College launches African American Leadership Institute for faculty, staff


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A new African American Leadership Institute will create a pipeline of minority candidates for leadership positions here and at other colleges.

Sydney Klabnik, Reporter

AACC launched a leadership development program this summer targeting black faculty and staff.

The African American Leadership Institute will create a pipeline to leadership positions at AACC for minority professors and employees. To start, the group has 13 members who will serve two-year terms.

“We wanted to tap people and get people in a situation where they could consider leadership as their next level—where they may not consider themselves a leader today, but they might want to be a leader tomorrow,” Dr. Alycia Marshall, AACC’s associate vice president for learning and academic affairs, said.

She said membership in the institute is open to all faculty and staff.

Marshall came up with the idea for the institute after meeting other minority leaders at a leadership conference in Arizona and discussing the unique challenges that arise for administrators of color at their colleges.

The members of the African American Leadership Institute are working with mentors from other colleges to identify their long-term leadership goals and to develop projects that could improve experiences for minority students.

Institute member Marcus Wright, AACC’s director of transfer, articulation and career alignment, said the institute “appear[s] to be a great opportunity to learn more about leadership and how to use that leadership to really have great change for our students.”

Marshall added that the institute will address the growing diversity in the AACC student population.

“When you have a diverse student population, there’s always a positive result from having representation in your faculty and your staff, as well as your leadership,” she explained. “So this was really about trying to address that need.”

Jazmine Newman, a first-year gender and sexuality studies student, noted the importance of the institute’s members listening to one another.

“I think the main thing is just … asking and listening and talking through it. Because you never know what you don’t know unless you ask,” she said.

Madison McLean, a second-year English major, said the institute “has a lot of potential. I think it’s a great idea.”

Marshall said she expects the first members of the institute will have an impact on the campus.

“Now you have people that have gotten something out of the program, and they actually have a desire to reach back and bring others along,” Marshall said. “And that’s really sustainability. But also, it’s really a huge part of our values here at the college in terms of mentorship.”

Wright said he is looking forward to making the most of his time as a member of the institute.

“We work in a place of excellence,” Wright said. “With this particular program, I don’t expect anything less.