Congratulations to the Provost's Leadership Opportunity Grant (PLOG) recipients! 


  • Joy Olabisi, SCB - Attend the Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education conference
  • Parsa Shima, COS - Attend American Physical Society conference sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP).
  • Jakob Patekar, RIT Croatia - Attend Going Global 2020 Conference
  • Mary Lynn Reed, COS - Attend Leadership in Higher Education Conference
  • Rong Yang, SCB - Attend 2020 Accounting Programs Leadership Group & the Federation of Schools of Accountancy Annual Joint Seminar

Pamela Conley, Associate Professor, NTID-Liberal Studies
Bridging the Generation Gap: Communicating Effectively in a Multi-Generational Workforce Conference

Denis Cormier, Earl W. Brinkman Professor, AMPrint Center Director. KGCOE-Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education Conference

Paul Craig, Professor and Head of the School of Chemistry and Materials Science, COS
Mutual Mentoring/Faculty Reading Groups to support the COS Leader Faculty Program  

A group of 19 College of Science faculty members joined "Leading by the Book." We selected the following four books based on suggestions by faculty members from the group: Discover Your True North by Bill George, Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Factfulness by Hans Rosling, and Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler 

My first desired outcome was to get a group of faculty members interested in growing as leaders. That certainly happened. We know each other now. As a second point, I hoped that all group members would read all four books. I have no evidence that this happened. My third (and most clearly stated in the proposal) target outcome was to produce a series of documents that would serve as crib notes for faculty members who were looking for a book to read on leadership. We never got that far. In individual conversations, several faculty members indicated that they were using what they learned from Factfulness and Crucial Conversations in their professional and personal lives. I had also hoped that this would be a path for future leaders to emerge from among our faculty members. Time will be the only test of that outcome.

Carl Lutzer, Professor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, COS-School of Mathematical Sciences
New Directors conference held by the National Collegiate Honors Council

"The workshop helped to prepare me for the role of Interim Director by providing both networking contacts, an opportunity to review other honors programs' structures, and a sense of the kinds of problems that I will face in the position; these include personnel, budgetary, and administrative issues.  The workshop alerted me to literature relevant to shaping the discussion of what RIT means by "honors," both at a programmatic- and course-level.  I have used these resources to inform discussions by the Honors Curriculum Committee during the fall semester, and will continue to access them as needed. This program has been helpful to me as I to step into my new role, and have to address administrative-level issues for the first time.  I hope it continues."

Kelly Martin, Associate Professor, CLA-Communication
Post-Tenure Pathfinders program, National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity



Karthik Namasivayam, Chair, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, CAST
Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education Conference

"I am grateful to the Provost's office for providing me this opportunity.  I think this is an important experience and enhances my ability as a leader.  I strongly support the continuance, indeed expansion, of similar opportunities so that there can be more shared mental models and understanding among RIT faculty and leadership on what is leadership, how change happens, how to use one's strengths to advantage while minimizing those that do not help advance the individual, department, or the College.  The organizer provided an excellent workshop, the faculty leading the program were experienced, and the learning was useful and pertinent to academia.  I will recommend this program to more RIT leaders and faculty. 

Tom Oh, Associate Professor, GCCIS-Information Sciences and Technologies
Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education Conference



Justin Pelletier, Lecturer and Business Director, SAFE Lab, Center for Cybersecurity-GCCIS
Cornell Grant Writing Workshop

"This workshop allowed me to lead a team in the pursuit of building my first grant proposal for an NSA grant. [I have] shared best practices for grant applications and proposal development. Thanks for making this easy!"

Elizabeth Perry, Assistant Professor,  CHST, Biomedical Sciences                 
Annual Conference of the Association for Assessment of Learning (Poster Presentation)

"Attending the plenary talks and peer presentations at the international conference included diverse, inspiring case studies and research from academics and medical professionals.   This conference, based within the medical community, was outside the normal venue for an interior design presentation and invigorated a personal interest in creating a program proposal for advanced studies in global health. I have written and submitted a proposal to reinvigorate and lead a new and unique interior design master's degree. Few interior design healthcare masters programs exist, the proposed curriculum that includes diversified coursework in access technology, public policy, biomedical engineering and hospital administration. The proposed program aligns with existing RIT master's degrees and expertise on campus while staging RIT at the forefront of Global Health research, design and study.   The proposal is currently under review through CAD and with the Provost's office."                

Robert Pollard, Office of the Associate Dean of Research, NTID
Invited guest, Dr. Jeffrey Osborn, Dean, School of Science, The College of New Jersey, in a one-week consultation program @ RIT

"I felt it was a great opportunity for me, especially because the continuing education meetings, workshops, and conferences I've attended - seeking to learn how to perform my new role - have all had limited applicability to an *associate* dean of research.  They've all been focused either at a higher administrative level (e.g., the research VP for an entire university) or a lower level (e.g., research staff).  The PLOG application process was easy to do, as well.  Great program!


Marcos Esterman, Associate to the Provost for AALANA Faculty/Associate Professor, KGCOE

Activity: Attend Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI) Annual Conference

I attended the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI) annual conference where they featured sessions to educate attendees on various methods like emotional intelligence, team characteristics, the use of lean, the role of failure, and how to develop a continuous improvement office, to name a few. They also provided venues to share insights and solutions regarding continuous improvement, process improvement, strategic planning, Lean, project management, and innovation in higher education. I learned about strategies for successful implementation and challenges relative to improving operational excellence in higher education.

