headshot of Anene Ejikeme by campus oak trees
Anene Ejikeme Selected as ACS Mellon Foundation Academic Leadership Fellow
History professor becomes part of a diverse cohort of humanities faculty members
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) has selected Anene Ejikeme, Ph.D., as a Mellon Foundation Academic Leadership Fellow. Ejikeme is one of 10 fellows chosen following a competitive selection process among the 16 ACS member institutions. 

 This 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 expanding academic administration demographics at ACS colleges and eventually beyond.

Ejikeme, associate professor and chair of Trinity University’s Department of History, is a specialist in modern African history and a thought leader and expert on the African experience, including matters of gender and identity, and has written about women’s groups and boxing. She also serves on the University’s International Studies Committee. Ejikeme earned a doctorate from Columbia University in New York. 

The role Ejikeme will take on as a Mellon Foundation Leadership Fellow has been individually designed by Trinity University. Her project will include developing and implementing strategic initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, along with internationalizing the campus and recruiting and retaining faculty of diverse backgrounds. Other aspects will also encompass a wide range of areas and approaches, such as the use of data-informed recommendations for student persistence and success, leading policies and governance updates, and researching and developing curricular innovation recommendations for the humanities.

“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,” says Stephanie Fabritius, President of the Associated Colleges of the South.

The program will combine leadership training, mentoring, and hands-on leadership experiences for a diverse group of tenured humanities faculty as they enter administration leadership. Each fellow will take on a two-year role at their institution involving a portfolio of responsibilities or a specific institutional project. Fellows will receive a release from some teaching responsibilities, 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.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities.

Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through their grants, they seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. 


For 150 years, Trinity University has transformed challenge into boundless opportunity. Join the force in motion at www.trinity.edu.

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