Clifton Tanabe, an associate professor in the College of Education’s (COE’s) Department of Educational Foundations at UH Mānoa, was named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for the academic year 2013–2014. Tanabe was nominated by Chancellor Tom Apple and is the only fellow from Hawaiʻi of the 50 candidates selected nationwide.

“I am delighted to accept the American Council on Education’s offer to include Clifton Tanabe as an ACE Fellow,” Chancellor Apple said. “I acknowledge this award on behalf of UH Mānoa and know that Clifton will contribute to this institution’s agenda for assuming a major leadership role in higher education administration.”

Since 1965, the aim of the ACE Fellows Program has been to strengthen institutions and leadership in higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. The program enables members to expand their networks and prepares them to address the issues facing the higher education community.

Previous ACE Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the program, with more than 300 fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.

Tanabe, who is a former COE Exceptional Contributions to Teaching Award recipient, is also a lecturer in the William S. Richardson School of Law on the UH Mānoa campus. With a doctorate in educational policy studies and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tanabe established and co-directed the Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  While there, he worked to obtain several large federal, state and private grants in order to launch an initiative to recruit and train Hmong pre-service teachers.

At the COE, Tanabe has served as the co-director of the Hawaiʻi Education Policy Center and is the director of the Leaders for the Next Generation Program, established in 2003 to develop emerging faculty leaders at the university. He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters and commissioned reports on issues ranging from teacher morale to parent and community engagement in local public education.

During his year as an ACE Fellow, Tanabe will attend three week-long retreats; participate in off-campus, executive-level shadowing at another higher education institution; and engage in interactive learning opportunities. He will focus on an issue of concern, identified by his sponsoring institution.

“Looking at the list of current and past fellows, I realize what an honor it is to represent the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa through this opportunity,” Tanabe said. “I am humbled at being selected, and know that I would not have this privilege without the support of colleagues, students and the administration. I’m not sure where I will be placed yet, but I am interested in pursuing opportunities that allow me to work on programs and policies directed at providing all students with exciting higher education experiences.”

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