety of fields.
Jay Hutchins is a strategic marketer and product planning executive, blending consumer research with innovation to create customer-driven solutions for the automotive market. He has acted as company spokesperson, sharing the dramatic story of Faurecia's growth in the region and has been a featured speaker at industry conferences including WardsAuto Interior conference, SAE, ISBBB and Composites.

During the past 15 years he has been deeply involved in the growth of Faurecia leading various departments including costing, purchasing and marketing developing a holistic view of the business.

Prior to his current role at Faurecia, Hutchins served as director of marketing and product planning, and as product line manager.

He earned his undergraduate degree in in marketing from the University of Michigan-Flint and attended the IESE Business School – University of Navarra’s global leadership program.

Sandy Fiaschetti, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Magnet Consulting

  • Magnet Consulting is a people engagement firm specializing in hiring, training and leadership development.
Dr. Sandy Fiaschetti has been both an internal and external consultant to many small, midsize, and Fortune 100 companies, across a variety of industries.

Fiaschetti’s experience is focused on people-related systems including organizational culture and effectiveness, talent assessment and acquisition, talent management and executive coaching.

A consultant with numerous Fortune 100 senior executives to uncover key business challenges, Fiaschetti’s goal is to then design selection processes and staff development to overcome those challenges. She also managed executive assessment and development for Latin American executives in a Fortune 10 corporation and assisted with hiring and training practices used in a municipality revitalization project.

Fiaschetti was also an organizational development and talent acquisition manager at one of the largest North American carmakers where she worked closely with manufacturing, engineering, and finance staffs on culture, morale and staffing.

In addition to her professional activities, Fiaschetti is active in orphan relief with various foundations throughout Guatemala and is a board member for Rochester Community Schools. She is a past president of Michigan Association of Industrial/Organizational Psychologists and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychologists.

She earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and an M.A. and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Wayne State University.

Rev. Faith Fowler

Pastor of Cass Community United Methodist Church, Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services (CCSS)

Rev. Faith Fowler has held these leadership roles since 1994. Beyond her work at CCSS, she has served as a board member for the Cass Corridor Neighborhood Development Corporation (CCNDC), an advisory board member of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, as well as a board member and trustee for the General Board of Church and Society. She currently is an Albion College trustee. In 2014, Fowler became the publisher of Cass Community Publishing House.

Prior to coming to Cass Community, from 1986 until 1994 Fowler was the pastor of William S. Ford Memorial United Methodist Church in Detroit. From 1983 to 1986, she worked with the Catholic Chaplaincy Team at Walpole Maximum Security Prison in Massachusetts while in seminary.

She currently serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Michigan, Dearborn.

A Phi Beta Kappa from Albion College, Fowler also received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from the Boston University School of Theology and a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree from the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

Jennette Smith

Editor, Crain’s Detroit Business

Jennette Smith is editor at Crain’s Detroit Business and supervises the editorial functions of the newsroom, ranging from strategy for print and online content, to efforts to grow the publication’s audience and reach to younger readers. She started her career with Crain’s as a real estate reporter in 1998 and previously served in the roles of deputy managing editor and managing editor.

Smith also serves on the governing board for the mentorship-based nonprofit, Winning Futures.

She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s journalism program.

Dr. Rebecca Mercado Jones

Assistant Professor of Communication, Oakland University

Jones specializes in critical and cultural communication. Her dissertation research focused on how economic, political and geographical encroachments influence the way women in Appalachia narrate their life course. More broadly, she uses ethnographic and life history interviewing research to understand how women speak about home, identity and embodiment in a variety of cultural contexts. She teaches courses such as multicultural communication, introduction to communication studies, performance communication, family communication and communication theory.

Jones completed her undergraduate education at Central Michigan University, where she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar.

Dr. Chaunda L. Scott

Associate Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership and Graduate Coordinator of the Master and Training and Development program, School of Education and Human Services, Oakland University

Scott also serves as the diversity and inclusion specialist in the school. In the Department of Organizational Leadership, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused in the areas of workforce diversity, human resource development, organizational leadership and training and development.

She has also published several national and international scholarly articles, book chapters, a book review and co-edited books and is a recipient an Academy of Human Resource Development’s prominent Cutting Edge Research Award. In 2013, Scott was named as one of the Top 25 Education Professors in Michigan by Online Schools Michigan. In 2015, she was granted a prestigious Fulbright Specialist Award that took her to Cape Town, South Africa. She also received the Educator of the Year Award in 2015 from the Niagara Foundation – Michigan Chapter – for her diversity education work.

Scott earned a doctorate in adult education and organizational leadership with a focus in diversity education from Teachers College/Columbia University in New York City, New York, and a master’s of education degree in the area of administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Florence J. Dallo
Associate Professor of Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University
As a Chaldean (Iraqi Catholic) immigrant growing up in a racially and ethnically diverse community, Dallo was curious why some individuals led healthy lives, while others did not. For her master’s in public health thesis, she interviewed 130 Chaldean American women in Detroit to better understand the link between acculturation and blood pressure. Based on that experience, she knew her passion was to promote health and prevent disease in minority communities.

Dallo received her Ph.D. in preventive medicine and community health at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch and her M.P.H. in epidemiology from the School of Public Health at University of Michigan. She earned her M.S. in Middle Eastern studies from Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan and her B.S. in biology from University of Michigan.