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Dr. Nicole Reaves Provost of NOVA’s Medical Education Campus Chosen for National Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leaders

40 Aspiring Community College Presidents Will Participate in 2020-21 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship to Advance Student Success

Dr. Reaves
Dr. Nicole Reaves, Provost of the Medical Education Campus at Northern Virginia Community College


 Springfield, Va., May 4, 2020 – The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Dr. Nicole Reaves, Provost of the Medical Education Campus at Northern Virginia Community College, is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly respected leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions and to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. 

“NOVA congratulates Dr. Reaves on the well-deserved honor of being selected for this fellowship. Dr. Reaves has been a remarkable leader for NOVA’s Medical Education Campus and for our college as a whole.  She is dedicated to transforming higher education to ensure equity in access and success for the full diversity of our students, and this focus continues to strengthen our college,” said Dr. Anne M. Kress, President of NOVA.

Reaves and 39 other Rising Presidents Fellows, beginning July, 2020, will embark on a 10-month fellowship 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. Fellows will also learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, ways to lead internal change and how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers and other partners.

“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 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 not always represented 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 coming from institutions of varying sizes and locations.

“The Aspen Institute in its approach focuses on building capacity for transformational change. I look forward to the fellowship opportunity and engaging with individuals who are transforming institutional culture and core practices and improving student success,” said Reaves

Together, the 2020-21 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 500,000 students. As well, 42 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 500,000 students nationwide.

2020-21 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows


Margaret Annunziata, Davidson County Community College (NC)

Gita Bangera, Bellevue College (WA)

Kaylyn Bondy, Williston State College (ND)

Naima Brown, Santa Fe College (FL)

Monica Brown, Montgomery College (MD)

DeAnna Burt, South Central College (MN)

Monica Castaneda, Glendale Community College (AZ)

Tamara Clunis, Amarillo College (TX)

Mildred Coyne, Broward College (FL)

Renee Craig-Marius, Reedley College (CA)

Mark Curtis-Chávez, College of DuPage (IL)

Chrissy Davis, Spokane Falls Community College (WA)

Tawny Dotson, Clover Park Technical College (WA)

Kurt Ewen, Houston Community College (TX)

Mary Gutierrez, Diablo Valley College (CA)

Susan Guzman-Trevino, Temple College (TX)

Paul Hernandez, Mount Wachusett Community College (MA)

Lloyd Holmes, Monroe Community College (NY)

Jennifer Kent, Ranger College (TX)

Kimberly Lowry, Lone Star College – Houston North (TX)

Ali Mageehon, Southwestern Oregon Community College (OR)

Corey McCray, Tidewater Community College (VA)

Donna McDaniel, Texarkana College (TX)

Brian Merritt, Central Carolina Community College (NC)

Scott Newman, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OK)

Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Tarrant County College (TX)

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, University of Hawaii (HI)

Julie Penley, El Paso Community College (TX)

Dilcie Perez, Cerritos College (CA)

Nicole Reaves, Northern Virginia Community College (VA)

Star Rivera Lacey, San Diego Continuing Education (CA)

Irene Robles-Lopez, Pima Community College (AZ)

Vince Rodriguez, Coastline Community College (CA)

Kate Smith, Rio Salado Community College (AZ)

Jackie Thomas, Lone Star College-Tomball (TX)

Lena Tran, San Jose City College (CA)

Joel Welch, Western Piedmont Community College (NC)

Kristina Whalen, Las Positas College (CA)

Jermaine Whirl, Greenville Technical College (SC)

Jonathan Woodward, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MS)


Media Contacts:

Northern Virginia Community College: Hoang Nguyen, 240-620-9652, hdnguyen@nvcc.edu

Aspen Institute: Monica Clark, monica.clark@aspeninstitute.org


Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

The Aspen Institute 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 and follow us on Twitter at @AspenHigherEd. 

Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) strives to help education leaders further develop their ability to transform education systems and drive meaningful change. SELI programs bring together the strengths of Stanford Graduate School of Education and Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as additional Stanford faculty and resources, to offer multidimensional and immediately impactful professional development programming for practicing leaders in PreK-12, higher education, and policy. By fostering collaboration and building relationships between existing colleagues and among new peers, SELI programs create networks supporting participants’ continued learning and organizational improvement. For more information, visit https://seli.stanford.edu/.

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.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.