First Cohort Announced for Ascend Faculty Professional Development Program

January 15, 2024

Ascend, a new career development program for mid-career faculty, launched its cohort for Spring 2024. Supported by the Office of Faculty Professional Development, Ascend cohort members include academic professionals and lecturers from across campus.  

The cohort will build on current strengths and successes and explore ways to thrive mid-career and in the future. Using a faculty learning community model and the Appreciative Inquiry framework, participants will explore their interests, values, and goals, and create an actionable, individual strategic plan while developing skills for career growth and leadership. 

Members of the first cohort include: 

  • Whitney Buser - Director of Master’s Programs and Associate Director of Academic Programs, School of Economics 

  • Melissa Foulger - Artistic Director for DramaTech, School of Literature, Media, and Communication 

  • Laura Sams Haynes - Director of Outreach, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

  • Mary Holder - Director of Neuroscience Program, Undergraduate Studies, School of Psychology 

  • Christopher Jankowski - Director of Graduate Advising and Assessment, Director of Postdoctoral Teaching Effectiveness, School of Mathematics 

  • Ashley McKeen - EXCEL Senior Lecturer, CEISMC

  • Nicoly Myles - Director of the Center for Academics, Success, & Equity (CASE), School of Industrial and Systems Engineering 

  • Amanda Nolen - Faculty Teaching and Learning Specialist, Center for Teaching and Learning 

  • Matt Nusnbaum - Senior Academic Professional, Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience 

  • Daniela Staiculescu - Senior Academic Professional, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

  • Cassie Thomas - Associate Director of Undergraduate Transition Seminars, Office of Undergraduate Education 

  • Ruthie Yow - Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Development. 

Participants in this program will learn to use the Appreciative Inquiry model to develop a personal development plan that includes a vision and mission; goals for personal learning, professional development, and career momentum; and an action plan. The program is designed to support faculty as they practice skills essential for collegiality and leadership in a cohort environment and explore opportunities for growth and career vitality at Georgia Tech. Participants will also take advantage of four professional coaching sessions during the calendar year with International Coaching Federation-accredited Director of the Office of Faculty Professional Development Rebecca Pope-Ruark.

Learn more about the Ascend program. 

For More Information Contact

Rebecca Pope-Ruark

Director of the Office of Faculty Professional Development