CSU, Chico News

Two Faculty Members Receive Prestigious ACE Fellowships

Date: 04-05-2012

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Two California State University, Chico professors have been named American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows for academic year 2012–2013.

Brian Oppy, chair of the Department of Psychology, and Lori Beth Way, professor in the Department of Political Science, are among the 57 faculty members and administrators in the United States and abroad who were chosen for the program, which is designed to identify and prepare future leaders in higher education.

"The ACE Fellows Program is the best and most respected higher education leadership development program in the country,” said CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg. “It is extremely rare when the program accepts two individuals from the same institution into the program in a single year. But, then, both Lori Beth and Brian are folks of great promise. It is very gratifying that ACE recognized that and a lovely reflection on our University that we will be doubly represented in this year's class of Fellows."

ACE Fellows focus on issues important to their home institutions while spending a semester or academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. Oppy and Way have not yet been assigned universities where they will serve their fellowships. Oppy will be at a host institution for the fall 2012 semester, and Way will be at a host institution for the 2012–2013 academic year.

Way joined the CSU, Chico faculty in 1999. She earned her PhD in political science and graduate certificate in women's studies from Syracuse University. She is chair of the Academic Senate's Educational Policies and Procedures Committee and serves on the Senate Executive Committee. In 2009 she was awarded a Lantis University Professorship to support her leadership in the U.S. Department of Justice-funded Safe Place project. Way served as a member of the General Education Design Team and was co-chair of the GE Implementation Team. Her co-authored textbook “CJ: Realities and Challenges,” in its second edition, was recently released.

“The ACE Fellowship is a year-long experience that will allow me to learn from higher education leaders,” said Way. “With tough budget times and the variety of other challenges that universities face, it is an incredibly important time to be learning about how to create change in the higher education environment and its relationship to state legislators. I hope to work with an institution that is diverse, inclusive and sees itself as a core part of the community and, therefore, serves the community in a variety of ways.”

Oppy came to CSU, Chico in 1995 after completing his PhD at UC Davis. He has been chair of the Psychology department for five years and is past vice-chair of the Academic Senate. Oppy is on the executive committee of the University Chairs Council. He is a recipient of an Exemplary Online Instruction award and is on the Academy e-Learning faculty team considering new models for redesigning courses with large enrollment. His scholarly interests include cognition, perception, psychlinguistics and the role of technology in education.

“I am both thrilled and overwhelmed by the opportunity to participate in the ACE Fellows program,” said Oppy. “This is one of the richest prospects for growth that I've heard of in my academic career. I am looking forward to the chance to spend a semester at another campus working with their president and other leaders as a learner, observer and participant in decision making, and spending the full year studying issues in higher education from inside and outside the institution. The fact that we get the chance to participate in this process at another campus, exploring their unique structure and methods of interaction, really enriches the possibilities for learning. I truly hope that what I learn will allow me to be more effective at what I do here at Chico when I return.”

Established in 1965, The ACE Fellows program http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ProgramsServices/FellowsProgram/index.htm has included more than 1,700 participants. Of that group, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

Along with their appointments at host institutions, 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, the American Council on Education 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.