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SEC Academic Leadership Development Fellows

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The SEC ALDP is a professional growth initiative that seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond.

The Southeast Conference Academic Leadership Development Program was established in 2007 to prepare current and potential university leaders to meet the challenges of the 21st century by: enriching their knowledge and understanding of the major issues and challenges facing higher education, providing participants with an increased understanding of their strengths and talents as a leader in higher education, stimulating critical thought about the future of the academy, and by building relationships among other potential academic leaders at universities within the Southeastern Conference, and with experienced leaders in higher education.

2019-2020 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name: Carlos Blanton
Discipline: History
Preferred Administrative Title: Department Head
Department/College: Department of History, College of Liberal Arts


Dr. Carlos Kevin Blanton holds a 1999 PhD from Rice University. After working two years in Portland State University’s Chicano-Latino Studies Program, he joined Texas A&M’s History Department in the fall of 2001 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Blanton was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and Professor in 2016. Dr. Blanton has published three books: two single-author monographs with Texas A&M University Press and Yale University Press and one edited collection with the University of Texas Press. The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981 (TAMU, 2004) won the 2005 Coral Horton Tullis Award for Best Book in Texas History by the Texas State Historical Association and George I. S├ínchez and the Fight for Mexican American Integration (Yale, 2014) won the 2015 National Association of Chicana-Chicano Studies Best Book Award of 2015. Blanton has published eight journal articles and three book chapters. One journal article also won the 2010 Western Historical Association’s Bolton-Cutter Award for Best Article on Borderlands History. Blanton teaches a number of undergraduate and graduate courses.  He has directed five PhD students and three MA students to completion (with four more PhD students in progress). He has also conducted two Texas A&M University faculty-led summer study abroad programs to Italy (2016) and Spain (2019). In addition, Professor Blanton co-edits a book series at the University of Texas Press, is a member of the Humanities Texas advisory board, and active in numerous history associations. Blanton takes over as Head of the Department of History in the fall of 2019.


Name: Clare Gill
Discipline: Animal Science
Preferred Administrative Title: Executive Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department/College: Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Dr. Clare Gill is a professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University where she has been a faculty member since 2001. She has a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Adelaide, Australia.  Her research focuses on beef cattle genomics and she has contributed to over $14.6 million in grants and contracts in her career ($3.8 million awarded to her program). In recognition of her impact, she has received the vice chancellor’s award in excellence for team research (2009) and the dean’s outstanding achievement award for excellence in research (2014). From 2011-2014 she was an ADVANCE administrative fellow and served part-time as associate vice president for diversity, then as the university’s faculty ombuds officer for four years, and as a faculty fellow for core facilities in the office of the vice president for research for two years. She was interim head for the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications for a year and now she is executive associate dean and associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In this role, she serves as chief operating officer of the college, providing day-to-day oversight and operational guidance, while coordinating with the university and Texas A&M AgriLife agencies on academic, research, budgeting, and programmatic efforts. She is an elected member of the executive committee for the International Society for Animal Genetics and a 2019 nominee for president of the society, a nominee for the national board of the American Society of Animal Science, and serves as cattle co-coordinator for the USDA National Animal Genome Research Program, NRSP8.


Name: Shana Hagan-Burke
Discipline: Educational Psychology
Preferred Administrative Title: Department Head
Department/College: Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development


Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Oregon and currently serves as Professor and Head of the Department of Educational Psychology. Her research interests include functional analyses of challenging behavior, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), and early literacy. She has been awarded more than $5.6 million dollars in competitive external grants, serving as the lead PI or Co-PI on eleven external grants awards. Her work investigating relations between academic performance and problem behaviors has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (2013, 2014) for its contributions to the fields of early reading intervention and early childhood education. She currently directs a doctoral training grant focused on the preparation of scholars with dual expertise in academic and behavioral supports (Project ABS). Dr. Hagan-Burke has 17 years of experience working with state-level behavioral support initiatives (Alabama, Georgia, and Hawaii Departments of Education) and their systemic efforts to meet the needs of students with challenging behaviors. She was a member of the Texas Education Agency's Response to Intervention (RTI) Guidance Committee and served as the lead author developing their RTI framework for social behaviors. Dr. Hagan-Burke has a strong commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching and in 2015 she was awarded an Eppright Professorship for undergraduate teaching excellence at Texas A&M University.


Name: Sarah Witherspoon
Discipline: Mathematics
Preferred Administrative Title: Department Head
Department/College: Department of Mathematics, College of Science


Dr. Sarah Witherspoon joined the Texas A&M Mathematics faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor, earning promotion to associate professor in 2006 and then full professor in 2010. She received her Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Chicago and held several postdoctoral positions, including at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, prior to coming to Texas A&M. An expert in algebra, her research program has received continuous funding from either the National Science Foundation or the National Security Agency since her arrival. A 2018 fellow of the American Mathematical Society, Dr. Witherspoon was the recipient of a prestigious 2005-2006 Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship. Her service to the mathematics community includes her election as a past Member-at-Large on the American Mathematical Society Council and to the current Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Human Resources Advisory Committee through March 2020. In addition to serving as editor for AMS Contemporary Mathematics: Proceedings of the Conference on Group Theory, Combinatorics, and Computing in 2012, Dr. Witherspoon is a member of the editorial boards for Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society and Communications in Algebra, as well as a moderator for arXiv. Her proven skill at teaching courses ranging from advanced calculus to mathematics education was recognized by the department with its Outstanding Teaching Award in 2015.  Dr. Witherspoon also is an exceptional thesis advisor and plays an important mentoring role for incoming graduate students.   In 2019, Dr. Witherspoon was selected to serve as the next Department Head of Mathematics at Texas A&M University.
 

