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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

New faculty leadership appointed for Ingram Scholars Program

Kelly Goldsmith, former “Survivor” contestant, was selected as faculty director, and Leigh Gilchrist was selected as associate faculty director.
Abby Hoelscher
Zeppos Tower landscape through the trees, photographed on Sept. 7, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Abby Hoelscher)

Kelly Goldsmith and Leigh Gilchrist were announced as faculty director and inaugural associate faculty director, respectively, of the Ingram Scholars Program on Sept. 22. Goldsmith and Gilchrist’s terms will begin Jan. 1, after current faculty director Brian Heuser concludes his second term and returns to his faculty role in Peabody College. 

Goldsmith is a professor of marketing at the Owen Graduate School of Management and joined Vanderbilt’s faculty in 2017. Goldsmith is also involved with local nonprofits, serving on the TedXNashville and Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee boards. She was additionally a contestant on the third season of “Survivor.” 

Gilchrist is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Human and Organizational Development in Peabody College. She has also served as a faculty advisor to the Ingram Program since 2012, working closely with the three preceding faculty directors. 

Heuser previously told The Hustler he was unable to comment on why he is leaving his role. Heuser has been outwardly critical of Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, publishing an opinion editorial earlier this year opposing Diermeier’s stance of principled neutrality on political issues.

Goldsmith, in a joint statement with Gilchrist, emphasized that the pair’s separation of duties is still being decided on. 

Leigh and I both agree that all program decisions should be goal driven, and such decisions include the division of responsibilities between Leigh and myself. For that reason, it would also be premature for her and I to speak on our individual responsibilities at present,” Goldsmith and Gilchrist said in an email to The Hustler. 

Goldsmith declined to comment on specific plans for the program, though she said she will do her “due diligence” in formulating a strategy for its future. 

I plan on spending a great deal of time this semester learning all I can about the inner workings of the program and developing strategic goals for the future that honor its past,” Goldsmith said. I will also be talking to the Scholars, the alumni, the Ingrams, relevant Vanderbilt leadership and beyond.” 

Students in the Ingram Scholars Program expressed enthusiasm for Goldsmith and Gilchrist’s selection. First-year Ingram Scholar Naomi Porter said she looks forward to working with them over the next few years. 

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Kelly Goldsmith and am in awe of her vast experience working in the non-profit and business world,” Porter said. “I am so excited to see the direction these two women take the Ingram Program.”

Junior Soumia Vellanki echoed Porter’s comments, noting her appreciation for Goldsmith’s warm attitude and Gilchrist’s prior involvement in the Ingram program.

“Although we [Vellanki and Goldsmith] have not officially met, she has expressed a desire to get to know all of us one-on-one which is very meaningful,” Vellanki said. “[Gilchrist] leads with compassion, bringing her strong expertise in service learning, and we are so lucky to have her stepping into this new role for the program.”

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About the Contributors
Arman Amin
Arman Amin, Staff Writer
Arman Amin (‘27) is a student in the College of Arts and Science planning to major in political science. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find him listening to music, going for a run or spending time with friends. You can reach him at [email protected].
Abby Hoelscher
Abby Hoelscher, Photography Editor
Abby Hoelscher (‘27) is from St. Louis and is an aspiring elementary teacher currently studying in Peabody College. She previously served as Deputy Photography Director. Outside of writing, she enjoys performing, learning Taylor Swift songs in American Sign Language and trying the seasonal lattes from the campus coffee shops. She can be reached at [email protected].
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