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MSU Faculty Named to Big Ten Academic Leadership Program

Front row, left to right: Sonja Fritzsche, Nwando Achebe, and Melissa McDaniels. Back row, left to right: Theodore H. Curry II (Associate Provost & Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources), Andrew Christlieb, and Thomas Jeitschko.

Five MSU faculty and academic administrators were recently named 2017-18 Fellows in the Academic Leadership Program of the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

The Academic Leadership Program provides intensive leadership and managerial development, addressing the challenges of academic administration at major research universities, like tightening budgets, changing student populations, and increasing pressures from external sources. Many of the program’s nearly 1,000 fellows have gone on to serve as college presidents, provosts and deans.

During the 2017-18 academic year, the MSU ALP Fellows will visit three Big Ten Academic Alliance universities. In addition, they will meet with campus and community leaders of their choosing, to complement their knowledge of policy and institutional organization with local insights and contacts.

2017-18 MSU ALP Fellows

Nwando Achebe, the Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History, is an award-winning historian and faculty excellence advocate of the College of Social Science. In her role, she works with faculty, department chairs and the dean’s office to create a climate of quality, inclusiveness, alignment, objectivity, consistency and transparency of all academic human resource policies and practices, particularly faculty recruitment, retention and advancement.

Andrew Christlieb is chairperson of the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering, and is an MSU Foundation professor of mathematics. Since 2004, he has worked at the Air Force Research Laboratory on the development of new methods for particle simulations of plasmas, winning the Air Force Young Investigator Award in 2007 for his work. Christlieb advises many postdoctoral and doctoral students. Christlieb’s research group is currently funded by AFOSR Computational Mathematics, AFOSR Physics and Electronics, AFRL RDHE, NSF Division of Mathematics and ORNL LDRD on scalable computing.

Sonja Fritzsche is incoming associate dean for faculty, administration and curriculum in the College of Arts and Letters. She is a core faculty member in the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies and is affiliated with global studies in the arts and humanities and the Center for Gender in a Global Context. She has received grants from the German Academic Exchange Service and Fulbright, and was associate co-director on grants from the U.S. Department of Education and Hanban/Chinese Language Council International. In 2015, she served as the president of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages. Fritzsche taught at Illinois Wesleyan University from 2001-2015 before coming to MSU.

Thomas D. Jeitschko is the associate dean for graduate studies and a professor of economics in the College of Social Science; he also serves as the director of the American Economic Association Summer Program. As associate dean he oversees the graduate programs within the College of Social Science, serving close to 1500 graduate students in more than a dozen doctoral programs and twenty master’s programs. As the director of the AEASP Thomas works alongside faculty from MSU and Western Michigan University with students from across the U.S. in a two-month-long intensive pre-doctoral residential program that prepares talented undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds for graduate work in economics and related fields. He regularly advises Attorneys General Offices throughout the U.S. in antitrust and consumer protection matters.

Melissa McDaniels is assistant dean of the Graduate School and postdoc office. McDaniels works to support the professional development of graduate students, postdocs and faculty as they develop their abilities as postsecondary instructors, research mentors and academic leaders. McDaniels has more than 25 years of professional experience and, in addition to Michigan State, has held full-time positions at Northeastern University, Boston College and National Geographic Society. She has done research and consulting domestically and internationally on topics related to scholarly communication, programmatic/learning assessment in higher education, research capacity development and teaching and learning.

PHOTO: Front row, left to right: Sonja Fritzsche, Nwando Achebe, and Melissa McDaniels. Back row, left to right: Theodore H. Curry II (Associate Provost & Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources), Andrew Christlieb, and Thomas Jeitschko.

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