Aspire Fellows

2023-2024 Aspire Fellows

Apply HERE 

In the Aspire Fellows cohort program, mid-career and senior faculty members will build upon their existing successes and strengths to create and complete a signature project that will extend their professional impact. To support this project, each fellow will formulate and adopt an individual professional development plan. Fellows will benefit from an interdisciplinary community of peers and from a structured approach to support their professional development and signature projects. Fellows will also engage in reflective practices to plan for the next phase of their careers.

Benefits of the Aspire Fellows Program

Aspire Fellows gain:

  • Framework to support successful completion of a significant project, designed by each Fellow
  • Augmented skills essential to success as senior faculty (i.e., project management, leadership, team building, and improved communication across differences)
  • An approach to planning for the changing demands of faculty life
  • Connection and collaboration with a cross-disciplinary community of peers
  • Enhanced knowledge and skills learned from sustained, individualized professional development
  • Small group and individual coaching sessions with Mary Carney, Faculty Affairs Director of Programming
  • Meetings with UGA experts who are selected by Aspire Fellows to be invited to a cohort meeting

Program time commitment:  August 2023 to May 2024. Meetings will follow a blended format of face-to-face and virtual interaction. Participants agree to devote approximately 6 hours per month. 

Meetings will take place on Mondays from 11:30 am-1:30 pm in New College, Room 315. These meetings are in-person and will include lunch.

Fall 2023

Spring 2024

August 28

January 22

September 18

February 5

October 9

February 26

November 6

March 25

December 4

April 15

Participants:  Associate professors, professors, and mid-career/senior faculty on any career track who want to work towards an aspirational goal in a structured environment.   

Application and nomination: Applicants nominate themselves and include a letter from their supervisor in the application. Applications accepted until Thursday, June 8, 2023.  Once applications have been reviewed, finalists will have a 15 minute video meeting with Dr. Carney, who leads the program. Then, invitations to selected fellows will follow. To apply, please complete online Aspire Application and upload the following documents:

  • Statement of interest (1-2 pages) that includes: 
    • Your personal statement of interest (1-2 pages) should  include: 
      1.  Name, title, email address
      2. College, school, or related unit
      3. Current aspirations, experience, and skills that you want to leverage for next stage of your career
      4. Idea for a significant project that will take you to new horizons in your career
      5. Expectations for how your participation in Aspire cohort will contribute to your success and that of your unit
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A brief letter of support (1 page) from the candidate’s supervisor discussing motivation, potential, and commitment to identify and achieve an aspirational goal. 

Have Questions?  Please contact OFA Faculty & Leadership Development



  • Mary Ager, Social Work
  • Elizabeth Davis, English
  • Lindsey Harding, English
  • Jamie Kreiner, History
  • Savithri Nambeesan, Horticulture
  • Janani Rajbhandari-Thapa, Health Policy and Management 
  • Jesse Schank, Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Jill Stefaniak, Career and Information Studies
  • Amy Stich, Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education
  • Lou Tolosa-Casadont, Language and Literacy Education 
  • Laura Zimmermann, International Affairs 


  • Donald Chambers, Entrepreneurship
  • Robert Foster, Religion
  • Hitesh Handa, Engineering
  • Demba Sarr, Infectious Diseases
  • Shavannor Smith, Plant Pathology
  • Sara Grace Steger, English
  • Jennifer Walker, Microbiology
  • Frans Weiser, Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies


  • Kristy Archuleta, Housing and Consumer Economics
  • Brandy Burgess, Food Animal Health and Management
  • Kevin Burke, Language and Literacy Education
  • Paige Carmichael, Pathology
  • Andrew Carswell, Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics
  • Jennifer Ceska, Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • Kamal Gandhi, Entomology
  • Audrey Haynes, Political Science
  • Bill Hollingsworth, Computer Science
  • Mary Miller, Libraries
  • Jen Osbon, Digital Marketing
  • John Peroni, Large Animal Medicine
  • Ruth Poproski, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Jennifer Samp, Communication Studies
  • Fausto Sarmiento, Geography
  • Julie Velasquez Runk, Anthropology
  • John Weatherford, Entertainment & Media Studies


  • Barry Croom, Agricultural Leadership
  • Sonia Hernandez, Wildlife Disease & Wildlife
  • Mary Hondalus, Infectious Diseases
  • Lohitash Karumbaiah, Regenerative Bioscience Center
  • Aliki Nicolaides, Adult Learning, Leadership and Adult Development
  • Yoo-Kyoung Seock, Merchandising
  • Ashfaq Sial, Entomology


  • Sharon Crowell-Davis, Behavioral Medicine
  • Cesar Escalante, Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Cheryl Fields-Smith, Educational Theory and Practice
  • Lisa Fusillo, Dance
  • Andreas Handel, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Victoria Hasko, Language and Literacy Education
  • Jeff Hepinstall-Cymerman, Landscape Ecology
  • Karin Myhre, Comparative Literature
  • David Okech, Social Work
  • Laurie Reitsema, Anthropology
  • Wendy Ruona, Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
  • Dorothy White, Math and Science Education


  • Magdy Alabady, Plant Biology
  • Joe Bartges, Small Animal Medicine
  • Sherry Clouser, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Rebecca Gose, Dance
  • Alice Hunt, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Jooyoung Kim, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Thomas McNulty, Sociology
  • Kaori Sakamoto, Comparative Biomedical Science Program
  • Kristin Sayeski, Communication Sciences
  • Kyle Woosnan, Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management