The presidents of Holyoke Community College, Greenfield Community College and Elms College have been recognized for outstanding leadership in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the education technology company Cengage.
HCC president Christina Royal, GCC president Yves Salomon-Fernández, and Our Lady of the Elms president Harry E. Dumay were among 13 college presidents nationwide to receive the AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes college and university presidents whose outstanding leadership to advance liberal education has resulted in reduced equity gaps, improved inclusion and belonging for minoritized students, and reformed hiring practices to promote greater diversity.
The recipients were announced Fri., Jan. 22, at the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust Symposium, part of the AAC&U Virtual Annual Meeting. The Presidents’ Trust Symposium brings together higher education leaders from all institutional types to explore the most pressing issues facing colleges and universities and to share strategies for success.
“AAC&U is proud to recognize and support these exceptional leaders in their efforts to advance equity and quality as hallmarks of a liberal education across a diverse range of campuses and student populations,” said AAC&U president Lynn Pasquerella.
The AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship recognizes higher education leaders who support and advance quality, equity, and student success in undergraduate education. This includes improving degree completion or transfer for students from underrepresented groups; closing equity gaps in student success; improving diversity in hiring practices and creating more equitable hiring policies; and increasing the sense of belonging, well-being, and inclusion among students from historically underserved populations (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, religious minorities, and LGBTQIA students).
“We are so excited to be able to support these amazing higher ed leaders who are making a real difference by reducing inequities and increasing access to education,” said Fernando Bleichmar, executive vice president and general manager for U.S. Higher Education at Cengage. “At Cengage, we believe learning transforms lives, and the work of these leaders is so critical in giving students the opportunity to better their lives and in creating an educated, informed, and just society.”
In recognition of their accomplishments, the AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship recipients will each receive a one-year, complimentary AAC&U campus membership and a one-year complimentary membership in the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust, a diverse network of chief executive officers who are committed to advancing the vision, values, and practices that connect liberal education with the needs of an increasingly diverse student body, a global workforce, and thriving communities. The Trust provides members with access to dedicated resources and events as well as exclusive opportunities to promote their thought leadership.
“Growing up as a first-generation, low-income, multi-racial college student, I understand some of the challenges today’s students face and the importance of having an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive,” said Royal, who is also being honored this week (Thursday, Jan. 28) as one of the 2020 Women of Impact by BusinessWest magazine. “These are very important issues to me personally and professionally, as well as to our college community, and I’m honored to receive this recognition on behalf of HCC.”
The other recipients of the 2021 AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship are:
- Sandra Boham, President, Salish Kootenai College (MT)
- Roslyn Clark Artis, President, Benedict College (SC)
- Karrie G. Dixon, President, Elizabeth City State University (NC)
- Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, President, Pittsburgh Technical College (PA)
- Walter M. Kimbrough, President, Dillard University (LA)
- Valerie Roberson, President, Roxbury Community College (MA)
- Ron Rochon, President, University of Southern Indiana (IN)
- Ivy R. Taylor, President, Rust College (MS)
- Dwaun J. Warmack, President, Claflin University (SC)
- David Yarlott Jr., President, Little Big Horn College (MT)
Cengage, an education technology company serving millions of learners in 165 countries, advances the way students learn through quality, digital experiences. Currently, we serve the K-12, higher education, professional, library, English language teaching, and workforce training markets worldwide. We believe that through the power and joy of learning, students can enrich their lives and achieve their dreams – no matter their age, experience, abilities, or environment. Our industry-leading products and services make education more accessible and affordable, including Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,200 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.
AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. For more information, visit www.aacu.org.