An awardee of the prestigious American Council on Education Donna Shavlik Award, Elaine Maimon has proven her exemplary leadership ability in reforming higher education over a long time span. Elaine Maimon, the recipient of the 2014 ATHENA Leadership Award, has dedicated her career to educational reform. For more than a decade, she served as the President of Governors State University (GSU) with a commitment to transform the landscape of education. The GSU President has left behind a legacy that has changed the lives of students for the better.
A Glowing Career in Academics
Elaine Maimon belongs to a family background that considers college education as a natural goal that must be pursued. Education was a dominant concern in her family while she was growing up and, perhaps, this inspired Elaine Maimon to excel in academics. Elaine Maimon was a top student in her high school, receiving a full scholarship to study at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor’s degree, a masters degree, and a doctorate in English at the University of Pennsylvania.
After completing her Ph.D., she joined colleges such as Haverford and Arcadia as a professor.
Through her teaching career at various colleges and universities, she proved to be a “born mentor.” She worked energetically to motivate her students to make the most from their potential. She dedicated herself to the mission of helping her students to grow into self-reliant thinkers and liberated writers.
Her tireless efforts in the educational domains of critical thinking and writing skills led to her being recognized by the academic community and beyond. Eventually, she was offered the prestigious position of Associate Dean of the College at Brown University. While she was on the Admissions Committee of Brown University, Elaine Maimon developed insights that she shared with her students. In an interview, she said, “the way not to get admitted is to say, ‘I want to come here because it’s a prestigious university.’ The way to get in is to learn something about the educational philosophy of the institution, and you have to be able to show why you will make a contribution to that university and why that university will be the right place for you. The major message is you have to look carefully at what the university is doing and offering.”
Elaine Maimon’s noble target has been to make the benefits of elite institutions available to students at public universities. This shows her commitment to make education a level playing field, an egalitarian platform giving equal opportunities to students from all backgrounds. She has strived with corporate and journalism advisory boards to expand the scope and opening for high potential/low-income students.
In addition to GSU, Elaine Maimon has held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Arizona State University West and the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Role in Women Empowerment
Elaine Maimon has played a proactive and consistent role in mentoring and empowering women, especially in the field of higher education. An award winner in the field of women’s leadership, Maimon has worked in career development, improving campus climate and mentoring women at both state and national levels. In the words of the former President of the American Council on Education Molly Corbett Broad, “Elaine Maimon has worked tirelessly and effectively to expand access to higher education overall and advance the cause of women in higher education leadership in particular.”
Her leadership career reflects her tireless striving in the field of empowering women in higher education, making higher education equally accessible to women, and enhancing the career goals of women. For Elaine Maimon, leadership is synonymous with empowerment, and she defines empowerment as the “power to” accomplish one’s goals and not “power over” others. Hence, Elaine Maimon empowers women by equipping them with leadership skills.
Motivational Writing Career
Elaine Maimon is the author of various remarkable books. She is known as a pioneer in teaching writing skills through her various influential books such as A Writer’s Resource and The McGraw-Hill Handbook. She made a profound impact on the Writing Across the Curriculum movement, which has changed the way writing is taught in educational institutions.
Her latest book, Leading Academic Change: Vision, Strategy, Transformation (2018), talks about educating the New Majority (first-generation, students of color, adults, and military veterans.) As people deal with the trifecta of disease, social injustice, and economic turmoil, they have referred to Dr. Maimon’s book as a pathway for bringing reform to higher education.
Elaine Maimon has been a pioneer in reinventing higher education to make it more accessible and egalitarian. Throughout her career, she has developed ways to expand the empowering opportunities that the world has to offer for her students.
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