Sixteen UTRGV faculty members advance their leadership skills through institute

Sixteen UTRGV faculty members advance their leadership skills through institute

By Melissa Vasquez

EDINBURG, TEXAS – MAY 2, 2017 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ADVANCE Leadership Institute held a graduation celebration for its fifth cohort of faculty members who successfully completed the program during the Spring 2017 semester.

Held Tuesday, May 2, on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus, the graduation luncheon was attended by university administrators, deans and professors. Serving as keynote speaker was Dr. David E. Daniel, deputy chancellor of The University of Texas System.

To celebrate the start of new leadership opportunities, 16 faculty members representing six colleges, the University College and the School of Medicine were recognized. From the fifth cohort of graduates, 10 are women, and four are from the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and SBE (social, behavioral and economic) disciplines.

The goal of the ADVANCE Leadership Institute is to develop the next generation of academic leaders at UTRGV. With the 16 new graduates, the institute has graduated a total of 95 since its inception in 2012, and 68 of them are female faculty members, getting the institute closer to reaching its 100 mark.

The ADVANCE Leadership Institute at UTRGV offers faculty participants the opportunity to be matched with a mentor, internal or external to UTRGV, to support their career and leadership development. In addition, participants receive a $500 stipend and attend leadership workshops.

Also, recognized during the luncheon were the 2016-2017 ADVANCE Administrative Fellows, who completed the ADVANCE Administrative Fellows Program designed to complement the Leadership Institute by providing faculty members the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and gain hands-on administrative experience at UTRGV.

Recognized as Fellows were Dr. Laura Seligman, associate professor of Psychological Science; Dr. Janet Martinez, lecturer II of Teaching & Learning; and Dr. Jean Braithwaite, associate professor of Creative Writing.

For her efforts in helping facilitate the ADVANCE Leadership Institute at UTRGV, a special honor was presented to Susan L. Franzen, assistant vice chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness at The University of Texas System, during the event.


As part of UTRGV’s National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE grant Attracting and Nurturing Women Faculty at a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the university established the UTRGV ADVANCE Leadership Institute to enhance faculty and leadership development opportunities at UTRGV. While the goal of the grant is to increase the representation and advancement of women faculty in STEM fields, faculty from all genders, colleges, and academic disciplines are also encouraged to participate.

For more information on ADVANCE at UTRGV, visit

Watch video of 2017 ADVANCE Leadership Institute.

(Photo Gallery password: advancegrad)

Melissa Vasquez
UTRGV Publications Editor/ 956-665-8926

Marci Caltabiano-Ponce
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications/