Thursday, January 4, 2024

UTSA faculty selected for statewide academy to advance academic leadership and institutional excellence

UTSA faculty selected for statewide academy to advance academic leadership and institutional excellence

AUGUST 22, 2023 — Rebecca Schroeder, interim associate dean of University College and professor of instruction for the college, and Wenbo Wu, the Graham Weston Endowed Professor and chair of the Department of Management Science and Statistics, have been accepted into the Texas Academic Leadership Academy (TALA) for the 2023-2024 academic year. Both are also core faculty members in the UTSA School of Data Science.

TALA is a year-long experience that develops leadership skills in aspiring academic leaders. TALA Fellows are guided by senior academic leaders and mentors from institutions across the state on topics such as finance in higher education, diversity, conflict management, free speech, faculty concerns, research, assessment, accreditation and strategic planning. Participating in the academy will help Schroeder and Wu advance in their current and future roles as academic leaders and help UTSA advance as a model for student success and academic excellence.

Schroeder and Wu are part of the sixth TALA cohort. They were nominated by their colleges to UTSA Academic Affairs, which is sponsoring their participation in the academy. Other UTSA faculty who have been TALA Fellows include Alberto Cordova, Mark Leung, Terri Matiella, Arturo Montoya, and Erica Sosa.

“UTSA is committed to seeking out and offering unique faculty development opportunities that help our faculty grow professionally and expand their leadership capacity,” said Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Heather Shipley. “Investing in faculty excellence allows UTSA to more effectively serve our diverse student population and provide innovative, outstanding educational and research opportunities that give students an advantage in their future careers.”

Schroeder joined UTSA in 2018 as an assistant professor of instruction for the Academic Inquiry and Scholarship program in University College. She is heavily involved in the Generation AI Nexus—a program in partnership with MITRE that introduces artificial intelligence principles to students across all academic disciplines—for which she was awarded the UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Core Curriculum Teaching.

In 2021-2022, she participated in the UTSA Advancing Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow Program, which prepares faculty to tackle current and future challenges in higher education. During the program, Schroeder was instrumental in developing several new incubator degree programs in the University College’s multidisciplinary studies program, which prepared her to join the college’s leadership team as assistant dean in Fall 2022.

Prior to joining UTSA, Schroeder spent a year as a senior biomedical research scientist the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Prior to that she served nine years conducting research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Schroeder earned her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, with a focus on experimental therapeutics and pharmacology, from the MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


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Learn more about other faculty development opportunities offered through UTSA Faculty Success.

Wu, who also joined UTSA in 2018, started as an assistant professor in the UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business. He earned tenure in 2021 and has quickly moved up the ranks, becoming interim chair of the management science and statistics department in October 2021 and then department chair in June 2022.

His research focuses on data analysis, including high-dimensional statistical modeling, machine learning, data mining and data visualization. He received the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award in 2021 for his contributions.

Wu also frequently collaborates with researchers in other domains such as finance, marketing, engineering and computer science.

Wu is also involved in other academic programs at UTSA. He has chaired or been a member of over 20 committees for various academic programs, student dissertations, scholarship selections and faculty searches. Additionally, he has helped develop several new graduate-level courses in his department for both in-person and online modalities to serve the evolving needs of his students.

Wu spent three years on the faculty of the University of Oregon before joining UTSA. He earned his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Georgia.

KC Gonzalez and Chloe Johnson



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