ACE and Lumina Foundation Honor ACE Fellow Cherisse Jones-Branch
May 10, 2021

ACE and Lumina Foundation have announced that Cherisse Jones-Branch, dean of the Graduate School at Arkansas State University and a member of the 2021-22 ACE Fellows Program cohort, is receiving a grant to help enable her participation in the leading higher education leadership development program. For nearly 60 years, the ACE Fellows Program has ensured emerging higher education leaders are ready to take on real-world challenges and serve the capacity-building needs of their institutions.

 “Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch brings valuable perspectives on racial equity, gender equity, and rural education to our Fellows cohort and the higher education leadership pipeline,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “ACE and Lumina Foundation are proud to support her professional development and continued work in these areas.”

Jones-Branch is the author of Crossing the Line: Women's Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II and co-editor of Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times. Her next monograph, Better Living by Their Own Bootstraps: Black Women’s Activism in Rural Arkansas, 1914-1965, will be published in June. Jones-Branch is also the Vaughn Endowed professor of history at Arkansas State with a teaching focus on African American women, civil rights, and rural history.

“I am thankful to Lumina for providing me with this incredibly generous opportunity that, along with my ACE Fellowship, will support my ongoing commitment to ensuring racial and ethnic equity in higher education,” said Jones-Branch.

The honor includes a grant to cover a significant portion of the fees and expenses of Jones-Branch’s participation in the ACE Fellows program. It will also provide opportunities for her to attend Lumina events and meetings, where she will gain knowledge about the philanthropic sector and its role in advancing priorities within higher education and how to act as a thought leader for student learning and academic progress.

 “As a professor, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch has a significant history of demonstrating a true commitment to racial and ethnic equity on our university campus and beyond,” said Alan Utter, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and research at Arkansas State University. “I have no reservations that she will continue this same passion throughout her ACE Fellowship in meeting the core principle of Lumina Foundation to eliminate the widening postsecondary attainment gaps for American Indian, African American, and Hispanic students.”

*ACE and Lumina Foundation are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. The recipients of this grant are selected by the ACE Fellows Program leadership team in partnership with Lumina.​

​ACE Fellows Program

The ACE Fellows Program helps ensure that higher education’s future leaders are ready to take on real-world challenges and serve the capacity-building needs of their institutions. 

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