Category Archives: Diversity & Inclusion

A Growing Team of Seasoned and Talented Associates

One distinctive aspect of the Peterson Rudgers Group model is the ability to tap into a distinguished and diverse group of team members, associates and senior advisors who have deep experience in leadership roles at a wide range of colleges and universities. We have continued to add to this pool of seasoned leaders whose wisdom directly benefits our clients — most recently with addition of Sonya Malunda as our newest senior advisor and the appointment of Lisa Connolly as the newest member of our administrative team.

Lisa Lapin

Lisa Lapin

This spring we welcomed Lisa Lapin as our newest senior associate. Lisa served as Vice President for Communications at the J. Paul Getty Trust, the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts. There she led marketing, media relations, internal communication and public affairs, raising the regional, national and international profile of Getty and its Conservation Institute, Research Institute and Getty Library, grant-making Foundation, and two world-renowned fine art museums in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Getty Trust, Lisa served as Stanford University’s chief communications officer for 10 years and led communications at the University of California, Davis for nearly a decade. In those roles she was a national leader on cutting-edge digital and strategic communications as well as issues and crisis management. Lisa launched her career as an award-winning journalist and editor at leading newspapers including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and The Sacramento Bee. She holds an MLA from Stanford University and a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California.

Over the past several months, we were delighted to add four valued colleagues as senior associates: Laurie Fenlason, Alida Miranda-Wolff, Angela Paik and Marisa Quinn.

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The Power of Partnering with Students

The following is a guest post by E. Royster Harper, a senior advisor with Peterson Rudgers Group. She served for four decades in student life roles at the University of Michigan, including as vice president for student life.

E. Royster HarperUniversities are well aware that after two years of pandemic disruption, students are feeling stressed, disconnected, and concerned about their safety, their futures and the value of their education. We’ve seen their fear and anger over sexual assaults and racial incidents spark campus protests across the nation, demanding change.

When Generation Z students are dissatisfied, they take their complaints straight to the top. They expect to be consulted and heard — yet too often, university leaders don’t take the time to engage students in honest dialogue and involve them when addressing issues that shape their college experience. Continue reading

What Can We Do or Do Better?

Last week we saw a Black man’s life snuffed out, horrifically. And we can’t “unsee” it.

I sat at the water’s edge here in northern Michigan this morning at dawn, reflecting on all that has happened over the course of the past few days. “How can I help?”, I thought to myself. “What can I do or do better? What part can I play in meaningful, positive change?”

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Expect Respect

Every Sunday morning, I curate a roundup of the most important recent higher education news for our e-newsletter called The Weekly Scan. Last week the task was especially depressing.

At a University of Florida commencement exercise, a marshal used physical force to rush graduates off stage, especially members of an African American fraternity. At Colorado State University, campus police pulled two Native American high school students away from an admissions tour. At Yale, a white graduate student called campus police to report a black graduate student had fallen asleep in a residence hall common area.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that a police officer said this when the black student was then detained: “You’re in a Yale building, and we need to make sure you belong here.”

What are we to make of such deeply troubling actions, and what can we do about it?

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