American Association of Women in Community Colleges Selects Achieving the Dream President & CEO Woman of the Year

Dr. Karen A. Stout Receives National Honor

SILVER SPRING, MD (April 28, 2017) - The American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) presented the 2017 Mildred Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award to Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. Dr. Stout received the award after her keynote address during the AAWCC breakfast at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) annual convention in New Orleans, LA.

“Karen Stout’s leadership in both her long-term role as a college president and in her current role as President of Achieving the Dream has been critical to the success of many nationally recognized initiatives aimed at increasing opportunity and access for minorities and women,” said Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. “This award is well earned and her accomplishments illustrate her commitment to the advancement of women in leadership. On behalf of AACC, I extend congratulations and my support of Dr. Stout and the work she continues to do for community colleges.”

The Woman of the Year award was given to Dr. Stout for her outstanding leadership and mentorship to women in community colleges. The award is named in honor of AAWCC founder Mildred Bulpitt, as a symbol of her “tenacious, innovative, and selfless spirit in helping women attain leadership positions in community colleges.”

“I am honored to be selected as a Mildred Bulpitt Woman of the Year,” said Dr. Stout. “Mildred has been a role model and inspiration to me since the late 1980s, when I participated in a Leaders Class that she organized in Cleveland. That was a foundational experience for me.”

Dr. Stout has been a community college leader for more than 30 years, most recently serving as President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, a comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success. She currently shares her knowledge and experience as an accomplished leader as a mentor in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence program, a national effort to develop exceptional leaders who can transform community colleges to achieve higher levels of student success while maintaining broad access. She has been an active participant in AAWCC programs over the years, presenting on data-savvy decision making and on decisions about leadership transitions, and participating in the organization’s CEO Network.

“Dr. Stout is the ideal candidate for this award,” said Mott Community College President, Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, AAWCC President.  "Dr. Stout is the type of leader that Dr. Mildred Bulpitt recognized as producing a powerful and lasting impact on our community college campuses. I greatly admire her commitment to creating opportunities for students and community college women to succeed. Hers is an important voice in our community college universe, sharing the wisdom and knowledge gained from a career dedicated to helping everyone Achieve the Dream."

“I have personally benefitted greatly from Dr. Stout’s mentorship. Building women’s leadership capacity at community colleges is an important goal and Karen’s expertise and vision have contributed much to those efforts across the country. Her strategic acumen—as well as her warmth and humor—make her a truly exceptional leader,” said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College (MD).

Prior to joining Achieving the Dream in 2015, Dr. Stout was president of Montgomery County Community College (PA) for more than 14 years, where she created a leadership program with a strong mentoring focus. Working closely with the college’s Foundation, Dr. Stout developed a women’s professional development golf outing, to introduce women to golf and to networking. The college later renamed the event in honor of her. While at MCCC, she also formed a women’s giving circle to invest in programs to help female students succeed and to attain new opportunities in non-traditional fields.

In October 2016, Dr. Stout was named by Washington Monthly as one of the country’s 16 most innovative higher education leaders.


Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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