Beginning this school year, Prairie View A&M University has a new provost, Dr. Felecia Nave.Nave, who received her master of science degree in chemical and environmental engineering and her PhD in engineering from The University of Toledo, wasn’t always sure she wanted to become an academic.
While working on her doctorate, Nave began thinking about the career she wanted and reflected on some of the experiences she had both in and outside of school. She had interned with Procter & Gamble, participated in a future faculty development program at Carnegie Mellon University, and peer mentored at UT.
“I had to do some self-reflection to truly figure out what it was that I wanted to do long-term,” Nave said. “I came to the conclusion that working as an academic was where I wanted to pursue my career.”
Nave joined the faculty at Prairie View in 2003 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering. She then utilized everything she had learned at UT to build her academic profile and secured a tenure promotion after six years.
After receiving tenure, Nave became interim assistant dean of the College of Engineering. Shortly after, she became associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs at Prairie View.
“I enjoyed the work,” Nave said. “I was able to have an immediate impact on student success and in moving to upper administration, I had more access to a broader group of students and was able to bring to bear some of the initiatives that had been successful on a local level in engineering to the larger University population.”
Earlier this year, the university announced that Nave would take over as provost in August.
“It has been overwhelming,” Nave said. “At the same time it’s quite exciting. I recognize the opportunity that has been provided for me. I am very humbled by and appreciative to our President, Dr. George C. Wright, for entrusting me with this very important responsibility.”
Nave said she is excited to leave her own mark at Prairie View and will start by reviewing the current practices and programs to ensure they are relevant and fulfill the needs of both the faculty and the students.
“Our goal is ensuring student success,” Nave said. “Making sure that we are engaging our students in a way that they leave not only with a degree but with an education.”
“My faith and family have been the most critical driver of my success,” she said. Nave also credits a lot of her success to her time at UT, and especially the faculty that she worked with while studying here.
“They’re in my corner — not only when I was a student, but also as I moved into the profession,” Nave said “And I still have them as part of my mentor circle.”
Nave especially thanks members of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, including Dr. Glenn Lipscomb, professor and chair; Dr. Isabel Escobar, professor; and Dr. Maria Coleman, professor, who was her adviser when she was at UT.