Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program inducts six new fellows

The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Academic Leadership Program (ALP) in 2020-21 will include six new fellows from Penn State.

The BTAA is the academic consortium of the Big Ten universities and the United States’ pre-eminent model for effective collaboration among research universities.

The ALP focuses on addressing the challenges of academic administration at major research universities. Through the program, participants who have demonstrated exceptional ability and administrative promise can further develop their leadership and managerial skills. Fellows are appointed to one-year terms, and funding is provided by the participating institutions.

Penn State’s participants for the 2020-21 program were selected based on their significant contributions and further potential for University leadership. The participants are:

  • Margherita Cantorna, distinguished professor of molecular immunology, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Francesco Costanzo, associate department head, engineering science and mechanics, and professor of engineering science and mechanics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, and biomedical engineering, College of Engineering
  • Mihoko Hosoi, associate dean for collections, research, and scholarly communications, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications
  • Mari Pierce, associate professor and professor in charge (PIC) of administration of justice, Penn State Beaver
  • Bonj Szczygiel, professor of landscape architecture, College of Arts and Architecture 
  • Andrea Tapia, professor of information sciences and technology, College of Information Sciences and Technology 

The fellows will participate in six half-day synchronous virtual seminars and an in-person capstone event at the Big Ten Conference Center in Chicago during the summer of 2021. Virtual seminars will focus on contemporary issues in higher education and other topics.

For more information about this program, visit