A Conversation With Dr. A

headshot2

  1. Where are you from? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now I am an US Citizen.
  2. Where did you graduate college? Undergraduate? Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Do you have a funny/good memory from your college years? YES! participating in the play Jesus Christ Superstar as Annas, the high priest. 
  4. Do you have a family? Yes. I am married to my wife Amanda and we have two kids. Aurora (11) and Sophia (4).
  5. If so, how old are your children and how long have you and your wife been together? I have been with Amanda for 10 years. They are 11 and 4.
  6. Would you encourage your children or your friend’s children to come to Lee? 100% yes. In fact, I am already trying to recruit students from Brazil to come here. Let me put this way, “I like what I see.”
  7. If so, what would you say to them? Lee University is a fine institution located in a nice area in the South of the USA. Lee is a great school which I plan to send my own kids to for college, Lord willing. This institution is worth your investment. 
  8. Where did you work before you came to Lee and what did you do there? I have worked in a number of institutions prior to coming to Lee. I started my career as a professor at Waynesburg University (Division III), a Christian School in Western Pennsylvania located near the West Virginia border where I was an Assistant Professor of Communication and Head Golf Coach. I was there for a few years until a position opened at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Division II) about two hours east. At IUP, I held a number of positions including being an Assistant Professor of Communications Media from 2010-2013. In 2013, I was early promoted to Associate Professor and was then asked by a Dean to consider working in academic administration (As Chair) due to my gregarious personality and attention to detail. In 2014, I was elected Assistant Department Chair and appointed APSCUF (Union) representative to the Provost (Monitoring Committee), two highly visible positions in that institution. In 2015, I was elected Interim Department Chair of another department (ACE) per Dean’s request, helping to advance the department’s vision and recruiting a whole cohort of Masters Degree students with another professor. Later that year, I received a letter of tenure by the president of IUP.  I then accepted a position at Jackson State University (Division I) Fall 2015 to create a school of communication which I wrote the justification for why such unit should exist in the state o Mississippi and three months after my hire, JSU was granted such honor. Jackson State brought me down as a  tenured Associate Professor to eventually lead the unit which I did for about a year as their appointed Interim Department Chair and Graduate Program Coordinator.  Family and the Lee university’s mission brought our family to Lee University.    
  9. How did you find out about Lee and what made you want to come work here? A former Lee Chair, Dr. Robert Graham, told me once about Lee University when he was a Dean of Students at Waynesburg University. The mission of working with students again attracted me to this institution and family. Jackson State is headed towards becoming a R1 Research institution and I felt that my talents were more aligned with the mission of a teaching institution. 
  10. Word on the street is, you have done some TedTalks. Can you tell us a little about your experience doing that?  I have delivered a TEDx talk titled, “Breaking Free From technology“ back in 2013, yes. The experience of delivering a TEDx in one of the oldest TEDx locations in the USA was surreal. Having presented in the historical Colonial Theatre near Philadelphia, where the original film “The Blob” was filmed was also a treat. There was so much history and representation from TED main on that event. Mark Levy, my stage coach and brand/positioning mentor, was also a big treat. I don’t have enough words to thank Mark Levy for taking the time to coach me for TEDxPhoenixville. Mark’s clients include a White House Department Head, Broadway and Las Vegas Performers, Harvard University Strategic figures, Top CEO’s and New York Best Selling Authors. I can’t believe he still has my testimonial video on his website to this day! Being on the red carpet was awesome. A TEDx event is everything you think it is. It is intellectual, fun, nerve racking, and without question an experience of a lifetime.   
  11. What was your initial impression of working at Lee? My first impression of Lee was that our institution was well lead. Our university seems to be well lead by a number of talented individuals all throughout the university. Having served in positions of leadership before perhaps gives me a little bit of perspective about leadership effectiveness. This institution is all about the students which I love it.
  12. Has that impression proven true or false? From what I can see, my impressions seem to be right on. 
  13. What do you hope to see happen this coming year in the students and/or campus? I hope to see as many students being placed in as many jobs as possible and for our campus to increase enrollment and brand recognition. Seeing student happy makes me happy.
  14. Is there any one in your life that has impacted you in a tremendous way? If so, who and how? Absolutely, yes. His name is Kurt Dudt. Kurt was a long term Department Chair (the most influential Chair at IUP), Combat Marine and trainer of South Vietnamese soldiers in Vietnam who taught me how to lead people, pick battles, fight wars, and get things done in higher education. He shared with me a list of books that every American General must read in order to become one. It has changed the way I see things in the workforce and helps me tremendously with advising young men and women in colleges and universities.  
  15. Do you have any advice that you would give to your students at Lee? Of course! Listen carefully: Life doesn’t “happen” as quick as you may think it does. Slow down and reflect! Speak with your professors and engage in introspection once in a while. Put that smartphone away for a good bit each week and enjoy college life. Go to chapel and pray! Understand first, judge second. Be a good listener and learn how to speak in public. Don’t burn bridges because you never know if you are going to cross that bridge again in your life. Create a website and avoid gossip at all costs. Exercise and eat healthy. Make Jesus Christ the center of your life.

*Interview done for the Vindagua… an award winning publication at Lee University. 

Advertisements