RiseUP Leadership Forum

Take your next leadership leap with RiseUP – the executive education forum sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Make it to the C-suite. Start your own venture. Get a job where you can really thrive. You know you’re ready. RiseUP will help you achieve your goals.

Informed by the latest research on gender, leadership and learning, RiseUP addresses the specific challenges and opportunities facing women in organizations. In three intensive days, you’ll prepare to move to senior-level leadership roles or the next phase in your career.  Over 30% of past participants moved into new roles within 1 year of the forum.


May 8-10, 2024


University of Delaware
STAR Campus
Newark, DE


Registration, materials & meals:
$4,500 Non-profit

Register Now

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for mid-career professionals who are looking to advance in their leadership journey. We welcome participants from all sectors (for-profit, nonprofit, government) and industries who want to move into more senior leadership in a company or start an entrepreneurial venture.

The value of the RiseUP Program

In this video, Wendy Smith, Faculty Director, and two program alumnae explain how the program has helped over 30% of participants advance to a new position or role. Watch the video

What You Will Gain

The forum is centered around our 3C Model of Leadership:

  • Clarity: Develop a leadership vision for the next 5-10 years based on your unique values, goals and strengths
  • Competence: Build skills that will allow you to be more powerful in your current role and ready to move into a new role
  • Community: Connect to a powerful regional network of women leaders from a variety of industries

You will join unique conversations that will give you the opportunity to address gender-based issues that may not emerge in other programs. You will also earn a Lerner College of Business executive education certificate to build your formal leadership credentials.

During the three-day forum, we address the following topics.

  • Values clarification
  • Strength assessment
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Assertive communication
  • Executive presence
  • Leadership mindsets
  • “Both/and” thinking
  • Networking skills

Organizational Benefits
Organizations benefit when women succeed. Our program:

  • Builds a diverse pipeline of committed talent for middle and senior management
  • Provides a research-based executive education for key employees
  • Enables program graduates to serve as inclusive leaders and champion others to advance a more diverse workplace

Teaching Team

Wendy Smith, Ph.D.

Professor of Management, Co-founder – Women’s Leadership Initiative Lerner College

Wendy believes that leadership success comes from living in the AND. She works to help leaders be compassionate and competent, assertive and engaging, committed to family and committed to work. Her work has been featured in Harvard Business Review and in prominent academic journals. Her book Embracing AND: How to Tap the Power of Paradox for Growth will be published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2021. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard Business School.

Sarah Baker Andrus

Assistant Director of Lerner Career Services, University of Delaware

Sarah Baker Andrus is an executive career coach and assistant director of Lerner Career Services at the University of Delaware. She has built leadership development and training programs in the corporate world and served in senior recruiting and talent roles for Vector Marketing, overseeing their North American recruiting efforts, along with external relations, crisis communications and public relations activities. She also served as director of marketing for Dove Chocolate Discoveries, a division of Mars Chocolate. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, Sarah started Avarah Careers, a consulting and coaching company dedicated to helping people find a great career fit and helping businesses build great teams. In addition to her current role focusing on graduate students in Lerner’s MBA, M.S., and Ph.D. programs, Sarah teaches Communicating, Branding and Career Networking in the MBA program.

Monica Eboda, MBA, CSP

President and CEO, ImagineX International LLC and Owner, PrideStaff Wilmington, DE

Monica Eboda is an international executive coach and leadership consultant who brings over 25 years of business leadership experience. Her focus is helping executives, women in business and emerging leaders unlock their potential, discover their true passion and ascend to extraordinary levels of performance. In 2011, she was named a Woman of Influence by the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO). In 2019, Monica was named a “Talent Person of the Year” finalist by Delaware Business Times (DBT) in partnership with Delaware Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Monica has numerous certifications and training including Coach Master ToolKit (CMT-WBECS 15 months), GAP International: Executive Challenge Course, and Executive Mastery.

Adam Foley, Ph.D.

Adam recognizes the intersections of social justice, education and leadership, and strives to engage in dialogue and facilitate action around these points of intersection. As an intersectional social justice feminist educator and scholar, they are committed to the development of equitable, inclusive communities that foster belonging and psychological safety. Adam brings over 20 years of higher education experience in leadership development, social justice education, and sexuality and gender research and scholarship. They regularly consult with leaders in education, business and the non-profit community to assess and implement more equitable and inclusive communities, policies and practices. They earned their Ph.D. in multicultural education at Iowa State University and embrace the importance of life-long learning as key to a growth mindset.

Barbara Roche, M.S.

Managing Partner, Barbara Roche & Associates

After many years as a consultant helping organizations advance their employee engagement efforts, Barbara launched her own company in 2005 to combine her three favorite jobs: workplace learning, organizational development, and coaching. She is a certified facilitator with the NeuroLeadership Institute, and author of Commit to Confidence: 30 Strategies to Help Women Step Up and Stand Out.

“An empowering three days! Wendy, Monica and Barbara let us to a point of clarity and self-reflection that is hard to come by in my day-to-day work life. I am excited to continue to be connected with this initiative.”
-Rosie Grayburn, Winterthur Museum

Cancellation Policy

A full refund will be provided for cancellations received in writing by the cancellation date. After this date, you can transfer your registration to the next scheduled forum or to another individual. Transfer registrations are valid for the next scheduled forum only.

“What a magnificent time learning and growing with this cohort of amazing women. Invaluable time spent and I look forward to implementing these new skills and methods professionally and personally.”
-Cindy Herlihy, Barclays

Important Deadlines

May 2024 Forum
Registration – March 15, 2024
Cancellation – April 1, 2024

Register Now


For more information, please contact Women’s Leadership Initiative at womensleadership@udel.edu

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Upcoming Events

Both/And Thinking
Both/And Thinking
Lerner professor Wendy Smith has co-authored a new book that explores the unique ability of both/and thinking to solve complex problems.