LSU Graduate School Announces Major Expansion

January 25, 2022

BATON ROUGE - The LSU Graduate School is expanding its efforts to focus on supporting new initiatives that encourage community involvement, student development and increased connectivity throughout LSU’s campus.

Fahui Wang

Fahui Wang, Associate Dean

The Graduate School welcomes Fahui Wang as its associate dean. Wang is a Cyril & Tutta Vetter Alumni Professor and former chair of the Department of Geography & Anthropology at LSU. He earned a Bachelor of Science in geography from Peking University, China, master’s degree in economics in 1993 and a doctorate in city and regional planning in 1995 from the Ohio State University Wang’s research focuses primarily on spatially integrated social sciences, public policy and planning in Geographic Information Systems. He has also received the LSU Distinguished Faculty Award and the LSU Rainmaker Award for outstanding research, scholarship and creative activity. In 2020, Wang was among the top 1 percent most-cited researchers in geography worldwide.

Wang’s extensive experience in publicizing scholarship and high-level research, paired with his ability to build effective relationships will enhance the Graduate School's efforts to connect with the community and attract new groundbreaking opportunities to LSU.

Additionally, the Graduate School is pleased to introduce Ashley Collins as the new executive assistant to the vice provost & dean, and Guoqiang Li as the new associate vice provost of academic strategy. Li has served as associate vice president in the Office of Strategic Initiatives and is currently a Major Morris S. & DeEtte A. Anderson Memorial LSU Alumni Professor and holder of the John W. Rhea, Jr. Professorship of Mechanical Engineering.

Ashley Collins

Ashley Collins, Executive Assistant to Vice Provost and Dean James Spencer

Li’s research interests focus on fiber-reinforced smart polymer composite materials and composite structures as well as understanding their constitutive behavior and damage/fracture/healing per engineering mechanics principles. Li earned his doctorate in civil engineering in 1997 from Southeast University in China and holds a research faculty position at Southern University in Baton Rouge. Before LSU, he held a faculty position at Hebei University of Technology in China and is among the top 1 percent most-cited researchers over his career in materials.

Guoqiang Li

Guoqiang Li, Associate Vice Provost of Academic Strategy

Lastly, the LSU Graduate School is excited to announce the addition of its newest unit, Strategic Initiatives of the Graduate School, or SIGS, formerly known as the Office of Strategic Initiatives. This merger takes place on the heels of Vice President Isiah Warner’s retirement at the end of 2021.

Under the leadership of Assistant Dean of Mentorship, Education & Research, Tyrslai Williams-Carter, SIGS will continue to lead and coordinate institutional efforts to assist in raising LSU’s academic standing among its peers through competitive and outstanding achievements by students, staff and faculty.

OSI’s transition to SIGS will allow for expansion of its current efforts throughout the university: continued focus on graduate education enrichment, student development, assistantship diversification and increased communication.

Through this merger, Melissa Crawford will serve as the assistant director of data and communications.  SIGS looks forward to also welcoming a new director of public service assistantships, who will focus on diversifying graduate assistantships, and a program manager of academic careers to help support the advancement of our doctoral students to the academic workforce. Furthermore, SIGS’ Kristen Williams will continue to lead efforts of preparing students for graduate studies.

During this year, the LSU Graduate School will be rebranding to reflect our expanded areas of focus and growth. We welcome the new changes and look forward to its impact throughout the LSU community. 

Tyrslai Williams-Carter

Tyrslai Williams-Carter, Assistant Dean of Mentorship, Education & Research 

Melissa Crawford

Melissa Crawford, Assistant Director of Data & Communications 

Kristen Williams

Kristen Williams, Program Coordinator, LAMDA Outreach/Smart Polymer REU