Barbara Mieras began her career in education in 1972 as a business education teacher and instructional manager in Van Buren County. In 1984, she joined the staff at Davenport's Kalamazoo Campus, managing campus programs, students, faculty, and facilitating the work of curriculum development, marketing, and admissions. Barbara became Senior Vice President of Davenport College in 1996 and was appointed President in 1998. Following the merger of Davenport College, Detroit College of Business, and Great Lakes College into Davenport University in July of 2001, Barbara was named Executive Vice President for Advancement and President of the Foundations. She is responsible for the advancement initiatives throughout Michigan and northern Indiana, which include expanding fundraising, broadening alumni relationships, and increasing the involvement of the university in public and community affairs. She earned a doctorate in College and University Administration from Michigan State University (1990), an M.A. in Communication (1984), an M.A. in Teaching of Business Education (1974), and a B.S. in Business Education (1972) from Western Michigan University. Barbara has always made students a top priority and is committed to expanding her university's advancement efforts for the benefit of students. Her extensive community and professional involvements include: chair of the Michigan Campus Compact; board treasurer of the Metropolitan Hospital Foundation; advisory board member for the Michigan State University College of Education; director of the Founders Trust Personal Bank; executive committee member of the Connect Michigan Alliance; board member of the Grand Rapids Economic Club; and board member for the Michigan Trails Girl Scouts. Barbara has been recognized in the 1999 Business Direct Weekly as one of the most Influential Women of West Michigan. She is a 1999 Athena Award nominee, and a 1999 Woman of Achievement Tribute nominee. She received the Michigan State University Crystal Apple Award and was named Western Michigan University's 1999 Distinguished Alumnus. In 2001, she was named President of the Year by Alpha Beta Gamma, a national college student organization, for her extended support of their mission of community service and volunteerism.