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Virginia State University hosts an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow

Published date: October 10, 2018

Gabrielle Wilks

Virginia State University (VSU) has been selected to host Kimetta R. Hairston, Ph.D., an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year. VSU is the only historically black college or university to host an ACE Fellow this academic year.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Following nomination by the senior administration of their institutions and a rigorous application process, 45 Fellows were selected this year.

More than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities.

“For more than a half-century, the ACE Fellows Program has been a powerful engine fueling the expansion of a talented and diverse higher education leadership pipeline,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “We are excited to welcome this new class of Fellows and look forward to each enjoying a transformative experience that will help advance individual leadership readiness while also enriching the capacity of institutions to innovate and thrive.”

Dr. Hairston describes this as an opportunity of a lifetime. She states, “Being an ACE Fellow will allow me to grow into a defined leadership role while maintaining ethical, collaborative and critical diverse interactions with colleagues and others across the nation. I believe that leadership impacts collaborative teamwork guided by an individual who has diverse passion and vision for each entity within an organization, the community and beyond. I am ready for this journey and I am proud to represent Bowie State University!

Hairston thanked two individuals for the opportunity to serve as an ACE Fellow.

“Thank you to [Bowie State University] President Aminta Breaux for nominating me for the prestigious opportunity! Thank you President Makola M. Abdullah for hosting me at Virginia State University! You are both outstanding mentors, and I look forward to a great year!” Hairston enthusiastically shared.

Hairston is the curriculum and instruction specialist in the College of Education and the special assistant to the Dean of the College of Education at Bowie State University (BSU). She also works with the University System (USM) curriculum, legislation and other initiatives that impact teacher preparation and the College of Education as a whole. She received tenure at BSU in 2015 and is currently providing service, research and leadership as she moves into her sixth year. She serves as Chair of several departmental and university committees, including the College of Education Curriculum Committee, and the Teacher Education Council. She also serves as a faculty fellow and the secretary on the Entrepreneurship Steering Committee, and she is a member of the President’s Council.

She received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Diversity and Disability Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manao. Her professional accomplishments include: establishing the sole proprietorship, Critical Diverse Interventions (CDI) Consulting; successfully being awarded three grants and currently serving as a grant coordinator for Project RISE; serving as the President of the Pennsylvania National Association of Multicultural Educators (PA-NAME) from 2010-2012, publishing 23 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, & encyclopedia references; presenting at over 65 local, state, national, and international conferences and workshops; and receiving the 2015 and 2016 College of Education Leadership of Excellence Awards.

Dr. Hairston is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. where she holds leadership roles on several committees and volunteers regularly on efforts that support her local, national and global communities.

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
Celebrating its centennial in 2018, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing nearly 1,800 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

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