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Dr. Marie Foster


Marie Foster Gnage, Ph.D. retired as vice president of institutional effectiveness and advancement at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) in 2021. She is president emerita of West Virginia University at Parkersburg. She has served on faculty and in leadership roles at a number of U.S. colleges and universities, gaining experience leading/serving diverse areas of higher education — college, campus and department administration, academic affairs, student services, and institutional effectiveness and advancement. She was an American Council on Education Fellow.

Dr. Gnage is a published author. She has served on national boards for such organizations as American Association of Community Colleges, American Council on Education, ACE Women’s Network, and National Campus Compact. Her treasured awards include Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon and Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement awards and West Virginia Citizen of the Year. She is a Rotarian and continues to have a passion for serving on community nonprofit Boards. Dr. Gnage served as the cabinet member responsible for oversight of Achieving the Dream efforts at FSCJ, and since 2020 has enjoyed using her wealth of experience in higher education to serve as coach for other colleges.


Ph.D. (English) | Florida State University

M.A. (English) | University of Southwestern Louisiana

B.S. (English) | Alcorn State University

Past Experience
Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement | Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ)

Campus President | Downtown Campus FSCJ

President | West Virginia University at Parkersburg

Senior Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs | Raritan Valley Community College, NJ

Asst. Vice Chancellor, Educational Services | Pima Community College, AZ

How has education changed your life/your family?
I grew up on a small farm where cucumbers and “truck” crops were my summer vacation. I am the fifth of seven children with six additional children, at some point, sharing my parents’ home and love. While my parents did not have the money to fund college for us, they instilled in us the desire to prepare for college academically. I think the “nudge” was not wanting to pick cucumbers and/or work at the local chicken plant. Getting to college was a challenge for me because despite a very high GPA, a low ACT score meant no scholarships. My challenges in getting into college, and what I was able to achieve once I got there, make me a staunch advocate for addressing the challenges students face in achieving their dream(s).

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