SC State's Greenville Center Director Named American Council on Education Fellow

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dr. GrimesDr. Mary Grimes, director of SC State’s Greenville Center, has been named American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. This year, 46 Fellows were nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, and selected following a rigorous application process.

Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the nearly 1,700 participants in the first 45 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

“We’re extremely pleased with the strength of the incoming class,” McDade said. “The Fellows Program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community.”

In addition to serving as director of the Greenville Center, Grimes teaches courses for the School of Graduate Studies in the department of Educational Leadership.

A native of Los Angeles, Ca., Grimes came to South Carolina 14 years ago to fulfill her dream of giving back to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) through teaching and service.  A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, her life was changed by the Black college experience. Her ACE Fellowship project focuses on creating and observing models for student transition between the community college and the four-year comprehensive college.

 “This is one of the most exciting things to happen for me in my career,” says Grimes. “I’m grateful for the support of President Cooper, Dr. Joyce Blackwell, Dr. Thomas Thompson, and the academic team at SC State for the mentorship and encouragement to strengthen my skills in academia.  What I will bring back to the institution are models to increase enrollment and academic success, as well as examples of systemic initiatives that are galvanizing institutions around the country.”

Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending the fall semester working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit their university.

“SC State University is a cutting edge institution poised for development and growth in so many areas.  I’m proud to be a part of the SC State team. I’m eager to represent the institution around the country, and excited about what we’re going to do in the future,” Grimes continued.

Fellows attend three week-long retreats to discuss higher education issues, read extensively on the subject of higher education, and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.