Crounse Hall across the lawn

Osanloo named ACS Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow

by Matt Overing

Centre College Associate Professor of English Azita Osanloo has been named one of 10 Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) Mellon Academic Leadership Fellows.

Osanloo will lead a project on designing a cohesive model for Peer Mentorship Programs with the aim of making that model as inclusive and as impactful as possible.

Lady with dark curly hair wearing red top in front of black background

"I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity,” Osanloo said. “In this role, I hope to collaborate with —and learn from — the many individuals at Centre who, every day, strive to create as many opportunities for student empowerment as possible.”

The program, supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, is aimed at providing leadership experiences to a diverse cohort of humanities faculty members and thereby expanding the demographics of academic administration at ACS colleges and eventually beyond.

“The Mellon Foundation’s focus on accelerating the demographic transformation of institutional leadership, both to better reflect the population and to center humanities expertise, is certainly forward-thinking and deeply needed as higher education continues to prepare today’s students for the complex world of the future,” said Stephanie Fabritius, president of the ACS.

Osanloo is also the Writing Center director at Centre and said her project will address how the College can build a model for high-impact peer mentor programming that:

  1.     Supports students’ potential for academic and vocational success;
  2.      Enriches campus culture while fostering a sense of shared “ownership” for that culture;
  3.     Prioritizes the College’s mission to be inclusive of all students, from all backgrounds, at varied levels of learning and leadership capability. 

“Centre is a place where students, staff and faculty work together to create opportunities for student work to be successful,” she said. “When the people in your community feel they belong, when they feel their work contributes to the community, and when that work can be passed onto newer members of the community, then you have a successful community.

“If more students can look back at their (relatively) short time at Centre and can point to positive, impactful work they did while here,” she concluded, “then I think we will have gone a long way toward fulfilling our mission to our students."