August 6, 2021

Academic Leadership Academy welcomes new cohort, diverse group of collaborative projects

The Academic Leadership Academy (ALA) has named its 2021-2022 fellows, who will join in a virtual retreat on Aug. 26 to commemorate the official launch of their cohort.

The ALA was created by the Office of the Provost in 2019 as part of the university’s ongoing commitment to the success and growth of its faculty and staff. The prestigious group follows a competitive application process, and each of the selected fellows develops a leadership project to improve a facet of campus life. Fellows are also given the opportunity to build their leadership skills via the group’s retreat, monthly seminars, ongoing meetings with coaches and mentors, and a variety of assessments.

“Wayne State will benefit for years to come because of the thoughtful, collaborative efforts of the Academic Leadership Academy fellows,” said Sara Kacin, assistant provost for faculty development and faculty success and director of the Office for Teaching and Learning. “These are campus leaders who value lifelong learning, and we are fortunate for their continued commitments to improving our university.”

The 2021-2022 Academic Leadership Academy fellows are:

  • Suzanne Brown, associate professor, School of Social Work

Brown’s leadership project will work to understand best practices in mentoring tenure-track faculty, specifically focusing on research and scholarship in the context of research-intensive universities such as WSU.

  • LaSondra Dawn, academic services officer, College of Education

Dawn’s leadership project will develop a mobile app to keep stopped-out students engaged, while allowing them to share information about their reason for stopping out, academic needs and plans for return.

  • Kelly Dormer, academic advisor, Student Disability Services

Dormer’s leadership project will develop the Faculty Accessibility Fellows program to provide proactive training for a cohort of educators seeking to design, establish and maintain an accessible and inclusive learning environment to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of faculty teaching, learning, and scholarly activities.

  • Theresa Hastert, assistant professor of oncology, School of Medicine

Hastert’s leadership project will identify junior faculty’s most pressing needs related to professional success and personal satisfaction with their career trajectories and develop resources and a curriculum that meets these needs and increases faculty satisfaction as their careers develop.

  • Kristin Johnston, academic advisor, Office of Multicultural Student Engagement

Johnston’s leadership project will create The Warrior Room, a co-working space that will offer childcare, tutoring services, professional development, workshops and fellowship.

  • Ayaz Khawaja, assistant professor of neurology, School of Medicine

Khawaja’s leadership project will create a COVID-19 neurology referral center that provides expert evidence-based evaluation and treatments for patients with neurological effects from COVID-19 and create long-lasting collaborative efforts with other disciplines, hospitals and the community to provide a multi-faceted, comprehensive treatment approach.

  • Tricia Miranda-Hartsuff, associate professor of public health, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Miranda-Hartsuff’s leadership project will develop the Hub for Evaluation and Learning (HEAL) Detroit, which will serve as a nucleus for matching evidence-based solutions with the community-engaged approaches to address social determinants of health by increasing community capacity and applied learning opportunities for Wayne State students and the larger community.

  • Karen Myhr, assistant professor of biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Myhr’s leadership project will take the STEM Commons into its next phase to support collaborative, interdisciplinary learning among the WSU community.

  • Amanda Palma, academic services officer, College of Nursing

Palma’s leadership project will examine the recruitment and retention services administered through the Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) grant and create a sustainable, long-term model that can be expanded to other student populations and programs.

  • Akelah Reese, instructional support coordinator, APEX Scholars

Reese’s leadership project will implement and assist with funding for a Study Abroad project/trip for WSU’s APEX students.

  • Debra Schutte, associate professor, College of Nursing

Schutte’s leadership project will develop and implement an updated “Next Generation” mentoring model in the College of Nursing.

Additional information about the Academic Leadership Academy can be found online.

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