Meet the Faculty Excellence Advocates


The Faculty Excellence Advocates (FEAs) are faculty members who are key “drivers” of faculty quality and diversity in each college. They build close working relationships with their faculty colleagues, department chairs and deans, working to create a climate that promotes quality, inclusiveness, alignment, objectivity, consistency and transparency of all academic human resource policies and practices.

The ADAPP-ADVANCE grant funded FEAs in the three pilot colleges—Natural Science, Engineering, and Social Science. Provost Wilcox is funding FEAs in the remaining colleges by supporting 25% of the time of each FEA to be devoted to ADAPP activities. FEA will:

  • Build a close alliance with the college dean, who is ultimately responsible to the Provost for the college’s performance on measures of quality, diversity,  and climate.
  • Develop a  fundamental understanding of MSU academic human resource policies , practices and resources and know how to obtain additional, more specific information when needed (e.g., from Faculty and Organizational Development, the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the Women’s Resource Center, the Family Resource Center).
  • Collect data from colleges, as needed. The FEA must be aware of available data including academic human resource data and use these data to identify challenges/needs within the college.
  • Be available and approachable to faculty within the college. FEAs should introduce themselves to faculty and provide information about the FEA role, goals, and how best to be reached. Specifically, work with faculty, particularly those early in their career, to make sure they have a clear understanding of the annual review and reappointment/promotion/tenure processes.
  • Facilitate communication between faculty, department chairpersons and school directors, college leadership, and Academic Human Resources/ADAPP on issues of quality and diversity, ADAPP activities, relevant MSU policy or practice changes (or projected changes), and professional development opportunities.
  • Attend training and informational meetings on topics related to faculty search and selection, faculty performance reviewing, mentoring and leadership. As key “drivers” of faculty quality and diversity, FEAs must be aware of, for instance, the extent to which implicit bias may influence the evaluation of candidates for employment and advancement.

The ADAPP Project piloted the FEA program in three colleges (CNS, CSS, EGR), and with financial support from the Office of the Provost, 13 additional MSU colleges have designated FEAs:


The College of Engineering:

Manoochehr M. Koochesfahani

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Development

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests:

  • Fundamental studies of turbulent mixing and mixing control/enhancement
  • Development of advanced optical diagnostics for flow and mixing studies.



The College of Natural Science:

Cynthia Jordan

Professor, Neuroscience

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • cellular and molecular mechanims underlying steroid-regulated behaviors


The College of Social Science:


Isis Settles

Associate Professor, Psychology



Broad College of Business

Matthew J. Anderson

Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Associate Professor, Accounting and Information Systems

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Behavioral implications of accounting information
  • Information choice in financial decision making
  • Experimental economics methodological issues
  • Minority student performance in accounting settings


College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Rebecca Grumet

Professor, Department of Horticulture

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Reproductive (flower and fruit) development in Cucumis (cucumber and melon)
  • Role of ethylene production, perception, and signaling in regulation of unisexual flower development
  • Biotechnology biosafety


College of Arts and Letters



Kenneth Harrow

Professor, English


Research and Teaching Interests:

  • African Cinema and Literature
  • Diaspora
  • Post-Colonial Studies



College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Kami Silk

Associate Dean, College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Health message design
  • Translating complex medical messages for lay audiences


College of Education

Ann Austin

Professor, Educational Administration

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Faculty careers, roles, and professional development
  • ork and workplaces in academe
  • Global issues in Higher Education
  • Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 


College of Human Medicine

Wanda Lipscomb

Associate Dean, Student Affairs, Diversity, and Outreach 



College of Music

David Rayl

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research

Professor of Music

Director of Choral Programs

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Choral Conducting
  • Voice


College of Nursing

Barbara Given

University Distinguished Professor

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Long-term cancer care/intervention research
  • Chronic illness
  • Gerontology
  • Family home care/caregivers
  • Symptom management
  • Health services research


College of Osteopathic Medicine

Carol Monson

Associate Dean for Community Outreach and Clinical Research

Professor, Family and Community Medicine

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Osteopathic medical education
  • Women’s health
  • Breast health care
  • African health


College of Veterinary Medicine

Susan Ewart

Associate Dean

Associate Professor, Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Molecular mechanisms of allergic and airway diseases in animals and humans
  • Genetic and Environmental risk factors for asthma and related allergies


James Madison College

Julia Grant


Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Gender studies
  • Child and family policy and history


Lyman Briggs College

Mark Largent

Associate Dean

Associate Professor

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • History of Science and Technology



Residential College of Arts and Humanities

Carolyn Loeb 

Associate Dean and Professor

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Art and Art History


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