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Stapleton named American Council on Education Fellow

April 5, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Susan R. Stapleton, associate dean of Western Michigan University's College of Arts and Sciences, has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2010-11 academic year.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, 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. Forty-six fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process. Those selected were announced in Washington, D.C., March 30 by Molly Corbett Broad, president of ACE.

According to ACE officials, most previous fellows have advanced to 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," says Dr. Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program. "The program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community.”

Stapleton who is a professor of chemistry/biochemistry and biological sciences, is a candidate for the position of dean of her college at WMU. She has served as associate dean since 2007, and her areas of responsibility include oversight of curriculum, assessment, accreditation, enrollment and diversity programs.

She joined the WMU faculty in 1989 and has conducted extensive federally funded research in biochemistry with grants from such agencies as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Diabetes Research and Education Foundation. Her focus has been on gene expression and understanding diabetes and insulin resistance. As a member of the WMU faculty, she has served as a visiting scientist at Pharmacia Corp., and since 1997, she also has been director of co-op and internship opportunities in chemistry.

Stapleton's background includes a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa and American Heart Association and NIH postdoctoral fellowships at Case Western Reserve University. She earned a bachelor's degree from Juniata College in 1979 and a doctorate from Miami University in 1983.

Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending the next academic year or a 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.

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

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research and program initiatives.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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