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Wallace’s Wilkins Selected for Aspen Presidential Fellowship


Dothan, Ala. – Dr. Ashli Wilkins of Wallace Community College – Dothan (WCCD) has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC, announced that Wilkins will join the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows. Wilkins is WCCD’s Dean of Institutional Services and Community Development.

Wilkins was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

A native of New Brockton, Alabama, Wilkins holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biology and English Education from Troy University. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Teaching-Language Arts from Auburn University. With over 24 years of experience in education, Wilkins possesses a sharp focus on the future needs of community college students and their role in tomorrow’s workforce.

“Dr. Wilkins provides outstanding leadership for several departments at Wallace Community College,” said WCCD President Dr. Linda C. Young. “She believes that the role of her division is to support student success and completion. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to maintain a positive attitude in challenging circumstances, and she is able to keep those around her focused on the mission at hand – student success.”

Wilkins and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a year-long fellowship in July 2017.  Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on leading for impact, leading transformational change, and partnering for collective action.

“Being selected for an Aspen Fellowship is an incredible honor,” said Wilkins. “I am grateful for the opportunity the Fellowship will offer to work with colleagues across the nation to increase student success.”

Wilkins has been able to see first-hand the impact that community colleges can have on students. She attended classes as a transient student at a community college, and her mother was a member of the first graduating class at then Enterprise State Junior College. Her husband, sister and other family members are also successful products of community colleges. Wilkins’ daughter carries on the tradition as a dual enrollment student at WCCD. “I believe in the mission of community colleges to transform futures.”

The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges of varying sizes. For more information, visit: http://as.pn/1ky. The Fellows will begin their ten-month executive leadership program in July.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.


Wallace Community College is a member of the Alabama Community College System, which is the state’s single largest system of public higher education. With campuses in Dothan and Eufaula, Wallace enrolls over 4,500 credit students every year in its academic and career technical programs. The College also serves approximately 3,000 students through adult education, workforce training programs, and continuing education. Area high school students take dual enrollment courses through Wallace to get an early start on their college education. 

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