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Oakland University’s Michelle Piskulich recognized as a ‘Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership’


Michelle Piskulich, Ph.D., senior associate provost at Oakland University, has been selected as a recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award, which is presented annually by the Michigan ACE Network. It is the highest honor the MI-ACE Network presents.
“Receiving this award is so meaningful to me,” Piskulich said. “I really am proud and honored to have my work recognized. I only wish I could have a big party and invite everyone who has contributed to the work — it would be a very large party! A person can’t move the needle alone, and so there are a lot of people at OU who I hope see themselves in the honor that I received.”

Piskulich has held a number of administrative positions at Oakland University including acting director of Women’s Studies, director of the Master of Public Administration Program, chair of the Political Science Department, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and interim executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost.
She has taught classes in research methods and statistics, quantitative techniques, computer techniques, women and politics, public policy, public administration theory, public budgeting and finance, citizenship and civil society, and comparative politics.
In addition, Piskulich has been an active mentor to faculty and professional staff interested in expanding their leadership opportunities. She has mentored associate deans, department chairs, faculty, and administrative professionals.

Piskulich  has also served the University as a member and chair of numerous committees and taskforces dedicated to advancing the status of women, including the Women’s Studies Executive Committee, Women’s History Month Committee, the Work-Life Balance Task Force, the Women’s Employee Resource Group (WERG), the ACE Network Conference Planning Committee, and the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council’s conference Planning Committee.
She also served as an institutional representative to the Michigan ACE Network from 2010 to 2019, during which OU’s participation in the Women of Color Collaborative and all statewide activities increased significantly. Piskulich also organized Equal Pay Day events and helped embed the annual OU Googasian Award Luncheon, which recognizes individuals who have worked to improve the status of women on and off campus.

“When you do work like this, you do it because it is right and because it is a passion; and you don't do it alone,” Piskulich said. “Having someone recognize what you have done is really icing on the cake.”

The Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award honors Michigan women who have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding leadership to women in their institutions, in their profession and in society at large. It also recognizes groundbreaking work on behalf of women that is outside the scope of the nominee’s formal faculty or staff responsibilities.

Honorees are chosen from nominations made by the presidents or chief operating officers of Michigan ACE Network member colleges and universities early each calendar year. The nomination process is followed by a selection panel of members of the Michigan ACE Network board who represent a variety of institutions across the state.

“We received many nominations, all of whom were very deserving,” said Dr. Mamiko Reeves, DWA committee chair, MI ACE Women’s Network. “However, Dr. Piskulich was especially exemplary. The Selection Committee was very impressed with her many accomplishments and the significant impact she had made on (the OU) campus and beyond.”

The award will be presented during the Michigan ACE Network annual conference, which will be held virtually on June 14-15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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