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Announcing 12 Designers in Residence to Reimagine the Role of Higher Education

Dear partners and innovators,

Today, we are excited to announce the selection of 12 higher education leaders to join our Designers in Residence program. Spanning a diverse cross-section of communities, institutional positionality, and lived experience and expertise, the Designers in Residence will lean on their collective expertise and work as a design team to co-create a roadmap for colleges to serve as regional change agents leading efforts to close economic and racial opportunity gaps.

In 2021, 22% fewer students enrolled in higher education than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number that increases to 30% for students from low-income high schools. Simultaneously, 42% of jobs lost during the pandemic may disappear forever, requiring postsecondary education to reimagine how learners are prepared to enter the workforce. 

Designers in Residence will tackle this reality by identifying the transformations necessary for higher education systems to build a more equitable future for the new majority learner—learners that higher ed was not designed for and often designed to keep out, including Black, indigenous, and Latinx learners, immigrant learners, first generation college students, and learners from low income backgrounds. 

The members of the Designers in Residence cohort include: 

  • Michael Baston, President, Rockland Community College
  • Bonita Brown, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Northern Kentucky University
  • Ahmad Ezzeddine, Associate Vice President of Educational Outreach and International Programs, Wayne State University
  • Chanel L. Fort, Director of Academic Innovation and Learning Strategist, Fortified Learning Solutions, Stillman College
  • Rose Rojas, Interim Director of Workforce Strategy, Maricopa Community College
  • Adrian Haugabrook, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Social Impact Collective, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Lisa Larson, President, Eastern Maine Community College
  • Cameron McCoy, Incoming Provost, Shenandoah University
  • Nicole McDonald, Assistant Vice President, University of Houston 
  • Jairo McMican, Dean of Student Learning/Director of Equity and Pathways, Central Carolina Community College
  • Ian Roark, Vice President of Workforce Development and Strategic Partnerships, Pima Community College
  • Stacy Townsley, Vice President of Adult Strategy and Statewide Partnerships, Ivy Tech Community College

The launch and development of this program builds off of the Lab’s extensive experience supporting and advising personnel at colleges and universities through ongoing initiatives such as the BRIDGES Rural initiative, the Community College Growth Engine Fund, and the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative. 

Meet the cohort and learn more.

Read the full press release from PR Newswire.

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