UGA faculty members named SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows


Four University of Georgia faculty members have been named Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) Fellows for 2023-2024. The program provides an opportunity for academic administrators to enhance their leadership skills in a series of workshops, networking opportunities and campus activities.

UGA’s 2023-24 SEC ALDP Fellows are:

  • Sonia Altizer, the Martha Odum Distinguished Professor of Ecology, Odum School of Ecology
  • Brandy Burgess, interim assistant dean for clinical services and director of biosecurity and infection control, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and associate professor, department of population health
  • Martin Kagel, A.G. Steer professor and associate provost for global engagement
  • Paula Lemons, associate dean and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

“These four outstanding faculty members and administrators have distinguished themselves as emerging leaders in higher education,” said S. Jack Hu, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Their selection as SEC ALDP Fellows reflects their deep commitment to excellence in teaching, research and service as well as their tremendous leadership potential.”

The SEC ALDP has three components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own participants; two SEC-wide three-day workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants; and a competitive fellowship designed to provide administrative growth opportunities for former fellows.

The SEC ALDP workshops for 2023-2024 are scheduled to be held at Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri. During these workshops, UGA’s Fellows will meet with colleagues from the 14 SEC institutions to gain a better understanding of challenges and opportunities in higher education.

In addition, UGA’s Fellows will gather monthly on campus to meet with senior campus leaders and to participate in leadership development activities tailored to the cohort’s interests.

“This is an incredibly talented cohort of leaders who already have made positive impacts on their respective units,” said Elizabeth Weeks, associate provost for faculty affairs, who serves as UGA’s SEC ALDP liaison. “The SEC ALDP will allow them to deepen their leadership skills and perspectives while developing a network of colleagues across the University and the Conference.”

UGA’s SEC ALDP Fellows represent a range of disciplines from across campus.

Altizer, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, studies the ecology of infectious diseases in natural populations, the evolution of host resistance and parasite virulence, insect ecology and evolution, and the role of infectious diseases in wildlife conservation.

Burgess’ research centers on investigating the epidemiology and prevention of important potential pathogens in veterinary medicine and public health including the exploration of risk factors and rapid methods for detection.

Kagel provides strategic leadership for the Office of Global Engagement in his role as associate provost. His research and teaching comprise German literature and culture from the 18th through the 21st century and has focused primarily on critical approaches to writings from Germany’s classical period, gender and German-Jewish studies, and on German literary institutions.

Lemons conducts research that aims to improve science education across the nation while helping students at UGA develop independence, teamwork and problem-solving skills. As associate dean, she oversees matters related to graduate education in Franklin College, serves as the college’s liaison to the Graduate School, and serves as liaison to academic units in the social and behavioral sciences.

The SEC launched the Academic Leadership Development Program in 2007, and past SEC ALDP Fellows at UGA have gone to leadership roles that include dean, vice provost, associate provost and associate vice president. The program is part of the SEC’s academic relations department, which serves as the primary mechanism through which the collaborative academic endeavors and achievements of SEC universities are promoted and advanced.

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