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School of Education and Human Services

Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
248 370 3050

School of Education and Human Services

Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
248 370 3050

four types of bread spread out on a rustic wooden table

International Women's Table

In order to bring together female leaders with other outstanding women in the field of leadership, Dr. Anne Donato and Dr. Suzanne Klein have created the International Women’s Table. Its mission is to break boundaries in leadership by breaking bread and bringing voices together from across the globe in robust and reflective conversation – to share, inquire, learn and grow – in order to broaden mentorship, support and understanding of each other’s leadership work and potential.

Over a shared meal, participants are able to interact with female leaders from within and outside Oakland University - asking questions and hearing personal stories of guest speakers’ journeys in rising to various levels of leadership.

The International Women’s Table continues to welcome women from numerous cities around the globe, and has allowed those involved to reach beyond themselves and enter a new level of leadership one meal and personal story at a time. These interactions create powerful opportunities for reflecting on personal leadership while building bridges and relationships that will support this personal journey.

Custom Programming

The International Women’s Table specializes in customized leadership presentations and experiences, with a focus on the female journey to leadership. Realizing our common experiences on this leadership journey, regardless of the educational, personal or business background, brings collective female voices together to empower and expand opportunities for growth. Dedicated time and customized planning ensures:

  • Carefully curated leadership experiences – specifically for women
  • Supporting and enhancing personalized leadership goals
  • Compelling speakers with first-hand experience of the struggles and triumphs that accompany the leadership journey
  • Relevant and personally meaningful activities to round out powerful presentations
  • Exploring the most current research-based leadership materials
  • Discovering bridges between highly effective leadership theory and practices, especially those pertinent to women
  • A keystone luncheon celebrating our female leaders
  • Opportunities to share supportive information that aligns with current presentations
  • Enriching dialogue and networking opportunities
  • Creating personal leadership plans to map and guide future development as a leader

To customize an International Women’s Table experience, please contact Dr. Suzanne Klein ( or Dr. Anne Donato (

Keynote Speakers
Keynote speakers of the highest caliber are the cornerstone of International Women's Table presentations. Exceptional credentials, experience, research and first-hand knowledge are what set our speakers apart in reaching out to female colleagues, especially through an international lens, in a most meaningful way. Personal testimonies and shared stories of leadership journeys that have brought each speaker to this moment in time allow deep and resonating connections to occur between all in attendance.

The International Women's Table has had the privilege of having the following women grace our table and inspire us with their openness and depth of wisdom in the areas of educational leadership. 

Please contact  If you are interested in joining us at table, either as a guest or as a speaker, or if you know someone who would be a rich addition to our list of formidable women, please contact Dr. Anne Donato at (248) 370-3199 or Dr. Suzanne Klein at (248) 370-3142.

Susan Bowyer Head ShotSusan Bowyer
Medical Physicist/Neuroimaging Scientist, Henry Ford Hospital
Dr. Bowyer is a medical physicist/neuroimaging scientist in the Department of Neurology at Henry Ford Hospital in downtown Detroit. She also teaches physics at Oakland University, where she is an associate professor. In her job she uses neuroimaging techniques such as magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to understand how the brain processes language, hearing, vision, sensory, and memory functions. She also develops neuroimaging methods to determine the location of abnormal brain areas (such as in epilepsy) prior to surgery. Previously, she has investigated the cortical networks in disorders such as Autism, Migraine, Tinnitus, Dyslexia, and Mild Cognitive Dementia.   She received an associate of applied science degree in business management from Macomb Community College, a bachelor’s degree in applied science in psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in biomedical physics from Oakland University. She performed her post-doctoral training at Henry Ford Hospital. In 2002, she received an adjunct assistant professorship from Oakland University and in 2003.  She is currently the Scientific Director of the Neuromagnetism Lab and Senior Staff Investigator at Henry Ford Hospital (HFH).

Julie Ricks-Doneen Head ShotJulie Ricks-Doneen
Associate Professor, Oakland University
Julie Ricks-Doneen received her B.S. in Home Economics in 1981 from University of Missouri, her M.A. in Educational Research and Psychology in 1986 from University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 2000 from Michigan State University. Dr. Ricks-Doneen is an associate professor in Human Development and Child Studies at Oakland University. She has been involved in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Dr. Ricks-Doneen has been involved in leadership and policy development at the local, state, and national levels. Her research areas include early intervention and inclusion of children with special needs in typical early childhood environments, and early childhood professional leadership development.

Leigh Dzwik Head ShotLeigh Dzwik
Assistant Dean, School of Education and Human Services, Oakland University
Leigh Settlemoir Dzwik was named Assistant Dean in 2013. Prior to her role in the School, Dr. Dzwik served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Human Resources, along with other roles in the Provost’s Office, which included responsibilities as contract officer and member of the administrative negotiating team for faculty bargaining. Dr. Dzwik started her career in the automotive industry, working in human resources roles in unionized environments before entering academe. She is a graduate of the 2015 HERS Wellesley program and in 2016 completed the American Council on Education’s Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program. Her research interests include: academic human resources, the work of the department chair, higher education organizational culture, governance, and leadership. Dr. Dzwik received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oakland University; a Master of Business Administration degree from Wayne State University; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Development from Oakland University.

Janet Graetz HeadshotJanet Graetz
Associate Professor, Oakland University
Janet E. Graetz, Ph.D, is an associate professor at Oakland University in the Department of Human Development and Child Studies. For the past 30 years, her life has revolved around individuals with developmental disabilities. She began classroom teaching in 1970 and taught in various schools and institutional settings until 2001. She attended George Mason University in Virginia and completed her Ph.D. in Special Education and Instructional Technology in 2003. Her current research interests include the topic of sexuality and quality of life issues for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She was awarded a grant from the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) to examine the lives of OU students with Asperger Syndrome. Dr. Graetz continues to work closely with the OU Center for Autism to improve the lives of those affected by autism.

