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Dr. Tamara Bland, dean of Dominican University’s Borra College of Health Sciences, has been selected by the American Council on Education for its 2024-25 ACE Fellows Program. 

The program, open to emerging leaders in education, provides a one-year, customized learning experience for participants to immerse themselves in the study and practice of leadership—all with a goal of strengthening institutions of higher learning. Fellows experience the culture, policies and decision-making processes of another institution and bring back what they learned to their campus, according to ACE.

“For decades, the ACE Fellows Program has played a crucial role in developing a pipeline of skilled, agile, and diverse leaders who advance and invigorate higher education,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell.

Bland called the fellowship an opportunity for professional growth and to make a lasting impact on future of higher education. 

“Receiving a fellowship from the American Council on Education is a tremendous honor and pivotal moment in my leadership journey,” said Bland, who joined Dominican University in 2018. “This fellowship holds immense significance as it grants me access to a network of accomplished mentors, scholars and administrators, allowing me to engage in collaborative learning and exchange of ideas. I anticipate gaining invaluable insights into the complexities of higher education administration, policy-making and strategic planning.”

Bland is among 26 faculty, staff and administrators from across the United States to be selected for the 2024-25 fellowship program.

An associate professor of nursing, Bland was awarded the Nursing Influencer Award from the American Nurses Association of Illinois in 2022. Additionally, she helped Dominican receive the 2022 Lectureship Award for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability in Nursing Education from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

In her role at Dominican, Bland has stressed the necessity of increased African American representation within healthcare in order to better meet patient needs. Graduating more nurses to offset nursing shortages experienced both locally and nationwide has also been a priority for Bland.

This year, under Bland’s leadership and in partnership with Rush Oak Park Hospital, a Dedicated Education Unit was established in the hospital for nursing students to experience hands-on, clinical learning close to campus. A second cohort of nursing students was also launched this semester at Dominican.