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Update on ACE Fellow Michelle Alvarez

Minnesota State Mankato professor spending 2013-2014 at Southern New Hampshire University.

Southern New Hampshire University News Release, 9-9-2013

Manchester, NH (September 9, 2013) – Paul J. LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, announced that Dr. Michelle Alvarez, MSW, EdD, LICSW, from Minnesota State University, Mankato, is one of fifty (50) 2013-14 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows, who will spend the full academic year at their host location.

“Selection as a host institution is a sign of the standing and reputation of the university. An ACE Fellow chooses an institution for its rigorous academic environment and high-quality efforts to educate students,” said Margarita Benítez, interim director of ACE’s Emerging Leaders Group and the ACE Fellows Program.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutional capacity and build leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Fifty Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year in a national competition. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges and universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents, or deans.

Dr. Alvarez is a tenured full professor of social work at Minnesota State Mankato. She has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Alvarez has been a leader in the field of school social work as current President of the Board of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) and Associate Editor of Children & Schools. She has published more than 40 articles and books in the area of school social work and has presented across the U.S., and in Singapore and New Zealand. She completed the HERS leadership training program for women interested in higher education administration at Wellesley College and is working on making the transition to senior leadership through as an ACE Fellow at SNHU.

"I have always been a creative and innovative professional and sought an institution that would challenge me to disrupt higher education,” Alvarez said. “Southern New Hampshire University is at the epi-center of innovation, an ideal setting to learn about visioning, designing, implementing and evaluating course delivery models that are transforming higher education. As I have learned already, the culture of innovation permeates the institution from the traditional university setting to online and competency-based degree programs."

Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending all or part of the next academic year 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 of benefit to Minnesota State Mankato.

“We are pleased to launch this new class of Fellows,” added Benítez. “The members of the class of 2013-14 are a talented, diverse group ready to take advantage of a program that will strengthen their leadership skills and prepare them to tackle a wide array of higher education issues, while at the same time building institutional capacity.”

Fellows attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field, and engage in other activities to advance 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 provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.

Please contact Gregg Mazzola, vice president, Marketing and Student Recruiting, at 603.629.4649 and, for additional information.

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