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Montgomery College President Recognized with Academic Leadership Award from Carnegie Corporation

The Carnegie Corporation of New York today named Dr. DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College and Germantown resident, as recipients of its Academic Leadership Award. The honor consists of $500,000 in support for each winner’s academic initiatives. Six other college or university presidents were also named recipients of the award.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected for this extraordinary award from the Carnegie Corporation,” Pollard said. “Their tradition of investing in higher education is one that benefits not just current students, but wider communities, and our democracy as a whole.”

Dr. Pollard has earmarked the Carnegie award funds to two landmark programs: The aforementioned coaching program at the College, Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), and the Montgomery College Foundation’s Innovation Fund.

ACES was created as a partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove. The program, highlighted by the coaches’ mentoring and guidance of each student, provides academic and personal support to a diverse body of low income, first generation college students. Currently, 65 ACES students are enrolled at four-year colleges and 60 more are enrolled at USG. This semester, 977 are enrolled at Montgomery College and more than 1,500 ACES students attend 13 MCPS high schools, preparing to go to college.

Created by Dr. Pollard and made possible through the generosity of the Webber Family Foundation, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and private donations, the Montgomery College Foundation’s Innovation Fund provides funding for cutting-edge projects at the College that will have sustainable impact on helping students succeed in meeting their educational goals. Examples of past projects include the Collegewide Calculator Loan Program and a mentoring program called “Boys to Men” that uses relationship-building with successful role models.

Graphing calculators are a required tool for the majority of math courses at Montgomery College. They are, however, financially beyond the means of many students. The learning centers that support mathematics on all three campuses are building a program to lend calculators to students who need them across the College. An Innovation Grant provided a needed jump in inventory at two Montgomery College campus