New & Noteworthy

College of Business Committee on Inclusion Hosts The Glass Ceiling—Imaginary or Not?

October 11, 2018


The College of Business Committee on Inclusion continued to promote diversity and inclusion through their third annual event, Conversation on Inclusion: The Glass Ceiling—Imaginary or Not?

“The committee felt that the time was right to discuss the important contributions that women make to our culture and society,” said Dr. Catherine S. Browers, Committee Chair. “We were convinced that a forum to showcase experiences of successful women leaders offered a unique opportunity for students to invest in their understanding of a diverse post-graduate world.”

This year’s speakers all came from organizations and companies across Michigan to share their individual stories of personal and professional success and determination.

  • Dr. Sue Franz, a native of China, is the current Vice President of Chemistry at Gentex Corporation. She is involved in chemistry research, chemical process development, manufacturing support, and quality control of chemicals.
  • Michelle D. McHale, CPA/CFF/CFE, is a partner with the well know accounting firm, Plante Moran. She has over 20 years of experience in fraud, forensic accounting, damage/loss analysis, and insurance claim analysis.
  • Karianne Thomas is the new Public Safety Chief of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. She is a 25-year veteran of the force, and has been a public safety officer, investigator, crime lab technician, detective bureau sergeant, and DEA task force agent, among many other roles. Chief Thomas also carries the distinction of being an alumnus from Ferris State University.

Before the event, speakers made themselves personally available to students who wanted to ask specific information related to their fields of expertise. Speakers then mingled with students during a social hour, accepting resumes and contact information for future communication. During the event, they responded to questions from participants regarding personal and professional experiences and concerns about being women in the professional work arena.

The Conversation on Inclusion attracted approximately 275 registered students, administrators, faculty, and other guests. Student responses from the event included statements like, “The speakers were phenomenal,” and “This was the best event of the series.”

“The enthusiastic response we received this year encourages us to continue this “conversation” into the future. We are grateful to our speakers and guests for making this a great event. The committee is already sharing ideas for 2019,” Dr. Browers said.

The annual Conversation on Inclusion was organized by the College of Business Committee on Inclusion.  To learn more about Conversation on Inclusion, contact the committee chair at 231.591.3145.