UMass Amherst Engineering Professor to Join National STEM Leadership Program

Second cohort of 24 faculty and administrators to gain leadership development preparing them for senior roles
Woodrow Winchester
Woodrow Winchester

AMHERST, Mass. – Woodrow Winchester, a senior lecturer and director of engineering management in the mechanical and industrial engineering (MIE) department with the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was today named a fellow in the second cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, a leadership program aimed at helping STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities. The IAspire Leadership Academy is part of Aspire Alliance’s Institutional Change Initiative, led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the University of Georgia.

In addition to his leadership positions in the MIE department, Winchester is also the director of professional development and continuing education for the American Society for Engineering Management. Winchester has over 12 years of active teaching and scholarly activities centered on advocating for more humanity-centered approaches to the design and management of technological systems. He is a Certified Professional in Engineering Management (CPEM) with over ten years of industry experiences. 

“Professor Winchester has proven himself to be an emerging thought leader in championing the role of diversity, inclusion, and equity (DI&E) in technological design and management,” said Sundar Krishnamurty, MIE department head. “His participation in the IAspire Leadership Academy will provide him with the competencies, skills, and networks to enact and lead the requisite programmatic and institutional level changes.”

“The second cohort of IAspire Leadership Academy fellows represent a broad diversity of STEM fields and leadership experiences across higher education sectors,” said Howard Gobstein, Director of the Aspire Alliance and Executive Vice President at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). “More inclusive college and university cultures require diversity in faculty and university leadership, and this academy helps to support the next generation of university faculty and leaders.”

“It is an honor to provide this leadership development opportunity to so many current and rising leaders from across the country,” said Rochelle Sapp, IAspire Leadership Academy Director and Leadership Development Specialist in the Office of Learning and Organizational Development at the University of Georgia. “Advancing diverse and under-represented groups of leaders in STEM higher education is critical, especially providing the rare opportunity for them to focus on their own personal development. If we can grow and develop these individuals, the impact they will have in their disciplines and at their institutions will go even further to address the critical need we see in broadening participation in STEM higher education.”

The academy is one pillar of diversity and inclusion work underway through the Aspire Alliance (formally known as the National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty). The National Science Foundation-backed alliance is working across post-secondary institutions to develop more inclusive institutional cultures supporting the access and success of all undergraduate STEM students, especially those from underrepresented groups.

The leadership academy provides professional development for academic leaders from underrepresented groups so they can aspire to and succeed in more senior leadership roles, thus broadening participation in academic leadership. Fellows will learn effective executive leadership skills for increasingly complex higher education environments as well as strategies for influencing institutional transformation in their current and future leadership positions.

The academy is targeted at mid-career individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups interested in serving in college or university leadership roles in STEM fields. The 24 participating faculty and administrators were selected through a competitive, blind holistic review of their applications.