Campus News

Nine faculty members named 2017-2018 Women’s Leadership Fellows

Nine University of Georgia faculty members have been named to the 2017-2018 class of the university’s Women’s Leadership Fellows Program.

Faculty members in the 2017-2018 cohort include representatives from eight schools and colleges. During the yearlong program, they will meet monthly to learn from senior administrators on campus as well as visiting speakers from academia, business and other fields. The program, which was created in 2015 as part of the university’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, also features a concluding weekend retreat for more in-depth learning.

“Developing a diverse and talented pipeline of people who can excel in formal and informal leadership roles is vital to maintaining the university’s extraordinary upward trajectory,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. “I am delighted to welcome the 2017-2018 class of Women’s Leadership Fellows into the program, and I know that they will make even greater contributions to the University of Georgia in the coming years.”

The 2017-2018 Women’s Leadership Fellows are:

• Sonia Altizer, UGA Athletic Association Professor of Ecology in the Odum School of Ecology. Altizer previously served as an associate dean in ecology and was recognized for her teaching and mentoring by the university and the Honors Program. Her research examines the relationships between infectious disease ecology, animal behavior and global change.

• Marie-Claude (Maric) Boudreau, associate professor and head of the management information systems department in the Terry College of Business. Boudreau’s research focuses on the role of information systems to support environmental sustainability, along with the impact of digitization on individual, group and organizational identity.

• Jody Clay-Warner, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and head of the sociology department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Clay-Warner has received several awards for research, teaching and mentorship, including the Owens Creative Research Award. Her research examines responses to injustice.

• Mary Hondalus, associate professor of infectious diseases and director of pre-clinical academic affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Hondalus has received numerous recognitions, including the UGA Excellence in Teaching Award and the Tyler Award for Innovative Teaching. Her research involves microbial genetics and vaccine development.

• Maria E. Len-Rios, associate professor of public relations in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her research investigates inequities in health communication and diversity in media representations and public relations. Her work has garnered numerous top paper awards at national and international academic conferences.

• Nancy Manley, Distinguished Research Professor and head of the genetics department in Franklin College. Manley, who serves as executive director for sponsored projects administration and director of the Integrated Life Sciences program, focuses her research in developmental biology and molecular genetics with a specific interest in the thymus.

• Amanda Murdie,
 Dean Rusk Scholar of International Relations, graduate coordinator and professor in the School of Public and International Affairs. Her research examines the behavior of international non-governmental organizations and their interactions with people and with state and local governments.

• Emilie Smith, the Barber Distinguished Professor and head of human development and family science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is a Fellow in Division 27 of the American Psychological Association. Smith’s research integrates complex analytical approaches to examine family and community practices to reducing hyperactivity and promoting positive development in diverse socio-cultural settings.

• Shavannor Smith, associate professor of plant pathology, graduate coordinator and Lilly Teaching Fellow in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Smith’s research examines the interactions of pathogens and plants, with a focus on understanding the biological processes for disease resistance and the genetic improvement of crop plants for disease resistance.

“I want to congratulate the members of this new class of fellows,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am grateful for their commitment to leadership development at this university and wish them the very best on a meaningful and productive experience in the program.”

The Women’s Leadership Fellows were chosen from nominations from deans and other senior administrators as well as from self-nominations. The program is administered by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

To learn more about the Women’s Leadership Fellows Program, see