Professor Joaquín Rodríguez-López was named a fellow in the third cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, a leadership program aimed at helping STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities. The academy is part of the Aspire Alliance’s Institutional Change Initiative, which the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the University of Georgia lead.
Cathy Murphy, head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, said Rodriguez-López has already been a leader in the department in both science and in tackling diversity issues in STEM.
“I look forward to seeing how he progresses in this wonderful program," Murphy said.
The academy is one pillar of diversity and inclusion work underway through the Aspire Alliance (formally known as the National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty. The National Science Foundation-backed alliance is working across post-secondary institutions to develop more inclusive institutional cultures to create a more inclusive and diverse STEM professoriate.
The leadership academy provides professional development for academic leaders from underrepresented groups so they can aspire to and succeed in more senior leadership roles, thus broadening participation in academic leadership. Fellows will learn effective executive leadership skills for increasingly complex higher education environments as well as strategies for influencing institutional transformation in their current and future leadership positions.
Amy Santos, associate provost for faculty development in the Office of the Provost at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, said that as an institutional member of the Aspire Alliance, the Office of the Provost is fully committed to supporting Professor Rodríguez-López to participate in this program.
“He was selected from among several nominees we received this year from across campus because of his outstanding scholarship and potential for taking on even greater leadership roles in academia,” Santos said.
Howard Gobstein, Director of the Aspire Alliance and Executive Vice President at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) said it’s exciting that so many institutions were able to support the participation of emerging STEM leaders from underrepresented groups in the third cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy.
“More than ever, we see the need for institutions to cultivate and support diversity in faculty and university leadership, and this year’s class of fellows will be well positioned to advance these goals,” Gobstein said.
“It is an honor to provide this leadership development opportunity to so many current and rising leaders from across the country,” said Rochelle Sapp, IAspire Leadership Academy Director and Leadership Development Specialist in the Office of Learning and Organizational Development at the University of Georgia. “Advancing diverse and under-represented groups of leaders in STEM higher education is critical to the success of higher education and society, especially providing these leaders opportunities to focus on their personal leadership skills, goals, and style. We are also hopeful about the power of community among the fellows to create a lasting foundation of mutual support to advance their ongoing development and success.”
The academy is targeted at mid-career individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups interested in serving in college or university leadership roles in STEM fields. The 27 participating faculty and administrators were selected through a competitive, holistic review of their applications.
Rodríguez-López is affiliated with the Materials Research Lab and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He completed his undergraduate studies at Tecnológico de Monterrey and moved to Texas to obtain a PhD under the guidance of Prof. Allen J. Bard at the University of Texas at Austin (2010). He performed postdoctoral studies with Prof. Hector D. Abruña in Cornell University (2012). Joaquin’s group combines interests in electroanalytical chemistry and energy materials by developing chemically-sensitive methods for studying ionic and electronic reactivity in nano-structures, highly-localized surface features, and ultra-thin electrodes.
Rodríguez-López named to the 2018 Science News Top 10 scientists to watch.
Learn more about the IAspire Leadership Academy on the Aspire Alliance IAspire Leadership Academy site.