Diverse Group of Fellows Picked for Academic Leadership Institute

Diverse Group of Fellows Picked for Academic Leadership Institute

By Kyle MittanUniversity Communications
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Jessica Summers
Jessica Summers
Nura Dualeh
Nura Dualeh
Marcela Vásquez-León
Marcela Vásquez-León

Twenty-six UA leaders have been accepted into the Academic Leadership Institute, a yearlong professional development program. The 2018-19 cohort will begin the program in August.

The incoming class of fellows, the program's ninth, includes academic and administrative department heads, assistant and associate deans, center directors, and others from a variety of campus units, including the Office of Admissions, the Financial Services Office, the School of Art, the Department of Geosciences and Arizona Public Media.

The institute is a partnership between the Office of the Provost and the Division of Human Resources.

"Diverse perspectives help foster innovative and critical thinking in most settings, but especially in this program because the different roles of the participants help the cohort understand dimensions of the University that are beyond their individual experience," said Tom Miller, vice provost of faculty affairs, who helps lead the program along with Allison Vaillancourt, vice president for business affairs and human resources.

"We know that the most effective organizations are diverse and highly networked," Vaillancourt said. "This program brings campus leaders together to identify innovative opportunities and to propose new ways to collaborate."

Jessica Summers, an associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies, said she applied to the program after her election as faculty chair in the spring. She said she thought the institute would be a good way to hone key leadership skills.

"More than anything, I'm really hoping to meet other leaders and potential leaders on campus to hear about their perspectives and their ideas and to also share my perspectives and my ideas," she said. "The more people I know, the better I can serve the faculty."

Nura Dualeh, director of undergraduate research and graduate preparation programs in the Office of Student Engagement, said she was excited by the group's diversity.

"I'm always curious to see what partnerships and collaborations and connections can be made across colleges, across departments and across the campus so that we can amplify each other's work," she said.

Marcela Vásquez-Léon, director of the Center for Latin American Studies, said she hopes interacting with other leaders will help her discover tools or practices that she hadn't thought of, and she hopes that process is reciprocal.

"I'm an immigrant, and I'm a woman," she said, "and I think I have a very different perspective than other people. And I think we can all benefit from each other's perspective."

Elliott Cheu, associate dean in the College of Science, was among ALI's inaugural cohort of fellows, during the 2010-11 academic year. He's now co-chair of the strategic plan, alongside Lisa Ordoñez, vice dean in the Eller College of Management. She, too, was in the inaugural cohort.

When Cheu began the fellowship, he had just been appointed associate dean – a position for which there was no orientation process, he said.

ALI helped him understand his new role and how it fit into the larger University structure. Now, as he helps guide the UA through the strategic plan process, Cheu said he calls on skills that he learned through the institute, particularly how to identify and effectively listen to stakeholders.

"What ALI does really well is it brings in a really diverse group of people and exposes you to a very broad swath of the campus, so you start to recognize that there are lots of voices," he said, adding that each voice is just as important as the next.

Cheu said he hopes fellows take advantage of the networking opportunities ALI provides, and use what they learn to give back to the UA.

"It's a great honor to be chosen, but it's also, to some extent, a responsibility," Cheu said. "We think that you're going to do great things for the University and we hope you'll take this opportunity to pay it back. And that's really what leadership is."

The 2018-19 fellows are:

  • Richard Amini, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Rick Bennett, Professor, Department of Geosciences
  • Colin Blakely, Professor and Director, School of Art
  • Paul Blowers, University Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering; Associate Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
  • Eric Butcher, Professor, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Associate Professor, Applied Mathematics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program; Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Nura Dualeh, Director of Undergraduate Research and Graduate Preparation Programs, Office of Student Engagement
  • Amelia Gallitano, Associate Professor, Department of Basic Medical Sciences; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience
  • Celeste González de Bustamante, Associate Professor, School of Journalism; Assistant Director of Faculty Initiatives, Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence
  • Andrea Kelly, Assistant News Director, Arizona Public Media
  • Dale LaFleur, Senior Director for International Partnerships, UA Global
  • Susan Legg, Director of IT Service Management, Campus IT Partnerships, University Information Technology Services
  • Carl Liaupsin, Professor, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies
  • Laura López-Hoffman, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment; Associate Professor, Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program; Associate Professor, Global Change Graduate Interdisciplinary Program; Associate Research Professor, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
  • Mariette Marsh, Director, Human Subjects Protection Program, Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation
  • Tyler Meier, Executive Director, Poetry Center
  • Connie Miller, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Nursing; Chair, General Nursing and Health Education Division
  • Jennifer Nichols, Assistant Librarian and Interim Department Head of the Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship, University Libraries
  • Denis Provencher, Professor and Head, Department of French and Italian; Interim Director, Institute for LGBT Studies
  • Dani Rollins, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Recruitment, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
  • Judd Ruggill, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Public and Applied Humanities
  • Nicole Salazar, Comptroller, Financial Services Office
  • Aurelie Sheehan, Professor, Department of English
  • Jessica Summers, Associate Professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies
  • Shyam Sunder, Associate Professor, Department of Accounting; Associate Dean, Eller MBA Programs
  • Marcela Vásquez-León, Associate Professor, School of Anthropology; Director, Center for Latin American Studies
  • Ed Xia, Senior Director of Information Technologies, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Adjunct Instructor, School of Information Resources and Library Science

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