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Ford observes, learns from GGC president, provost

Dr. Wanda Ford of Florida A&M University (FAMU) is getting a crash course in the leadership required to run a college. 

Dr. Wanda Ford

As a member of the American Council on Education (ACE) 2014-15 Fellow Program class, she is spending one academic year observing Dr. Stas Preczewski as he manages his day-to-day duties as president of Georgia Gwinnett College. 

“Dr. Preczewski is the epitome of an exceptional leader. He exhibits a servant-leadership style that is admirable and inspirational,” Ford said. “I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to learn from a president who genuinely cares about all faculty, staff and students.”

Ford is learning from a former ACE Fellow appreciative of his own experience in the program.

“While spending my own ACE Fellowship year with the president’s office at Wake Forest University several years ago, I learned many critical lessons about what it takes to operate a college,” Preczewski said. “The experience certainly broadened my perspectives, and I am pleased to contribute to the training of higher education’s future leaders.”

“Dr. Preczewski’s quest to maintain consistent and effective communication with all constituents of the college is admirable,” Ford said. “Monthly luncheons with faculty, staff, and students are only one example of his commitment to ensuring that everyone at GGC has a voice.”

Ford currently serves as the executive director of Title III Programs at FAMU in Tallahassee, Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in organizational management and a doctorate degree in management. 

In addition, Ford has more than 20 years of higher education administration experience. During her fellowship year, her primary interests include innovative learning strategies, change management and student success initiatives. 

Dr. Lois C. Richardson, interim senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost, also serves as Ford’s mentor. Richardson herself is a former ACE Fellow.

“I admire her leadership abilities and appreciate her willingness to assist in my progression as a leader,” Ford said. 

Georgia Gwinnett is a fitting site for her fellowship, as it is known for innovation in education and initiatives targeting student success and college completion. Its rapid growth from its founding in 2005 to today’s enrollment of about 11,000 students has given the GGC administration much experience with change management.

Upon completing the ACE Fellowship year, Ford plans to return to FAMU to play a key role in advancing the mission of the university.  She said the expertise gained at GGC will enable her to be better prepared to address current issues facing senior leaders in higher education. 

“The opportunity of having Drs. Preczewski and Richardson as mentors will prove invaluable in my future journeys,” she said.

Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. GGC opened its doors in August 2006 as the nation’s first four-year public college founded in the 21st century, and the first four-year public college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years. Georgia Gwinnett produces contributing citizens and future leaders for Georgia and the nation. Its graduates are inspired to contribute to their local, state, national and international communities and are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world. Visit Georgia Gwinnett College’s Web site at