Ohio University

Gigi Secuban chosen for prestigious New Leadership Academy Fellows Program

Published: January 14, 2020 Author: George E. Mauzy Jr.

Ohio University Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Gigi Secuban will be a member of the 2020 New Leadership Academy Fellows Program.

The prestigious six-month program, which is hosted by the University of Michigan, runs January through June. It is a partnership between the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and is designed to change the expectations that surround leaders, leadership and leadership development across higher education.

To be chosen, applicants must demonstrate leadership in higher education and hold an administrative leadership or senior faculty position at their institution or organization.

After being accepted, Fellows are encouraged to:

  • Attend the NLA Virtual Orientation on Jan. 21
  • Engage in online learning modules and discussions
  • Attend the annual AAHHE National Conference in Costa Mesa, California, March 5-7
  • Complete the Leading for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education Massive Open Online Course
  • Complete NLA leadership assessments, online engagement (monthly webinars), written reflections and readings, coaching and mentor sessions
  • Attend NLA Summer Institute at the University of Michigan, June 8-12 

According to the NLA website, NLA Fellows will:

  • Recognize the challenges inherent in meeting the responsibilities associated with diversity, equity, and inclusion as overarching concerns in U.S. colleges and universities.
  • Acquire sophistication in re-envisioning values and institutional imperatives that translate into dynamic, focus-driven strategies for higher education organizations.
  • Gain specialized knowledge and tools necessary to provide highly effective leadership within and outside complex institutional settings.

“Dr. Gigi Secuban has a passion for working with students, and her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion has made a significant impact on our University,” OHIO President M. Duane Nellis said. “I am confident that her experience in this program will benefit our students and our University.”

John C. Burkhardt, special assistant to the provost for university engagement at the University of Michigan, said the NLA program is distinctive in that it attracts participants from a wide range of institutional types as well as individuals who have backgrounds in many different academic fields of study. He said participants have shown a commitment to a high level of professional service that extends well beyond personal advancement.

“We are thrilled to have attracted Dr. Secuban to this year’s New Leadership Academy Fellows Program," Burkhardt said. "Her experience leading the diversity and inclusion effort at Ohio University will be of great benefit to others in the program, many of whom share her values and represent many different roles in the academy.”

Dr. Secuban reflected on her new opportunity.  

“It is such an honor to have been selected as an NLA Fellow,” Dr. Secuban said. “This program elevates diversity and inclusion on a national level, which is one of our major initiatives at OHIO. It’s an opportunity to network with other diverse leaders across the nation.”

Dr. Secuban was nominated for NLA by one of her mentors, Dr. Patricia Arredondo, chair of the AAHHE board, who said NLA Fellows build interpersonal bonds and perspectives about how others lead at other institutions.

“As a mentor and coach to Gigi, I recognize her leadership and multicultural acumen and believe that through the NLA, these skills will be deepened,” Dr. Arredondo said. “This enriching experience with individuals from minority and predominantly white institutions and seminaries will be valuable for her both personally and professionally. She will engage for the year with higher education professionals across disciplines and positions.”