Presidential Fellows

In 2019, President Philomena V. Mantella initiated the Presidential Fellows initiative to provide enhanced leadership development for faculty and greater engagement of faculty with university leadership. The initiative is open to all tenured faculty members at Grand Valley State University. Presidential Fellows focus on one or more focus areas that advance university priorities. Fellows also serve on the President’s Cabinet.

2019-2021 Fellows

Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury, associate professor of Educational Foundations, has been reappointed as the Presidential Fellow for Strategy Development and Outreach. 

Aaron Lowen, professor of economics and finance department chair, has been reappointed as the Presidential Fellow for Enterprise Learning & Development.

Bailey-Fakhoury will work with Mantella and members of the Senior Leadership Team on university strategy and will assist in operationalizing initiatives across the university. She will have a special emphasis on supporting faculty innovation as the faculty lead for the Innovation Fund planning and review team.

Lowen will work with the president, the Provost's Office and a team of faculty and staff to strengthen and advance enterprise relationships and expand outreach. This will include organizing and leading a business development team to identify and visit target companies for initial business-to-business outreach. It also includes engaging faculty and staff experts for their input on making educational offerings more visible and accessible.


Associate Professor, Educational Foundations

2019-2021 Presidential Fellow


Professor of Economics, Finance Department Chair and Director, School of Accounting
2019-2021 Presidential Fellow

Presidential Fellows Details

Working with the President, faculty may propose a range of areas of interest for work on behalf of the university. Faculty are encouraged to identify an area of interest that expands their current work or research and/or that provides development opportunities to engage in innovative and new spaces. Some areas for possible consideration include: digital planning and transformation; next phase of planning strategic planning, including budget alignment and capital development; innovation and the future of learning; inclusion and equity; curriculum innovation; faculty development; student success; communications, messaging and engagement; or other areas of interest as proposed by the applicant. Final assignments will be refined with the selected fellows and President Mantella.

Only tenured faculty are eligible for these positions. Presidential Fellows also serve on the President’s Cabinet.

This position will begin Fall 2021, and is expected to continue through the 2022-2023 academic year with a review after the first year. Spring/Summer semester assignments are negotiable. Those able to engage in Spring/Summer 2021 will be able to do so.

The contribution of the Faculty Fellow will be approximately 10 hours per week. The faculty member will utilize significant focus and be supported through a stipend per semester during fall and winter semesters. An additional stipend is available for Spring/Summer terms, which is optional.

Interested faculty should submit a 1-page letter of interest and current CV here. The letter should indicate area(s) of interest, how it fits with professional interests and/or career goals, and qualifications relevant to the area and role. Faculty seeking to develop or expand their skillsets, and get involved in university-level leadership, are encouraged to apply.

The deadline for for 2021-2023 applications is May 15, 2021. Apply at this form. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and final approvals will be made soon after May 15.

If you have questions or would like to discuss potential areas of interest, please contact Jesse M. Bernal at

In 2019, the University Leadership Development (U LEAD) Task Force of the University Academic Senate issued several recommendations for leadership development at Grand Valley State University. In response, President Mantella began a faculty fellows program supporting at least two part-time fellows to work with university leadership in advancing key initiatives over a two-year experience.