Lone Star College-CyFair’s Vice President for Instruction Dr. Deana Sheppard is one of 40 chosen nationwide to participate in the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.
This leadership program is aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success, both in college and in the labor market.
“Deana is a positive, strategic, and collaborative leader who has earned deep respect from the faculty as well as her colleagues from across the Lone Star College System and in the Cy-Fair community,” said LSC-CyFair President Dr. Seelpa Keshvala. “She is steadfast in her commitment to student and employee success, and she has created a culture at LSC-CyFair where people feel valued and heard.”
Dr. Sheppard and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2019. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will work with mentors – current and former community college presidents – who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers. Fellows will also learn from national experts about ways to harness data to assess student success outcomes, strategies for internal change leadership, and how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers.
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship responds to a specific and growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade. The pathway to replace them has traditionally excluded women and people of color. The incoming class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is 65 percent female and non-binary, 43 percent are people of color, and their institutions vary widely in size and location.
“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 Aspen Institute’s 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.”
Dr. Sheppard 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 Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
For information on registration, programs and events at Lone Star College-CyFair, go to LoneStar.edu/cyfair.
The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership strategies that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, 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. For more information, visit highered.aspeninstitute.org.