UMass Amherst Dean and Professor Mari Castañeda Attends Equity Leadership Conference as New Leadership Academy Fellow

Mari Castañeda, dean of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) and professor of communication, attended the Summer Institute of the New Leadership Academy (NLA) Fellows Program in Salt Lake City, Utah from June 6 through 10.

NEWS Mari Castañeda
Mari Castañeda

The Fellows Program is a partnership between the University of Utah and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) whose goal is to train fellows to be highly effective leaders ready to meet the challenges of “meeting the responsibilities associated with diversity, equity, and inclusion as overarching concerns in U.S. colleges and universities”. Castañeda is among the 34 higher education professionals from across the country selected to be in the 2022-23 NLA Fellows cohort.

“I was very excited to participate in the NLA Fellow Program because I wanted to engage with and learn from other higher education leaders and develop strategies to deepen my mission-driven vision for Commonwealth Honors College,” says Castañeda.

Castañeda’s research interests include community-based learning and civic engagement, Latinx/ethnic media studies, and global communications. Her work promotes engaged scholarship and aims to address inequality, power, community voices, and the role of intersectionalities in shaping media and cultural spaces.

Her scholarly publications include journal articles and essays, as well as several co-edited books: “Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning from Social Justice Partnerships in Action,” “Mothers in Academia,” and “Soap Operas and Telenovelas in the Digital Age: Global Industries and New Audiences.”  

“This fellowship aligns perfectly with my research and leadership role at Commonwealth Honors College because I view my scholarship and inclusive leadership as rooted in the foundations of equity and the power of community. As dean, I hope to bring my curiosity, passion, and commitment to amplifying diverse voices and experiences to the work we do in CHC,” Castañeda adds.

More information about the NLA program is available online.