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Dr. Suzanne Johnson Selected as One of Only 40 Nationwide For Inaugural Class of The Aspen Presidential Fellowship

Dr. Suzanne Johnson, Suffolk County Community College’s vice president for academic affairs, is one of a select group of 40 educators nationally that has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.

The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC, announced today that Dr. Johnson joined the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellows, a diverse group of extraordinary leaders "with the drive and capacity to transform community colleges to achieve higher levels of student success."

“This extraordinary opportunity will provide Dr. Johnson, a valued member of our college community, the chance to collaborate with peers and help our institution and students achieve their goals. Our students’ success means improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for our region as a whole,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay.

"It is an honor and privilege to represent Suffolk County Community College as a member of the inaugural Aspen Presidential Fellows" Johnson, of Oakdale, said. "My participation in the Fellowship offers a wonderful opportunity for me and the College.  I appreciate Dr. McKay's support for this opportunity. I'm looking forward to the work ahead."  

The Fellowship is a highly selective year-long program to prepare leaders aspiring, or recently appointed, to the community college presidency. Fellows will participate in a series of innovative seminars and ongoing mentorship focused on a new vision for leadership, delivered in collaboration with Stanford University faculty and top community college leaders.

“Leadership development is a major focus for our colleges,” said Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. “The Aspen fellowship is essential to preparing capable and courageous leaders ready to elevate community colleges to greater levels of student success, while maintaining a commitment to access.” 

The goal of The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is to equip college leaders with the tools to dramatically improve student success.
Dr. Johnson 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.

The 2016-2017 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 17 states and 30 community colleges of varying sizes and will begin their program in July 2016 at Stanford University with anticipated completion in spring 2017.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.