About the Magazine
LearningWell magazine is published by the Coalition for Transformational Education, an organization dedicated to examining how higher education experiences can lead to improved wellbeing both on campus and throughout one’s lifetime. Through news and research reporting, expert opinion, and storytelling, LearningWell provides readers with information, evidence, and inspiration to help young people live and learn well.
Marjorie MalpiedeEditor in Chief
Marjorie Malpiede is Editor in Chief of LearningWell. She is the former executive director of the Mary Christie Institute and former editor of the Mary Christie Quarterly. As a journalist and strategist, she has over 30 years of leadership experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors working with public agencies, campaigns, private companies and non-profit organizations on policy, communications, and government relations. She received her MPA from the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston and her BS from Drew University.
Dana HumphreyManaging Editor
Dana Humphrey is the Managing Editor for LearningWell and Engagement Director of the Coalition for Transformational Education. She was previously Associate Director at the Mary Christie Institute and has worked on various public health research projects at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, John Snow Inc, and Boston Medical Center. She received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health and her BA in Sociology from The Colorado College.
Ella SchmidtReporter and Editorial Assistant
Ella Schmidt is a reporter and editorial assistant for LearningWell magazine. She graduated with honors in English from Bowdoin College, where she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Colette Inez Poetry Prize in 2019, the Martha Reed Coles Fellowship in the Humanities in 2021, and the Nellie C. Watterson Fellowship in the Creative & Performing Arts in 2022. Prior to joining LearningWell Ella was an intern at her local NPR station, St. Louis Public Radio.
Nichole BernierExecutive Writer
Nichole Bernier is journalist and a longtime contributor to the Mary Christie Institute and now LearningWell on higher education, wellness, and creating a culture of engagement and purpose. She is a communications consultant for companies in industries ranging from healthcare and finance to technology and sustainability, and holds a MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Richard K. MillerSenior Advisor
Richard K. Miller (F.AAA&S, F.NAI, M.NAI) is the Founding Chair of the Coalition for Transformational Education. Dr. Miller served as Founding President of Olin College of Engineering until 2020, and previously served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Iowa and Associate Dean at USC in Los Angeles. He served as Chair of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce of the NASEM, and Chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the NSF, among many other advisory roles.
Keith W. BuffintonSenior Advisor
Keith W. Buffinton is the inaugural Executive Director of the Coalition for Transformational Education. Prior to his current role, Dr. Buffinton served on the faculty of Bucknell University from 1987 through 2023 and is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Dean Emeritus of Engineering.
John VolinSenior Advisor
John Volin is Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Maine. Prior to joining the UMaine community in August 2020, he served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Volin was a Professor of Natural Resources and the Environment at UConn. He served a decade as department head and conducted research in ecosystems around the world, focusing on invasive species and restoration ecology.
Dr. Nicola Blake, a seasoned higher education leader with 23 years of experience, played a pivotal role in launching and shaping the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, New York’s first new community college in over four decades. Committed to student-centered, equity-driven education, she notably improved retention and graduation rates. Currently driving the transformation of Guttman’s academic landscape, Nicola’s strategic vision promotes innovative thinking and cross-divisional collaboration. In 2023, she was named to the prestigious Complete College America Fellowship program.
Michael Leon Bradford
Michael Bradford is the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Davis. He is formerly the Vice Provost of Faculty, Staff, and Student Development at the University of Connecticut where he also served as Department Head of Dramatic Arts and the Artistic Director of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.
Barbara Brittingham is President Emerita of the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which accredits over 200 colleges and universities in the six New England States and eleven American-style institutions abroad. Earlier she served as Dean and Professor at the University of Rhode Island. Currently she serves on the Board of the National Student Clearinghouse, the Board of Trustees of Wheaton College (MA), the Urban College of Boston, and the American University of Kurdistan.
Tom Harnisch is Vice President for Government Relations at SHEEO, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, where his primary leadership responsibilities include planning, implementing, and coordinating SHEEO’s portfolio of federal relations, policy, communication, and advocacy work. Dr. Harnisch also teaches at Georgetown University.
Charlie Kravetz’ award-winning career in Boston journalism includes broadcast and cable television and public radio. From 2011-2019, he was the General Manager of WBUR, the iconic public radio station in Boston where, during his tenure, Charlie grew WBUR’s staff by 50%, doubled its annual revenue to $40 million, and created CitySpace, a 275 seat hi-tech event venue in downtown Boston.
Rachael Lau is a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on geophysical disaster mitigation. She is a 2022-2023 Fulbright Research Fellow and Rhodes Graduate Fellow in Interdisciplinary Research and a co-founder of the National Academy of Engineering’s Call to Action on the COVID-19 Crisis. Rachael co-founded and co-manages a research cohort on earthquake risk and resiliency between Duke and the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk in Nepal. Additionally, Rachael works in landslide mitigation with the National Society for Earthquake Technology, Nepal and is trained in Community Search and Rescue and Rapid Seismic Damage Assessment. Rachael received her B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in Water Resources Engineering from Duke University in 2020 as a Grand Challenge Scholar and received her M.Eng. in 2022 from Duke in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke as well. In addition to her work in disaster, Rachael is a strong advocate of accessibility and mental health within academia, sharing her story across a variety of platforms and speaking events.
Kara Miller writes The Big Idea column for The Boston Globe, which examines game-changing ideas in everything from traffic, to education, to housing. Kara has worked across radio, TV, and print for the past 15 years. From 2011-2021, she hosted and served as the Executive Editor of the public radio program Innovation Hub, which she launched. She has taught at Babson College and at the University of Massachusetts.
Lynn Pasquerella has served as the President of the American Association of Colleges and Universities since 2016. Prior to the role, she was the 18th President of Mount Holyoke College. Pasquerella is the author of numerous publications, including her most recent book, What We Value: Public Health, Social Justice, and Educating for Democracy, which examines the role of higher education in addressing some of the most pressing contemporary issues at the intersection of ethics, law, and public policy.
Daniel R. Porterfield
Dan Porterfield is President & CEO of the Aspen Institute, a global NGO committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. From 2011-2018, he served as President of Franklin & Marshall College, when the college tripled the enrollment of low-income students, expanded student wellness and career services, and set records for applications, fundraising, and fellowships.
Zoe Ragouzeos is the Chief Clinical Officer of the Mary Christie Institute and Executive Director of Counseling and Wellness Services at New York University, where she oversees the mental health services as well as the sexual misconduct support services for over 40,000 students. Dr. Ragouzeos currently oversees a clinical team of full-time NYU staff in 12 countries.
Laura Walker became President of Bennington College in 2020. In her first two years, she launched the Bennington College Mental Health and Wellness Model, an innovative plan for student wellbeing based on Bennington’s self-directed academic model. Prior to this appointment, she was the President and CEO of New York Public Radio (NYPR), a position that she held for 23 years. During her tenure, NYPR was awarded 10 George Foster Peabody awards and many other honors.
Eric Wood currently serves as the Director of Counseling & Mental Health at Texas Christian University. With over 16 years of experience in college mental health, Dr. Wood founded TCU’s innovative Comprehensive Collaborative Care Model and has helped train over 100 colleges and universities to implement various aspects of the nationally recognized program.