Trailblazers: Provost's Mentoring Initiative for Faculty


Trailblazers and Executive Mentors at Meet and Greet

Transforming the Institution through Gender Equality, Retention and Support


This initiative will prepare faculty for leadership roles in academic or professional organizations while furthering institutional diversity. All 40 academic departments at Clemson are invited to participate in the Trailblazers program. This cohort program will take place from September of 2019 to May of 2020. This initiative will provide experiential leadership training that will focus on the unique challenges of leadership in higher education. To date, 60 faculty have participated in the program. Trailblazer participants will receive the following as part of the program:

  • Experience working on a leadership project that advances gender equity
  • Match with an executive mentor
  • Contacts with Clemson leadership
  • Cohort development with other Trailblazers
  • Leadership development

 This year’s program will be co-led by Drs. Cynthia Sims and Angie Carter from Human Resource Development, College of Education and Dr. Karen High from Engineering and Science Education, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.


Trailblazers will be selected by the TIGERS ADVANCE Executive Leadership Committee via a competitive nomination/application, screening, and selection process intended to identify those who have career aspirations to become academic leaders and who demonstrate potential to contribute to and support furthering institutional diversity.

Applicants will submit curriculum vitae, a statement of interest, and a commitment letter from the applicant’s department head. Each department chair will be asked to reduce service or teaching responsibilities of the Trailblazers. The Trailblazers program is open to all faculty as Clemson needs both women and men leaders who recognize the barriers that women face and understand the importance of an inclusive campus environment for faculty success. However, to address the current deficit of women academic leaders at Clemson, at least 50 percent of the Trailblazers will be women. An expectation of the program is that participants will attend all scheduled sessions. Exceptions will need to be cleared in advance with the program’s co-directors.

Department Chair Support Letter

Chairs are asked to:

1)    Comment on the candidates who apply for the TIGERS ADVANCE Trailblazer program.

2)    Describe how they will release some of the applicants’ service or teaching time for the 2018/19 academic year. This release will allow the applicants to fully engage in this program to ensure they are able to attend two, full-days and nine, half-days during this ten month program.

3)    Support selected candidates’ implementation of a new or existing mentoring program for their respective department.


As part of the selection process, applicants will complete research surveys and provide names of a superior and subordinate to provide confidential feedback on the applicants. This information will further our knowledge of leadership development and mentoring.


Please use the following link to apply for the program: The application deadline is August 19, 2019. For more information, please contact the program co-lead: Dr. Angie Carter Candidates will be notified on their application status in late August.