Margaret Asalele Mbilizi, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Education Policy & Research

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

D'Youville College

Buffalo NY

Founding Executive Director of JRMF

Dr. Margaret Asalele Mbilizi is Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Research at D'Youville College.  She teaches education law and policy, cultural perspectives, advanced curriculum studies, organizational behavior & communications,qualitative research methods, and supervises educational leadership docoral student dissertations. Prior to this position, she was Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. She was also Assistant Professor of Secondary and Foundations of Education at the University of West Alabama. Dr. Mbilizi has held high level leadership positions in Malawi including; Director of Gender Studies and Deputy University Registrar at the University of Malawi, Director of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, and Executive Director of the Bakili Muluzi Institute and Special Assistant to the President of Malawi. She has won prestigious scholarly awards including; the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship; the Margaret MacNamara (World Bank) Scholarship; and the Rockefeller Foundation African Dissertation Internship Award. She is internationally recognized for her scholarship and research on girls' education and improving gender equality in Africa. She has a Ph.D in Education Policy Studies and an MS.Ed in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, Bloomington, and an M.Ed in Management & Planning and B.Ed in Secondary Education from Chancellor College, the University of Malawi.


Dr. Mbilizi is daughter of Jean Rose Mbilizi and founding member of the JRMF. She has research interests in girls' STEM education, women and leadership, and college and career preparedness. She has published extensively on the impact of single sex education, gender policy, women in politics, and the impact of globalization, poverty, and HIV/AIDS on women and children in Malawi. Establishing an academy for girls is her life time goal and aspiration as she wishes to give back to a society that extended expansive opportunities to her through public education.

Linda M. Mocny, MS

Clinical Assistant Professor of Diatetics

D'Youville College

Buffalo, NY

Board Member

Chairperson of JRMF

Linda Mocny is a Registered Dietitian for over 20 years. She was Food Service Director at a local hospital in Western New York from 1992- 2008 and was a preceptor for D’Youville College dietetic students at that site. Linda Mocny joined the United States Army Reserves, Army Medical Specialist Corps, Hospital Dietitian in 1976 and retired in 1994 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Linda Mocny joined the clinical faculty at D'Youville College in 2009. She received her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from State University New York College at Buffalo and an MS in Health Service Administration at D’Youville College. Linda Mocny wants to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged girls in Malawi.  She brings to the foundation, enormous experience in fundraising and organizational leadership. She is passionate about linking good nutrition to educational achievement and attainment.

Lemuel Watson, EdD 

Professor & Dean of the College of Education

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

Board Member 

Chairperson of Advisory Board of JRMF

Dr Lemuel Watson is the Dean of Education and Professor at the University of South Carolina. Prior to his appointment at USC, Dr. Watson served as Professor and Executive Director of the Center for P–20 Engagement at Northern Illinois University, Dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University and Dean for the division of Academic Support at Heartland College. Dr. Watson has been a Senior Research Fellow at the C. Houston Center at Clemson University and Research Fellow at the Institute for Southern Studies at University of South Carolina. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has written articles, books, and served as editor for several volumes related to organizational behavior, educational leadership and administration, human development, public policy and higher education. He serves on a number of professional organizational executive boards and is a member of the Board of Visitors for the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He is a Certified Master Coach by the Behavioral Coaching Institute of Sydney, Australia and a Certified Trainer through the Center for Entrepreneurial Resources at Ball State University at Muncie, Indiana. He worked as the Coordinator of Continuing Education for the Small Business Development Center in The Darla Moore College of Business at the University of South Carolina. In addition, he is a Certified Systems Engineer by Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) of Plano, Texas. Dr. Watson has a Doctor of Education (Higher Education/Policy), Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, a Master of Arts (Human/Student Development), Ball State University, Muncie, IN, and Bachelor of Science (Business), The University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

Anade Long-Jacobs, MS.Ed

Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership 

D'Youville College

Buffalo NY

Board Member

Secretary of JRMF

Anade Long-Jacobs is a candidate for the Ed.D in Educational Leadership at D'Youville College. Her research focuses on women in higher education. She is examining the social, structural, institutional factors affecting women's persistence in doctoral programs in the US. Her interest in gender studies include action research that will improve the education status of girls in Africa. Anade Long-Jacobs brings to the foundation professional skills in program planning, curriculum development, resource mobilization, and educational leadership.  She holds an M.Ed in Literacy and M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from Medaille College, an MS.Ed in Instructional Systems Technology and BS.OL with Specialization in Human Resources from the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Adane Long-Jacobs was a senior human resources and training director for the Ford Motor company for over 10 years.


Linda Semu, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Sociology

McDaniel College

Baltimore, MD

Board Member

Academic Program Director of JRMF

Dr Linda Semu is a distinguished scholar and researcher in gender and development. She teaches urban sociology, introduction to global societies, and global social change at McDaniel College. Dr. Semu focuses on global inequality, international human rights issues, and the cultural aspects of development in various countries. Her research interests are in social change, international development, globalization, gender, comparative studies/Africa, family, social policy, social demography and political sociology.  Dr. Semu has published extensively on land policy in Malawi, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on African women. She received her B.S. from the University of Malawi, an M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington. A Malawian native herself, Linda Semu is committed to the vision and mission of the JRF. Moreover, Dr. Semu's mother was one of the first women to receive a higher educaton degree in Malawi. While working as a Lecturer at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Dr Semu led a feminist movement to improve gender relations among students and faculty. She understands the intricacies of gender oppression and women's resilience in Malawi and will be a great role model to young girls at the Jean-Rose Academy.

Kelly M. Biehls, Ed.M 
Administrative Assistant to the Dean

School of Health Professions

D'Youville College

Buffalo, NY

Board Member

Legal Advisor of JRMF


Kelly Biehls is the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Health Professionals at D'Youville College. Previous to her position at the School of Health Professions, Kelly Biehls worked in the Institutional Advancement Office and the School of Education at D’Youville College. She has over 11 years experience in higher education.  Kelly Biehls also worked as a court reporter in the Buffalo Niagara Region and at Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company (M& T Bank) in the legal department.   Kelly Biehls is a 2009 graduate of D’Youville College where she received a BA. She has a Master’s in Higher Education Administration (Ed.M.) from the University at Buffalo. Kelly is also a New York State Notary Public. Kelly Biehls is committed to the vision and mission of the JRMF and her exeperience with legal procedures will be an asset to the foundation..

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.