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2023 Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute

January 12, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - February 24, 2023 @ 3:30 pm CST

2023 Donna m. bourassa mid-level management institute

an ACPA signature educational program for those who have been in the student affairs field for five or more years or are a departmental director.

Thank you for your interest in ACPA MMI! Registration for the 2023 Institute has closed and information on the 2024 Institute will be available in summer 2024.
MMI 2023 will be offered in virtual format! Join us for 5 sessions in early 2023:
  • Thursday, January 12, 2023 – 5:00 – 7:00pm ET
  • Friday, January 13, 2023 – 1:30 – 3:30pm ET
  • Friday, January 27, 2023 – 1:30 – 3:30pm ET
  • Friday, February 10, 2023 – 1:30 – 3:30pm ET
  • Friday, February 24, 2023 – 1:30 – 3:30pm ET

Going into its 25th year, the Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute is an ACPA educational program for those who have been in the student affairs field for five or more years or are a departmental director.  The Institute guides those desiring to grow their authentic leadership, strengthen their capacities and understand self and organizational dynamics in order to lead well.

The Institute, named for Donna Bourassa, Ed.D. former Associate Executive Director of ACPA, is a successful professional development resource to hundreds of colleagues in the student affairs profession.

institute features

  • Dynamic curriculum focused on identifying the complexities facing higher education and the student affairs profession and providing the resources to effect positive change.

  • A highly interactive and engaging learning environment including individual and group activities, panels, presentations, case studies and small and large group discussions.

  • A cohort model supports personal and professional transformation and connections with colleagues after the Institute.

  • In depth discussions and reflections facilitated through mentor groups.

  • Each year a reception is hosted at the ACPA Annual Convention for all past participants

institute faculty

click on a faculty name below to learn more about them!

Alan Acosta

Alan Acosta headshot

Vice Provost for Student Life and Director of Positive Learning Environments
Office of Student Life // University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
He, Him, His

Alan Acosta is the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life and Director of Positive Learning Environments in the Office of Student Life at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in Worcester, MA, USA, the ancestral homelands of the Nipmuc people. His work includes managing campus and student issues, collaborating with campus partners, encouraging the holistic wellness of students, and helping create a welcoming campus community. He believes in the importance of growing college students into ethical global leaders for the future, and he weaves equity and inclusion into the work he does. Prior to his role as Assistant Vice Provost, Alan worked at Clark University, as well as held numerous roles at Florida State University.

Alan received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 2004, and he earned his Master of Education in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Florida in 2006. He received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 2017. Alan has published articles on the leadership experiences of Latino men in peer reviewed higher education journals, authored a book chapter on the impact of implicit bias on Black men in the academy, and co-edited a book on student conduct in the residence halls. He is also an adjunct instructor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at Salem State University.

Alan has been actively involved in ACPA – College Student Educators International (ACPA), his professional home for over 15 years, where he is currently the treasurer of the ACPA Foundation. He has previously served as the Chair of ACPA’s Commission for Student Conduct and Legal Issues, the coordinator for ACPA’s Voices of Inclusion awards, and a directorate body member of the Standing Committee for Graduate Students and New Professionals. Alan has been involved in the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA), serving as the Educational Initiatives chair for the Association’s 2016 Annual Conference and a co-author of the ASCA Knowledge and Skills document. He also is a member of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and a past member of the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International.

Alan enjoys spending time with his partner, Danielle, their two cats, Ninja and Buster, and their dog Stella. He also likes reading, watching professional wrestling, and cheering for the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, and Boston Red Sox. ¡Boricua!

Monique C. Atherley

Intercultural Center Director // Marymount Manhattan College

She, They

Monique C. Atherley (She/They) is a dynamic, impactful, and vision-based leader who works to diligently offer underrepresented populations opportunities to succeed. She is a scholar-practitioner, servant leader, capacity builder, and trainer with over 15 years of experience across K through 12, Community Based Organizations, and Higher Education with specific focus on urban educational offerings and college access. Monique focuses her praxis and pedagogy on empowering, informing, exposing, and preparing folx in her care for the realities and opportunities that will help revolutionize their existence. She currently serves the Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) community as the Inaugural Director of their Intercultural Center.

