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Board Member Spotlight Submission
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Denise 
Siomkin 
Policy Coordinator 
Rhode Island School of Design 
Former Chair of the Membership Committee,
Member of the Membership and Events Planning Committees 
I have been working in higher education for 13 years. After serving as Executive Assistant to former RISD President John Maeda, I moved into the Finance and Administration area of the college and was asked to take on the challenge of the first formal organization of the institution's policies. 
My background is in the performing arts as well as financial services (an odd couple, I know). After years in administration at The Metropolitan Opera as well as in the private sector, I was looking for a way to meld my non-profit cultural organization experience and my clearly defined work in finance and investment -- higher ed seemed the perfect way to use both of those strengths by combining my non-profit and for profit pasts into the world of shared governance and administration. 
ACUPA was my introduction to the world of education policy. The board members provided an education just by their willingness to mentor and assist all the members; they certainly provided that guidance for me. I believe that serving on the board is the best way to give back that gift to new colleagues. 
The Membership Committee is actively reaching out to colleagues across the country working in the policy area to invite them to join ACUPA and strengthen the policy discipline. They say there is strength in numbers -- I would like to see ACUPA's numbers grow significantly, especially in this challenging period in Higher Ed. Policy is more important than ever right now. 
It has been said that "RISD treats athletics ironically"; however, there is nothing ironic about our official mascot. I will leave it to you to check it out. 
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