May 24, 2023

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, in partnership with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, proudly announces the selection of Dr. Stacy Waters-Bailey, Vice President of Transfer Excellence and Success at Forsyth Technical Community College, as one of the 35 leaders participating in the 2023-24 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. This distinguished fellowship program aims to prepare the next generation of community college presidents to drive institutional transformation and enhance student success on a broader scale.

With a significant number of community college presidents nearing retirement in the coming years, the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship represents an exceptional opportunity to cultivate a diverse group of future leaders. The fellows hail from diverse institutions across 18 states, encompassing a wide range of campus sizes and locations, including both rural and urban settings. The selection process was highly competitive, ensuring the appointment of exceptional individuals who demonstrate a commitment to advancing excellence and equity in higher education.

Dr. Stacy Waters-Bailey brings over 13 years of experience in higher education to her role as the Vice President of Transfer Excellence and Success at Forsyth Technical Community College. Throughout her career, she has held various positions in Academic Affairs and Student Services, serving at both two-year and four-year institutions such as The University of Alabama and Tidewater Community College. As a passionate advocate for the access and success mission of community colleges, Dr. Waters-Bailey collaborates with diverse stakeholders to break down barriers and facilitate student achievement.

Commenting on Dr. Waters-Bailey’s selection, Dr. Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Tech and a two-time Aspen fellow, expressed her pride and support for the esteemed recognition. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Stacy Waters-Bailey chosen as a fellow for the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. This honor is a testament to her exemplary leadership, dedication to student success and commitment to advancing the mission of Forsyth Tech. We congratulate her on this achievement and look forward to the valuable contributions she will make through this fellowship.”

Over the course of ten months, Dr. Waters-Bailey and her cohort will engage in a transformative experience, collaborating closely with accomplished community college presidents, Aspen leaders and faculty members from Stanford University. Through this immersive program, they will delve into cutting-edge research, define and evaluate student success at their respective institutions and develop visionary strategies to drive equitable outcomes for students during their college journey and beyond.

The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation and JPMorgan Chase, offers fellows the opportunity to join an esteemed network of over 300 forward-thinking peers, including 155 sitting college presidents. This extensive network empowers fellows to exchange ideas, implement innovative approaches and address the complex challenges that community colleges face in achieving student success.