Statewide women’s network grows under Overman’s leadership

With Amy Overman as State Chair, the NC ACE Women's Network has grown significantly. The network held its annual conference last week.

The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the advancement of women in colleges and universities in North Carolina, experienced significant growth during the past year, as noted by State Chair Amy Overman in her opening remarks at the network’s annual conference on June 3.

Amy Overman gives remarks at NC ACE Women's Network Conference on June 3, 2022.
Amy Overman gives remarks at NC ACE Women’s Network Conference on June 3, 2022.

Overman, who is a professor in the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program, and assistant dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, has led the NC ACE Women’s Network as State Chair since 2021. She was one of the small group of women who initiated the network starting in 2016 and has been a member of the organization’s executive board since its official establishment in 2018.

“If you were here last year for my closing remarks, you heard me share my goals for the network for this year, and I’m delighted to say that we met all of them,” Overman stated in her remarks. These included:

  • Building the network’s professional development programming;
  • Identifying four new presidential sponsors for the network: Dr. Connie Book, President of Elon University; Dr. Kelli Brown, Chancellor of Western Carolina University; Dr. Karrie Dixon, Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, and Dr. Pamela Senegal, President of Piedmont Community College;
  • Expanding the network’s executive board and the representation of different higher education sectors on the board; and
  • Growing the number and diversity of member institutions, with a 73% increase in membership this year compared to last year.

The network’s annual conference was held virtually this year, and was attended by over 260 women representing public and private universities and community colleges across North Carolina. The program featured professional development sessions led by distinguished speakers including Suzanne Walsh, president of Bennett College, and Marilyn Wells, chancellor of Penn State Brandywine. The keynote address was given by Leah Cox, vice chancellor for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a presidents’ panel included Nancy Cable, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont Community College, and Paulette Dillard, president of Shaw University.

In addition to providing opening remarks, Overman led the conference’s networking lunch, and closed out the day’s events by presenting the NC ACE Women’s Network Trailblazer Award to her predecessor Gloria Thomas, who was state chair of the NC ACE Women’s Network from 2018-2021. “Gloria has dedicated over 20 years to supporting women’s leadership in higher education,” Overman said, noting Thomas’s service as the Director of Carolina Women’s Center at UNC Chapel Hill, executive director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW) at the University of Michigan, and as the associate director at the national office of the American Council on Education (ACE). Thomas is currently the president of HERS, the national organization for women’s leadership development in higher education.

The North Carolina ACE Women’s Network is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is affiliated with the American Council on Education’s national system of women’s networks. More information on the organization can be found on their website,