Welcome to NJ ACE!


Dr McGinty and Dr Clay

October 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The academic year is now in full swing, and we are adjusting to a new set of challenges as in-person learning resumes. While much of our time and efforts focus on the education, development, and care of students, it is imperative to create space and commit to doing the same for ourselves. Our health, wellbeing, and professional success depend on it. Even amid the ongoing pandemic, we want to thrive! While we may have differing career goals and aspirations, we all benefit from professional development, networking, and support from women in our profession. The NJ ACE Women’s Network is a learning-centered organization. You can count on us to consistently offer programming and experiences that will help you grow and learn from each other and experts in higher education. The upcoming Women of Color Conference is a perfect opportunity to experience the power of the NJ ACE Women’s Network. 

We invite you to join us on October 22, 2021, for Bold Leadership: Reclaiming Our Time, Reframing Our Realities, and Reaffirming our Purpose. This virtual conference will be transformative! Participants will be inspired, better informed, and network with colleagues across the state. The $75 conference registration fee is inclusive of the annual membership fee. There is no better time to join NJ ACE Women’s Network and begin forming meaningful connections! The registration fee for aspiring professionals (i.e., those enrolled as full-time students) is $35 and includes the membership fee.

We are excited about the year ahead and eager to provide content that enriches your growth and supports your career goals and aspirations. We want you to dream big, lean into your limitless potential, and activate your professional network. Our conferences, workshops, and events tackle timely issues, explore promising practices, and offer sisterhood. The current disruption in higher education requires adaptability, and NJ ACE Women’s Network strives to be a cutting-edge professional development association. Throughout the year, members will have exclusive opportunities to connect with high-achieving women leaders who are inspirational and will share insights on thriving while pursuing career goals. For example, on November 5, members will be invited to attend “Presidential Perspectives” featuring Dr. Marcheta P. Evans, President of Bloomfield College for the first edition of our Lunch & Lead Series.

We welcome women from all aspects of higher education and look forward to partnering with you. Feel free to share feedback, stay connected, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook. For now, we look forward to meeting you virtually, understanding your needs and interests, and offering programming to best support your aspirations. Please stay connected with us and continue checking this site to see what is coming next.

In sisterhood,

Felicia McGinty, Ed.D.

Antoinette Clay, Ed.D.

Co-chairs, NJ ACE Women’s Network Board of Directors

Welcoming our new leadership


A Word from our Outgoing Chair,
Dr. Allyson Straker Banks

Dear Friends,

As summer sets in and we put another academic year behind us, I hope that you make time to rest, reflect and most of all, breathe.

During the pandemic, we all faced challenges that strengthened us and changed us. That goes for the ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey, too. For nearly a year, the executive board has worked behind the scenes to sharpen our vision and shape future leadership. My term as Chair of our state network ends this month and I am proud to announce that Dr. Felicia McGinty and Dr. Antoinette Clay will be our new co-chairs, beginning Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Dr. Clay and Dr. McGinty each bring a broad and diverse range of experiences to the network at a time when it is most needed. With the many changes underway in higher education today, their strong skills in leading transformation and adapting higher education practices to the needs of our current student populations will enable the network to offer you strong support and meaningful professional development programs.

They, along with 13 other excellent new board members who represent colleges and universities across the State of New Jersey, are eager to work with you and for you, as they build upon the strong foundation that ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey has maintained for over 43 years.

Teachable moments

Since I arrived in 2007, I have learned many lasting lessons that will stay with me as I move into some new and exciting ventures. Through ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey, I was fortunate to have opportunities to expand my leadership, negotiation, and communication skills. I have benefited immensely from the many occasions of networking, connecting with new people, and helping other women along their career paths. Most significantly, I have been able to build long-lasting professional and personal relationships, ones that have guided me on my own career path and will extend well beyond my tenure on the board.

Over the years, I, myself, have been a student in learning and observing the tremendous value of following one’s conviction in voicing a differing opinion with the goal of advocacy for those whose voices too often go unheard. Refining the skill of speaking up and speaking out requires tenacity, self-assurance, and a strong desire to effect change even if it means sacrificing popularity.

ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey also allowed me to exercise many other muscles—budgeting, negotiating, strategic planning, designing and enforcing organizational by-laws and more. For this and so many other teachable moments, I am truly grateful for the efforts of all of the board members who preceded me and those with whom I worked.

Our future is bright and YOU are an important part of the future success of ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey! The organization continues to flourish with your input, opinions, and participation.

Dr. Allyson Straker-Banks | June 2021
More work to do

As we learned in both of the conferences we held during this academic year, our work is not done. We need to encourage women in furthering their professional development and finding ways to have it all. Yes, in my mind, you can have it all. We can each develop career strategies and personal paths in which we organize our goals and bring our own support systems into the mix. Prioritizing our aspirations allows us to determine areas on which we wish to place our focus at different times in our lives, as we explore the diversity of possibilities that exist in our professional and personal lives.

Our future is bright and YOU are an important part of the future success of ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey! The organization continues to flourish with your input, opinions, and participation.

I am leaving this particular leadership role, but I am not leaving my ongoing support for the ACE Network IDEALS (programs that Identify, Develop, Encourage, Advance, Link, and Support women in higher education careers). I look forward to cheering on our new co-chairs as they continuing the work of our network. On behalf of ACE Women’s Network-New Jersey, we wish you the best and look forward to offering you exciting and energizing programming in the upcoming fall!

Allyson Straker-Banks, Ph.D.