Four Texas A&M University faculty members with academic leadership roles – Michael Benedik, Blanca Lupiani, Cesar Malavé and Cynthia Werner – have been named as 2012-13 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows.
The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) is a professional development program that seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has two components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own participants and two, three-day, SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants.
“This Academic Leadership Development Program is yet another manifestation of the benefits of Texas A&M being a member of the SEC,” noted Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “It’s a clear demonstration of the conference’s commitment to academics, and I congratulate Drs. Benedik, Lupiani, Malavé and Werner for being selected as Texas A&M’s first fellows in this innovative program.”
“The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program is a valuable opportunity for faculty and administrators at Southeastern Conference universities to study a wide range of topics in higher education from the leader’s perspective,” said Torie Johnson, SECU executive director. “We trust that the skills, techniques and knowledge they acquire this year will help prepare them for high-level service in academia.”
A total of 46 faculty and administrators from Southeastern Conference universities were selected as SEC academic fellows, the SEC announced Friday.
Benedik, interim dean of faculties and associate provost, has served at Texas A&M on two occasions, first as an assistant professor of biology from 1985 to 1989 and currently as professor of biology since 2004, in addition to the administrative position he now holds. In the interim, he was on the faculty of the University of Houston and a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health. He has also worked as a staff scientist for DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Palo Alto, Calif. He was named the International Professor for Africa by the American Society for Microbiology in 2010, has more than 80 publications and served on five journal editorial boards. His research focus is on microbial biotechnology. He was the graduate adviser for the Biology Department (2006-2010), the Speaker of the Faculty Senate (2011-2012), and serves as the Faculty Ombuds Officer for the university.
Lupiani, associate dean of faculties and professor of pathobiology, joined Texas A&M in 2002. She held research appointments at Michigan State University and the Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory in Michigan and the Beltsville Area Research Center. In her research, she surveys and characterizes viruses isolated from wild bird populations from the wintering grounds of the Central Flyway (Texas Coast), hoping to better understand how these viruses are maintained in nature and how they evolve to adapt to new hosts. Another aspect of her research includes the study of molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of avian influenza viruses. She received a Fulbright Award, has numerous grants and contracts, has more than 60 publications, two patents and one other pending.
Malavé, head of the Department of Industrial and System Engineering, joined the faculty at Texas A&M in 1987, and has held several administrative positions, including associate dean of engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering. He also served as the coordinator of academic support activities for the engineering program at the branch campus in Doha, Qatar. Malavé’s research and educational interests are in the areas of cost modeling for manufacturing and production systems, development of models for student success and for improving undergraduate engineering education. His academic and research projects have received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the state of Texas, CONACyT, Westinghouse and the GE Foundation. He is the author of numerous publications and the co-author of the recently published book Global Engineering — Design, Decision Making and Communication. Malave is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Applications and Practices in Engineering Education.
Werner, head of the Department of Anthropology, joined Texas A&M in 2000 after serving as a visiting assistant professor for two years at Pitzer College and one year at the University of Iowa. Werner is a socio-cultural anthropologist who specializes in economic anthropology. Her research is focused on the economic and political transition in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. In particular, she has examined the relationship between gift exchange, feasting and social networking; women traders and the rise of small-scale trade; the privatization of agriculture; the practice of bride kidnapping in southern Kazakhstan; and the development of international tourism in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. She has been the editor of four books and has 29 book chapters and journal articles in print. She has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation as well as other private foundations and professional organizations to support her work. She is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, and has received teaching awards at Texas A&M. She was recently named President of the Central Eurasian Studies Society.
Using its SECU academic initiative, the SEC sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities. The SEC also provides an online platform to showcase achievements of these individuals on regional, national and international levels.
The SEC ALDP, established in 2008, fosters academic leadership among SEC faculty by allowing them the unique opportunity to address the challenges of academic administration at major research universities.