Nora Clark
FCC Senior Leader Selected for the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has announced that Dr. Nuriyah “Nora” Clark, Vice President for Student Affairs at Frederick Community College (FCC), is one of 31 leaders selected from across the nation for the 2022-23 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. This program, delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.
Many sitting community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade, creating vacancies and an opportunity to diversify college leadership. Aspen Presidential Fellows represent the next generation of college leadership: this incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is 70 percent female, and 54 percent are people of color. The institutions they represent are also diverse, located in 16 states, from small rural colleges to large urban campuses. The fellows, selected through a competitive process, will work closely with highly accomplished community college presidents, Aspen leaders, and Stanford University faculty over ten months to learn from field-leading research, define and assess student success at their colleges, and clarify their visions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.
“The leaders that come through the Rising Presidents Fellowship continually inspire us,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “We are motivated by the dedication and expertise that our fellows bring to advancing excellence and equity on their campuses, and we look forward to supporting their work.”
Dr. Annesa Payne Cheek, FCC President and member of the inaugural Aspen Presidential Fellowship class, noted, “In order to advance a national agenda to improve student learning, completion, and employment participation after college, you need effective leaders. Dr. Clark is a key leader at Frederick Community College and this class will benefit immensely from her insight, energy, and diehard love for our students and their success.”
Additionally, “The Board of Trustees salute Dr. Clark’s achievement and could not be more pleased by this opportunity she has to engage in this uniquely dynamic leadership experience,” said FCC Board Chair Carolyn Kimberlin.
Dr. Clark is a first-generation college graduate with nearly 20 years of experience in higher education administration with a focus on student affairs. Since 2019, she has served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at FCC. She leads the vision and operation of student affairs departments, overseeing strategic enrollment and innovation, student engagement, student wellness, and student success operations.
Rising Presidents Fellows aspire to enter a college presidency within five years of completing the fellowship. As fellows, they join a network of over 300 forward-thinking peers—122 of whom are sitting college presidents—who are applying grounded and innovative strategies to meet student success challenges in their colleges.
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, College Futures Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and JPMorgan Chase.
For bios and photos of all 31 leaders, visit

Frederick Community College (FCC), located in Frederick, Maryland, provides affordable, flexible access to lifelong education that responds to the needs of diverse learners and the community. Offering more than 85 degree and certificate programs through credit and Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD), FCC has been the learning destination for more than 200,000 students since 1957. FCC recognizes the different learning needs and preferences of students and offers flexible learning formats for students interested in opportunities for career and transfer, job credentials, professional development, and personal enrichment.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) advances the critical cause of diversity, equity and inclusion in learning science and postsecondary education leadership.  SELI’s research practice partnership with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has enabled faculty from the Stanford Graduate Schools of Education, Business and Engineering to host and prepare 200 Aspen Presidential Fellows to lead U.S. community colleges for student success in graduation and preparation for workforce advancement.  For more information, visit
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. Learn more at



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