Nawal Hamadeh Head ShotNawal Hamadeh
President and CEO of Hamadeh Educational Services
Mrs. Nawal Hamadeh, a prominent member of the Arab American Community and Founder and Superintendent of four successful and highly regarded “Tuition Free” academies: Star International Academy in Dearborn Heights, Universal Learning Academy in Westland, Noor International Academy in Sterling Heights, and Universal Academy in Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Hamadeh founded HES in 1998 to provide quality Pre-k-12 educational management services to public school academies to ensure students’ success in this ever-changing global society with focus on the Michigan Core Curriculum and International Baccalaureate standards, multicultural education and foreign languages (Arabic). Today, HES serves over 3,`200 students in the Metro Detroit area with over 400 staff members. All instructional staff is highly qualified and100% of enrolled students are accepted into colleges and the majority are recipients of full ride and/or partial scholarships.

Teri John Head ShotTeri John
Executive Director of Learning, Detroit Institute of Arts
Teri joined the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) as Director of Education Programs four years ago after a 30+ year career in public education, where she was a teacher, PR coordinator, grant writer, supervisor of professional development, and elementary principal. Teri brought to the DIA her knowledge of K-12’s needs at a time that the publicly funded DIA needed to increase its impact on teaching and learning in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Under Teri’s leadership, the DIA more than doubled student field trips in four years—from about 35,000 to nearly 75,000—while maintaining extremely high visitor satisfaction ratings. Recently, Teri was promoted to Executive Director of Learning and Audience Engagement. In her new role, Teri oversees eEducation programs, studio programs, public programs, community engagement and interpretation.

Dunya Mikhail Head ShotDunya Mikhail
Special Lecturer of Arabic Languages, Oakland University
Dunya Mikhail worked as a journalist for the Baghdad Observer before she was forced to flee Iraq. Her poetry collection The War Works Hard was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize. Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea won the 2010 Arab American Book Award for poetry. The Beekeeper was a finalist for PEN/Galbraith award in non-fiction. Dunya Mikhail has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Knight Foundation grant, a Kresge Fellowship and the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. She works as a special lecturer of Arabic at Oakland University in Michigan.

Kate Murray Head ShotKathryn Murray
Principal, Grosse Pointe North High School
Kate Murray was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Michigan and completed a degree in French, English and Secondary Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Saginaw Valley State University and an Education Specialist from Oakland University. Murray taught French and English at Grosse Pointe North High School for fifteen years and was the assistant principal for one year. She is currently in her seventh year as principal of Grosse Pointe North.

Claudia Petrescu Head ShotClaudia Petrescu
Chief Strategy Officer, Oakland University
Dr. Petrescu's role is to provide academic leadership and vision in the advancement of graduate education through the integrated process of strategic planning within Academic Affairs. Petrescu is also a professor of public administration in the department of Political Science at Oakland University. She received her doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and has graduate degrees from Duquesne University, Babes-Bolyai University (Romania), and the National School of Public Administration and International Relations (Romania). Her expertise is in the areas of nonprofit management, capacity building, strategic planning, organizational change and evaluation.

Korin Visocchi Head ShotKorin Visocchi
Chief Learning Officer and Associate Head of School, Academy of the Sacred Heart
Korin is combining a passion for History and Leadership through her dissertation research, which is focused on the formation and lived experiences of women Heads of School in Network Sacred Heart Schools. She has spent the last five years studying the traditions and transformation of educational leadership in independent schools. Her findings have provided a platform for advancing the leadership development stories of women Heads of Schools in independent schools.

Korin believes that creating intentional space to be reflective is at the core of her transformational leadership capacity. She recently trained with the Center for Courage and Renewal’s Leadership Academy. She is an advocate for espacio, “space” in her daily mindfulness routine. Korin is a leader in independent school accreditation, leadership and strategic planning. She loves to teach, research, and write. She also enjoys her involvement in community gardening, camping with her family, and riding bikes on the trails of Rochester with her husband and two young children.

Research Connections

The International Women's Table grounds its approach on the formidable work of esteemed researchers in the field of organizational leadership. Having the ability to engage in robust discussions across a myriad of disciplines, from business to education to community work, provides a dynamic platform for such research to grow in a progressive, meaningful way. Learning about the possibilities and potential for women positioned for leadership is an exciting opportunity, as well as learning from leadership pathways already taken and forged.

The International Women's Table continually seeks out the most relevant and current research addressing strong leadership principles, for today and tomorrow, while honoring the past achievements and lessons of those practicing leadership from various vantage points. Here is a sampling of what has crossed, literally, our Table, with the tenets still ringing with those who joined us.....enjoy!

Bridges, W. (2009).  Managing Transitions:  Making the Most of Change.  Philadelphia, PA:  Da Capo Press.

Kouzes, J. and Posner, B. (2017).  The Leadership Challenge:  How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. Hoboken, New Jersey:  John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Bolman, L. and Deal, T. (2014).  How Great Leaders Think:  The Art of Reframing.  San Francisco, CA.

Sheninger, E. and Murray, T.  (2017).  Learning Transformed:  8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools Today.  Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.

Middleton, D. (2016). Grace and Grit: How to Bring Out the Remarkable, Courageous Leader Within. Bibliomotion: Brookline, MA