Marquette native honored as ACE

MARQUETTE – The American Council on Education has announced that Kerry Johnson, associate dean of liberal arts and professor of English at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., has been named an ACE Fellow for academic year 2014-2015.

Johnson is a native of Marquette.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing emerging leaders for senior positions in college and university administration.

Johnson is one of only 31 Fellows chosen nationwide this year.

“Being named an ACE Fellow is both a great honor and a great opportunity,” said Johnson, who has taught at Merrimack since 1996, in a news release. “I’ll have an inside view of the workings of another institution, which will inform my future role at Merrimack and, I hope, help the college as it continues to make great strides.”

Johnson is Merrimack’s fourth ACE Fellow in four years.

Merrimack President Christopher E. Hopey, who nominated all four Fellows, said the college tries to identify and nurture leadership potential among the faculty, and the ACE Fellows Program is an important tool in that effort.

“We have enormous respect for ACE and particularly for its Fellows Program,” said Hopey, a longtime member of ACE. “Merrimack is entering a new phase of its history and needs experienced leadership to help it grow. Kerry will return with some fresh insights … and the college will be stronger for it.”

The ACE Fellows Program combines three retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, 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. Each Fellow focuses on an issue of concern to his or her home institution while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution.