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Preciado brings lessons learned during fellowship to new role as Penn State Smeal associate dean of undergraduate education

July 27, 2017

When Felisa Preciado started the 2016-17 academic year as a Penn State Administrative Fellow, she thought she would apply what she learned to her role as a clinical associate professor of supply chain management. 

When Preciado finished the 2016-17 academic year, she was transitioning into her new role as associate dean of undergraduate education for the Penn State Smeal College of Business. She said many decisions she has made early in her tenure stem from knowledge she gained during her fellowship. 

“Madlyn Hanes (Penn State vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor) was an amazing mentor during my fellowship. She always stressed the importance of communication,” Preciado said. “That’s why weeks before my official start date I started one-on-one meetings with everyone in Smeal Undergraduate Education.” 

She said that Hanes encouraged Preciado to become acquainted with everyone on the President’s Council, and to visit every commonwealth campus to meet the chancellor, faculty, students, as well as members of the staff. Those experiences combined with her 10 years teaching supply chain at Smeal influence decisions she makes in her new role. 

“I feel like I’m more capable of understanding the student experience,” she said. “If I can make a difference in even one student, then it becomes worth it. I wanted to expand my role beyond the classroom and now I have. I will be involved with students from prospect to graduate, kind of like Smeal’s own supply chain.” 

Preciado, who succeeds Jeff Sharp as associate dean, will have areas of oversight responsibility including: the college’s Spend a Summer Day program, New Student Orientation, First-Year Seminar, and Smeal’s Department of Career and Corporate Connections. 

After nearly five years, Sharp is transitioning to a new role as associate dean for international programs. He said he feels Preciado has the temperament to communicate with the varied constituent groups she will now serve. 

“I’m excited Dr. Preciado is taking over the lead. She has great enthusiasm for undergraduate education and she has a well-established track record,” Sharp said. 

Preciado holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University, a master’s degree from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in industrial engineering. 

She also accumulated nearly a half dozen years in the private sector as a supply chain senior specialist in advanced planning and optimization and then process enhancement for Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s Latin American operations. 

Preciado joined the Smeal faculty in 2007 and has twice been recognized for teaching excellence. In 2014, she was named the recipient of the Penn State Smeal College of Business Fred Brand Jr. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2015, she received Penn State’s George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award, named for the seventh president of Penn State, is presented each year to four faculty members who have devoted substantial effort to undergraduate teaching. 

“I think it’s important to remember that students and parents sometimes interpret situations differently than faculty or administrators,” Preciado said. “I think treating people with empathy and awareness, respect and honesty will get you very far.”

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