The Smith Center Announces the Inaugural Cohort of Smith Global Leadership Fellows

Share on

By Mary Shelley-Snell

The Smith Center is pleased to announce the selection of the 2022-2023 cohort of Smith Global Leadership Fellows. This 16-month professional development program is designed to provide University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) faculty with the opportunity to further develop their international engagement. It equips them with knowledge, experience, and networking opportunities in global food, agriculture, natural resources, family and consumer sciences, and veterinary medicine.

The inaugural cohort includes Aaron Smith (AREC), Phil Myer (ANSCI), Sindhu Jagadamma (BESS), Denita Hadziadbdic-Guerry (EPP), Kristen Johnson (FCS), Scott Lenaghan (FDSCI), Charlie Kwit, (FWF) and Andrew Cushing (SACS). The interest regions for this group are Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe. Global initiatives for this cohort include globalizing research, strengthening international partnerships, and exchanging knowledge with global colleagues with the aim to improve global food security and bolster climate smart agriculture.

“I am a firm believer the best way to learn is to teach and I recognize my own education is never ending. Engaging my drive for personal and professional growth is the main reason I would like to participate in this program,” Denita Hadziadbdic-Guerry, associate professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, said of her involvement in the program. “Success in my contributions may not only provide regional food security, but will promote science literacy, and recruit and educate the next generation of science ambassadors in Sub-Saharan African countries.”

Incorporating faculty from a variety of academic backgrounds into this program is valuable because it allows UTIA to approach important industry issues from many different perspectives. Areas of expertise include nutrition, soil science, plant biology, and wildlife veterinary services, while faculty appointments span across teaching, research, outreach, and veterinary medicine mission areas. “The Smith Global Leadership Fellows program serves to grow interdisciplinary global engagement amongst UTIA faculty, creating a culture of “global UTIA”,” Tom Gill, associate professor and Smith Center chair, explained. “This program will develop global champions who can build strategic international partnerships that further raise the visibility and standing of our university.”

Please join the Smith Center at the 2022 UTIA International Showcase on Friday, September 23 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Brehm Animal Science Arena to meet these fellows and learn more about global engagement across UTIA. Learn more about this fellowship program and the Smith Center, as well as the International Showcase by visiting Stay tuned for more updates as this program progresses!