HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 3, 2020 – Dr. Veronica Segarra, assistant professor of biology at High Point University, was selected as a fellow in the second cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, part of Aspire Alliance’s Institutional Change Initiative. The program is aimed at helping STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities across the nation. The second cohort consists of 24 faculty and administrators and will help prepare them for more senior roles through leadership development.
Each fellow is required to have a project mentor, who will oversee access to appropriate resources and provide support. Dr. Stephanie Crofton, vice president of experiential learning and career development, will serve as Segarra’s mentor at HPU.
“Participating in this program, under the mentorship of Dr. Stephanie Crofton, will allow me to refine my leadership skills so that I can amplify the impact of my work at the local and national level,” said Segarra. “Because of current events, this work is not only timely, but critical to the continued development of our academic communities as diverse, equitable and inclusive environments. I am honored to represent HPU and grateful for the university’s continued support to promote inclusion in STEM fields.”
“At High Point University, we are committed to being an institution focused on diversity and inclusivity,” said Crofton. “This program will allow Dr. Segarra to create an institutional action project to influence change and support our continued transformation at HPU.”
Segarra was selected through an application process from a competitive pool of nearly 60 faculty members in STEM fields at two- and four-year institutions across the country. Over the course of two years, the leadership academy will provide professional development, teach effective executive leadership skills for increasingly complex higher education environments, and discuss strategies for influencing institutional transformation in current and future leadership positions.
“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 (APLU). “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.”
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.
Past program participants include individuals from the University of California, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Tennessee, Boston University, the University of Texas, the University of Wisconsin, Florida State University, and the University of Minnesota. Learn more about the IAspire Leadership Academy here.