Women’s Leadership Institute

Now Accepting Student Applications for the Women’s Leadership Institute

World change begins with a vision.  The mission of the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) is to ignite women leaders to create equity for women worldwide.   In 2019, Dr. Amy Bonomi, Dr. Amanda Guinot Talbot and the WLI Board invite students to join them in conversations with world leaders who will share their experiences in:

  • Confidence building
  • Authenticity
  • Leading from wherever you are

The world leaders to speak at 2019 WLI are:

Carolyn Woo. Carolyn Woo grew up in Hong Kong at a time when millions of Chinese, including her parents, fled the Communist revolution.  Woo, who enrolled at the Purdue University Krannert School of Management at the age of 18, packed her undergraduate industrial management education into three years and continued graduate studies in industrial administration, completing 53 hours in 11 months. She went on to join the Krannert faculty and left her position as Purdue’s associate executive vice president for academic affairs in 1997 to become dean of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. From 2012 to 2016, Woo was president of an organization – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – that started 75 years ago resettling refugees from war-torn Europe and remains fully engaged in responding to the plight of displaced people.   In 2013, Woo was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of 500 most influential people on the planet, and one of 33 in a subset of leaders for good. 


Tiffany Jones. Tiffany Jones is a proud graduate of MSU, having earned her bachelor’s in journalism, and master’s in human resources and labor relations (HRLR). As a student, Jones was an active student leader and employee, and took advantage of the opportunity to study international HR in France. For the past 7 years, Jones has worked for Fortune 50 companies in the oil and gas industry as a HR professional. In 2018, she founded Lifestyle You Dream, which has a focus on events designed to connect and empower women. Born and raised in Detroit, Jones now lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and daughter. She remains actively connected to MSU through her HRLR Alumni Relations Board membership.  


Anne Whelan. Anne is CEO of Seafair Capital Inc., a values-based private investment company providing strategic leadership and expertise to unlock potential in its group of operating companies. Guided by the core values of integrity, entrepreneurship, community, action and fun, the Seafair team aims to ‘do well while doing good.’ In addition to leading her group of companies, she currently chairs the board of directors of Newfoundland Power, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS). She is also a director of BDC, Canada’s business development bank, and of CSA Group, a Canadian standards organization with global operations in testing, inspection and certification. Anne contributes her time and talent to various other regional boards and community service initiatives. 


Students interested in participating in WLI will be part of the following:

  • Panel discussion with VIP panelists (Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Wharton Center for the Performing Arts)
  • Follow-Up workshop with VIP alumni leaders (Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – MSU Student Union)
  • Participants will be asked to invite and host a friend, family member, or colleague at the September 24th panel discussion (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).  This aligns with one of the practical applications of this year’s program to grow networking skills.  


To be considered for the Women’s Leadership Institute a student must:

  • Be a currently enrolled Michigan State University student 
  • Be considered in good academic standing 
  • Complete the full student application (see below)
    • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed
  • Commit to the following: 
    • Attend both WLI programs in Fall 2019
      • Panel Discussion - Wharton Center - September 24th 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
      • Follow-Up Workshop - Student Union - September 25th 10:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
    • Work to enhance your leadership networks 
      • Invite and host one (1) friend, family member, or colleague in your personal network in attending the Panel Discussion - Wharton Center Evening Event (6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.)
    • Complete pre-and post-surveys
      • Links to the surveys will be provided 

Click here to complete the student application

* Participants will be asked to invite and host a friend, family member, or colleague at the September 24th panel discussion (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.). This component aligns with one of the practical applications of this year’s program to networking skills.