Florida Poly professor chosen to join elite, international fellowship for female STEM leaders

Florida Poly professor outside of Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) building.
Florida Polytechnic University professor Dr. Grisselle Centeno was selected to participate in the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering, and Science (ELATES) program at Drexel University.

Dr. Grisselle Centeno is making history by becoming the first Florida Polytechnic University professor and one of two first ever in the state to be selected for the prominent and competitive Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering, and Science (ELATES) program.

ELATES at Drexel® University is a prestigious fellowship designed to advance senior women faculty in academic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines into effective leadership roles. The selected incoming class includes 22 women faculty from 19 different institutions across the U.S. and Canada. Centeno, born and raised in Puerto Rico, is the only Hispanic in the group.

“I’m welcoming this experience with open arms. I’m ready to listen, learn, share, and grow,” said Centeno, professor of data science and business analytics and director of the Health Systems and Engineering program. “This incredible opportunity will help me hone my leadership skills and overall knowledge regarding organizational dynamics.”

The intensive full-year program, which estimated time commitment from participants exceeds 220 hours, focuses on increasing leadership effectiveness, managing change initiatives, and using strategic finance and resource management to enhance organizational missions. ELATES includes three in-residence sessions of one week each used to improve knowledge and skills in business practices of higher education, project management with stakeholders, and effective communication in a variety of leadership platforms.

“As academics, we normally do not get trained to be effective instructors, to be successful researchers, or to lead in our departmental units. It’s assumed that because we completed a PhD, and have been in college for an extended period of time, we are equipped to do the job well,” said Centeno, who joined Florida Poly in January of 2019 after an 18-year tenured career at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. “So I value this opportunity to get professionally trained to lead with purpose and effectively.”

ELATES was created seven years ago at Drexel University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Koren A. Bedeau, vice provost for academic programs and strategic initiatives and executive director of ELATES, said she is looking forward to the new cohort of fellows.

“We are thrilled to welcome another group of exceptional women leaders. Each new class brings unique experiences and perspectives that add value to the program and expands the national network of leaders and supporters of women in academic STEM leadership,” said Bedeau.

Lydia Guzman
Assistant Director of Communications

Connect with Florida Poly News
Stay in the know on what’s going on at Florida Polytechnic University by signing up for news and updates that matter to you!