The American Council on Education has named Dr. Kristen Eichhorn, professor of communication studies at SUNY Oswego and faculty fellow in the college’s President’s Office, as an ACE Fellow for academic year 2016-17.

Kristen Eichhorn

Eichhorn is one of 33 fellows, nominated by the senior administration of their institutions, who were selected this year following a rigorous application process.

The 51-year-old ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration.

“During this yearlong fellowship, my goal is to investigate campus culture and its relationship to greater efficiency and productivity,” Eichhorn said. “I am most interested in developing strategies across institutional units to effect positive change that is aligned with the institution’s mission.”

In SUNY Oswego’s President’s Office, Eichhorn has been involved with reviewing, devising and implementing college-wide policies and procedures, including diversity and inclusion training, family leave and lactation rooms, faculty and staff search processes, and child protection policies. She serves on the steering committee preparing the college’s next report to the Middle States Association accrediting body.

Eichhorn is one of two faculty senators representing SUNY Oswego in the SUNY-wide Faculty Senate. She is director this year of the Eastern Communication Association’s undergraduate scholars conference and director for educational relations of the International Society of Communication Science and Medicine.

Her first academic posting was at Towson University. She moved to SUNY Oswego in 2007, and from 2010 to 2013 she chaired Oswego’s department of communication studies. She served as the interim dean of the Division of Extended Learning in 2013.

The co-author of the book “Interpersonal Communication: Building Rewarding Relationships,” published by Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co. and now in its second edition, she also has published research in such journals as the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Human Communication and International Journal of Leadership Studies.

A native of Lockport, Eichhorn received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and Spanish from Canisius College, master’s in communication research from West Virginia University and doctorate in communication research from the University of Miami. She was a 2013 participant in the American Council on Education’s Regional Women’s Leadership Forum.

Fellows program

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. Eichhorn will focus on an issue of concern to SUNY Oswego while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution.

Throughout their placement, ACE fellows develop a network of higher education leaders from across the country and abroad through the program’s three retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE. Fellows also read extensively in the field and engage in interactive learning opportunities to increase their understanding of higher education challenges and opportunities.

“The ACE Fellows Program cultivates leaders prepared to meet the constantly evolving challenges of today’s higher education landscape,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “The diverse and talented 2016-17 fellows class demonstrates why the program has been such a vital contributor for more than a half-century to expanding the leadership pipeline for our colleges and universities.”

Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of them having served as senior leaders of colleges and universities.

About ACE

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.