Laura Wankel


Laura Avitabile Wankel, Ed.D. is the Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Educational Innovation at Northeastern University, where she previously served as 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. Before Seton Hall University, Dr. Wankel served in a number of roles at SUNY Purchase and 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. She 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 and organizations


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 a number of other publications dealing with crisis management, student success and technology based initiatives.


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.