Jefferson Community College (JCC) staff member Gabrielle M. Thompson, Watertown, Director of Access & Opportunity Programs, was chosen as an Engaging Excellence in Equity Fellow, a program of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Leaders from Jefferson nominated Thompson for her extensive work in serving and supporting racially minoritized students on the College’s campus.
“Gabby is a staunch advocate for students and, in particular, those students who are at a high risk of not completing their educational goals," says Dr. Ty A. Stone, President. "She demonstrates a clear passion for seeing our minority students succeed academically by developing student experiences and pathways that support and serve their needs."
The 8-month Engaging Excellence fellowship offered the opportunity for Thompson to network with professionals across the country and glean from a central hub of knowledge on the culturally responsive practices and policies at community colleges. The fellowship concluded in November.
As a fellow, Thompson received a $3000 stipend to support her efforts at Jefferson and engage with professionals and advocates for scaling culturally responsive practices nationwide during three 2-day face-to-face meetings held in Chicago, Illinois.
Jefferson is one of 100 post-secondary institutions to receive an Engaging Excellence in Equity Fellowship. The College serves nearly 500 students combined in its access and opportunity programs - Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), TRIO Strategies To Achieve Results (STAR) and Liberty Partnership Program - that serve marginalized populations.