Fellows Selected for the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program

From top left: Judith Anne Garretson Folse, Adriana Gonzalez; and bottom: Michael Hevel, Romona West
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From top left: Judith Anne Garretson Folse, Adriana Gonzalez; and bottom: Michael Hevel, Romona West

Four U of A faculty members were named as fellows of the 2023 Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program. The fellows are Judith Anne Garretson Folse, chair of the Department of Marketing in the Sam M. Walton College of Business; Adriana Gonzalez, associate dean for research and learning for the University Libraries; Michael Hevel, associate dean for research, strategy and outreach in the College of Education and Health Professions; and Romona West, assistant dean of inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives for Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. 

"The Provost's Office is pleased to select these faculty members to participate in the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program," said Provost Terry Martin. "These individuals are highly accomplished in their respective fields and extraordinary leaders. I'm glad they have been afforded the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills and provide their expertise to not only our institution, but also the SEC a whole." 

The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program identifies academic leaders and provides growth opportunities to advance their leadership skills and roles within their university and the SEC. The SEC ALDP is composed of three components — a university-level development program designed by each institution for its fellows, two SEC-wide three-day workshops held at specified SEC universities for all program participants and a competitive alum fellowship, which will provide former fellows with additional development opportunities.  

Each SEC university selects up to four fellows to participate in the program each year. Read more about the U of A's SEC ALDP Fellows below: 

Judith Anne Garretson Folse 
Folse joined the U of A in 2022 and holds the R. A. and Vivian Young Endowed Chair in addition to serving as chair of the Marketing Department in Walton College. She oversees one of the largest undergraduate majors, the Master of Science in Marketing program focused on brand management, and the Ph.D. program in marketing. 

Folse holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the U of A, an M.B.A. from Pittsburg State University and a B.B.A. in marketing and economics from Pittsburg State University. 

Her research focuses on consumer-based strategy that studies source and message effects, consumption emotions, brand authenticity, customer interactions with communications and relationship marketing decisions.  

Folse has contributed to more than 100 publications and paper presentations. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing and Journal of Business Research, among other journals and conference proceedings.  

Before joining the U of A in 2022, she was a faculty member at the E. J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University from 2000 to 2022, holding the Ourso Family Distinguished Chair of Marketing Research from 2014-2022. Past leadership roles include serving as the Ph.D. adviser/coordinator and the digital marketing programs director. She has chaired or co-chaired nine dissertations and was recently recognized by the American Marketing Association Retailing and Pricing SIG with a mentoring award for her work with doctoral students and junior faculty. 

Adriana Gonzalez 
Gonzalez has been at the U of A since 2020. As associate dean for research and learning for the University Libraries, Gonzalez develops programming and services to support research and teaching on campus. 

Gonzalez received her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree in psychology and Spanish from the University of New Mexico. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in higher education administration from the U of A.  

Her research interests include assessment of library user behaviors and spaces and library fundraising. She was awarded the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association inaugural Gail Schlachter Memorial Research Grant. Through this grant, she worked with a small team of librarians to explore communication barriers that many faculty and librarians face in higher education. 

Prior to joining the U of A, Gonzalez served as department head for academic services at Kansas State University from 2012-2020. She held several chair positions on various library committees. Most notably, she was the section chair for American Library Association's leadership division Library Organization and Management Section. She was also chair of their Honor Council (academic integrity adjudicating body) and served two consecutive terms. She began her career as an instructional librarian at Texas A&M University Libraries, where she later began her leadership practice as coordinator of research services. 

Michael Hevel 
Hevel joined the U of A in 2012 as an assistant professor of higher education. He is currently the associate dean for research, strategy and outreach in the U of A's College of Education and Health Professions. Before his role as associate dean, Hevel served as the head of the Department of Rehabilitation, Human Resources, and Communication Disorders from 2017 to 2022. He also served as the program coordinator for the Ph.D. in higher education and the M.Ed. in community college leadership. 

Hevel received a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership studies from the University of Iowa, a master's degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Kansas. 

He is active in the American Educational Research Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the International Standing Committee on the History of Education. He serves as the secretary of the History of Education Society and has completed two three-year terms on the editorial board of the Journal of College Student Development

In 2016, he received a prestigious National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. He has been published in multiple top-tier journals, including History of Education Quarterly, Higher Education Handbook, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Higher Education and Review of Higher Education. He has received dissertation and article awards from the American Educational Research Association, the largest professional organization of educational researchers. He was named an emerging scholar from ACPA: College Student Educators International and has earned awards from both his college and department. 

In addition, Hevel is active in campus governance, serving on Faculty Senate, the COEHP College Council and the University Libraries Committee. He has also chaired five and served on the committee of 14 successfully defended dissertations. 

Romona West 
West has more than 15 years of experience in leadership, fostering inclusive excellence, talent development, recruiting and legal transactions. As the assistant dean of inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives for Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, she oversees the diversity, equity and inclusion vision, strategic planning, programming and metrics for the largest college on the U of A campus. She works with the dean and other associate and assistant deans in the Fulbright College to enrich the lives of students, staff and faculty by promoting discovery, diversity and inclusion; facilitating transformational experiences; and fostering peace through education.  

She earned her law degree and a bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus in accounting from the U of A. 

West is currently a member of the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the Diversity Scholars Network and a member of the All-University Student Conduct Board. She also serves on the Quality Initiative Committee and as a Title IX adviser for the U of A, and she is a recent graduate of the UARK Leaders Program. Additionally, she actively serves her community by supporting non-profit organizations and local schools and providing pro-bono legal services.  

For more information on the SEC ALDP, visit thesecu.com/programs/sec-academic-leadership-development-program

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.  

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