Georgia Impact Science & Technology Society & Culture

Second cohort of IChange STEM faculty announced

(UGA photo)

APLU, UGA broaden diversity in STEM and higher education leadership

Addressing the national need to broaden diversity and increase inclusion in STEM fields and higher education leadership, the Aspire Alliance’s Institutional Change Initiative (IChange) has announced the second cohort of fellows in its IAspire Leadership Academy.

The leadership program aims to support STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities. The IAspire Leadership Academy is part of the Institutional Change Initiative, led by APLU and the University of Georgia.

“The second cohort of IAspire Leadership Academy fellows represent a broad diversity of STEM fields and leadership experiences across higher education sectors,” said Howard Gobstein, director of the Aspire Alliance and executive vice president at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. “More inclusive college and university cultures require diversity in faculty and university leadership, and this academy helps to support the next generation of university faculty and leaders.”

“It is an honor to provide this leadership development opportunity to so many current and rising leaders from across the country,” said Rochelle Sapp, IAspire Leadership Academy director and leadership development specialist in the Office of Learning and Organizational Development at University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

“Advancing diverse and underrepresented groups of leaders in STEM higher education is critical, especially providing the rare opportunity for them to focus on their own personal development,” she said. “If we can grow and develop these individuals, the impact they will have in their disciplines and at their institutions will go even further to address the critical need we see in broadening participation in STEM higher education.”

The academy is one pillar of diversity and inclusion work underway through the Aspire Alliance (formally known as the National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty). The National Science Foundation-backed alliance is working across post-secondary institutions to develop more inclusive institutional cultures supporting the access and success of all undergraduate STEM students, especially those from underrepresented groups.

The leadership academy provides professional development for academic leaders from underrepresented groups so they can aspire to and succeed in more senior leadership roles, thus broadening participation in academic leadership. Fellows will learn effective executive leadership skills for increasingly complex higher education environments as well as strategies for influencing institutional transformation in their current and future leadership positions.

The academy is targeted at midcareer individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups interested in serving in college or university leadership roles in STEM fields. The 24 participating faculty and administrators were selected through a competitive, blind holistic review of their applications. The fellows selected for second cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy are from a wide variety of institutions, including Oregon State University, Texas A&M, UC Santa Barbara, the University of North Carolina and more.

Learn more about the IAspire Leadership Academy on the Aspire Alliance IAspire Leadership Academy site.  Additionally, IChange is now accepting applications for the network’s third cohort of institutions wishing to engage in a three-year systemic transformation process to develop a more inclusive and diverse STEM faculty (Join the IChange Network).