Campus News

Four faculty in SEC Academic Leadership program

From left, faculty members Jean Martin-Williams, Santanu Chatterjee, Kaori Sakamoto and John Drake have been selected to be in the 2019-2020 class of the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program. (Photo credit: Andrew Davis Tucker)

Four outstanding faculty members who have been identified as emerging leaders in higher education will represent the University of Georgia in this year’s Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program. The 2019-2020 SEC  ALDP Fellows are Santanu Chatterjee, John Drake, Jean Martin-Williams and Kaori Sakamoto.

The leadership program provides an opportunity for academic administrators to enhance their leadership skills in a series of workshops, networking opportunities and campus activities. At workshops scheduled to be held at Vanderbilt University and the University of Florida, Fellows will meet with colleagues from the 14 SEC institutions to gain a better understanding of challenges and opportunities in higher education.

“This program has been an excellent way to broaden faculty members’ understanding of the inner workings of higher education administration,” said Meg Amstutz, associate provost for academic program and chief of staff, who serves as UGA’s SEC  ALDP liaison. “In addition to receiving an in-depth look at two institutions through three-day, on-site workshops at SEC schools, the Fellows have the opportunity to speak directly with senior administrators at UGA each month, ask questions and reflect on their own career aspirations.”

UGA’s SEC ALDP Fellows represent a range of disciplines from across campus.

Chatterjee, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Terry College of Business, serves as the director of the full-time master’s in business administration and master’s in business analytics programs. His research centers on economic growth and development, with particular interest in foreign aid, the provision and financing of public goods, income inequality and the external adjustment of developing countries.

Drake, Distinguished Research Professor and associate dean of academic affairs in the Odum School of Ecology, is the founding director of the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases. His research informs strategies and policies to avoid epidemics of infectious diseases among humans and wildlife. He is a senior editor of the journal Ecology Letters and editor of an Oxford University Press book series Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases.

Martin-Williams, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, serves as an associate dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and is former director of the Lilly Teaching Fellows Program. Her research focus is the performance and pedagogy of the horn. Her discography includes the New York Chamber Symphony, the New York Pops and the Atlanta Symphony, and she has performed  concerts across the globe. She currently serves on the board of advisers of the International Horn Competition of the Americas.

Sakamoto, associate professor of pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is the director of the Comparative Biomedical Sciences Program and coordinates several well-being initiatives in her college. In her laboratory, she studies the interaction between the cause of tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and its host cell, the macrophage. Sakamoto is a member of the Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society.

The SEC ALDP was launched in 2007, and past SEC ALDP Fellows at UGA have gone to leadership roles that include dean, vice provost, associate provost and associate vice president. The program is part of the SEC’s academic relations department, which serves as the primary mechanism through which the collaborative academic endeavors and achievements of SEC universities are promoted and advanced.

To learn more, visit