Equity Leadership Institute

A pre-conference event to inspire the next generation of admissions leaders. Brought to you by Ashley Pallie, Calvin Wise, & Olufemi Ogundele. Made possible by WittKieffer.

The college admissions profession is at a critical juncture and investing in the growth of future professionals is vital. With the admission profession in a constant state of evolution, leaders must keep pace. The Equity Leadership Institute (ELI) is an opportunity for college admission officers to learn and understand what it takes to be transformational leaders. The institute will be a convening of diverse practitioners who aim to understand the hidden curriculum of leadership as they aspire to ascend to Director and Dean positions. Join us for radical candor, hard work, self-reflection, and inspiration.

Most importantly, we seek to inspire colleagues to stay in the profession and find purpose in the future of the work. Times are certainly challenging, but the work is still inspiring and staying the course is necessary. Attendees will meet colleagues who have already committed to fruitful careers in admissions while also interacting with peers who are interested in longevity.

There will be opportunity for connections and mentorship while we seek to answer the most common questions leaders of color are often asked: why do you stay and what gets you out of bed in the morning?


  • $75 for NACAC Members
  • $150 for non-members

Target Audience:

  • Aspiring Deans & Directors (currently Associate, Senior Associates, & Deputy Directors: minimum 5 years’ experience in college admission)

At the end of the PreConference, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize the opportunities of leading institutions in 2024 and the work that is required to stay the course.
  • Articulate areas of personal growth.
  • Define the skills needed to be a competitive and competent leader committed to equity.
  • Explain how vital the work of admissions is to the unique ecosystem of a college/university.
  • Evaluate the skills needed for success at the next level and analyze the skills that do not make a leader successful.

Schedule: Monday, July 29, 2024:
12:30 – 1:00 pm Check In
1:00 – 1:15 pm Welcome
1:15 – 2:00 pm Opening Session:
The state of the college admissions leader in 2024
With Ashley Pallie, Calvin Wise, Femi Ogundele
2:15 – 3:15 pm Session 1:
Attacks on DEI: Leading in a time of tumultuous change and anti-bipoc backlash
With Joy St. John, Anthony Jones, Khala Granville, Whitney Green
3:30 – 4:30 pm Session 2:
Enrollment Management: What has it been and where is it going?
With Derek Kindle, Yvonne Romera da Silva, Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez
4:45 – 5:45 pm Session 3:
Human Resources: hiring, firing, org charts, culture change, and all the stuff they never told you
With Christina Lopez, Raissa Diamante, Joseph Montgomery, Amy Crutchfield

Attacks on DEI: Leading in a time of tumultuous change and anti-bipoc backlash.

Anti-woke. Anti DEI. War on DEI. Anti-diversity laws. DEI bans. America in 2024 is seeing an extraordinary backlash against the work of diversity practitioners, researchers, and experts. While it can often feel overwhelming, there is hope for the future. Join a very real discussion of the challenges leaders of colors face, but also the very real hopes we have for the future. As Maya Angelou reminds us, ““You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”

Enrollment Management: What has it been, where is it going, and what is my place in it?

Enrollment management can often feel like the most confusing of spaces for the profession. Beyond simply enrolling a class, strategic enrollment management (SEM) is the new frontier for thinking about recruiting, enrolling, retaining, and graduating students. How does one become a Vice President for Enrollment Management? What even is Enrollment Management and what are the skill sets required to ascend to the highest levels of leadership? How do you learn to run financial aid, registrar’s offices, career services, or first-year programming? And most importantly – what gets enrollment leaders out of bed every morning as they continue to fight the good fight for students?

Human Resources: hiring, firing, org charts, culture change, & all the stuff they never told you.

As enrollment needs and opportunities evolve, so will Admission Offices. What office structure best facilitates our work? How do I build a case for new positions and/or promotions? How do I manage staff across significant generational divides? Lead by folks who have been through it, this session will unpack what you need to know about organizational and cultural change.

ELI Program Directors

Olufemi Ogundele
Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment
& Dean of Undergraduate Admission
University of California
Berkeley, CA

Ashley Pallie
Executive Director
& Chief Admissions Officer
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA

Calvin Wise
Deputy Dean
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

ELI Speakers

  • Amin Gonzalez, Vice President & Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
  • Amy Crutchfield, Senior Partner, WittKieffer, Chicago, IL
  • Anthony Jones, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Experience, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL
  • Christina Lopez, Dean of Enrollment Management, Barnard College, New York, NY
  • Derek Kindle, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Joseph Montgomery, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, NC A&T, Greensboro, NC
  • Joy St. John, Director, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Khala Granville Williamson, Director of Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
  • Raissa Diamante, Director of Enrollment Strategies and Operations, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA
  • Whitney Green, Director of International Admissions and Strategic Initiatives, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Yvonne Romero da Silva, Vice President for Enrollment, Rice University, Houston, TX

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