Durham Tech’s Dr. Angela Davis selected for prestigious Aspen Institute Rising Presidents Fellowship

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced April 17 that Dr. Angela Davis, Vice President and Chief Talent and Equity Officer at Durham Technical Community College, is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2024-25 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.  

The Aspen fellowship aims to select and prepare the next generation of presidents who can lead institutions to higher and more equitable levels of student success.    

“I am so honored to have been selected as an Aspen Rising President Fellow,” Davis said. "As an aspiring future college president, I am eager to learn from mentors, collaborate with fellow thought leaders in the fellowship, build lasting relationships and drive impactful change together!" 

Rising Presidents Fellows aspire to enter a college presidency within five years of completing the fellowship. As fellows, they join a network of over 350 forward-thinking peers — 175 of whom are sitting college presidents — who are applying concrete, grounded, and innovative strategies to meet student success challenges in their colleges.

“We are very proud to have Dr. Davis taking part in Aspen,” Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton said. “Dr. Davis has a strong commitment to excellence in every aspect of her work. This is an outstanding opportunity for her to build on the tremendous experience and help her work to her goal of leading a college.”

Many sitting community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade, creating an opportunity for college trustees and system heads to select leaders who have the skills and knowledge to achieve better outcomes for students. Aspen Presidential Fellows represent the next generation of college leadership. The incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is 58 percent women and 55 percent are people of color. The institutions they represent are also diverse, located in 20 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 and thought leaders over 10 months to learn from field-leading research, examine demographic and labor market conditions in their communities, assess student outcomes at their colleges, and advance a clear vision for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.  

“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.”  

Durham Tech has been well represented in Aspen’s programs. Buxton was selected for the 2021-22 class in Aspen’s New Presidents Fellowship program. Dr. Susan Bowen, Durham Tech’s Vice President and Chief Campus Operations Officer, was selected and is currently participating in the 2023-24 Rising Presidents Fellowship.