TCC’s Olivares-Urueta named 2020-2021 Aspen Presidential Fellow

Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Ph.D., vice president of student development services at TCC Northeast, has been selected by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program to join the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selected leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.

“The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program describes its Rising Presidential Fellows as those who ‘lead with tenacity, passion, urgency, and a constant belief in a better future for our students,’” said TCC Northeast President Kenya Ayers, Ed.D. “This is Mayra, every day. I am incredibly proud of her and excited to see what she will learn through the singular experience as an Aspen Fellow to support TCC’s transformative strategic efforts on behalf of the students we serve.”

Mayra Olivares-Urueta (Credit: The Aspen Institute)

Olivares-Urueta and 39 other Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2020. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers and other partners.

“Evidence shows that substantial improvements in student success are achieved only when presidents have the commitment and skill needed to lead change within their institutions and through partnerships in the community,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents.”

The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 70 percent women and 61 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.

Together, the 2020-21 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 500,000 students. As well, 42 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 500,000 students nationwide.

For a bio and photo of Olivares-Urueta and a list of the 2020-2021 class of Rising Presidential Fellows, visit