Laura Avitabile Wankel, Ed.D. is the Interim Vice Chancellor for Learner Engagement at Northeastern University, where she previously served as Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Educational Innovation and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Prior to Northeastern University, Dr. Wankel was at Seton Hall University where she served as Vice President for Student Affairs beginning in 1995. While at Seton Hall she also held titles of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Services. During her tenure she had been responsible for a variety of services and programs including Undergraduate Admissions, Student Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Registrar, Dean of Students and Community Development, Public Safety and Security, Student Health Services, The Career Center, Disability Support Services, Student Counseling Services, Housing and Residence Life and Athletics & Recreational Programs. Before Seton Hall University, Dr. Wankel served as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and an Assistant Dean for Campus and Residence Operations at the State University of New York at Purchase. Prior to that she held student affairs positions at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Wankel has been an active NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education member at both the regional and national level in a number of leadership positions including Regional Vice President, Executive Committee and Chair of the NASPA Board. Dr. Wankel has also been on the editorial boards for the NASPA Journal and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP). She was honored by the NASPA Foundation and named a Pillar of the Profession in 2015.
Dr. Wankel holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from SUNY Oneonta where she graduated magna cum laude. She holds a M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina and an Ed.D. in higher education administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Wankel also received a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) from the Harvard Institute for Higher Education. Dr. Wankel has served in a consulting capacity to a number of education-related projects, including, Learn and Serve America and the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps), and the Lumina Foundation Comprehensive Student Record Project.
Dr. Wankel’s recent book published by Jossey-Bass, Higher Education’s Road to Relevance: Navigating Complexity, explores the current and future state of post-secondary education in the U.S. She also has chapters on crisis management in Crisis, Compassion and Resiliency in Student Affairs and Understanding Student Affairs in Catholic Colleges and Universities that are based on the tragic residence hall fire at Seton Hall University. She is co-editor of Reading the Signs: Using Case Studies to Discuss Student Life Issues at Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States. She is co-editor of Higher Education Administration with Social Media, Misbehavior Online in Higher Education, Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Social Technologies: Facebook, E-Portfolios and other Social Networking Services, Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Mobile Applications: Smartphones, Skype and Texting Technologies, and Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Multimedia Technologies: Video Annotation, Multimedia Applications, Videoconferencing and Transmedia Storytelling and Integrating Curricular and Co-Curricular Endeavors to Enhance Student Outcomes with Emerald Group Publishing Limited. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU), and has presented on issues in higher education nationally as well as internationally.
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