Faculty Innovation Fellowship

About The Fellowship

The Business-Higher Education Forum developed a fellowship program, supported by the ECMC Foundation, that provides the tools, resources, and space to design, develop, and lead innovations in establishing equitable talent pipelines that expand pathways to student success.  

Collaboration between business and higher education is vital to ensure that higher education experiences pave the way for rewarding employment. Faculty fellows are leaders empowered to drive positive change that position students for success and enables their institutions to be leaders in employer engagement.

Fellows pursue new employer partnerships and gain the leadership and change-management skills necessary to successfully implement innovative practices beyond their classroom. Fellows regularly meet over several months to develop their proposed pilot projects which are vetted and tested by their cohort peers, BHEF staff, and national experts.

The 2024 Fellows

The inaugural cohort of 19 fellows represents seven disciplines ranging from business and hospitality to nursing, geosciences, and social sciences. Sponsoring institutions include public state systems, community colleges, independent universities, and public research universities, with nearly half being minority-serving institutions.

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
Benjamin A. Abugri, MBA Director & Professor of Finance – Southern CT State University
Thomas J. Barron, Jr., Department Chair, Faculty, Business & Technology – Charter Oak State College
Michelle M. Kusaila, Professor, Accounting – Central CT State University

Drake University
Stacy Gnacinski, Associate Professor of Health Sciences and Associate Dean of Bright College

Georgetown University
Ifedapo Adeleye, Professor of the Practice of Human Resources Management, Vice Dean of Faculty
Yianna Vovides, Senior Director, Learning Design and Research, Professor of the Practice

Hudson County Community College
Elana Winslow, Associate Professor of Business
Peter Cronrath, Associate Professor of Business

Miami Dade College
Eric Cornish, Associate Senior Professor
Tommy Demos, Associate Professor, Film, TV & Digital Production

North Carolina State University
Huiling Ding, Professor of Technical Communication and Director of Labor Analytics
Scott Ferguson, Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

San Diego State University
Alvin Henry, Associate Professor and Director of Asian American Studies
Byron Purse, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

University System of Maryland: Coppin State University
Lori Harvin, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, BSN Nursing Education

Virginia Tech
John Alan Chermak, Collegiate Associate Professor, Environmental Geochemist
David Knight, Professor and Special Assistant to the Dean for Strategic Plan Implementation

Wake Tech Community College
Lorraine Powers, Associate Professor, Business Administration
Barry J. Tracey, Instructor, Hospitality Management

Point of Contact

For more information on the Fellowship, please contact Frank Avery, Managing Director of Partnerships, at frank.avery@bhef.com.

Special thanks to the following members of the initiative's advisory committee:
Terrence Cheng, Chancellor, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
Marty Martin, President, Drake University
Michele Masucci, Vice Chancellor, University System of Maryland
Christopher Reber, President, Hudson County Community College