March 14, 2022

The American Council on Education (ACE) and Cengage Award Dr. Phyllis Esposito with the Cengage - ACE Inclusion Scholarship

Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Everett Community College Recognized for Her Achievements in Creating a More Vibrant, Inclusive and Supportive Campus for All

image of woman and text about award win

WASHINGTON DC AND BOSTON – March 14, 2022 – The American Council on Education (ACE) and education technology company Cengage have awarded the Cengage–ACE Inclusion Scholarship to Dr. Phyllis Esposito, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Everett Community College in Washington. Dr Esposito leads the college’s Equity and Social Justice Division and works in collaboration with key constituents to ensure equitable access and opportunities to institutions of higher education. This scholarship recognizes her sustained commitment to educational quality and equity in student success.

“The creation of diverse, equitable and inclusive college campuses plays a key role in developing diverse future leaders and workplaces, ensuring social justice, and, ultimately, closing the wealth gap,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “Cengage has been committed to improving lives through education and their support of ACE scholarships and Dr. Esposito demonstrates the impact and focus the company continues to have on that effort.” 

“When institutions aspire to transform, the institution must provide robust and transformative support. After two decades in education facilitating and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives through organizational and structural change, I continue to find motivation in creating programs that ensure all students belong and have access to the tools they need to flourish,” said Dr. Esposito. “Being recognized by Cengage and ACE for my work further validates this effort. With this scholarship and access to the ACE Fellows network, I can continue to learn new skills that will directly impact and improve the lives of students and faculty.”

Dr. Esposito has experience creating, coordinating, and facilitating diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across multiple geographic regions and in K-20 education systems. Throughout her career, she has chaired equity councils and task forces, developed and facilitated campus-wide workshops on implicit biases and microaggressions, and designed and implemented faculty development workshops on inclusive and antiracism pedagogy. At Everett Community College, she leads the college’s development and execution of a comprehensive, organization-wide campus strategic plan that advances equity and social justice by transforming the college into a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. In this capacity, Dr. Esposito brings together administration, faculty and students through equity-minded leadership development and training, engagement sessions to prepare the campus for change, the creation of best practices for academic equity and student success, and a process to review DEI strategies and initiatives that promote academic and social belonging.

The Cengage-ACE Inclusion Scholarship covers the cost of the Fellowship program to support the professional development of individuals from diverse backgrounds who are bringing positive change to higher education and to further diversify the program’s pipeline to higher education leadership. The 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.

“Cengage is committed to powering inclusive learning experiences through support for outstanding leadership such as that of Dr. Esposito and ACE, and through our affordable high quality products that deliver fact-based content from diverse sources of scholarship and authorship along with the tools to help students develop key critical thinking skills,” said Kevin Carlsten, Senior Vice President of the US Higher Education Institutional Group at Cengage. “Cengage is honored to support the work of Dr. Esposito to establish and nurture inclusive college campuses, and improve student learning and success for all.”

Dr. Esposito was celebrated at ACE2022, ACE’s annual meeting, March 5-7, 2022. For more information about the ACE Fellows Program, click here.

For more information about Cengage’s focus on inclusion and diversity, click here.

About The American Council on Education (ACE)

The American Council on Education (ACE) is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. Our members educate two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting U.S. institutions. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About Cengage

Cengage, the US Higher Education business of global education technology company Cengage Group, serves millions of instructors, learners, and institutions. Cengage delivers affordable, high-quality digital products and personalized support to power learning individually and at scale. Cengage’s customer-centered approach enables innovation, including Cengage Unlimited, the first and only all-access digital subscription for textbooks and course materials. Cengage’s textbooks, homework tools, and flagship online learning platforms, MindTap and WebAssign, help educators and students achieve their goals. Visit Cengage at or on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.