Hobart and William Smith Colleges Professor of Religious Studies Susan Henking has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for academic year 2009-10. The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Thirty-eight Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year in a national competition.
“We are very pleased that Professor Susan Henking’s leadership abilities and dedication to this institution have been recognized by the American Council on Education,” says Mark D. Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, who nominated Henking for the fellowship. “Over the past two decades, she has proven herself to be committed to her students, her research and the Colleges.”
Sharon A. McDade, Ed.D., director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,500 participants in the first 44 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.
“We’re extremely pleased with the incoming class,” said McDade. ”The individuals selected have demonstrated strong leadership. The Fellows Program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community.”
Henking came to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1988, after teaching appointments at Colgate University, Western Illinois University, and the University of Chicago. A recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award, she has twice chaired the religious studies department and for a time served as acting provost and dean of faculty for the Colleges.
She has a long list of publications and book reviews and is frequently invited to speak at conferences and religious studies associations. Henking is the series editor for the Teaching Religious Studies series of the American Academy of Religion, the pre-eminent national organization for religious studies teachers and scholars. She is also co-editor of “Que(e)rying Religion,” one of the first major anthologies examining the intersection of religion and homosexuality. She recently became co-editor and contributor to a vanguard anthology on theory and religious studies titled “Mourning Religion.”
Henking is broadly and deeply involved in her field of study. She was secretary of the American Academy of Religion and on the advisory board of the Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies. She has also served as secretary and program committee person for the Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion and been the co-facilitator of a faculty development workshop at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
With a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago, she studies and researches feminist approaches and links between religion and sexuality.
Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending at least a portion of the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The ACE Fellows Program combines seminars, 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. Henking will be included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue that will eventually benefit Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Fellows attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.
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 more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.