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Four ACU Online Faculty and Staff Receive CCCU Appointments

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is proud to announce the acceptance of four faculty and staff members into the 2024 Leadership Development Institute and 2024 Multi-Ethnic Leadership Development Institute within the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). Exemplifying faithful leadership and a passion for scholarship and service, ACU Online congratulates Dr. Jennifer Butcher, Dr. Dena Counts, Dr. LaShae Grottis, and Dr. Twyla Williams-Damond. 

Known for their unique abilities to attract and guide students and staff members across the university, each honoree has continued the legacy of leading faithfully in and throughout higher education.  

“This distinction and selection of our four faculty and staff members is simply extraordinary,” said Dr. Stephen Johnson, chief executive officer of ACU Dallas. “Having one of our leaders selected is a great honor. Having four is simply unheard of.” 

Dr. Jennifer Butcher, vice president for intercultural engagement and belonging, and Dr. LaShae Grottis, student engagement manager, were accepted into the 2024 Multi-Ethnic Leadership Development Institute for their outstanding scholarship, demonstrated leadership skills, and desire to enhance their leadership styles and responsibilities. Focused on raising emerging leaders of color from CCCU institutions, the Multi-Ethnic Leadership Development Institute is a year-long mentorship program offering opportunities for Christian leaders of color to network alongside other Christian leaders interested in creating professional development plans to practice new methods of leadership and learning.  

Additionally, Dr. Twyla Williams-Damond, associate professor in the School of Organizational Leadership, and Dr. Dena Counts, assistant dean for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, were also accepted into the 2024 Leadership Development Institute for their demonstrated leadership at a Christian college, scholarly achievements, and pursuit of broadening their skills for influence and leadership. Through a year-long mentorship program, selected honorees will shadow senior-level leaders at other CCCU campuses, network with current and emerging leaders, and create professional development plans with their colleagues and resource leaders to practice new forms of leadership and learning.  

Each institute will host its honorees at Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center in Sumas, Washington in June 2024. 

Focused on preparing higher education professionals to become changemakers at Christ-centered universities worldwide, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities has been the leading national voice of Christian higher education since 1976. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and more than 30 from an additional 19 countries, CCCU institutions are recognized as being well-established colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. 

“These scholars have not only excelled in their careers but have also made the ACU Online family extraordinarily proud,” said Dr. Stephen Johnson. “We have always had a long line of brilliant and diverse scholars who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of students, colleagues, and in their communities – and these honorees only continue that legacy further.” 

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