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Cruzado Wins 2024 Council of Fellows Mentor Award

Montana State University President Dr. Waded Cruzado has been named winner of the American Council on Education’s 2024 ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award.

Dr. Waded CruzadoDr. Waded CruzadoThe annual award acknowledges the role mentors play in the success of participants in the ACE Fellows Program, which was established in 1965 to help prepare faculty and administrators for senior positions in higher education leadership.

“Mentoring others who wish to serve the noble purpose of educating the sons and daughters of our nation is the least I can do to repay those who opened the doors of education for me,” said Cruzado, who has mentored four fellows and nominated two fellows.

“It has been my pleasure to mentor these fellows,” she said. “Each one was a teacher and I learned from them as much as I gave. They are all remarkable people and I cherish the time we shared on this pursuit that is higher education.”

Cruzado, who has served as president of Montana State since 2010, has a storied career in higher education leadership. She served twice on the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. She also chaired the board of directors of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and HERS.

Before her tenure at Montana State, she served as interim president, executive vice president and provost, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University as well as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

“President Cruzado’s former mentees have praised her as a compassionate mentor and inspirational leader deeply devoted to higher education,” said Juanita Banks, director of the ACE Fellows Program. “Her steadfast support for the Fellows Program, stemming from her experience as a mentor and nominator, underscores her unwavering dedication to fostering the next generation of higher education leaders.”

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