UGA is expanding access to career development resources for faculty and intensifying its ongoing efforts to increase faculty diversity through a new position in the Office of Faculty Affairs.
In her role as director of programming in Faculty Affairs, Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert will significantly expand professional development programming and train department heads and search committees on increasing diversity through the use of active and systematic recruiting practices. A six-member faculty committee chaired by Laura Bierema, professor and associate dean for academic programs in the College of Education, conducted a national search to identify the finalists for the position.
Calvert, who will join UGA Aug. 9, was an associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she led the development of a campus-wide career development program and previously served as program coordinator for the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.
“Dr. Calvert’s experiences as a faculty member and program leader, combined with her career development and coaching credentials, make her uniquely qualified to fill this position,” said Sarah Covert, associate provost for faculty affairs. “Her arrival will allow UGA to increase programming in support of faculty success and make it possible to provide more training on topics and initiatives that are important to faculty.”
The new position, which is funded through a financial reallocation that occurred during the reorganization of the office formerly known as Academic Planning, will help provide faculty with career development programming customized to each stage of their career.
“Our faculty are extraordinary, and we are committed to giving them the resources they need to succeed while fostering an environment that consistently rewards excellence in instruction, research and service,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I’m delighted that Dr. Calvert has joined UGA and know that she’ll make a positive impact on this institution.”
Calvert began her academic career as an assistant professor at VCU and has presented or written more than 100 invited seminars, journal articles, chapters, books and abstracts. She has garnered nearly $1 million in external funding to support her research and $500,000 to support innovative programs in graduate education.
Calvert directed VCU BEST, a campus-wide program that broadens experiences for scientific training to include professional and personal development. The program was the recipient of VCU’s 2014 Quest Innovation Grant and is complemented by a faculty development program that focuses on mentoring.
She also served on the VCU Equity and Diversity Committee, whose work was used to inform VCU’s first diversity plan and the creation of the university’s Division of Inclusive Excellence. At the national level, she convened a special interest group of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy that created a shared curriculum for graduate programs in pharmaceutical sciences that emphasizes leadership development.
Calvert earned her doctorate in pharmacy and pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco and received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Texas, Austin. To bring new perspectives to her work to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential, she went back to school in 2013 to earn a master’s degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
“The creation of this position reflects UGA’s commitment to the success of its faculty,” Calvert said. “Their potential is unlimited, and I am eager to begin working with them to help optimize their talents and passions.”