Wednesday, September 27, 2017

CollegeNET Awards Five Key Social Mobility Innovators in Higher Education

The 2017 Social Mobility Innovator Awards were presented July 17 at CollegeNET’s first Social Mobility Summit, in Portland, Oregon, to five key thought leaders from universities across the nation.

The award recipients included:

  • Dr. Rory McElwee, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success at Rowan University in New Jersey
  • Dr. Kristin Croyle, Vice President for Student Success at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Dr. Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Irvine
  • Dr. Elwood L. Robinson, Chancellor at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina
  • Dr. Jaye Padgett, Vice Provost for Student Success and Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz

During the Summit, the five award recipients participated in a roundtable discussion on best practices for student success, and heard a keynote address by CollegeNET CEO Jim Wolfston.

"Higher education is the most important rung on the ladder of economic mobility,” said Wolfston. “But, even more importantly, by offering a challenging mix of diverse ideas and experiences, higher education serves as society's most effective vehicle for preparing students to encounter, navigate, and appreciate the unfamiliar. Since innovation always depends upon the ability to consider what could be different, economic inclusion is not only a solution to a social justice issue, it is a key strategy for building sufficient diversity on campus to spark innovative minds."
The goal of the Social Mobility Index (SMI) is to help redirect the attribution of "prestige" in our higher education system toward colleges and universities that are advancing economic opportunity, and thus addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time.
The latest SMI rankings will be published during fall 2017.

For more information about the SMI and to see the 2016 SMI rankings, visit