The fellowship will allow Ngassa to study different leaders,
understand higher education more holistically and better understand
his own leadership style. Ngassa said he is interested to learn how
other leaders approached diversity, equity and inclusion issues on
"This experience will provide me with new opportunities,
perspectives and strategies to both operationalize and sustain our
commitment to a culture of educational equity through collaborative
leadership that embraces the shared equity leadership model," he said.
Ngassa joined Grand Valley's faculty in 2004. He has served as chair
of the University Academic Senate and the Executive Committee of the
Senate since 2017.
Fatma Mili, provost and executive vice president for Academic
Affairs, called Ngassa a "selfless, coolheaded and committed leader."
"One of Dr. Ngassa's leadership skills is his unshakable focus
on the institution and the higher mission that we all signed up
for," Mili said. "The ACE fellowship will further enrich his
experience and perspective and benefit his students, his colleagues
and the institution. I am very happy for Felix and look forward to
seeing his continued growth with this fellowship."
Ngassa will learn about his placement and mentor in early April
during an ACE Fellows meeting in Washington, D.C.
Last year, Mary "MJ" McConner shadowed President Philomena
V. Mantella during an ACE Fellowship. McConner, a 2008 GVSU graduate,
was the vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at
Christian Brothers University.
Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened
institutions in American higher education by identifying and preparing
over 2,500 faculty, staff and administrators for senior positions in
college and university leadership through its distinctive and
intensive cohort-based mentorship model.