Inaugural Cohort of Provost’s Faculty Internship Program Announced

Published on May 24, 2022

Designed to develop leadership skills among EKU faculty and complement existing leadership endeavors, the Office of the Provost launched the Provost’s Faculty Internship Program. The goals of the program include building exceptional leadership by supporting individual faculty development, while enhancing university-wide academic initiatives. Faculty selected for the program participate in mentoring and learning opportunities, collaborate with colleagues in academic and administrative offices across campus, assume leadership roles on critical campus projects and cultivate individual interests and long-range career goals. 

“The people at EKU are our greatest resource,” EKU President David McFaddin said. “By investing in personal and professional development through programs such as this, we’re providing pathways for our own faculty to integrate into leadership roles on campus. This unique approach allows faculty to explore career growth while enhancing EKU’s leadership and administration.” 

“As we have guided faculty through leadership programs, it’s been clear that some are eager to have a richer, more meaningful experience,” said Dr. Sara Zeigler, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “There are many paths to leadership, and this program allows participants to identify their goals, enhance their strengths and stretch into new areas. It’s about exploration, learning and growth.”

Following a highly competitive application process among associate professor and professor level faculty, six were selected to the inaugural cohort: 

  • John Brent, associate professor, School of Justice Studies

  • Jamie Fredericks, associate professor, Department of Chemistry

  • Karem “Ozan” Kalkan, associate professor, Department of Government

  • Jessica Lair, associate professor, Department of Physics, Geosciences, and Astronomy

  • Erin Presley, associate professor, Department of English

  • Matthew Sabin, professor and athletic training program director, Department of Exercise and Sport Science

Presley previously participated in the Faculty Leadership Institute, a program geared toward providing resources and support to prospective leaders. Since then, she’s served as the assessment coordinator for general education, supporting the integration of critical reading into general education curriculum and providing professional development for her colleagues in general education. 

“In the Faculty Leadership Institute, I was able to hone my leadership skills for assessment-related work,” Presley said. “By participating in the Provost’s Faculty Internship Program, I hope to continue developing this skill set and find ways to better support my faculty colleagues. I see gaps on this front, especially in relation to support for faculty who want to create service-learning projects in the community, and I hope I can work with administrators to identify sustainable solutions.” 

Brent applied for the program to develop leadership skills that will allow him to better serve students, as well as his school, college and the university. 

“I look forward to becoming a more active member of the university community, further integrating into EKU, working alongside my colleagues and giving back through service-oriented leadership,” Brent said. “Being selected for the program means more than can be expressed. Perhaps just as meaningful is the thought and support from others. I find it my responsibility to make the most of this opportunity.”

Through the Provost’s Internship Program, participants will become more familiar with university-wide academic initiatives, such as strategic planning and budgeting. They will take on leadership projects contributing to areas of student success, facilities management, academics, faculty leadership and research. And they will contribute to EKU-focused research on leadership skill development – showcasing their research, as well as appearing on a panel, at the Leadership in Higher Education Conference. 

“The program takes a unique mentoring approach to support faculty as they experience leadership development in areas of academic affairs,” said Dr. Rusty Carpenter, assistant provost. “We’re excited to welcome the inaugural cohort and see how they progress in their development as leaders throughout the program.”