Five named as Chancellor’s Fellows at Troy University

The 2021 Chancellor's Fellows meet with Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. as a part of the leadership program, which spans the spring and summer semesters.

The 2021 Chancellor's Fellows meet with Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. as a part of the leadership program, which spans the spring and summer semesters.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, has announced the individuals selected for the University’s 2021 Chancellor’s Fellows Program.

The program, which is directed and led by Dr. John Kline, Professor and Director of the Institute for Leadership Development, spans the spring and summer academic semesters and enables Fellows to take part in briefings and meetings, meet as a group with many senior leaders from the University and be mentored by Dr. Hawkins and the Senior Vice Chancellors. The Fellows also will have the opportunity to meet with state government officials and University, business and community leaders such as Gibson Vance, President Pro Tem of Troy University’s Board of Trustees; TROY Trustee and businessman Charles Nailen; Dr. John Ed Mathison, retired United Methodist minister and founder of John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries; Jere Beasley, Principal and Founder of the Beasley Allen Law Firm; Jimmy Parnell, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of ALFA; and, Cheryl Johnson, President of Leadership Montgomery, among others.  

“The Chancellor’s Faculty and Staff Fellowship Program enables qualified full-time faculty or staff to develop increased knowledge and understanding of the programs and operations of Troy University; furthermore, the fellows receive executive leadership, management and communication skills training,” said Dr. Kline. “Participants are selected based on their leadership potential and service to the University.”

Many Chancellor’s Fellows from previous years now hold positions as Vice Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors, Deans, Associate Deans, Program Directors, Department Chairs and other key positions.

The Fellows will undertake and complete a study focused on “Enhancing Communication and Collaboration Across the University.”

The Fellows were nominated by TROY deans, directors or vice chancellors. Five were selected from a list of candidates:

Dr. Jonathan Cellon is Associate Dean of the John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success where he oversees a variety of programs focused on academic support, advising and community engagement. He also teaches courses in civic engagement and public service. A member of the TROY staff since 2009, Cellon founded the University’s Office of Civic Engagement. Cellon earned his bachelor’s degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences from the University of Florida, his Master of Education degree from the University of West Florida and his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Auburn University. An active member of the community, Cellon serves on the Board of Education for Troy City Schools and the Board of Directors for the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. He and his wife, Lindsay, have three children.

Dr. Fred J. Figliano currently serves as an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Teacher Education in TROY’s College of Education. Prior to joining the TROY faculty, he taught engineering courses at Bullock County Career and Technical Center. Figliano received his bachelor’s degree in Technology Education from the College of New Jersey, and earned his Master’s of Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech. His current research focus includes Integrative STEM pedagogy for pre-service teachers and STEM professional development for in-service teachers. Figliano and his wife, Gina, reside in Pike Road.

Dr. Carrie Lee Gardner is an Associate Professor of Nursing at TROY and has 23 years of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse and a Family Nurse Practitioner. She joined the TROY faculty in 2007 in the undergraduate nursing program and transitioned to the graduate program in 2019. In addition to her teaching assignment, Dr. Gardner currently serves as the primary investigator for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program grant which is administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  A native of Troy, Gardner earned her bachelor’s in nursing from Auburn University and her MSN, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She and her husband, Scott, reside in Troy and have two children.

Dr. Robert Vilardi is the Campus Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences at the Montgomery Campus, the Director of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource and Technology Management and also a lecturer of mathematics. Prior to joining the TROY faculty in 2007, he served as Mathematics Department Chair at Wetumpka High School and as an Adjunct Professor at Auburn University Montgomery. Vilardi holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a Master’s in Secondary Mathematics Education from Auburn University Montgomery and a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership with an emphasis on Instructional Technology from the University of Alabama. He and his wife, Misty, reside in Wetumpka with their three children. 

Joshua Yohn is the Director of Web Communication for TROY’s Office of Marketing and Communication. He joined the TROY staff in 2009 as Digital Web Manager for Broadcast and Digital Network before transitioning into the role of Communications Web Manager for the MARCOM Division. He has served in his current position since 2018, and was instrumental in the planning, development and launch of the newly reimagined website. Before joining TROY, he spent two years working as a web developer and graphic designer for MarketWise in Dothan. A TROY alumnus, Yohn holds a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a master’s degree in Strategic Communication. Yohn makes his home in Troy and enjoys spending time with family and friends.