The Carnegie Corporation of New York announced that seven American college and university presidents are recipients of its Academic Leadership Award. According to the Carnegie Corporation, “the award recognizes educators who, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity, demonstrate vision and an outstanding commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, the liberal arts, equal opportunity, the development of major interdisciplinary programs, international engagement, and the promotion of strong ties between their institutions and their local communities.” Each winner receives $500,000 to support their academic initiatives.
One of the seven winners is an African American.
DeRionne Pollard is president of Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. She is being honored for an ambitious strategic plan, which focused on student retention and completion. The three-year combined graduation and transfer rate at the college has increased by six percentage points in the past year alone.
Dr. Pollard was named president of the 60,000-student college in 2010. She is the former president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California. Dr. Pollard holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Iowa State University. She earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago.