Equity Leadership Fellow Program

The program is designed to recognize faculty members’ ongoing efforts to foster greater DEIB across the University while helping faculty further develop their knowledge and expertise as leaders in fostering a more equitable and inclusive institution.

Equity Leadership Fellows work alongside senior faculty mentors, collaborate on initiatives across the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, and have the opportunity to shadow senior-level DEIB administrators and others whose portfolios include this area of emphasis.

Fellow 2021-2023

Laura Leites PortraitLaura Leites is an Associate Research Professor of Quantitative Forest Ecology in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University. She holds a PhD in Natural Resources and a MSc in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho. Her scholarship focuses on understanding adaptation to climate in forest tree species and their potential responses under a changing climate, while her teaching covers topics on quantitative forest ecosystem monitoring and modeling.

Laura Leites is also the Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the College of Agricultural Sciences where she leads initiatives that foster a climate of equity and belonging so everyone feels welcome and able to achieve their professional and personal goals.

As an Equity Leadership Fellow from 2021 to 2023 in the Office of Educational Equity, Laura Leites focus was on providing support to non-tenure line faculty, particularly to underrepresented racial/ethnic faculty and faculty of other marginalized identities at Penn State. In 2022, she was awarded the Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award for her commitment to mentoring and supporting non-tenure line faculty.