2018-2019 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name: Mindy Bergman
Discipline: Psychological and Brain Sciences
Preferred Administrative Title: Professor and Executive Director of Interdisciplinary Critical Studies
Department/College: Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Liberal Arts
 
Name: Carol Bunch-Davis
Discipline: Liberal Studies
Preferred Administrative Title: Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head
Department/College: Department of Liberal Studies, Texas A&M University at Galveston
 
Name: Terri Helge
Discipline: Law
Preferred Administrative Title: Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Department/College: School of Law
  
Name: Scott Schaefer
Discipline: Computer Science and Engineering
Preferred Administrative Title: Professor and Associate Head
Department/College: Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering

2017-2018 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name:  Michael deMiranda
Discipline: Teaching, Learning and Culture
Preferred Title:  Department Head
Department / College:  Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture/ College of Education and Human Development


Name:  Heather Wilkinson
Discipline: Plant Pathology
Preferred Title: Associate Dean of Faculties for Faculty Development in the Office of the Dean of Faculties and Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Department / College:  Plant Pathology and Microbiology / Agriculture and Life Sciences


Name:  Michael Johnson
Discipline: Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution
Preferred Title: Associate Professor and the Walter Buchanan Faculty Fellow in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution
Department / College:  Engineering Technology / College of Engineering


Name:  Joseph Ura
Discipline: Political Science
Preferred Title: Associate Head of the Department of Political Science and Associate Professor 
Department / College:  Political Science / Liberal Arts

2016-2017 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name:  David M. Cairns
Discipline: Geography
Preferred Title: Head of the Department of Geography
Department / College: Geography / College of Geosciences

Name:  Cecilia H. Giusti
Discipline: Architecture
Preferred Title: Associate Dean for Outreach and Diversity in the College of Architecture
Department / College: Architecture / College of Architecture

Name:  Mark B. Houston
Discipline: Marketing
Preferred Title: Head of the Marketing Department, Professor of Marketing and Foreman R. and Ruby S. Bennett Chair in Business Administration
Department / College: Marketing / Mays Business School

Name:  Antonietta Quigg
Discipline: Marine Biology
Preferred Title: Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Marine Biology
Department / College:  Marine Biology / Texas A&M University at Galveston

2015-2016 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name:  Ginger E. Carney
Discipline:  Biology
Preferred Title:  Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research and College Climate
Department / College:  Department of Biology / College of Science

Name:  John E Hurtado
Discipline:  Aerospace Engineering
Preferred Title:  Senior Director of Interdisciplinary Engineering Programs
Department / College:  Department of Engineering, Academic and Student Affairs / College of Engineering

Name:  Violet Showers Johnson
Discipline:  History
Administrative Title:  Director of Africana Studies Program
Program / College:  Department of Africana Studies / College of Liberal Arts

Name:  Dr. Kathleen L. Kavanagh
Discipline:  Ecosystem Science and Management
Title:  Professor and Department Head
Department / College:  Department of Ecosystem Science and Management / College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

2014-2015 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name:  Richard B. Kreider
Discipline:  Health, Kinesiology, Nutrition
Title:  Professor and Department Head
Department / College: Department of Health & Kinesiology / College of Education and Human Development


Name:  Kirsten Pullen
Discipline:  Performance Studies
Title:  Director of Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, and Director of Graduate Studies
Department / College: Department of Performance Studies / College of Liberal Arts


Name:  David Threadgill
Discipline:  Genetics
Title:  Director of Whole Systems Genomics Initiative, Tom and Jean McMullin Chair of Genetics
Department / College: Department of Molecular & Cellular Medicine, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology / College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences


Name:  Douglas W. Woods
Discipline:  Psychology
Title:  Department Head
Department / College: Department of Psychology / College of Liberal Arts

2013-2014 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name:  George Cunningham
Discipline:  Sport Management
Title:  Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Department / College:  Department of Health and Kinesiology / College of Education and Human Development


Name:  John N. Stallone
Discipline:  Cardiovascular Physiology and Endocrinology
Title:  Professor and Acting Department Head
Department / College:  Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology / College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 


Name:  Rosana G. Moreira
Discipline:  Food Engineering
Title:  Professor and Assistant Department Head
Department / College:  Department of Biological and Agriculural Engineering / College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Name:  Sumana Datta
Discipline:  Biochemistry, Genetics
Title:  Executive Director for Honors and Undergraduate Research
Department / College:  Department of Biology and Biochemistry and Biophysics  / College of Science

2012-2013 SEC ALDP Fellows

Name:  Michael Benedik
Discipline:  Microbial Biotechnology
Title:  Professor of Biology and Genetics, and Faculty Ombuds Officer
Department / College:  Department of Biology / College of Science


Name:  Blanca Lupiani
Discipline:  Veterinary Pathobiology
Title:  Professor of Pathobiology, and Associate Dean of Faculties
Department / College:  Department of Veterinary Pathobiology / College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences


Name:  Cesar Malave
Discipline:  Industrial Engineering
Title:  Professor and Department Head
Department / College:  Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering / College of Engineering


Name:  Cynthia Werner
Discipline:  Economic Anthropology
Title:  Associate Professor and Department Head
Department / College:  Department of Anthropology / College of Liberal Arts