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Community Advocacy Organization

Seleana Samuel of LCC selected for the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship

One of 35 leaders selected for prestigious program developing the next generation of community college leaders

PHOTO CREDIT – Kevin W. Fowler – Dr. Seleana Samuel, Senior Vice President for Business Operations at Lansing Community College

LANSING Mich. – (April 12, 2023) – The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (Aspen) announced recently that Dr. Seleana Samuel, Senior Vice President for Business Operations at Lansing Community College is one of 35 leaders selected for the 2023-24 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. This program, delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.

Many sitting community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade, creating vacancies and an opportunity to diversify college leadership. Aspen Presidential Fellows represent the next generation of college leadership: this incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is 74 percent women and 60 percent are people of color. The institutions they represent are also diverse, located in 18 states, from small rural colleges to large urban campuses. The fellows, selected through a competitive process, will work closely with highly accomplished community college presidents, Aspen leaders, and Stanford University faculty over ten months to learn from field-leading research, define and assess student success at their colleges, and clarify their visions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.

“Each cohort of the Rising Presidents Fellowship is different,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “And what they all share is a passion to advance excellence and equity in student outcomes and the commitment to ensure that the colleges they lead continuously improve.”

“Dr. Samuel is an exceptionally talented leader, and the Aspen Fellowship is the preeminent professional development for aspiring community college presidents, said LCC President Dr. Steve Robinson, a graduate of the Fellowship and nominator for Dr. Samuel. “The Aspen Presidential Fellowship literally changed my life, exposing me to the most influential and important ideas in community college student success. I am certain Dr. Samuel will greatly benefit from her time in Stanford and Aspen, as well as from the lasting network she builds as a Fellow.”

Rising Presidents Fellows aspire to enter a college presidency within five years of completing the fellowship. As fellows, they join a network of over 300 forward-thinking peers—155 of whom are sitting college presidents—who are applying grounded and innovative strategies to meet student success challenges in their colleges. The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, and JPMorgan Chase. For bios and photos of all 35 leaders, visit About Lansing Community College Lansing Community College is an equal-opportunity educational institution/employer. Lansing Community College programs and activities are open for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, creed, ancestry, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, familial status, marital status, military status, veteran’s status or other status as protected by law, or genetic information. The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. The Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) advances the critical cause of diversity, equity and inclusion in learning science and postsecondary education leadership. SELI’s research practice partnership with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has enabled faculty from the Stanford Graduate Schools of Education, Business and Engineering to host and prepare almost 300 Aspen Rising President Fellows to lead U.S. community colleges for student success in graduation and preparation for workforce advancement. For more information, visit The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. Learn more at

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