Dr. Suzi Brown portrait

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (Aspen) proudly announces the selection of Dr. Suzi Brown, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, as one of the 40 distinguished leaders chosen for the 2024-25 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.

Dr. Brown’s appointment to this prestigious fellowship underscores her commitment to advancing student success and equity in higher education. With over 22 years of dedicated service to MGCCC, Dr. Brown brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted passion for progressive leadership to her new role as an Aspen Fellow.

Starting her career at MGCCC in 2002 as a Language Arts instructor, Dr. Brown has ascended through various leadership positions, including Language Arts Chairperson, Dean of Business Services, and Dean of Teaching and Learning, before assuming her current role as Vice President of Institutional Advancement in 2019. As an alumna of MGCCC, Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies, a Master of Arts in English, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.

Reflecting on her selection for the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, Dr. Brown remarked, “I am deeply honored to be chosen as an Aspen Fellow. This fellowship represents an incredible opportunity to learn from esteemed leaders and contribute to the advancement of student success in community colleges.”

Dr. Mary S. Graham, President of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, commended Dr. Brown’s selection. “We are so thrilled that Dr. Suzi Brown has been selected for this honor,” she said. “Her dedication to student success and her commitment to continuous learning make her an ideal candidate for the Aspen Fellowship.”

The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship seeks to prepare the next generation of college presidents to lead institutions towards higher levels of student success and equity. Fellows will engage in a ten-month program, collaborating with accomplished community college presidents and thought leaders, to develop innovative strategies for advancing student outcomes and fostering excellence and equity in higher education.

​“With so many community college presidents taking or nearing retirement, Aspen has a heightened sense of urgency to develop new leaders who are committed to systemic change,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “Community colleges have a unique opportunity to advance the talent communities need and enable the economic mobility that draws so many students to higher education. I am confident that these fellows can realize that promise—and in turn advance the entire field—by taking the lessons from the highest performing colleges and preparing to bring those lessons to their first presidencies.”

Dr. Brown and her fellow Aspen Fellows represent a diverse cohort of leaders committed to realizing the promise of community colleges as engines of economic mobility and social change. Together, they will work towards advancing student success and fostering equitable outcomes for all.

For more information about the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, please visit https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspenthefuturepresidency.

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