About the Featured Speaker
Laura Niesen de Abruna, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Laura Niesen de Abruna is the PI on the 2017-2018 “Provosts, Pedagogy, and Digital Learning” grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is Past President and current board member of the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) and current board member of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) CAO Task Force. She is also Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of English at York College of Pennsylvania. Her major interests are in global initiatives, digital learning, service learning, institutional assessment, and the development of general education curricula. She is particularly interested in the role of innovative high impact practices in increasing the quality of undergraduate learning.
Dr. Niesen de Abruna graduated from Smith College with a major in English and a minor in French, having spent a year at the University of Paris. She received a M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M. S. Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She has published extensively on such topics as Mark Twain, T. S. Eliot, digital learning, Caribbean literature, the role of the public intellectual, and the role of the dean and provost in higher education.
Her background in higher education administration is extensive, having served as the Dean of the School of Arts, Communication and Education at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She has received numerous awards, including two Fulbright Fellowships in Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as ACLS, NEH and ACE fellowships. She served as an ACE Fellow as Special Assistant for Strategic Planning at SUNY-Oswego directly before leaving the faculty for various roles in administration. As a faculty member, she served at Ithaca College, where she had spent 15 years as an Assistant, Associate and Full Professor of English Literature.