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Faculty and Staff

Jones Named ACE Fellow

The American Council on Education (ACE) announced that Lisa Guion Jones, professor and assistant dean for diversity, outreach and engagement in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been named an ACE Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year.

Jones will spend the next year at another higher education institution working with senior leaders on a higher education issues continuing to expand her already profound understanding of college and university administration. She is a visionary leader with more than 20 years of experience in higher education.

Lisa Guion Jones leads outreach and diversity efforts in CALS.
Lisa Guion Jones leads outreach and diversity efforts in CALS.

Under her leadership, the college has implemented innovative initiatives and programs that have increased the recruitment and retention of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Her transformational leadership of retention efforts targeted toward minority undergraduate students has received widespread recognition. For example, she revamped the college’s Freshman Transition Course curriculum to focus on academic enrichment, non-cognitive variables for student success, high-impact experiences, and other evidence-based student retention practices. An independent study reviewed four years of data revealing that students in the course had higher GPAs and retention rates than similar students who did not take the course.

These and other strategic efforts have resulted in NC State being ranked ninth in the nation for graduating minority undergraduate students in agricultural disciplines in 2014, a significant increase from five years ago, when it ranked 21st.

ACE Fellows engage in interactive learning opportunities, make campus visits to other institutions across the United States and abroad, and participate in retreats to increase their understanding of higher education challenges and opportunities. With the ACE Fellows program, Jones will condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. ACE has yet to announce where specific Fellows will be placed.

The ACE Fellows program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing emerging leaders for senior positions in college and university administration. Forty-seven Fellows, nominated by the senior administration of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.

ACE President Molly Corbett Broad noted that the Fellows program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this academic year and that over those five decades nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.