Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Faculty fellowship program fosters diverse academic leadership at UTSA

Faculty fellowship program fosters diverse academic leadership at UTSA

NOVEMBER 17, 2022 — UTSA Academic Affairs has announced its 2022–2023 Advancing Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellows. Now in its fourth year, the fellowship program is designed to train and develop a new generation of diverse academic leaders at UTSA.

With an emphasis on mentorship, shadowing and one-on-one training, the one-year fellowships are personalized to meet the specific needs and professional goals of each faculty member who participates in the program. Fellows learn about the organizational structure and operations of academia, gain the skills and qualities needed to be an effective academic leader and acquire a better understanding of current and future challenges in higher education. 

The fellows also work with the vice presidents and vice provosts of various offices across the university, applying their new leadership knowledge to complete a special project in that area in collaboration with their mentor.

“It’s a great opportunity for faculty to learn about and contribute to the university and our diverse student population.”

“This fellowship program has flourished during the last few years, and it’s a great opportunity for faculty to learn about and contribute to the university and our diverse student population and to hone and gain new leadership skills,” said Heather Shipley, UTSA senior vice provost for academic affairs and dean of University College. “I’m excited to support this next cohort of dedicated faculty members on their professional journeys through these fellowships.”

UTSA is pleased to announce this year’s fellows:


Lorenzo Brancaleon is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Sciences. He is interested in developing instructional tools using gamification, which takes elements of game design like point scoring and competition and integrates them into course content to increase engagement. 

Brancaleon is completing his fellowship within Academic Innovation, where he will work to create new initiatives directed at increasing the use of gamification at UTSA. His goal is to craft innovative pedagogical models centered around game-inspired design that will ultimately be adopted into STEM courses.


Makiko Fukuda is a professor of instruction in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA). A first-generation college graduate, an Asian woman and an international scholar, Fukuda cares deeply about issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

She is fulfilling her fellowship with the Office of the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, with the goal of increasing visibility of the office—especially among students—and helping faculty and staff deepen their understanding of inclusivity to create more equitable learning environments on campus. As part of her fellowship, Fukuda will help host UTSA’s inaugural Inclusive Excellence Summit in spring 2023


William Land is an associate professor and graduate advisor of record in the Department of Kinesiology within the College for Health, Community and Policy. For his fellowship, Land is collaborating with The UTSA Graduate School to develop an online repository of internal and external resources to assist faculty seeking institutional training grants.

The grants, which are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are awarded to pre- and postdoctoral scholars to support research training in specified scientific areas.


Michael Rushforth is assistant chair and professor of instruction in COLFA’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. He is fulfilling his fellowship with the Student Success team, where he will work to improve student resilience and persistence.

Based on the studies suggesting that those who know their family history are more resilient when faced with challenges, Rushforth’s interdisciplinary project involves creating digital artifacts to connect students with their family heritage. It is open to students of all majors. 

View past Next-Gen Fellows
Discover more Faculty Success initiatives

The Advancing Next-Gen Faculty Fellowship program is administered by the division of Faculty Success within Academic Affairs and was first launched in 2019. The program is open to tenured faculty at the rank of associate or full professor, or full-time, fixed-term track faculty in the professor of practice, instruction, or clinical series. Nominees must also have been employed as faculty at UTSA for at least three years. Nominations occur each Spring semester.

Chloe Johnson

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.