Today@Sam Article

Deborah Popham Named Faculty Administrative Fellow

Feb. 23, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

deborah popham SHSUThe Sam Houston State University Office of the Provost has named Deborah Popham the 2023-2024 Faculty Administrative Fellow.

The annual Faculty Administrative Fellows program provides an opportunity for tenured faculty to enhance their administrative and leadership experience at the university level, increase awareness of the operational capacities of the Division of Academic Affairs, and provide networking opportunities. Faculty Administrative Fellows focus on specific strategies to increase student success on campus, as well as assisting the Office of the Provost with current or emerging issues impacting Academic Affairs and the university.

Popham serves as the associate director of the School of Music and as an associate professor of voice in the College of Arts and Media. She joined SHSU in 2016 and has served the college in various capacities, including teaching and performing.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from our leadership and to gain more skills in that capacity,” Popham said. “It will also allow me to grow some of the administrative skills that I already have.”

Popham will use her fellowship to focus on a two-pronged approach focusing on recruitment and retention of the SHSU student body. The first prong of her approach is the recruitment aspect, which would involve a leadership camp for high school juniors and seniors. This camp would have the potential to recruit students and offer opportunities to serve lower economic and first-generation students.

“I think there needs to be a social aspect included in [the recruitment program], so they can figure out how to belong here and feel like they are supported, not only by faculty and staff but also by their peers,” said Popham. “The best recruitment tool is our students.”

Popham’s fellowship also plans to focus on student retention. She hopes to develop or partner with an existing program or mentoring system that pairs students directly with their peers – where they will be able to learn from someone similar in age and experiences.

This is the third year Academic Affairs has awarded Faculty Administrative Fellowships. Previous fellows are: Aneika Simmons, Danielle Boisvert, Forrest Lane, and Dennis Weng. Applications for the 2024-2025 fellowship will be submitted in the fall of 2023. Please e-mail or message Twitter @SHSUFaculty with any questions or comments.


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