Last week, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced that Dr. Monica Parrish Trent, Achieving the Dream’s vice president for network engagement, was one of 40 leaders selected to receive the 2021–22 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. The fellowship is a highly selective leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents and higher education leaders to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on the 10-month fellowship beginning in November 2021.
Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K–12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.
“To become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success,” said Monica Clark, director of leadership initiatives at the College Excellence Program. “We have selected these fellows because they share that commitment and are well positioned to become transformational leaders.”
Additionally, other leaders from colleges that are active in the ATD Network were also selected as fellows, including:
- Arlene Rodriguez, Middlesex Community College (MA)
- Cedric Bradley, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MS)
- Clarissa Cota, College of Southern Nevada (NV)
- Cory Clasemann, Ivy Tech Community College (IN)
- Denise Douglas, Lorain County Community College (OH)
- George Timmons, Columbia-Greene Community College (NY)
- Iris Freemon, Dallas College (TX)
- Jean Marie Runyon, Front Range Community College (CO)
- Kathryn Anne Rogalski, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (WI)
- Kristen Raney, Saint Paul College (MN)
- Levy Brown, Jr., Vance-Granville Community College (NC)
- Sanjay Rai, Montgomery College (MD)
- Shawnda Navarro Floyd, Dallas College (TX)
- Tiffany Hunter, Clark State College (OH)
- Tracie Sawyer Clark, Central Piedmont Community College (NC)
- Van Allen Wigginton, San Jacinto College (TX)
- William Comey, College of Southern Maryland (MD)
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color, and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.
Together, the 2021–22 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 400,000 students. As well, 67 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 953,000 students nationwide. Nearly a third of these new presidents serve at ATD Network colleges.