Dr. Villanueva Named Aspen Presidential Fellow

Dr. Villanueva shown with the Aspen Presidental Fellowship logo
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Lee's President Joins Prestigious Inaugural Cohort of Leaders Across Nation

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has selected Lee College's president, Dr. Lynda Villanueva, to join the inaugural 2023-24 class of its Aspen Presidents Fellowship.

Chosen through a competitive process, Villanueva is one of 25 community college leaders from across the country appointed to this prestigious program. The Aspen Presidents Fellowship focuses on developing a sustainable and comprehensive reform agenda that advances excellence and equity in student outcomes at scale.

"I was in the first class of Aspen's Rising President Fellowship designed for aspiring presidents, and I attribute much of my development to their program," Villanueva said. "As a fellow in this new program, I will collaborate with leading community college experts and senior staff from the Aspen Institute on strategies to improve our students' graduation rates and post-college success, which will no doubt have a positive impact on Lee College."

Over 12 months, Dr. Villanueva and colleagues will learn about and compare their practices to those of field-leading colleges, analyze their students' graduation and post-graduation outcomes and advance their priority reforms aimed at delivering excellent and equitable student outcomes.

"Scaled improvements in student outcomes at our nation's community colleges requires excellent leadership," said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. "I am continually inspired and motivated by the dedication and expertise that our fellows bring to the work of advancing excellence and equity on their campuses, and I look forward to supporting them as they improve outcomes for their students."

The incoming class of Presidents Fellows represents the diversity of our nation's community colleges. They are 56 percent women and 44 percent people of color. They lead institutions across 14 states that collectively educate more than 280,000 students in incredibly varied settings, from a rural college of 700 students to an urban one with more than 24,000 enrolled.

Learn more about The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the new Aspen Institute's Presidents Fellows.