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Northwestern Hosts 2023-24 Academic Leadership Program Fellows

Emerging academic leaders from across the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) gathered at Northwestern for the BTAA’s 2023-24 Academic Leadership Program (ALP). Among the 100 participants were Northwestern’s five ALP fellows Nadine George-GravesIan Hurd, Vijay Anand MittalJill Wilson and Jessica Winegar, nominated by their deans and selected by Provost Kathleen Hagerty.

Over the course of four days, participants attended seminars, toured the Northwestern campus and listened to reflections on leadership from President Michael Schill and Hagerty — all part of an intensive year-long program that develops the leadership and managerial skills of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional ability and academic promise.

"It was a rare privilege to be in a room with dozens of smart people with deep experience in the complex work of academic management," said Hurd, who is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies. "At every table, there were people who had direct experience with the same kinds of issues and opportunities that I face, or might face. I am eager for the next opportunity to gather so that I can hear more."

Before attending this in-person conference, fellows had already participated in activities at their home institutions, which at Northwestern is led by the Office of the Provost.

"In the first session, I got a glimpse of different perspectives on the organization, operations and missions of different research universities," said George-Graves. "There are many different paths to leadership in the academy. Most of us are not trained for leadership in grad school and become more focused in our research over the years. It means so much to me to have this opportunity to be in an extended leadership learning community with colleagues who will hopefully become a supportive professional network."

Since ALP’s inception in 1989, over 1,700 participants have completed the program, and many have gone on to serve with distinction as college presidents, provosts, and deans. Northwestern’s Associate Provost for Faculty Sumit Dhar and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Miriam Sherin both completed the program. So did the Northwestern's Vice President for Research, Eric Perreault. Other ALP fellows serve in various leadership roles at Northwestern, including deans, chairs and center directors.

This year’s Northwestern ALP fellows come from a variety of backgrounds and span a broad range of disciplines:

Nadine George-Graves is the Naomi Willie Pollard Professor and Chair of Performance Studies and has a joint appointment in the Theatre Department. She also serves as Executive Co-Editor of Dance Research Journal (DRJ).

Her work is situated at the intersections of African American studies, critical gender studies, performance studies, theatre history and dance history. She is the author of "The Royalty of Negro Vaudeville: The Whitman Sisters and the Negotiation of Race, Gender, and Class in African American Theater, 1900-1940" and "Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of Dance Theater, Community Engagement and Working it Out" as well as numerous articles on African American performance. She is the editor of "The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater," a collection of border-crossing scholarship on embodiment and theatricality and the DRJ special topics issue Arms Akimbo: Black Women Choreographic Social Change. She has also written on primitivity, ragtime dance, tap dance legend Jeni LeGon, identity politics and performance, competition, social change, early African American theatre and the future of performance in the academy. She has given talks, led community engagement projects and has served on many boards and committees. She is a past-president of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD).

George-Graves is also an artist, and her creative work is part and parcel of her research. She is an adapter, director and dance theatre maker. Her recent creative projects include "Architectura," a dance theatre piece about the ways we build our lives; Suzan-Lori Parks’ "Fucking A" and "Topdog/ Underdog; Anansi The Story King," an original adaptation of Anansi stories using college students, professionals and fourth graders; and "Sugar," a digital humanities project at the nexus of creativity and scholarship.

Ian Hurd is Professor of Political Science and the founding director of the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies. He joined the faculty in 2001 after earning a Ph.D. at Yale University. He is an expert on international politics and law. His most recent book, "How to Do Things with International Law," examines the rule of law in international politics. He is currently working on a history of world-order thinking from the 1700s to today.

His past work on international organizations and global governance includes "After Anarchy: Legitimacy and Power in the UN Security Council," "The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations," and "The UN Security Council and the Politics of International Authority." His book "International Organizations: Politics, Law, and Practice" is a leading textbook for courses on international institutions.

Hurd has been a visiting faculty member or fellow at the Niehaus Center on Globalization and Governance at Princeton University, Sciences Po in Paris, the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, WZB - Berlin Social Science Centre, the Venice Academy of Human Rights and elsewhere.

Vijay Mittal smiles into the camera.

Vijay Anand Mittal is the David S. Holmes Professor of Brain Science and  Chair of Psychology. He holds appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Medical Social Sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine and is on the faculty of the Northwestern Intradepartmental Neuroscience Initiative (NUIN) and the Institute for Policy Research (IPR). He also serves as the Co-Director of the Institute for Developmental Science training core. 

Over the past several years, Mittal has published over 300 articles working to understand causes behind mental illness among adolescents and young adults, and he specializes in early identification, assessment and treatments for youth at high risk for psychosis. He founded the Adolescent Development and Preventive Treatment (ADAPT) research lab to help these individuals and their families. This work has garnered large-scale extramural funding from federal sources as well as a number of private foundations. 

Mittal is an Association for Psychological Science (APS) fellow and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the AT&T Research Chair, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) BRAINS award, Society for Research in Psychopathology (SRP) Early Career Award, Federation for Brain and Behavioral Sciences (FABBS) Early Career Award, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Independent Investigator Award and Faculty Honor Roll. 

Jill Wilson smiles into the camera.

Jill Wilson is a Professor of Instruction and the Assistant Department Chair in  Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences (IEMS). She serves as the IEMS Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the McCormick Data Science & Engineering Minor. Prior to joining the Northwestern faculty, Wilson was a tenured Associate Professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Humanities and Sciences.

Wilson is most energized by teaching, advising and mentoring and by collaborating with colleagues on curriculum development and teaching improvement. She was named a Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction in 2018 and was awarded the INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of OR/MS Practice in 2022. NACADA recognized her contributions to advising in 2020 with the Region 5 Outstanding Advising Administrator Award.

Wilson earned her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Georgia Tech Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.  Her research interests are in discrete mathematical optimization.

Jessica Winegar smiles at cameraJessica Winegar is Professor of Anthropology and Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Middle East Studies. She is also Director of the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. Winegar’s specializations include Middle East arts and culture as well as the politics of U.S. higher education. Her book "Creative Reckonings: The Politics of Art and Culture in Contemporary Egypt" won the Albert Hourani award for best book in Middle East studies and the Arnold Rubin award for best book on African arts. She is also the co-author, with Lara Deeb, of "Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East." She regularly engages the media through op-eds and appearances on radio and television.  

She has previously served as the Chair of the Committee on Human Rights and President of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. She was also a co-editor of the journal Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Her work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and Fulbright. She was a 2015-2016 Fellow at the Op-Ed Project, and a 2018-2019 Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.