Advancing Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow Program


Academic Affairs offers yearly a faculty-oriented leadership program to advance institutional excellence through fostering a climate of inclusive leadership of diverse leaders, in order to achieve President Eighmy’s goals for the third destination, an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence, in UTSA’s strategic plan. The program is designed specifically to enhance the career development of Fellows by providing an intensive one-on-one training and development experience to promote the next generation of diverse faculty leaders. 

This program is individually tailored to the specific needs of the selected Faculty Fellow, allowing the Fellow to gain knowledge of university operations in specific areas and to advance their leadership skills towards program development, as well as more broadly, across the higher education sector. Through mentorship and shadowing, the Fellow will gain perspective, guidance, and vision in relation to the administrative office(s) that s/he wishes to serve with the ultimate goal of promoting inclusive leadership. Faculty Fellows also will apply their new understanding of leadership principles to their current positions through work on specific projects.

Given UTSA’s leadership in promoting a diverse academic community and Provost Espy's goals in Academic Affairs to accelerate our leadership in this area, candidate Fellows from underrepresented backgrounds are particularly encouraged to seek this leadership opportunity. The Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow Program is administered under the Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and the Faculty Success academic support division.


  • To learn more about the academic organization, operations, and physical infrastructure
  • To consider the skills and attributes of effective academic leaders, and the challenges and rewards of becoming an academic leader
  • To consider current and future challenges and opportunities in higher education
  • To recognize and implement the values of diversity, inclusion, self-awareness, and ethical leadership
  • To meet and develop professional relationships with colleagues through on-campus activities


The overall outcome for this program will be to develop the next generation of university leaders. The Fellow’s outcomes will be the following:

  • Acquire an understanding of contemporary issues in higher education in their historical and institutional context
  • Engage in emerging topics related to instruction, student learning and innovation
  • Advance faculty and their professional, scholarly, and personal development
  • Consider the value of building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive university community
  • Learn skills for assessing competing priorities and managing time
  • Reflect on leadership values, styles, and skills and to consider the range of opportunities in higher education leadership, both formal and informal


  • Tenured faculty at the rank of associate or full professor, appointed in any department (associate must show evidence that they are making satisfactory progress toward promotion to professor) or full-time, fixed-term track faculty in the Professor in the Practice, Instruction, Research, or Clinical series.
  • Employed as faculty at UTSA for at least three years


Typically, the faculty will be appointed as a Fellow for one academic year. The Faculty Fellow will be expected to spend approximately 10 hours per week in residence in their unit, attending regular meetings of the unit, working with their mentor and completing a special project. In addition, the Faculty Fellow will receive funding to attend an external leadership conference during the appointment and one semester course buy-out.

Projects for AY 2022-2023

The projects are from various Vice President and Vice Provost units on campus. Each unit will provide a unique opportunity for the Faculty Fellow to gain knowledge of university operations and advance their leadership skills across the higher education sector. 

  • Academic Affairs: Academic Innovation
    The Academic Innovation Faculty Fellow experience will be tailored to his/her area of specific interest. Most recently Academic Innovation Faculty Fellows have been embedded in our Teaching, Learning and Digital Transformation area and have been specifically involved in developing programs to support faculty development and more recently graduate student support, also.  Fellows are able to develop something of specific interest (Tuesday Teaching Tips) or to learn more about educational tools and their impact on teaching and learning. One of our underpinning values is to promote innovation and creativity and there are multiple ways a Faculty Fellow can engage in this area. With the classroom technology project, our focus is also on engaging in future-focused learning environments and spaces. Academic Innovation partners with Student Success and other areas to specifically draw the link between its work and student success.

  • Academic Affairs: Graduate Studies
    The Graduate Studies Faculty Fellow will gain administrative experience by working on a project to implement certain aspects of the recommendations issued by the Graduate Student Success for Faculty Excellence Task Force related to increasing collaboration to obtain training grants. This will include facilitating development of a transdisciplinary team of UTSA faculty who have the skills, knowledge, and relevant experience to successfully prepare and submit institutional training grants. The Faculty Fellow will work with Graduate School staff to learn about existing graduate programs and training. At the end of this project, the Faculty Fellow will have gained knowledge of administration and an understanding of the process needed to effectively facilitate submission of interdisciplinary and disciplinary training grants in collaboration with all colleges across UTSA.

  • Academic Affairs: Student Success
    The Student Success Faculty Fellow will gain administrative experience by working on a project which could include (1) continuing our work with the academic colleges to identify challenge and hurdle courses (using Illume’s Course Insights) followed by identifying best-practices and pedagogical strategies to best support faculty teaching these courses and students enrolled in these courses; (2) working with our team to develop and pilot a robust, minority males student success initiative to include faculty coaching, peer mentoring, and engagement programming; and/or (3) working with our team and Academic Innovation to expand our First-Year Student Experience & Faculty Engagement Mini-Grant program (conducting a small pilot this spring) beyond first-year students.

