About Us

The Women’s Advancement Initiative benefits the University of Hartford by challenging and supporting today’s women in the Hartford College for Women tradition.

Through scholarships, leadership development programs, grants, and events, the Women’s Advancement Initiative:

  • Enhances the education of women

  • Empowers women to lead

  • Enriches the greater University community

Women's Advancement Initiative staff

Amy Jaffe Barzach
Executive Director

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Sara Cerruto
Program Director

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Glandina (Dina) Morris
Director, The Women's Advancement Initiative

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Meet our Board Members

Pearl Douglas, Chair
Judy Casperson, Treasurer
Karishma Pinto ’17, ’18, Secretary 


  • Tricia Brunton 
  • Debbie Javit A’83 (HCW) 
  • Barry Lastra 
  • Karen Gibbs Orefice A’65 (HCW)
  • Moraima Gutierrez 
  • Katharine Owens
  • Debra Palmer ’82 
  • Molly O’Shea Polk
  • Sabrina Streeter ’18
  • Bill Webster 

Founding Board Chair: Lucille M. Nickerson 

Support The Women's Advancement Initiative

There are many ways to support The Women’s Advancement Initiative. You make the difference in our initiatives by contributing your financial support, time, and expertise.

Community members are welcome to attend our leadership sessions, outings, and events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Executive Director, Amy Jaffe Barzach.

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Students in the LEAD Program are looking for mentors in all career fields and opportunities to do short-term job shadowing. If you are interested in helping in either capacity please contact us.

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Hire An Intern

The students who participate in The Women’s Advancement Initiative are highly capable, intelligent, and talented students who are seeking internships, and career placement, within local companies. This is mutually beneficial to companies who are looking to attract and retain talent. If you are interested in hiring a student or alumnae, please contact us.

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Give to Our Programs


Unrestricted annual gifts provide essential support for the day–to–day needs of The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s programs, including LEAD, Dorothy Goodwin Scholars, Laura Johnson Leaders, and our events.