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.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg

Sen Weinberg by Star Ledger

Loretta Weinberg was elected to the New Jersey State Senate (District 37) in November 2005. She is currently the Senate Majority Leader and also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is Vice Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee and Co-Chair of the select legislative committee investigating “Bridgegate.” She also sits on the New Jersey Israel Commission, New Jersey Historical Commission and State Legislative Services Commission. She has been appointed by the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court to an ad hoc committee to look at domestic violence and the court system.

Senator Weinberg is the first person to run as a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in the State of New Jersey. Prior to joining the State Senate, she served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 14 years. In 2004, after 10 years of work, Senator Weinberg’s .08 legislation, which lowers the legal alcohol level to .08 in New Jersey, was signed into law. She sponsored the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces. She has also sponsored legislation that overhauled the jury selection process; required health insurance companies to pay for at least 48 hours of hospital care for new mothers and their babies; created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Adolescent Pregnancy; and shaped a landmark autism research funding bill that gives $1.00 from every New Jersey traffic violation to autism research which is projected to yield $20 million toward autism research within five years.

Senator Weinberg has sponsored numerous gun violence prevention measures. She was the prime sponsor of the 2002 Childproof Handgun Law designed to help spur the development of personalized handgun technology. She sponsored subsequent legislation as part of her continued effort to advance life-saving ‘smart gun’ technology to the market. Senator Weinberg is the prime sponsor of legislation to enhance protections for domestic violence victims by restricting access to firearms by offenders.  She has also sponsored legislation to reduce the legal maximum capacity of ammunition magazines in New Jersey to 10 rounds.

Weinberg has been in the lead on every LGBT advancement in New Jersey throughout her legislative career, including marriage equality, transgender equality, and sweeping anti-discrimination and anti-hate crimes laws. She has also been instrumental in expanding awareness of aphasia, introducing a bill to designate June as Aphasia Month in New Jersey and sponsoring legislation that formed an Aphasia Study Commission.

In 2015 she received an award from the NJ Press Association for her tireless advocacy on behalf of transparency; in 2016 the ACLU honored her at their Lights of Liberty event with the Roger Baldwin Award for her leadership on civil rights issues and in 2017, the National Newspaper Association honored Senator Weinberg at the National Press Club in Washington DC for her support of the newspaper industry across NJ.

In April 2018, a groundbreaking bill she worked on with Senator Diane Allen was signed into law. Governor Phil Murphy signed into Law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to provide enhanced equal pay protections for New Jersey Employees.

Throughout her career in public service, Senator Weinberg has devoted many hours to her community and to local, state-wide, and national organizations that seek to improve the lives of men, women, and children. She has been active in Shelter Our Sisters (Founding Member), the Bergen Family Center, the New Jersey Network of Women Elected Officials, the National Organization of Women Legislators, and the National Council of Jewish Women (Life Member). She is a long-time member of Temple Emeth in Teaneck.  She married her late husband, Irwin Weinberg, in 1961, and they had two children: Daniel, born in 1962, and Francine, born in 1963. Loretta now has two grandchildren: Shayna Iris, born in 2003, and Jonah Benjamin, born in 2005.


ACE Women—Make time for joy, rest, and renewal

December 2020


A word from our Chair

Greetings to you, our dedicated colleagues across the State of New Jersey. As 2020 comes to a close, NJ ACE Women’s Network wants you to know that we are thinking of you! 

For those of you who were able to join us at our Women of Color Conference last October, we hope that the many “pearls of wisdom” shared are still resonating with you and that you have been able to incorporate some of the excellent strategies provided by our presenters, Dr. Connie Hoyos NerviDr. Nicole Pulliam, and Dr. Felicia McGinty for facilitating wellness in your lives. 

We are busy at work planning our spring leadership conference for Friday, March 26, 2021. Save the date on your calendars NOW!

We anticipate that this event will be just as impactful as the last one, focusing on women and equity, especially along the lines of pay, workload, and other related issues.

Why ACE-NJ matters, now and into 2021

As you know, ACE-NJ strives to bring women together to discuss important matters related to advancing and excelling in our careers. Our programming and various forms of support, through our annual conferences, our commitment to individually mentoring women, and our advocacy efforts to increase the profiles of women on our campuses, form the foundation for ACE-NJ. We continually seek to expand the understanding of benefits that are gained when women working in higher education are at the table and involved in all levels of decision making.  

Think of us as part of your support system, your cheering section, your team that provides unwavering encouragement. Yes, these times have been difficult but we remain hopeful, inspired, motivated, and determined. 

But first, a time for rest and renewal

As we approach the end of the year and a very busy semester, I hope that this holiday season will provide you a period of rest and renewal. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you and your loved ones…good health, peace, and joy, now and in the new year.

Allyson Straker-Banks

Chair, ACE Women’s Network NJ