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UK College of Education Dean Selected for Aspiring Leader Program

Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig

University of Kentucky College of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig has been selected for MSI Aspiring Leaders 2019. The mentorship program is designed to promote diversity among higher education leadership and prepare the next generation of minority serving institution (MSI) presidents.

The program, based at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Minority Serving Institutions, selects mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors. Selected participants attend workshops on topics related to leading a university and are matched with a university president to mentor them over the course of two years.

“Because this program aims to alter what leadership looks like across the landscape of higher education, the forum acts as a hub for innovation and each aspiring leader and mentor were hand-selected for their eagerness to become trailblazers,” said Marybeth Gasman, director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Vasquez Heilig, an award-winning leader, teacher and researcher, will begin as dean of the UK College of Education on July 1. He comes to UK from California State University, Sacramento, where he was a professor of educational leadership and policy studies and director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program. His appointment is pending approval by the UK Board of Trustees.

Vasquez Heilig received his Ph.D. in educational administration and policy analysis and a master’s degree in sociology from Stanford University. He also earned a master’s in higher education and a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from the University of Michigan.

A prolific scholar, in the last decade alone, Vasquez Heilig has been an author or co-author on nearly 50 peer-reviewed journal and/or refereed articles or law reviews as well as chapters. Topics have been diverse in range and scope, covering issues such as racial equity and teacher preparation among many others.

He has been honored with more than 30 teaching, research and service recognitions, including a Ford Foundation fellowship, the American Educational Research Journal Outstanding Reviewer award, and named as a Diversity in Education Magazine Multicultural Champion. He also served as the education chair for the California Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP.

Vasquez Heilig’s work in higher education also includes serving on the faculty and as an academic leader at the University of Texas at Austin from 2006 to 2014.

Read about other selected Aspiring Leaders here.

The program will feature the following MSI presidential mentors:

  • Roslyn Artis, President, Benedict College
  • John Bassett, former President, Heritage University
  • Colette Pierce Burnette, President, Huston Tillotson University
  • Joseph Castro, President, California State University, Fresno
  • Mildred García, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • Timothy Hall, President, Mercy College
  • Sharon Herzberger, President Emerita, Whittier College
  • Harold Martin, Chancellor, North Carolina A&T University
  • Charlie Nelms, former Chancellor, Indiana University East, University of Michigan-Flint, and North Carolina Central University
  • Patricia McGuire, President, Trinity College
  • Alvin Schexnider, President, Schexnider & Associates, LLC
  • William Serrata, President, El Paso County Community College
  • Vinton Thompson, President Emeritus, Metropolitan College of New York
  • Rowena Tomaneng, President, Berkeley City College
  • David Wilson, President, Morgan State University

The program is supported by $825,000 from the ECMC FoundationThe Kresge Foundation, Apple, Samsung, HP, Intel, Pinterest and the Penn Executive Doctorate in Higher Education program. For further information about the center, visit www.gse.upenn.edu/cmsi.