Helen G. Drinan
Provost and Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Management
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Lynette Cook-Francis is Senior Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Management. Lynette oversees and manages a multi-faceted division that includes Admission, Student Financial Services, Student Affair and Athletics, among others. She is responsible for promoting a student-centered campus community environment that supports the personal, social and academic development of an inclusive student body.
She came to Simmons from The City University of New York (CUNY), John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she served as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Prior to CUNY, Lynette was at the University of Arizona, Tucson for 14 years in a number of roles in Student Affairs, including Senior Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief of Staff. There she oversaw student success and faculty/student engagement programs, and was the recipient of various awards, including the Best Practices Award from the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange and Kappa Alpha Ki Outstanding Faculty Leader. She also held positions at Whitman College in Washington State, Camden County College in New Jersey, and was twice a dean for Semester at Sea where she travelled around the world with her family on a floating campus. She serves as the Chair of the James E. Rogers Institute, a national roundtable of senior student affairs officers for NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education). Lynette’s B.A. in English is from the University of Pennsylvania and she is a candidate for the doctoral degree at Northern Arizona University.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Simmons Online
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Suzie Murphy is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Simmons Online, appointed in 2010 to ensure success of Strategy 2015 initiatives. Prior to coming to Simmons, she was special assistant to the president at Emmanuel College and was an adjunct faculty member in their Graduate and Professional Programs. Murphy's experience spans multiple industries from financial services, to management consulting, to higher education. Previous companies and positions include Monitor, a Cambridge-based strategy consulting firm specializing in top management issues most critical to long-term competitiveness. At Monitor, Murphy was a member of the Global Human Assets Team, focused on talent management and leadership development. At Arthur Andersen, a former big 5 consulting firm, she was a Manager in their Change Management practice, focused primarily on the financial services industry. Murphy sits on the board of directors for a nonprofit, Delta Projects. She has done both volunteer work and fund raising for the American Red Cross and Best Buddies. Murphy holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA from the Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College.
Debra J. Pérez
Senior Vice President, Organizational Culture, Inclusion & Equity
Location: Main College Building — E208
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Debra J. Pérez is the Senior Vice President of Organizational Culture, Inclusion & Equity. Pérez is responsible for expanding Simmons’ significant programs and practices underlying the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She serves as a strategic partner to the President and to her colleagues in building bridges and identifying and pursuing meaningful engagement with faculty, staff, students, alumnae/i and the Boston community. In collaboration with the Office of the Provost and the Deans, Pérez works to integrate inclusive excellence into the university curriculum and pedagogy, preparing faculty to teach diverse learners and preparing students to navigate diverse communities. Learn more about Debra Pérez.
Laura Brink Pisinski
Simmons Chief of Staff
Location: Main College Building — C202
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Laura Brink Pisinski is the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President. She is responsible for projects managed at the level of the President; she is a key advisor and representative of the President on high-priority internal and external matters. During nearly 13 years of service to Simmons, Pisinski has held positions of increasing responsibility and scope within the Advancement Department. She started as a front-line fundraiser for leadership annual gifts; she was promoted to Major Gifts Officer, to Director of Major Gifts and Campaigns, to Assistant Vice President and most recently to Associate Vice President. Before coming to Simmons, Pisinski worked in enrollment management, where she chaired the annual meeting for the New England Association of College Admission Counselors as well as a presidential task force on retention. She holds a B.A. from St. Lawrence University and a master’s degree in communications management from Simmons University.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Location: Main College Building — C208
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Kathy Rogers is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Simmons. She joined Simmons in 2002 as General Counsel and was promoted to Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees in 2007. Previously, she was a partner at the Boston law firm of Yurko & Perry, and served as a business litigator at Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar, and at Widett, Slater & Goldman. Before joining Simmons, Rogers advised and represented numerous Boston-area colleges and universities in litigation and risk management, particularly in cases involving disability and employment law issues. She writes and speaks on disability and higher education issues and was named an In-House Leader in the Law in 2010 by Lawyers Weekly. She has a B.A. from Regis College and a J.D. from Northeastern University.
Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement
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Amy joined Simmons as Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement in 2017 and provides oversight for the Human Resources, Advancement, Government Relations, and Marketing and Communications teams. She brings to Simmons over 30 years of career experience in corporate communications, change management, community relations and human resources and has worked for several employers including Cabot Corporation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Cardinal Health, CSX and Nortek. Amy is a 1981 graduate of Simmons and holds a B.A. in Communications. In addition to serving several terms on the Alumnae Association Executive Board in the 1980s and 1990s, Amy was a trustee of the University from 2003 to 2017, where she was Marketing Committee Chair, Advancement Committee Chair and Vice Chair during her tenure.