Smith Global Leadership Fellows Program


The Smith Global Leadership Fellows program is designed to provide faculty fellows with knowledge, experience, and networking opportunities in global food, agriculture, natural resources, family and consumer sciences, and veterinary medicine.

The goal of this is program is to develop global champions across UTIA, provide points-of-contact for global engagement beyond the Smith Center, and create a culture of “global UTIA.”

Eligibility and Nominations:

All tenure and non-tenure track faculty are eligible to be nominated. However, the program is targeted for mid-career faculty (or equivalent, e.g. senior lecturer, extension specialist II/III, etc.). A total of eight fellows from departments and units across UTIA will be admitted into the program each year. Department heads may nominate up to two applicants per department/unit for consideration for the program. Nominations that are not selected may be carried over for consideration to future years of the program. Nomination packets are due the first Friday in July annually with faculty members selected by the Smith Center and SGL faculty advisory team.

Current Cohort

Andrew Cushing, BVSc CertAVP(ZM) MRCVS, Dipl. ACZM Profile Page
Andrew Cushing, BVSc CertAVP(ZM) MRCVS, Dipl. ACZM
Clinical Associate Professor | Small Animal
Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry Profile Page
Denita Hadziabdic-Guerry
Associate Professor | Entomology and Plant Pathology
Sindhu Jagadamma Profile Page
Sindhu Jagadamma
Associate Professor | Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
Kristen Brown Johnson Profile Page
Kristen Brown Johnson
Assistant Professor | Family and Consumer Sciences
Charles Kwit Profile Page
Charles Kwit
Associate Professor | School of Natural Resources
Scott Christopher Lenaghan Profile Page
Scott Christopher Lenaghan
Associate Professor And Director | Food Science
Phillip R Myer Profile Page
Phillip R Myer
Associate Professor | Animal Science
Aaron Smith Profile Page
Aaron Smith
Associate Professor | Agricultural and Resource Economics

Expectations of SGL Fellows

SGL Fellows will be expected to devote 10% of their time towards engagement in the sixteen-month SGL program. Fellows will be expected to participate in all SGL program activities for their program, and graduated fellows will be asked to provide mentorship to future SGL Fellow cohorts.

Fellows will be expected to develop and implement a global initiative (research, teaching, or outreach activity in line with their current program) of their choice. All SGL activities and programming will be paid for by the Smith Center. In addition, each Fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend to initiate their global initiative.

Important Dates for 2022

  • Program application opens: May 18   
  • Applications due to department heads: June 24  
  • Department heads submit up to two nominations to the Smith Center: July 1 
  • Notify applicants of their acceptance status: August 1 
  • Program officially launched at Smith Center International Showcase: September 23

Schedule overview

The program will include the following components:


  • Welcome new cohort in coordination with the International Showcase
  • Kickoff meeting with SGL cohort
  • Tailored support from Smith Center and faculty advisory team to develop SGL Global Initiative throughout the fellowship
  • Introduction to mentors


  • Developing global partnerships
  • Building successful globally-oriented proposals
  • Global science communication
  • Three-day / two-night SGL Fellows cohort travel to Washington, DC to federal agencies, beltway firms, NGOs, multilateral institutions, foundations, and Tennessee federal government representatives
  • Planning and preparation for summer Global Initiative experience


  • Complete individual international experiences to build networks, partnerships, and collaborations


  • Share international experiences
  • Graduation/celebration event with presentation of SGL completion certificates
  • Bring global to campus and Tennessee – bring overseas collaborators, bring connections from DC (from the Spring) to the UTIA campus and our state