Office of the Provost

New director, leadership team announced to support the Faculty ADVANCEment Office


Clemson University has named Lori Dickes the director of the Faculty ADVANCEment Office and announced three additional hires to support faculty professional development. Carlos D. Garcia and Marian Kennedy join as Faculty ADVANCE Fellows, and Paige Thomsen will serve as office coordinator. Building on the change enabled through the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded ‘Transforming the Institution through Gender Equity, Retention and Support’ project, the established Faculty ADVANCEment Office supports faculty by implementing research-informed programming that promotes inclusive faculty excellence and professional development.

Lori’s passion for connecting faculty to resources while strategically implementing research-based best practices to build the success for all faculty at Clemson makes her a unique fit for this role. Her experience and enthusiasm to lead this dynamic and engaged team are valuable assets for the Faculty ADVANCEment Office.”

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robert H. Jones

As director, Dickes will co-lead establishing mid-career faculty programming and oversee identifying and transferring best practices in faculty reviews related to teaching effectiveness, goal-setting and annual reviews and tenure, promotion and reappointment. The inaugural director, Cynthia Sims, accepted a new opportunity and position at a different University.

I’m honored to serve as the new director for the Faculty ADVANCEment Office and leverage our team’s expertise to unlock the potential residing in all Clemson faculty,” said Faculty ADVANCEment Office Director Lori Dickes. “Together, we are building a culture of effective mentoring where everyone thrives while aligning activities with the University’s strategic plan, Clemson Elevate.

Lori Dickes is an associate chair, associate professor and director of graduate programs in the Department of Political Science. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, she has been a faculty member at Clemson since 2013. With a Ph.D. in policy, her research leverages specific training in economics and policy analysis to better understand rural and regional development across different geographies and contexts. Committed to myriad service activities to the institution and profession, she served as chair on the Commission on Women, co-led the Office of the Provost’s taskforce on caregiving during COVID-19, was a participant in the ACC Academic Leader’s and more. 

Dickes was the 2022 recipient of the Ralph D. Elliott Award for Outstanding Service to Off-Campus, Distance and Continuing Education and the 2021 Clemson University Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award.

As Faculty ADVANCE Fellow, Carlos D. Garcia will support the office’s focus area of best practices in faculty reviews. Garcia is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and has been at Clemson since 2015. Garcia’s research is focused on the development of integrated analytical approaches that span from highly specialized instrumentation to simple paper-based devices. Applications of these projects include the quantification of biomedically-relevant analytes, the design of biocatalysts and the implementation of artificial intelligence to address analytical problems. He is an editor for several journals and in 2018, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Besides being associate department chair, Garcia has served in multiple service activities and has participated in multiple programs at Clemson, including the Provost’s Trailblazer’s Program, the President’s Leadership Institute, the Institute for Reframing Institutional Transformation to Include Non-Tenure Track STEM Faculty and the ACC Academic Leaders Network. 

Marian Kennedy will lead the initiatives related to mid-career professional development as a Faculty ADVANCE Fellow. She began her career at Clemson studying the response of a wide array of solid materials (gold to spider silk) to mechanical loading. Over time, her scholarship has evolved to include understanding the early career formation of engineers and scientists. She has initiated and collaborated on projects related to discipline-specific self-efficacy, research identity, and instructor/teacher professional development. She jumped at the opportunity to join this team and support faculty in reaching their professional goals, particularly for those in mid-career.

As Office Coordinator, Paige Thomsen manages operations, communications and professional development activities to support Faculty ADVANCEment programming. Previously, she worked as a grant program coordinator for two Clemson NSF grants: TIGERS Advance Program and the National Research Traineeship for Resilient Infrastructure and Environmental Systems Graduate Program.

The Faculty ADVANCEment Office is located at 212 Vickery Hall. Contact Paige Thomsen at 864-656-9534 or email to learn more.

Want to Discuss?

Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.

Or email us at

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.