Rhonda M. Gonzales named American Council on Education Fellow

Rhonda M. Gonzales, associate professor in the Department of History, has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for 2014–2015.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.

Gonzales is one of 31 Fellows selected this year. She is UTSA’s second ACE Fellow; Alan Shoho, professor of educational leadership and policy studies and now associate vice provost for academic and faculty support, participated in the 2012-2013 program.

“I am excited for this opportunity to participate in a program that is centered on effective and transformative leadership in higher education, and I especially look forward to applying what I learn during my fellowship to the benefit of our students and my faculty colleagues here at UTSA,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales joined the UTSA faculty in 2004, earning tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2009. She received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from UCLA. Gonzales offers courses on all eras of African history and the African diaspora. Her research areas include Women and Gender in Early African history and the African diaspora in early colonial Mexico.  She also researches on women’s professional development and advancement in the university setting.

Gonzales was a member of the 2011-2012 cohort of Leadership UTSA and served on the program’s steering committee for 2012-2013. In 2012, she co-founded the Women’s Professional Advancement and Synergy Academy (WPASA) at UTSA, which was recognized with the President’s Distinguished Diversity Award in 2013. She serves as COLFA’s representative on the University Assembly, and is a member of  COLFA’s Faculty Review Advisory and Faculty Advisory Committees.  She is also an advisory member to the Institute of Texan Cultures, as well as a member of the university’s Extended Education Committee. She is an organizer for the annual African American Studies Spring Symposium, now heading into its eighth year, and in winter 2014 she was the faculty facilitator of the Civil Rights Exploration Trip organized by the Student Leadership Center.

 “We are delighted to have one of our UTSA faculty recognized by ACE for the second time in three years,” said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Rhonda Gonzales is an emerging leader among our young faculty. As a first-generation college student herself, she has a passion for mentoring others; further developing her leadership skills will only enhance her ability to share that commitment with others at the university.”

The ACE Fellows Program combines three retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. Gonzales will spend either one semester or the 2014-2015 academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution.

“For nearly 50 years, the ACE Fellows Program has transformed lives and grown future leaders,” said Joan Wodiska, ACE vice president and chief leadership officer. “The ACE Fellows Program is unique. The program immerses Fellows in learning experiences to gain insight and understanding into the changing environment of higher education.”

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

April 23, 2014