A professor from Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland is one of only two academics in Florida selected for a prestigious fellowship of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Grisselle Centeno is one of only 22 women in the United States and Canada selected for this year’s class of Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) program.
Centeno was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is the only academic of Hispanic descent in the group.
“I’m welcoming this experience with open arms. I’m ready to listen, learn, share, and grow,” Centeno said. “This incredible opportunity will help me hone my leadership skills and overall knowledge regarding organizational dynamics.”
Centeno is a professor of data science and business analytics and director of the Health Systems and Engineering program at Florida Poly.
The ELATES program is a full-year intensive that dedicates about 220 hours to programs that help professors increase leadership effectiveness, manage initiatives and use strategic finance and resource management to enhance university and college missions.
The program includes three one-week, in-residence sessions 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. So I value this opportunity to get professionally trained to lead with purpose and effectively,” Centeno said.
Centeno joined Florida Poly in this January after an 18-year tenured career at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa.
The ELATES program is in its seventh year and operates at Drexel University in Pittsburgh.
“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 Koren Bedeau, vice provost for academic programs and strategic initiatives and executive director of ELATES.