WILBURTON, Okla. – Dr. Janet Wansick, president of Eastern Oklahoma State College, has successfully completed the prestigious Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, as one of the distinguished members of the 2022-23 class of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship. Supported by JPMorgan Chase, this program aims to empower community college presidents in their early tenure to achieve higher levels of student success and promote equity.
Out of numerous applicants, Wansick was chosen as one of the 26 transformational leaders for the fellowship, engaging in an intensive nine-month program that involved collaboration with other influential community college presidents and Aspen leaders. Through the fellowship, Wansick examined field-leading research, analyzed student outcomes at Eastern, and refined her vision for fostering excellent and equitable results for students throughout their college journey.
"This was a tremendous experience that enabled me to focus on my vision for Eastern. The tools provided throughout this fellowship will be instrumental as I continue to lead our institution,” Wansick said. “I particularly appreciated the guidance and conversations with Aspen Advisors, who have achieved remarkable success in their leadership roles.”
Throughout the fellowship, Wansick engaged in comprehensive work focused on the Aspen framework for student success, the community college leadership theory of change, and a presidential model for implementing college-wide student success reform. She also dedicated time to reviewing national models of community college excellence to shape Eastern's own vision for the future.
The program was divided into two in-person sessions and numerous virtual sessions. The first session, held from January 23-26, 2023, in Middleburg, Virginia, concentrated on presidential qualities that contribute to exceptional levels of student success, including effective communication, data analysis, and strategic planning. The second session, which took place from May 31 to June 3, 2023, in Aspen, Colorado, focused on assessing key transformational senior team roles, strategic finance, and human capital strategies. Both sessions offered valuable opportunities for Wansick to collaborate with a cohort group of presidents and her advisor.
“Interactions with my peers helped me realign my thoughts, and it's reassuring to have fellow presidents who can serve as a sounding board. In fact, my cohort group has decided to maintain monthly virtual meetings to stay connected,” Wansick said. “I feel privileged to have been selected for this incredible fellowship, and I aim to apply what I have learned to become a better leader for Eastern, with a continued emphasis on student success and access."
Wansick's completion of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program underscores her commitment to leading Eastern with excellence and advancing the institution's mission of fostering student success and equitable access to education. She hopes the knowledge and skills gained from the fellowship will contribute to the college's continued growth and positive impact on students' lives.