SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows Visit University of Missouri

Pictured from left: Anna Zajicek, Sandra Eksioglu, Michael Hevel, Adriana Gonzalez, Judith Folse and Romona West
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Pictured from left: Anna Zajicek, Sandra Eksioglu, Michael Hevel, Adriana Gonzalez, Judith Folse and Romona West

The U of A's SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows recently visited the University of Missouri in Columbia for the program's second workshop to connect with other academic leaders across the Southeastern Conference. The first SEC leadership workshop was held in October at Texas A&M University.

The U of A's 2023-24 SEC ALDP Fellows were announced in the fall and include 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.

These fellows, along with Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering Sandra Eksioglua 2021-22 ALDP Fellow, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Anna Zajicek, visited the University of Missouri Feb. 21-23 for a two-day workshop aimed at providing growth and leadership opportunities to individuals identified as academic leaders within their institutions and the SEC.

"The SEC ALDP offers an invaluable opportunity for university administrators to engage, interact, network and glean insights from their peers across the SEC," Zajicek said. "The University of Missouri did a fantastic job putting together an outstanding program for our fellows. Each session was informative and covered a variety of topics essential to enhancing our professional growth and leadership skills."

The workshop started with a welcome reception and dinner on Wednesday evening at the State Historical Society of Missouri. University of Missouri's Associate Provost for Faculty Success Candace Kuby gave remarks during the reception.

The next day began with breakfast at the University of Missouri's Memorial Union with a welcome message from SEC Associate Commissioner for Academic Relations LeNá McDonald. After breakfast, attendees attended sessions highlighting the MizzouForward program, relationships with the media, a leadership panel and government relations.

Attendees also toured the campus and visited the Missouri Athletics Training Complex. In the afternoon, the ALDP Fellows participated in a session that focused on developing championship culture, mental health trends and student-athlete career placement. The day ended with a reception and dinner at the Reynolds Alumni Center, where Matthew Martins, University of Missouri's interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, gave remarks.

The last day of the workshop featured a session on faculty development programs. The workshop ended with a closing ceremony, where Chris Haas, University of Florida liaison and association commissioner, and LeNá McDonald recognized the SEC ALDP Fellows.

In addition to the recent workshop at the University of Missouri and the workshop held at Texas A&M University last October, the SEC ALDP also includes a university-level development program designed by each institution for its fellows and a competitive alumni fellowship that provides former fellows with additional development opportunities. 

The U of A will host the SEC ALDP workshop Feb. 19-21, 2025. For more about the SEC ALDP, visit

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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