Simmons University Selects Dr. Stephanie Cosner as Provost

Stephanie Cosner, Russell Pinizzotto, and Kerri Brophy
Stephanie Cosner, Russell Pinizzotto, and Kerri Brophy

Dr. Russell Pinizzotto to serve as Chief Operating Officer and Kerri Brophy will be Vice President, Chief Marketing, Enrollment, and Communications Officer.

As Provost, Dr. Cosner will lead the vision and strategy for the full range of Simmons’ academic offerings, including the institution’s diverse mix of undergraduate, graduate, campus-based, and online programs. She will also guide the implementation of Simmons’ new academic programs and accelerated master’s degree offerings.

Dr. Cosner joined Simmons in 2018 as the Inaugural Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice after serving as Assistant Dean of the College of Social Work at Boston College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cornell University, a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Cosner’s impressive research portfolio comprises over 70 academic publications, including her book, co-authored with Humberto Camarena, *Innovation from Within: How Nonprofits Solve Problems.

“Dr. Cosner is an experienced scholar with a strong understanding of this institution’s unique educational mission,” said Simmons University President Lynn Perry Wooten. “Her passion, talent, and dedication to our students makes her an ideal fit to oversee Simmons’ academic programs in this hyper-competitive period for higher education.”

In his new role of Chief Operations Officer, Dr. Pinizzotto will oversee and coordinate many of the University’s critical daily operations, including technology, finance, and facilities. He will also help Simmons promote and enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.

Dr. Pinizzotto joined Simmons University in May 2020 as Provost, building on his previous administrative and extensive leadership experience at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Carlow University, and Merrimack College. He received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in Astronomy from Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia), and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Dr. Pinizzotto is a tremendous partner and colleague, and his strategic thinking and open communication style will be tremendous assets in this new role,” added Wooten.

Kerri Brophy will assume an expanded role as Simmons’ Vice President, Chief Marketing, Enrollment, and Communications Officer. Adding Marketing and Communication to her current portfolio, she will lead a division focused on elevating the brand and overall impact of Simmons University.

A Simmons alumna (’03 MBA), Brophy has served the University for two decades in various positions related to marketing, admission, enrollment, and strategic initiatives.

“Throughout her career at Simmons, Kerri has showcased exceptional creativity, collaboration, and strategic thinking, and I am grateful that she is taking on this expanded role,” said Wooten. “These three new appointments will enable Simmons to continue to advance its strategic priorities as we educate the next generation of leaders and accelerate student paths to meaningful careers.”

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Laura Wareck