W&L Journalism and Mass Communications Professor Selected for Prestigious Fellowship Professor Dayo Abah will dive into leadership programming designed to support a transition into higher education leadership.
Adedayo ‘Dayo’ Abah, professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University, was recently selected for the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) Mellon Academic Leadership Fellowship.
Abah was one of 10 professors selected for the ACS Mellon Academic Leadership Fellowship, which is supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. The program is aimed at providing leadership experiences to a diverse cohort of humanities faculty members, thereby expanding the demographics of academic administration at ACS colleges.
The program that Abah will participate in combines leadership training, mentoring and hands-on leadership experiences for a diverse group of tenured humanities faculty as they enter administration leadership. Fellows are expected to take on a two-year role at their institution involving a portfolio of responsibilities or a distinct institutional project. Fellows will receive a release from certain teaching responsibilities, along with a stipend and a small professional development fund. Each fellow will also benefit from two mentors: one on their home campus and one external expert in higher education administration.
“To be selected for the ACS Mellon Academic Leadership Fellowship is truly a great honor that will allow me to learn about academic leadership from a perspective that is different from that of a faculty member,” said Abah. “This fellowship will provide opportunities to understand and gain insights into what it takes to run a university through immersion in the operations of upper-level administration and mentorship in university administration which is invaluable.”
The fellows will take part in cohort programming and professional development aimed at fully supporting their transition into higher education leadership. Fellows will participate in meetings with experts on topics relevant to higher education administration, campus visits to participating institutions, and monthly virtual gatherings for networking, where they are encouraged to share experiences and best practices with one another.
“I am particularly motivated by my project for the fellowship which, according to Provost (Lena) Hill, will be working with Associate Provost Leslie Cunningham on helping the university think strategically to enhance the outcomes for diversity, equity, and inclusivity of academic initiatives at the university,” said Abah.
Abah has been an instructor and professor at W&L since 2002. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and literary studies at the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ondo State, Nigeria; a master’s degree in theological studies from Southern Methodist University; a master’s degree in media studies from Texas Christian University; and a doctorate in journalism and mass communications from the University of South Carolina.
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