I was able to see that there exists a great need for faculty to be involved in this community of continuous improvement and change agents. NCCI was mostly attended by administrators and many of them were not previously faculty. It will take an integrated effort between administration, staff, students and faculty to achieve the aspirational goals that the NCCI have and to embrace the true spirit of continuous improvement. As faculty, we have a tight linkage to all stakeholder groups and can exert great influence over the effectiveness of these eforts. Thus I identified a very concrete way in which I can impact not only our journey, but that of NCCI's.

It is premature to report on outcomes, but there are two main outcomes that can be derived from the project. The first is that as we embark on our journey of integrating Lean principles into the operations of higher education, we can leverage from the experiences of other universities to increase our effectiveness. The second is that this is not only an effort that can impact operations, but it can have a direct impact on students as we will be able to integrate them into the improvement process as part of their educational experiences.

I very much appreciated the opportunity to get connected to this network of colleges and college administrators. I think that we can learn a great deal from the experiences of others and I believe that this is a network that we want RIT to be a part of, so hopefully this was the beginning of that relationship. In time, I see RIT being an influential thought leader in this community.

Irena Guszak Cerovecki, RIT Croatia, Lecturer, Research Associate, Associate Dean
Activity: Assertive Communication Skills Training

John Oliphant, Associate Professor, CHST                              
Activity: Attend Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education Conference

Jakob Patekar,  RIT Croatia, Humanities Area Head
Activity: Attend Leadership in Higher Education Conference

The conference 'Leadership in Higher Education' was organized by Magna Publications and took place in St Louis, MO from October 3 to 5, 2019. This was the fourth annual conference intended for academic leaders – department chairs, division heads, deans, academic VPs, program directors, and provosts. In numerous lectures and workshops, the conference covered a range of issues, from best practices for deans and department chairs, department assessment, legal issues, faculty development, to special topics in academic leadership. The sessions involved plenary presentations, poster sessions, and roundtable discussions.


This was the most enriching conference I have ever attended – I am grateful to the Office of the Provost for enabling me to attend such a special event. I had a chance to connect with a number of academic leaders across the United States and to become acquainted with a variety of practices across their colleges and universities. By attending, among others, talks and workshops that dealt with leadership skills, I was able to learn about becoming a better communicator and building trust, and how to properly observe and evaluate teaching. I also learned about emotionally intelligent leadership and strengthened my coaching skills. All of this will surely contribute to my growth in the role of the area head and  department chair.


As stated previously, I have never gained so much from attending one conference. I will, however, here identify three major takeaways. The first is a workshop on evaluating teaching effectiveness – a two-year project from the Colorado State University has resulted in a Teaching Effectiveness Framework and pertinent resources that are easily transferable to other institutions. I plan to use this framework to enrich RIT Croatia’s understanding of teaching effectiveness, especially as the point of the framework is to gradually build on each skill, which takes years to accomplish but seems quite promising in view of building strong faculty – this, ultimately, is what lifelong learning is about. The second takeaway are the talks and discussions about managing adjunct faculty. Seeing that RIT Croatia has quite a few adjuncts, I will be able to implement some of the ideas and practices noted – especially in terms of the onboarding process and recognition of adjunct faculty. Finally, the third takeaway concerns assessing scholarship – the Grand Valley State University has implemented a quantitative tool for this, and the creation of the tool was a bottom-up process, which has inspired me to initiate discussion about this sort of approach at RIT Croatia. The presenter of the poster has kindly provided the form they use, so that is a valuable resource that could serve as a guide or a template for my institution. Finally, apart from the key takeaways, it was useful to hear comments from the audience in each of these talks and workshops, as that provided me with an opportunity to learn more about other experiences and practices regarding these matters throughout the States.


I highly recommend this conference to anyone at RIT in - or aspiring to - a leadership position in academia.


Martin Zagar, Assistant Professor, RIT Croatia
Activity: Attend EAIE (European Association for International Education) Conference and Exhibition 

I attended the Annual European Association for International Education Conference and Exhibition in Helsinki, Finland 24-27 September 2019. The original idea behind this conference is networking and exchanging ideas between decision-makers in international education and if I may say, that was really successful since I met with different decision-makers (ranging from International office managers on their Universities to Program coordinators). The 2019 theme was 'encompassing all voices' as a base for inclusive education which is one of the missions of RIT together with its international campus RIT Croatia. I attended various meetings with representatives from universities from Ireland, Germany, France, Scotland, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Turkey, and Germany.


I attended various presentations and workshops, but I would stress here a couple of specific, very valuable, impacts regarding my career advancement and as program coordinator: moving beyond academia by addressing societal problems via internationalization; the potential of European student and staff exchange management through Erasmus 2021-2027 program, the importance of mobility and how to make mobility a reality for all; joint and double degree programs and how to represent them both to students, as well and universities (both Faculty and Staff) as potential added value for students; a comparison of study abroad trends and practices across Australia, Europe, and Japan; strategies towards equality, diversity, and inclusion at universities.


Some specific outcomes that I will use and apply to the college and the campus community: practical models of engagement since I am teaching on two RIT Croatia campuses (Zagreb and Dubrovnik), having Dubrovnik students mainly relying on Polycom; what social entrepreneurship and inclusiveness represents in education; teaching in an international classroom, since I am also a lecturer on Senior development Project courses where students jointly work on four international RIT campuses in Rochester, two in Croatia and Dubai; dealing with a variety of expectations, languages, cultures and educational experiences; design-based education as an education concept; moving towards virtual campuses; how to engage key stakeholders, gain consensus and understand the role and impact of competing priorities.


I would suggest that for the next EAIE annual conference RIT organize the stand during the forum and fair to attract potential students. I would be happy to help with the experience I gained this year.