A child of immigrants, she’s committed to the protection and joy of black and brown bodies; and positions herself in spaces that support them thriving, not just surviving. On her journey, Monique has built an Award-Winning Residential Student Leadership system, served as a Charter member for three honor society chapters as well as a Model United Nations Conference, and has also served as an Advisor for identity-based groups. Monique has served as the Chair of the Pan African Network of ACPA – an affinity space in Higher Education creating room and visibility for those from or in support of the African diaspora. She has served as a faculty member within the City University of New York at the bachelor’s level, focusing on areas of human relations (a humanistic view of human resources and personnel operations), organizational development, and generational engagement from the lens of aging and adulthood. She is former staff member/current volunteer for the New York Urban League and also served as the Inaugural Advisor for the CUNY School of Professional Studies Black Student Union (BSU) and Chartering Advisor of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Tri Alpha First Generational Student Honor Society.

Monique’s depth, insight, heart, strategy, and effort have promoted the connectedness needed in communities to support individual and organizational growth. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her advocacy including the 2021 Promising Practices in Social Justice at a Two-Year College from the ACPA Commission for Two-Year Colleges and 2021 Network Leadership Award from the ACPA Coalition for Multicultural Affairs. Her research interests include Equity and Racial Justice in Education, Sense of Belonging, The Multigenerational Workplace, Employee Engagement, and Support for Caregivers in the Workplace. She is currently focusing her dissertation research on how organizations can bridge the gap of talent at the table through belonging.

Genia M. Bettencourt
Genia M. Bettencourt headshotAssistant Professor of Higher and Adult Education // University of Memphis
She, Her

Dr. Genia (Genie) Bettencourt is an Assistant Professor of Higher and Adult Education at the University of Memphis, where she teaches primarily in the Master of Science program in Student Affairs Administration and Doctorate of Education in Higher Education. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education and Graduate Certificate in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst; a Master of Science in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University; and, Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, History, and Political Science from the University of California, Davis.

Genie’s research agenda focuses on issues of access, equity, and student success in higher education, with a primary focus on issues of social class and classism. Her research can be found in various peer reviewed journals, including the Journal of College Student Development, Review of Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, and Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. She has received funding support for her research from ACPA, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the Southern Association of College Student Affairs (SACSA), and Susan T. Buffett Foundation. 

A scholar-practitioner, Genie’s research is informed by her background in student affairs practitioner roles across pre-college program, student leadership, and residential life. At UMass Amherst, she oversaw residential communities of up to 530 first year students and coordinated training and development for over 200 student staff members. ACPA has formed an important part of Genie’s professional development. Since her first conference in 2010, she has served as a Directorate member for the Coalition for Women’s Identities, a planning member for ACPA on the Road, and on the Leadership Pathways Implementation Team. Additionally, Genie was named as one of the incoming ACPA Emerging Scholars for 2023. 


In her free time, Genie loves to travel, most recently with a trip to Vietnam. She fosters dogs in the Memphis community for the Happidog Rescue organization and is currently hosting her tenth dog, a mixed breed puppy named Alfalfa. She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, attending theater and musical performances, and dabbling in various craft projects.

Craig Elliott
headshot of Craig Elliott smiling at the cameraVice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Montana Technological University
He, Him, His

Dr. Craig Elliott has worked in student affairs for almost 30 years, and currently serves as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Montana Tech University in Butte, MT. He helps lead the student engagement and success efforts at the University

Craig served as President of ACPA-College Student Educators International in 2019-2020 and led the organization in its efforts to boldly transform higher education. He previously served as President of the California College Personnel Association from 1999-2001, chaired the Inclusion Task Force for ACPA in 2002, served on the national convention planning teams (2002 and 2013), and served on the Foundation Board. He has also served in a variety of leadership capacities in NASPA, NCORE and WACUHO. Craig is also a Social Justice Training Institute alumnus, serves on the faculty with Student SJTI, is a Co-Lead Facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute, and is on the board of World Trust.

