Houston, TX

San Jacinto College Provost selected for 2021-2022 class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship

Marisol Gallagher

HOUSTON, TX — The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has honored Van A. Wigginton, Provost of San Jacinto College Central Campus, as one of 40 leaders chosen for the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship class of 2021-2022.

As a highly selective leadership program, the fellowship selects community college presidents of the next generation to restructure institutions to achieve better and more equitable levels of student success.

The 10-month fellowship will begin in November 2021. Collaborating with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the chosen fellows will be mentored to learn strategies to enhance student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and form strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.

The mentors comprise esteemed current and former community college presidents who have produced exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers. The complete cohort of 2021-2022 fellows is available at: https://www.sanjac.edu/news/wigginton-selected-national-presidential-fellowship-community-college-leaders.

Upon the recognition, Wigginton stated that he is incredibly honored and humbled to have been selected for this opportunity and is looking forward to working with educational leaders from across the country. They strive to promote student success and expand opportunities for the students and communities they serve.

As a Provost, Wigginton has collaborated closely with local school districts in developing and expanding dual credit offerings, allowing high school students to earn their associate degrees while still in high school. Started his career at San Jacinto College as a government professor in 1995, Wigginton is also active in supporting local school district programs and has helped improving undergraduate education by serving on the statewide Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board'sBoard's Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee.

Dr. Laurel Williamson, Deputy Chancellor and College President of San Jacinto College said, "We are so proud of Van for having been selected to this prestigious program." She described Wigginton as an exceptional, visionary, and inclusive leader who served the college as a faculty member, department chair, dean, and provost and a supportive, collaborative leader who keeps students at the center of San Jac's mission.

She believes that he will bring a great deal of knowledge and expertise to the Aspen Fellows program.

On behalf of the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees, Board Chair Marie Flickinger also congratulated Wigginton on this honor and recognition. She claimed that Wigginton is a respected leader at San Jac and across the region and state and is always thinking about what is best for the students, employees, and communities. She added, "We know he will bring great insight to and gain valuable knowledge from the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship."

Director of Leadership Initiatives at College Excellence Program Monica Clark claimed that to become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success. Clark also said they had selected these fellows because they share that commitment and are well-positioned to become transformational leaders.

To learn more about the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship and Aspen Institute, visit https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/. Further information about San Jacinto College is available at https://sanjac.edu.

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