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Sabal awarded ACE fellowship

Visual and Media Arts Associate Professor Robert Sabal has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for the 2012–2013 academic year, ACE President Molly Corbett Broad announced this week.

VMA associate professor Robert Sabal will be a 2012-2013 ACE Fellow.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Fifty-seven Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.

“I am delighted that Rob has been selected for this prestigious fellowship,” said President Lee Pelton, who nominated Sabal. “The program is tremendously successful in preparing participants for leadership roles in higher education, including many who have gone on to become college presidents.”

Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most of the previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,700 participants in the first 47 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents, or deans.

“We’re extremely pleased with the strength of the incoming class,” McDade said. “The Fellows Program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community.”

Each ACE Fellow focuses on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit their home institution.

Sabal is currently working with Pelton to find the right host institution for his fellowship. His project will focus on innovation in higher education in everything from institutional efficiencies to pedagogy. “I’ll be looking at disruptive innovation,” said Sabal, “…things that are going to change the model of higher education so that it’s less time-bound, less place-bound, and focuses more on learning outcomes for students.”

Sabal’s background is in film and video production. His works include narrative drama, documentary, abstract experimental, instructional, and commercials. His films and videos have won numerous awards at festivals and have been funded through regional, state, and local grants. Before arriving at Emerson, he taught at the University of Arizona and the University of Texas.


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