Craig is also a trainer, consultant, and speaker on diversity, leadership, and social justice with over fifteen years of experience.  Craig’s research interests explore white caucus work, feminism and masculinity, the intersection of Transformative Learning and Social Justice work, inclusion and equity, institutional change, and dismantling white supremacy.  Craig is part of the editorial collective for Rad Dad, a zine on feminist and social justice parenting, which has published three anthologies. He has also contributed chapters on feminism, fathering, co-authored an article on the transformative nature of medical missions, and an article on institutional barriers to inclusion and equity.

Craig recently co-wrote a book with Robert Brown and Shruti Desai entitled Identity-Conscious Supervision in Student Affairs: Building Relationships and Transforming Systems. It is published by Routledge.

Craig also serves in his local community in scouting, soccer. He is married to Nicole (over 22 years) and is father to Jackson and Thomas, and loves soccer, music, time with his family, and really good, strong coffee.

Bernie Liang
Bernie Liang headshotSenior Director for Student Engagement
Seattle University
He, Him, His

Bernie Liang is the Senior Director for Student Engagement at Seattle University, where he oversees the Center for Student Involvement and Student Success and Outreach while serving on the divisional leadership team.  With experience in functions including leadership development, outreach to marginalized communities, and campus life, he brings a wide set of experiences.

Throughout his 20+ years in student affairs, he has dedicated his leadership to creating inclusive environments that encourage deep interrogation of our systemic inequities in higher education. A first-generation gay Asian American cisgender man, Bernie received his bachelor’s degree in Business Logistics at Penn State University and his Master of Arts in Education in Student Development Administration at Seattle University. Prior to his time at Seattle University, he held positions at University of Washington Tacoma, Willamette University, and Susquehanna University, overseeing a variety of campus functions including residence life, campus life, recreation, community service, and admissions.

Bernie has been involved with ACPA for 18 years, providing leadership to the Asian Pacific American Network (APAN), the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs (CMA), and as part of the convention team for Las Vegas and Montreal. In 2021, he was honored to host ACPA’s first virtual convention as Convention Chair.  He’s presented on topics including trailing spouse experiences in student affairs, supporting LGBT students of color, and navigating the mid-level manager landscape as a person of color. In 2012, he was honored to co-author a chapter on Multiracial and Multiethnic APIA professionals in higher education, published in the text “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education: Research and perspectives on identity, leadership, and success.”

At home, Bernie is proud to be a loving husband to Ryan Hamachek and a father to Eli (3 years old) and their dachshund mix Sybil.

Laila McCloud
Laila McCloud headshotAssistant Professor of Higher Education
Grand Valley State University
She, Her, Black woman

Dr. Laila McCloud is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Grand Valley State University. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies (Higher Education and Student Affairs) from the University of Iowa. Prior to pursuing a faculty career, she served as a student affairs educator focused on issues of equity and access at several institutions in the Chicagoland area.  Dr. McCloud’s research uses critical theories and methods to explore: (1) the professional and academic socialization of Black college students; (2) the professionalization of multicultural student affairs work; and (3) teaching and learning practices in higher education and student affairs graduate preparation programs.

She serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of College Student Development. Dr. McCloud is an active member and has held leadership positions in higher education and student affairs associations such as ACPA, ASHE, and NASPA. Her research has been published in the Journal of College Student Development, the Journal of Higher Education, and the Journal of the Professoriate. Dr. McCloud is a Research Associate with the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL). In 2022, she was recognized as the NASPA Region IV-E Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member.


January 12, 2023 @ 5:00 pm CST
February 24, 2023 @ 3:30 pm CST
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