Women’s Leadership Center

Committed to preparing women for success in their future careers.

Founded in 2016, the Women’s Leadership Center at the University of Saint Joseph is committed to developing inspiring and effective leaders.


Women’s Leadership Center mission is to:

  • Provide multi-generational experiences within a diverse community
  • Build a collaborative, inclusive value-based environment in which individuals develop new and enhance existing leadership skills
  • Offer educational programs, including professional end executive education
  • Support research related to women’s leadership
  • Promote mentorship and sponsorship programs

Our Goals

The Women’s Leadership Center is focused on five goals from 2018-2021:

  • Goal 1: Develop and implement programming that offers leadership training in a variety of disciplines and modalities.
  • Goal 2: Promote and support research on women’s leadership by students, faculty and other scholars.
  • Goal 3: Establish formal internal and external networks of mentoring and sponsorship opportunities.
  • Goal 4: Enhance the reputation of USJ and the WLC beyond the local area.
  • Goal 5: Create a sustainable and stable WLC.

How to Accomplish Our Goals

The WLC provides workshops and courses, training sessions, supports research, and offers networking opportunities for women determined to further develop their talents and achieve success in their chosen field.

Professional & Career Development (Online) Programs at USJ


In addition to helping women succeed, research conducted by the WLC aims to better understand what prevents women from reaching senior management and leadership positions. That research, in turn, guides the Center’s program initiatives in order to help women excel.

Visit us soon to learn more about this innovative research.

About Us

Executive Director: Melanie Sinche
Graduate Assistant: Michael Pendergast

Steering Council:

  • Christine Caruso, Interim Director and Visiting Asst. Professor of Public Health, USJ
  • Donna Collins, Associate Publisher, Hartford Business Journal
  • Rhona Free, President, USJ
  • Colleen Johnson, Executive and Employee Communications Leader, CIGNA
  • Michelle Kalis, Provost, USJ
  • Barbara Lerner, former Executive Director, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce
  • Paddi LeShane, Chair, WLC Steering Council; CEO, Sullivan & LeShane, Inc.
  • Lois Lewis, Freelance Writer/Editor
  • Jennifer Matos, Executive Director, Noah Webster House/West Hartford Historical Society
  • Maggie Pinney, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, USJ
  • Lynn Ricci, President and CEO, Hospital for Special Care
  • Nancy Roath, College Consultant and Advisory Board Member, IBM/FUTURE 5
  • Charlene Russell-Tucker, Chief Operating Officer, CT State Department of Education
  • Diana Sousa, Associate Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs, USJ
  • Sharon Ware, Associate Professor of Special Education, USJ
  • Diane Whitney, Attorney, Pullman & Comley

Contact: [email protected]

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