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September 20, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

National diversity, leadership group honors Jessamine Montero-Michaels

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Jessamine Montero-Michaels, senior officer for diversity and inclusion and special assistant to the president at Slippery Rock University, is among those who recently received the Multicultural Leadership Award at the National Diversity and Leadership Conference at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Ret. Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state, was the event's keynote speaker.

The National Diversity Council seeks to uphold and promote the principles of diversity and leadership and to recognize those individuals who personify those principles.

The Multicultural Leadership Award recognizes individuals of color who have made a difference through their achievements and exemplify the ability to excel in their field.

To be considered for the award the individual must demonstrates leadership excellence in the public and/or private sectors; sustain a record of accomplishments and/or contributions to the field of work throughout scope of his/her career; demonstrate leadership characteristics in community/or high visibility in the community; retain commendable reputation with colleagues and superiors; and exhibit and demonstrate a commitment to the highest ethical standards and professional excellence.

Montero-Michaels joined SRU in 2002 and has been responsible for a number of extensive and innovative programs. She has provided leadership in the development, implementation and maintenance of policies, programs and systems to achieve University diversity and inclusion goals.

She partners closely with the greatest strengths of the campus - the students, staff, faculty and administrators of SRU. "Inclusive Excellence is fundamentally about being the best of what we can be, individually and collectively. We leverage the power of our campus diversity by doing just that, being excellent at identifying, strengthening, allying, celebrating and truly educating each of us in our personal and shared aspirations," she said.

She was a 2009 Minority Achievement Award recipient from Talk/Minority Opinion Magazine, Pittsburgh.

Montero-Michaels earned her doctorate of education and administration leadership studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; her master of business administration from Point Park University; and a master's and bachelor of arts in psychology from Marshall University. She is a certified workshop facilitator and trainer for Prejudice Reduction: Welcoming Diversity and Handling Controversial Issues, National Coalition Building Institute and an Intergroup Relations/Dialogue facilitator with National Intergroup Dialogue Institute.

She lends her expertise to six active President's Commissions at SRU, all comprised of volunteer faculty, staff and students.

Other Multicultural Leadership Award recipients were: Aerotek - Shelton Guinn, executive director of diversity and inclusion; AIG - Walter Hurdle, global chief development officer; Bank of America, Carlos Carter, senior vice president and senior client manager; CBS Corp., Josie Thomas, senior vice president and chief development officer; Cerion Energy, James Huerta, senior vice president for strategy and initiatives; Citi, Sandy Fernandez, senior vice president; City University of New York, Angel Rivera, chief development officer; Community College of Allegheny County, Charlene Newkirk, south campus president; Future Genesis, Bob Kaplan, chief information officer; Giant Eagle, Kelly McCormick, director of enterprise in human resources; Highmark, Sara Oliver-Carter, vice president for diversity and inclusion; INVEST Financial, David Hunter, vice president of new business development; National Grid, Ronald Macklin, vice president and deputy general counsel; New York Life Insurance Co., Jen Mahone, corporate vice president of diversity and inclusion; Onondaga Community College, Cathleen McColgin, provost and senior vice president; and YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Kevin Bolding, district vice president.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.