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UM School of Medicine's J. Kathleen Tracy, PhD, is Named 2019-20 Fellow by the American Council on Education

June 13, 2019

J. Kathleen Tracy, PhD

The American Council on Education (ACE) has announced that J. Kathleen Tracy, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), has been named an ACE Fellow for academic year 2019-20. Following nomination by the senior administration of their institutions and a rigorous application process, 39 Fellows were selected this year—click here for a full list.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. More than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities.

“The ACE Fellows Program epitomizes ACE’s goal of enriching the capacity of leaders to innovate and adapt, and it fuels the expansion of a talented and diverse higher education leadership pipeline,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “Each year I am impressed by how many former Fellows are named to prominent leadership roles, which makes it even more exciting to meet each new cohort. I’m left wondering, ‘Where will these Fellows end up?’”

Dr. Tracy, who is a leading researcher on women’s health issues, holds other leadership appointments in the UMSOM, including Director of the Clinical Translational Research and Informatics Center and Director of Preventive Medicine.

“I am extremely grateful to Dr. Magaziner, Dean Reece, and President Perman for supporting my nomination. I am excited for the opportunity to work with some of the leading innovators in higher education and to expand my skills as a leader,” said Dr. Tracy.

In the area of women’s health, Dr. Tracy has cultivated a programmatic line of research focused on cervical cancer prevention in under-served groups of women. Through this work, she has helped advance the understanding of barriers to cervical cancer screening in specific women populations, (such as lesbians), and provided an evidence base for the design of interventions to increase screening among sexual minority women. In addition, through an ongoing collaboration with colleagues at a UMSOM-affiliated Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) in Bamako, Mali, her team has successfully demonstrated that there are regional, geographic variations in high-risk HPV (the cause of cervical cancer) that must be characterized in order to adequately plan and predict the probable impact of HPV vaccination programs in sub-Saharan Africa and quite likely other regions worldwide. The work is having a significant impact, with projections that it could help reduce cervical cancer mortality in Mali from 35/100,000 to approximately 10.5/100,000 over the next 20-30 years.

The ACE Fellows program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

During the placement, Fellows observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship placement.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.

Dr. Tracy received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Kentucky, and both her Master of Arts Degree and PhD Degree in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $530 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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