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Physics Professor Named American Council on Education Fellow

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On Thursday, 19 March 2020, The American Council on Education (ACE) announced that Natalia Sidorovskaia, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Physics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been named an ACE Fellow for academic year 2020-21. Following nomination by the senior administration of their institutions and a rigorous application process, 38 Fellows were selected this year.

Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions in American higher education by identifying and preparing over 2,000 faculty, staff, and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Of the Fellows who have participated to date, more than 80 percent have gone on to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions, and deans following their fellowship.

"The ACE Fellows program is unique in its ability to transform the lives and enrich the careers of its participants,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “After an intensive experience working with accomplished higher education leaders, the Fellows will return to their home campuses prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow."

Natalia Sidorovskaia is the Coca-Cola/BORSF Endowed Professor of Physics, the director of the multidisciplinary consortium “Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center – Gulf Ecological Modeling and Monitoring” (LADC-GEMM), and the Chairperson of the Department of Physics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She received an M.S. Degree (1990) in radiophysics from Nizhny Novgorod State University, Russia, an M.S. Degree (1996) in physics and a Ph.D. Degree (1997) in Engineering and Applied Science from the University of New Orleans. After a two-year industry career with Landmark Graphics Corporation, Halliburton Company, she joined the Department of Physics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2000. Her research interests include ocean acoustics and signal processing of big data advancing our understanding of sound propagation in the ocean, marine mammal acoustic communication, impact of humans and climate changes on oceanic ecosystems. She is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society. In addition to teaching a broad range of physics courses and maintaining an active research program, Natalia has also served the department, college, and university in many different roles. Chair of the Grievance Committee, Chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs and Standards, Chair of the Department Head Council are among her most recent service appointments.

"I am honored to be the first UL Lafayette ACE Fellow nominated by Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, University President, and Dr. Jaimie Hebert, University Provost, to the program and humbled by the opportunity to learn from the most accomplished university leaders in the USA,” said Natalia Sidorovskaia. “The ACE Fellows Program would be of great benefit in advancing my leadership skills at this stage of my career, so I could serve my colleagues and University of Louisiana at Lafayette in more effective and visionary ways."

The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

During the placement, Fellows observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship placement.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.