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College of Health and Human Sciences

Health and Human Sciences' Bronwyn Fees named an ACE Fellow

Monday, March 23, 2020

MANHATTAN — When it comes to next-level leadership, Bronwyn Fees is ready to ACE the challenge.

Fees, associate dean for academic affairs at Kansas State University's College of Health and Human Sciences and professor of early childhood education, is among the 38 American Council on Education fellows selected across the nation for the 2020-2021 academic year.

To be selected a fellow by the council, which is known as ACE, candidates must be nominated by the senior administration at their institutions and go through a rigorous selection process. Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions in American higher education by identifying and preparing over 2,000 faculty, staff and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Of the fellows who have participated to date, more than 80% have gone on to serve as chief executive.

"The College of Health and Human Sciences is proud to have Dr. Fees selected for the prestigious ACE Fellows Program," said John Buckwalter, the Betty L. Tointon dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "It could be argued that the ACE Fellows Program is the premier administrative leadership development program in higher education today. Both Dr. Fees and K-State will greatly benefit from her participation in this experience."

The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. During her placement, Fees will observe and work with the president and other senior officers at her yet-to-be-named host institution, attending decision-making meetings and focusing on issues of interest. As a fellow, Fees also will conduct projects of pressing concern for K-State and seek to implement her findings upon completion of her fellowship placement.

"I am pleased to have this opportunity to study academic procedures and administrative leadership within another institution utilizing a responsibility-centered management budget model and bring back this knowledge and experience to K-State," Fees said.

Fees has been in her current position since May 2015, after serving as the interim associate dean since 2013. In her job, Fees works with faculty on courses and curriculums in academic programs, ensuring they comply with their accreditation standards. This work includes undergraduate, graduate and distance education as well as serving as program chair for the human ecology degree. She also leads the college's strategic plan. Fees has been recognized for her leadership as one of K-State's Women of Distinction and as a HERS Summer Institute participant in 2015.

Joining K-State in 1998, Fees was promoted to full professor in 2015 and has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She also has helped undergraduate and graduate students present their work at local, state, national and international conferences, and has led international study tours to China, Tanzania, Paraguay and Hungary.

Active in research, Fees' work deals with physical activity of young children within programs, early care and education programs, affordances of the physical environment for children with autism and international perspectives on early education. Her work has been presented and published internationally and nationally, including a collaborative study cited in the Institutes of Health recent publication, "Childhood Obesity." She is principal investigator for Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, a sponsored project providing professional development and technical assistance to early childhood professionals across Kansas. In addition to campus leadership, Fees currently serves as chair of the Human Sciences Board in the Great Plains IDEA, chair of the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences and vice president for Assembly of Higher Education for the AAFCS. She is a past board member for the World Organization for Early Childhood Education-USA, a nongovernmental organization with consultative status with the U.N. and UNESCO.

Fees earned a Bachelor of Science in education, graduating magna cum laude, and a Master of Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She earned her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies - child development from Iowa State University. Before joining K-State, Fees taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Huron University and served as Huron's director for institutional assessment.

"The ACE Fellows program is unique in its ability to transform the lives and enrich the careers of its participants," said Ted Mitchell, ACE president. "After an intensive experience working with accomplished higher education leaders, the Fellows will return to their home campuses prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow."

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation's colleges and universities, ACE's strength lies in its diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private.

This article was posted on Monday, March 23, 2020, and is filed under College News, Family Studies & Human Services.