David Jenkins reached out of his “comfort zone” when seeking a host university for his prestigious ACE fellowship.

A Social Work professor and department chair, Jenkins works at Texas Christian University, a private, religiously affiliated institution with 8,800 students and a 127-year history.

He is spending the fall semester at UCF, a much younger, growing public university that enrolls more than 56,000 students.

One of 46 American Council of Education (ACE) fellows nationwide, Jenkins will work closely with President John Hitt, Provost Tony Waldrop and other senior administrators. He will learn about academic administration and collaborate with Student Development and Enrollment Services and the College of Graduate Studies.

Jenkins will assist with special projects related to graduate programs and enrollment and also efforts aimed at helping students succeed in school and graduate.

“I wanted to experience something out of my comfort zone, and the growth at UCF was very intriguing,” said Jenkins, who has four children, including triplets attending high school in Texas.

Nominated by the presidents or other top administrators at their universities, ACE fellowship candidates go through a rigorous interviewing process with university presidents from across the country.

Fellows are chosen for their leadership and professional potential and are matched with host institutions based upon their goals and those of their home institutions. The objective is to create matches that are mutually beneficial to both universities.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all of the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research and program initiatives.

David Jenkins can be contacted at dje@mail.ucf.edu