Emerging Faculty Leader Academy

For a comprehensive overview of the program, including background, ideal applicant profile, expectations, and benefits of the program, please view this overview document

The NASPA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy is a one-year program for emerging faculty leaders who want to gain knowledge, techniques and experience in order to develop and sustain a fulfilling faculty career. Seven participants, one from each of the 7 NASPA Regions, will participate in on-line and in-person professional development and educational sessions in order to gain additional knowledge and skills about being a leader as a faculty member.  Potential topics may include: teaching strategies and curriculum development, resources to deal with issues of tenure, merit and performance, and serving within professional associations such as NASPA. 

The cohort who completes the NASPA Emerging Faculty Leaders Academy will be able to:

  • Define leadership in a faculty role for themselves
  • Identify individual plans to excel in a faculty career
  • Target at least one "take away" from the individual plan to actuate 
  • Expand network of colleagues to collaborate within faculty work
  • Explore ways to be involved in NASPA as a faculty member

Application Process

The application process is now open for the 2018-2019 cohort. Please visit this website for more information: http://apps.naspa.org/cfp/evt_frm_user.cfm?event_id=729.

Applications are due by November 1, 2017

2017-2018 Cohort Information

Region Name Institution Biography
Region I ardoin headshot Sonja Ardoin Boston University

Dr. Sonja Ardoin is learner, educator, and facilitator. She originates from "Cajun country" and is proud of her first generation to Ph.D. educational journey, including degrees from LSU, Florida State, & NC State.  Sonja grew up working class and still identifies as blue collar in many ways.  Her higher education career path includes experience in student activities, leadership development, community engagement, fraternity and sorority life, student conduct, and academic advising.  Sonja is currently serving as program director and clinical assistant professor of Higher Education at Boston University.  She stays engaged in the field through presenting, facilitating, and volunteering with national organizations such as NASPA, ACPA, ASHE, LeaderShape, and College Summit.  Her research interests include college access, social class identity in higher education, student and women's leadership, and professional pathways and career strategies in student affairs.  She authored The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career with Stylus in 2014 and is currently working on her second book, focusing on social class identity and college access.

Region II early headshot Sherry Early Marshall University South Charleston

Sherry Early is an assistant professor at Marshall University’s South Charleston Graduate Campus in Leadership Studies. She has spent 10 years as an administrator in residence life, leadership development, service learning, diversity initiatives, and has taught numerous leadership courses. Sherry served as a co-chair for the NASPA Knowledge Community for Student Leadership Programs and has presented at the state, regional, national, and international levels. She serves as the NASPA Region II Faculty Council Representative. Sherry is also a member of the ACPA 2017 Convention Planning Committee overseeing the candidate experience for Career Development and Advancement. Sherry received her Master’s in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University and her PhD in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University.

Region III garcia-louis headshot Claudia García-Louis University of Texas, San Antonio

Dr. Claudia García-Louis is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Texas San Antonio, a Project MALES faculty & research affiliate, and an [email protected] forum research affiliate. She received a BA in Psychology and a BS in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology from Oregon State University, a MA in Student Development Administration from Seattle University, and a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research seeks to disrupt deficit thinking about communities of color, disadvantaged populations and underrepresented students. Her goals are to expand the definitions of Latinidad and Blackness in higher education, to make a critical contribution to a newly formed line of inquiry that explores the educational experiences of AfroLatinxs, and to conduct research that highlights Latinx heterogeneity.

Prior to attending graduate school, García-Louis worked at Linfield College as Director of Multicultural Programs where her outreach program, Ayudando Podemos, received national recognition from Excelencia in Education for its remarkable three-fold increase in Latina/o student enrollment. García-Louis draws from over six years of student affairs experience in order to bridge theory to practice and back again. Her core values as an educator are to uphold social justice, equity, and respect at all times with an emphasis on the mastery of knowledge.

Region III perry headshot April Perry Western Carolina University

Dr. April Perry is the Program Director & Assistant Professor in the M.Ed. Higher Education Student Affairs program at Western Carolina University. Before moving to North Carolina, she completed her PhD at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which her research emphasis was in Higher Education Student Development, Career Development, and Student Transitions. As a practitioner, April has worked in Leadership Programs, Parent & Family Programs, Fundraising & Marketing, and Academic Tutoring Services. She is passionate about student development in the college years and lives by the motto that 'the only thing better than watching someone grow is helping them grow.' In 2016, April received the WCU Graduate School’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, and in 2017, she was named Outstanding Professional in Graduate and Professional Student Services, an award presented by the AGAPSS Knowledge Community of NASPA. Learn more about Dr. April Perry at http://aprilperry.weebly.com/

Region IV-East rodriguez headshot Sarah Rodriguez Iowa State University

Sarah Rodriguez, PhD, is an assistant professor of Higher Education at Iowa State University. Dr. Rodriguez’s research addresses issues of equity, access, and retention for Latina/o students in the higher education pipeline, with a focus on STEM identity development and the experiences of Latino men in community colleges. She is involved with several large-scale interdisciplinary research projects focused on institutional environments and STEM identity development which have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has also served as a New Mathways Project Mentorship Program Coach for the Charles A. Dana Center, supporting college implementation of multiple mathematics pathways, acceleration to complete college level math courses quickly, and intentional use of strategies.

During her career, Dr. Rodriguez has been named an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Graduate Fellow, an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Emerging Scholar, and a Gates Millennium Scholar. Dr. Rodriguez also serves as an Affiliate Faculty Member for the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) and Project M.A.L.E.S. (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success). She received her PhD in Higher Education Leadership from The University of Texas at Austin and holds masters from The University of Tennessee as well as a BA in English and Spanish from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Region IV-West shelton headshot Leslie Jo Shelton University of Arkansas

Leslie Jo (LJ) Shelton is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Arkansas. Her work explores the learning and development of college students in the United States, including a focus on understanding and improving the experiences of minoritized students in higher education, examining the learning outcomes of HESA graduate preparation programs, and engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning. While at the University of Arkansas, she has enjoyed teaching various masters and doctoral-level courses focused on areas such as diversity and equity in higher education, HESA in international contexts, research techniques, and college student identity development theory. Prior to starting her current position, Dr. Shelton completed a PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Criminology with a Women’s Studies Certificate, and a Master of Education in College Student Personnel.

Region VI hernandez headshot Susana Hernandez California State University, Fresno

Susana Hernández is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education, Administration, and Leadership pathway in the Department of Educational Leadership at California State University, Fresno.

Dr. Hernández’s research examines educational opportunity in discourse and policy.  Her work disrupts traditional and conventional policy analyses and raises imperative understandings of how educational opportunity is constructed. Her work has examined in state resident tuition policies that affect undocumented students as well as how federal policy discursively shapes Latino educational opportunity and equity. She is currently conducting research on Hispanic Serving Community Colleges in California’s Central Valley and the role student affairs plays in advancing Latino student success. 

Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Hernández held several student affairs positions across multiple systems of higher education.  She was a program coordinator in the Hispanic Serving Institution Office at California State University, Long Beach as well as an admissions counselor at UC Irvine where she worked with community college students, high school students, and families across the state of California. 

2016-2017 Cohort Information