Sometimes the teacher becomes the student.
Andreas Savakis, professor of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, will take on a new role as he begins his appointment as an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2011–2012 academic year. The program offers accelerated learning experiences developed by the council to help universities advance institutional projects and personnel.
Fellows are assigned to experienced leaders at other academic institutions for mentoring and participation on host university project teams that can be mutually beneficial to both institutions. Savakis will work with University of Rochester Provost Ralph Kuncl during the fall semester on research commercialization and technology transfer for economic development. During the spring semester, he will work with Chancellor Jean MacCormack of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth on strategies in developing interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs.
He will also interact with RIT personnel such as the provost and academic leadership throughout the fellows program, as well as work closely with his current cohort of fellows, meeting for seminars quarterly.
“Most ACE fellows spend a semester or a full year at the host institution,” says Savakis, the first ACE Fellow from RIT, who is participating in the program after serving 10 years as department head of the computer engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
“The mentorship is a very important part of the process. It gives you a different perspective and an opportunity to step back and observe different aspects of a university. It is an exceptional learning experience,” he says, adding that both organizations work within common interests so that both can benefit.
Nominated by RIT Provost Jeremy Haefner, Savakis will participate in projects that can contribute to the growing research infrastructure at RIT—from advancing the corporate research and development initiatives for economic impact to preparing students for success in the global economy. He will also be able to contribute his expertise in technology transfer to host institutions.
“The ACE Fellows program, with the mentor-protégé learning experience, is the premier professional development program for individuals interested in higher education academic leadership,” says Haefner, adding that the program allows emerging leaders at a campus to learn how other institutes deal with similar issues, how leaders think and how their own skills can be sharpened to serve and lead. “It builds bridges in all sorts of ways. We are honored that Andreas was selected in the program and to be hosted by excellent mentors.”