Eastern Michigan University professor Mary Ramsey named to ACE Fellows Program as one of emerging leaders in American higher education

Mary Ramsey
Mary Ramsey

YPSILANTI – Mary Ramsey, a professor of English language and literature at Eastern Michigan University, has been selected as one of 52 emerging college and university leaders for the 2021-22 class of the ACE Fellows Program, the longest-running higher education leadership development program in the United States.

Since its inception in 1965, the ACE (American Council on Education) Fellows Program has strengthened institutions in American higher education by identifying and preparing more than 2,000 faculty, staff, and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model.

Of the Fellows who have participated to date, more than 80 percent have gone on after their fellowship to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions, and deans.

“I see this fellowship as an important step in my career trajectory. I am excited to begin what promises to be an extraordinary year of professional and personal growth, and I am most grateful to President James Smith and Provost Rhonda Longworth for their nomination and support,” Ramsey said.

A distinguished career at Eastern

Ramsey, who joined EMU in 2011, has served in a variety of leadership positions, including interim assistant vice president of The Honors College and English department head at Eastern. She earned her doctorate in medieval studies at Yale University and earned master's degrees at the University of St. Andrew's and the University of Oklahoma. 

“ACE fellows typically spend an academic year at a host institution to shadow key members of the leadership team and take on projects under their mentorship,” Ramsey said. “In fact, the program is carefully designed to provide exceptional mentoring: in addition to host mentors, recent fellows serve as individual mentors for new fellows, and retired university presidents mentor small teams of fellows through the process. Fellows also participate in a range of professional development activities while working closely with other fellows in their cohort.

"Throughout the year, I will be working on a variety of projects, including an examination of college and university responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant long-term planning in light of what institutions have learned about their preparedness. I hope to bring the work that I and my team do on this and other questions back to EMU to spark conversations with colleagues about these current issues in higher education."

The members of the 2021-22 class of Fellows come from a wide variety of distinguished academic and professional backgrounds. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 and ’22 classes were announced together this spring.

A highly immersive learning experience

The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

The year ahead will present many opportunities for ACE Fellows to gain an even closer view of leadership in action. Placement institutions will have the benefit of an experienced leader who can lend a fresh perspective to emerging or ongoing institutional challenges.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.

About ACE

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, its strength lies in the diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. For more information, please visit the council’s website or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

April 07, 2021

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom