Women's Leadership Colloquium Logo

Thank you for joining us for the
2021 Women’s Leadership Colloquium


Enjoy an afternoon of information and inspiration at the seventh annual Women’s Leadership Colloquium, hosted virtually by The Women’s College of Brenau University. Join students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Brenau as we celebrate the GOLD Program’s “O” year theme, “Own your voice, create your community,” with conversations about the unique potential and challenges of women’s leadership. Three successful, passionate women will share their stories, advice and innovative vision for others who lead or aspire to lead during this uplifting, motivating event.

This event is made possible in part by support from Collaborating Sponsor UPS, Onward Reserve, Grace-Gaskins Women’s Studies Endowment Fund and the Brenau Alumni Association Lecture Series. For more on how you can support the Women’s Leadership Initiative, contact Matt Thomas, 770-718-5309, mthomas@brenau.edu.

2021 Speakers

Dr. Anne Skleder – Keynote Speaker

Dr. Anne SklederDr. Anne A. Skleder, Ph.D., is Brenau University’s 10th president and the first woman elected to this position in the university’s 142-year history. Since joining Brenau in July 2019, Dr. Skleder has introduced a robust collaborative management approach and has taken significant steps to increase retention efforts and expand Brenau’s student recruitment, especially internationally through strategic partnerships.

She is currently preparing the university for its decennial review by its accrediting body and has launched the university’s next round of strategic planning. Under her leadership, Brenau elevated its Department of Psychology to the Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling through a generous gift from Doug and Kay Ivester.

Dr. Skleder serves on a number of boards including the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and on the executive committee of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education.

Previously, Dr. Skleder served schools in Pennsylvania including Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, for five years as senior vice president, provost and professor of psychology; Cabrini University, Radnor, in similar roles; Chatham College for Women at Chatham University, Pittsburgh, as dean; and Alvernia University, Reading, in positions of increasing responsibility over 16 years.

Dr. Skleder received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and her master’s and doctorate degrees in social and organizational psychology from Temple University. She also completed Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. She has presented nationally and internationally and has published on a wide variety of topics in her field of psychology as well as topics of import in higher education.

Antonina Lerch – Alumni Association Endowed Speaker

Antonina (Grib) Lerch, WC '03Born and raised in Belarus, Antonina (Grib) Lerch, WC ’03, joined the state-sponsored tennis program at an early age, participating in many tournaments both in Europe and the former USSR. She competed both as an individual and as a Belarus National Junior Tennis Team member. Lerch subsequently came to the U.S. on a tennis scholarship from Brenau University, where she won multiple NAIA national and Super Bowl titles. Antonina graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design from Brenau and summa cum laude with a Master of Fine Arts in costume design from the University of Georgia. Her professional career in costuming began with an internship at NBC Universal, where she worked on the television show Passions. After joining the Motion Picture Costumers Union, Local 705, she worked as a costumer at many major Hollywood studios. Her professional credits include Star Trek (2009), Mad Men (AMC), Dollhouse (FOX), True Blood (HBO), Dexter (Showtime) and Torchwood (BBC and Starz). In 2015, Antonina retired from the film industry and moved to Lake Tahoe, where she and her husband, Michael, were blessed with their two beautiful daughters, Anna and Ellie. For the last six years, Antonina has been active on the Brenau University Board of Trustees.

Dr. Jessica Herrera – Featured Alumna Speaker

Dr. Jessica HerreraDr. Jessica Herrera, WC ’05, is the physician lead in the primary care clinic at the Los Angeles County women’s jail, which requires navigating the medically and socially complex correctional health population and working across disciplines and jail custody staff. Originally from Texas, Dr. Herrera grew up in Northeast Georgia and obtained her Bachelor of Science in biology from Brenau University and a Master of Public Health in global health at Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. She attended medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle and completed her internal medicine residency in Oakland, California. Herrera also worked at a large women’s health clinic in Atlanta, where she led a project to help advocate for Latina women’s reproductive justice. Her public health research experiences have allowed her to work with the United States Senate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. She also served communities in Mexico, Nicaragua, Nepal and Uganda. She is the proud daughter of a single immigrant mother who influenced her continued dedication to fight injustices faced by underserved communities. Among her greatest prides are being mother to her daughter, Alma Sophia, and wife to Army veteran Jose Ramos.

Past Colloquium Speakers

Watch videos of the past colloquium speakers and of performers
on our YouTube channel and our Vimeo page.

“Join our group of smart, successful women for an afternoon of information and inspiration. Now more than ever it’s vital that we come together to advocate for women and their leadership.”

– Dr. Debra Dobkins,
Dean of the Women’s College and WLC Host

Dr. Debra Dobkins headshot

Questions? Contact Emily Stockton at alumni.news@brenau.edu