by Brad Duncan
The American Council on Education (ACE) has named University of Kentucky College of Education Professor Lynda Brown Wright an ACE Fellow for the 2010-11 academic year. As part of her fellowship, she is spending the academic year at Georgia State University where she is working with President Mark Becker and his leadership team. While spending the next year working with the president and other senior officers at GSU, Brown Wright also will focus on an issue of concern to UK.
“I am truly grateful for and honored by this opportunity,” Brown Wright said. “It is my fervent hope that through this experience I will gain a deeper understanding and broader view of upper level administrative leadership in higher education while also sharpening my own leadership skills and capacity so that I will be in a better position, upon my return to UK, to further serve our institution and higher education at large.”
The prestigious ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Forty-six Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application and review process.
The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. Brown Wright will be included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities.
Fellows attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities designed to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.
In addition to faculty responsibilities, Brown Wright has served in several campus leadership roles, including chair of the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology, vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board and associate director of the African American Studies and Research Program. In 2008-09, she was named an inaugural fellow of the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium (SECAC) Academic Leadership Development Program, which is designed to help faculty members of SECAC institutions flourish as academic leaders, creating a pool of candidates from which future leaders will come.
Brown Wright has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the Texas A & M University. She has been the principal investigator of a five-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the risk factors for cardiovascular disease in African American children and youth. Her other areas of research interest include psycho-social and familial influences on African American child development and determinants of academic achievement among children and youth of color. She received the UK President’s Award for Diversity in 2005 and the Sarah Bennett Holmes award in 2009.
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research and program initiatives.