    Additionally, the faculty member will have the opportunity to shadow and contribute to our Hub & Spoke Student Success mission of:
    • advancing innovative programs and services to provide students with comprehensive resources and equitable opportunities that nurture academic, personal, and career growth; and
    • identifying and promoting evidence-based practices to cultivate an inclusive and collaborative ecosystem of support that connects, empowers, and equips students to be lifelong learners and active citizens.
  • Inclusive Excellence (VPIE)
    The Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow will be able to tailor their experience to their specific interests. Inclusive Excellence works to embed practices and philosophies that encourage diversity in every aspect of an organization. The four main components of Inclusive Excellence and Leadership are access and equity, diversity in the formal and informal curriculum; campus climate; and student learning and development.

  • Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise (VPREDKE)
    The REDKE Faculty Fellow will work closely with the Research IT and Business Intelligence units within the Knowledge Enterprise to identify metrics, dashboard platforms, predictive models and strategies to harness predictive analytics, computational modeling, performance projections, and visualization for UTSA’s key R&D performance metrics that can further be used for strategic decision making, research development, and operational improvements.

    The selected fellow will work closely with REDKE leadership to:
    • Conduct research into innovative, cutting edge use of data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and computational and visualization modeling in higher education research administration.
    • Convene stakeholders from across the Knowledge Enterprise to understand their needs for analytics and visualization in their research operations.  
    • Recommend opportunities to integrate computational models and visualization tools to amplify research to new audiences and demonstrate the broader impacts of research at UTSA


Nominations by deans and other senior administrators are welcome, as are self-nominations.

The application materials should include the following:

  • A 1,000-word statement presenting evidence of interest in academic leadership, experience in academic governance or administration to date, experience working to advance inclusion of underrepresented minorities, and what the nominee hopes to accomplish with the support of the program
  • 500-word statement of which project(s) the applicant would be interested in leading as their special project and initial thoughts/ideas for the effort(s).
  • Up to 2 letters of recommendation (department chair, dean, center director, etc.). Each recommendation letter is limited to one page in length. 
  • A current CV

The 2 letters of reference should be combined into a single pdf file and CV should be submitted as a pdf file.

Applications for academic year 2022-23 should be submitted electronically via this application form by March 25, 2022

Questions about this program can be directed to Heather Shipley.

2021-2022 Fellows

M. Sidury Christiansen

M. Sidury Christiansen
Associate Professor
Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies
College of Education and Human Development

Fellowship placement: Academic Innovation

Teja Guda

Teja Guda
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering and Integrated Design

Fellowship placement: Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise

Antonio Petrov

Antonio Petrov
Associate Professor
School of Architecture
College of Engineering and Integrated Design

Fellowship placement: Westside Community Partnerships

Rebecca Schroeder

Rebecca Schroeder
Associate Professor of Practice
Academic Inquiry & Scholarship
University College

Fellowship placement: Mutidisciplinary Studies Program

Heather Trepal

Heather Trepal
Department of Counseling
College of Education and Human Development

Fellowship placement: The Graduate School

2020-2021 Fellows

Kim Kwang Raymond Choo

Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo
Cloud Technology Endowed Professor
Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security
College of Business

Fellowship placement: Research, Economic Developmnet & Knowledge Enterprise

"The Next-gen faculty fellowship has been an eye-opening experience and I was really privileged to be under the tutelage of Bernard Arulanandam and Jaclyn Shaw. Although COVID-19 globally impacted many aspects of normal academia, such as travel and international collaboration, including this fellowship, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to engage with stakeholders from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey (ITESM) and Khalifa University on various research partnerships, which I will be continuing to develop after the fellowship."

Mark Giles

Mark Giles
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
College of Education and Human Development

Fellowship placement: Inclusive Excellence

Terri Matiella

Terri Matiella
Senior Lecturer
Department of Environmental Science and Ecology
College of Sciences

Fellowship placement: Teaching & Learning Services/Academic Innovation

"Professionally, I was able to help more faculty by sharing weekly teaching tips and understand the needs of faculty through questions and comments during the webinars and panels. This helped me refine the teaching tips to be more effective for faculty. Personally, it was great to be involved with such a dedicated group of people in Academic Innovation and Teaching and Learning Services! They really care about their job providing faculty with as many resources as possible to help improve the classroom experience for both faculty and students."

2019-2020 Fellows

Erica Sosa portrait

Erica Sosa, 2019-2020
Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition
College of Education and Human Development

"Being a Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow was pivotal in my development as a leader in higher education. I was able to receive professional development training, learn from university leadership, network with leaders at other Texas academic institutions and actively contribute to university initiatives. I appreciated the opportunity to contribute to UTSA while learning more about how decision-making and priorities are determined. The Fellowship experience contributed to my current role and inspired me to continue to pursue leadership opportunities throughout my academic career."

Emmanuel Akwar portrait
Emmanuel Akwar, 2019-2020
Lecturer III
Department of Biology
College of Sciences