Community College of Denver Interim Provost Gillian McKnight-Tutein, Ph.D., Selected for the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship

Denver, Colo. (April 05, 2023) – The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (Aspen) announced today that Community College of Denver (CCD) Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Gillian McKnight-Tutein, Ph.D., has been selected as one of 35 leaders for the 2023-2024 Aspen Institute Rising Presidents Fellowship.

As a member of the fellowship, McKnight-Tutein will work closely with highly accomplished community college presidents, Aspen leaders, and Stanford University faculty to learn from field-leading research, define and assess student success, and clarify her vision for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and post-graduation. 

“I am extremely proud Dr. McKnight-Tutein will represent CCD as an incoming member of the Aspen Institute Rising Presidents Fellowship,” said CCD President Marielena P. DeSanctis, Ph.D. “Her unique perspective and creative approaches to student success have helped our college address barriers to equitable delivery of education, and I am positive her colleagues will benefit from her expertise as much as she will from theirs.”

Created to address the rising turnover in community college presidential leadership, the competitive process identifies an elite group of leaders selected for their experience leading change and advocating for student success. The year-long intensive applied executive leadership program includes seminars, mentorship from seasoned college presidents, and a capstone project.

Campus presidents, provosts, and vice presidents, and senior administrators from higher education institutions and K-12 are eligible to apply. Executives from outside education who have a deep commitment to student success also can apply. Applications are reviewed and scored by committees of current and former presidents and leaders. Selected applicants then participate in an interview round, with final selection decisions announced each spring.

For more information on the Aspen Institute Rising Presidents Fellowship, please visit


About Community College of Denver
Community College of Denver (CCD) is a leading point of entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver. CCD provides cost-effective, high-quality college education, along with access and opportunity for non-traditional students, workforce development, training resources for local organizations, and community partnerships. CCD is a federally funded Hispanic Serving and designated Military Friendly Institution. Learn more at

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

The Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) advances the critical cause of diversity, equity and inclusion in learning science and postsecondary education leadership.  SELI’s research practice partnership with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has enabled faculty from the Stanford Graduate Schools of Education, Business and Engineering to host and prepare almost 300 Aspen Rising President Fellows to lead U.S. community colleges for student success in graduation and preparation for workforce advancement.  For more information, visit 

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. Learn more at