Texas A&M University astronomer Dr. Lucas Macri has been selected as one of the university’s four Southeastern Conference (SEC) Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) Fellows for 2021-2022, announced Texas A&M Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost Dr. Blanca Lupiani.
Each year the SEC offers its 14 member schools a unique opportunity to foster potential academic administration talent through fellowships that help prepare up-and-coming faculty leaders for further positions and careers in executive service. The SEC ALDP launched in 2007, and Texas A&M has appointed four fellows each year since joining the SEC in 2012. Program alumni have advanced to serve the university as deans, a vice provost and in other executive roles.
This year’s fellowship class includes three associate deans and an associate department head. Macri, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and associate dean for undergraduate and international programs in the College of Science, joins Dr. Karen Kirkland, professor and associate head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering in the College of Engineering; Dr. Fredrick Nafukho, a professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development and associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Education and Human Development; and Dr. Tiffany Radcliff, a professor of health policy and management and associate dean for research in the School of Public Health, as Texas A&M’s representatives in the SEC’s 13th overall ALDP cohort.
“The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program offers participants a unique environment to continue developing leadership skills in partnership with other emerging and talented leaders from across the SEC,” said Lupiani, one of Texas A&M’s inaugural SEC ALDP fellows in 2012. “We are excited about the future for our ALDP Fellows and congratulate them for earning this opportunity.”
Macri, who has served as an associate dean in Texas A&M Science since 2017, joined the Texas A&M Physics and Astronomy faculty and the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy in 2008. He earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 2001 and spent six years as a postdoctoral Hubble Fellow and Goldberg Fellow at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) before coming to Texas A&M, where his research focuses on measuring the expansion rate of the universe to better determine its composition and evolution as well as searching for electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational-wave events.
Prior to focusing on undergraduate education and administration at the college level, Macri led the development of Texas A&M’s graduate program in astronomy, which launched in fall 2016. A respected educator, researcher and mentor, he was recognized with a 2014 Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at the college level and regularly participates in education and public outreach activities on campus and across the state of Texas.
Macri has served since 2020 as chair of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation, a non-profit alliance of nearly 40 U.S. and international institutions including Texas A&M that is helping the astronomical community prepare for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s upcoming 10-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), an unprecedented time-resolved optical survey of the southern sky set to begin in early 2024 from Chile. He is also a member of the Space Telescope Science Institute Council since 2019 and a co-principal investigator for the Transient Optical Robotic Observatory of the South (TOROS) collaboration in northwestern Argentina.
Texas A&M fellows are nominated by deans, vice presidents and associate provosts and represent tenured faculty and leaders in governance, professional societies or national and regional roles critical to the academy. Early career administrators, such as department heads and associate/assistant deans in their first terms, are often tapped for their potential to contribute significantly in leadership roles throughout their careers.
Fellows participate in a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own fellows along with two SEC-wide, three-day workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants. The two workshops for 2021-2022 will be hosted by the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina.
The comprehensive list of Texas A&M ALDP fellows is available on the Texas A&M Dean of Faculties website.
For more information about Macri, visit https://physics.tamu.edu/directory/lucas-macri/.