DVC Administrator Chosen for National Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leaders
May 4, 2020
Dr. Mary Gutierrez, Vice President of Instruction at Diablo Valley College (DVC), is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. This highly respected national leadership program prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership strategies that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses.
“Evidence shows that substantial improvements in student success are achieved only when presidents have the commitment and skill needed to lead change within their institutions and through partnerships in the community,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents.”
The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2020. 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.
“We are thrilled the Aspen Institute has chosen Mary for this national leadership program,” says DVC President Susan Lamb. “She is smart, passionate about student success, and is already a tremendous leader. There is no doubt in my mind this fellowship program will increase her skills and experience to be a great future community college president.”
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 excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 70 percent women and 61 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations. See a list of the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.
“This is a wonderful honor and opportunity to continue my growth as a community college administrator,” says Dr. Gutierrez. “I want to thank President Lamb and the DVC community for their support in applying for this professional development.”
Read about how the fellowship is shaping the next generation of community college presidents to achieve even higher levels of student success. Visit The Aspen Institute to learn more.
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.