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A Student Again

“I’m excited—and just a little…nervous.”

Not a word you usually hear from Haines Professor of Biochemistry Ann Taylor, chair of the College’s natural sciences division, as she heads out on sabbatical.

But this time is a little different.

This fall she’s traveling to teach chemistry at Harlaxton College in England, where her husband, Patrick, and children—Henry, Harmony, and Hope— will join her. Then she’s back to Indiana in January, where, as one of 39 national leaders in higher education earning a fellowship from the American Council on Education (ACE), she’ll be studying, among other issues, best practices in developing faculty and student leaders.

“I am particularly interested in the transition from receiving tenure into a faculty member’s first significant leadership role, and I also want to study models of developing student leadership through course-based activities,” says Taylor, who created the curriculum and courses for the College’s biochemistry major while also working with students to make scientific progress more easily understood by the general public.

The ACE Fellows Program is the premier higher-education leadership-development program for preparing senior leaders to serve American colleges and universities. Over the past 50 years, more than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program, with more than 80 percent going on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities. Taylor will be based at Ball State University for her work in the program.

But first comes Harlaxton.

“It’s an adventure for my family,” Taylor says of the upcoming year. “And for me too. It’s exciting to be a student again. There’s so much to learn—a new place, new schedule, new people.

“Everything is going to be different, just like it is for our students when they arrive at Wabash. That’s easy to forget, because it’s much the same for us year after year, but for them, it’s all new, all different. It’s good to be reminded of what that feels like.”