UMass Amherst’s Gabriela C. Weaver Named American Council on Education Fellow for 2019-20

Gabriela C. Weaver
Gabriela C. Weaver

AMHERST, Mass. – Gabriela C. Weaver, special assistant to the Provost for Educational Initiatives and professor of chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for academic year 2019-20. Weaver was nominated for the position by UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy. She is one of 39 Fellows selected this year.                

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. More than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities.

In nominating Weaver, Subbaswamy said, “Dr. Gabriela Weaver has established herself as an outstanding professor and a national educational leader who has pioneered and evaluated a number of technology-enhanced approaches to teaching, as well as pedagogical approaches that engage students early on in inquiry. She is also a proven mentor of STEM faculty. Her selection as an ACE fellow is an indication of her potential for higher level academic leadership positions.”

Weaver previously was vice provost for faculty development, and director of the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD). Prior to coming to UMass Amherst, she served as professor of chemistry and science education and later as the Jerry and Rosie Semler Director of the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University. In 2012, she was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to transforming science education at the undergraduate level.

She has been a co-author on two chemistry textbooks, and the 2015 book “Transforming Institutions: Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century,” as well as author of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. From 2004-2012, she served as director of the NSF-funded multi-institutional CASPiE project (Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education) dedicated to involving first- and second-year undergraduate students in research experiences. Her research interests include educational practices that increase student success and the institutionalization of such practices through the transformation of cultures and processes in higher education. She earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The ACE Fellows program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

During the placement, Fellows observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship placement. Her placement at a host institution is expected to occur in the coming months.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.

For a full list of this year’s fellows click here.