Local leader selected for elite award

MARION –Dr. Vicky Wood, Marion Technical College’s Vice-President and Chief Academic Officer, has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC, today announced that Wood joins the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows.

“I’m thrilled to be selected as one of forty leaders from across the nation for the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship,” said Wood. “I look forward to working with my Aspen colleagues to research and develop programs that will transform higher education practice and policy. Our work will lead community colleges to achieve even higher levels of student success.”

Wood and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a year-long fellowship in July 2017. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to dramatically change student outcomes in four areas: learning, completion while in community college and of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation, and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts over the past year. This staggering rate of turnover is happening at the same time that increasing numbers of students—including growing numbers of minority, low-income, and first-generation to college students—are flocking to community colleges to earn degrees that lead to good jobs.

Wood was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

Earlier this month, Dr. Wood was named President of Washington State Community College in Marietta, Ohio. She will begin her service on July 1, 2017.