Mary Ann Rafoth: Pioneering Educational Excellence and Equity

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    Mary Ann Rafoth, Ph.D., brought a wealth of experience and expertise to her prior role as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Robert Morris University. With a doctorate from the University of Georgia in Educational Psychology, Dr. Rafoth has been instrumental in shaping educational policies and programs throughout her distinguished career.

    Having served as Vice Provost at Robert Morris University from August 2017 to February 2019, Dr. Rafoth’s leadership was marked by a commitment to academic excellence and student success. Prior to her tenure at RMU, she held the position of Dean of the School of Education and Social Sciences, where she played a pivotal role in advancing innovative teaching methodologies and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.

    Dr. Rafoth’s academic leadership extends beyond administrative roles. She served as Dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) from 2005 to 2011, where she spearheaded initiatives to address educational inequalities and promote early intervention services for underserved communities both as Dean and as the chair of the Educational and School Psychology Department.

    Throughout her career, Dr. Rafoth has demonstrated a dedication to improving educational outcomes for all students. As a former classroom teacher in Ohio and a school psychologist in Georgia and Illinois, she understands the complexities of the education system and has worked tirelessly to enhance learning environments.

    An accomplished author and researcher, Dr. Rafoth has contributed significantly to the field of education. Her publications, including chapters in esteemed volumes such as Best Practices in School Psychology, reflect her commitment to evidence-based practices and innovative teaching strategies. Mary was named The Pittsburgh Power 100 in April of 2022 by City and State.

    Beyond her academic pursuits, Dr. Rafoth is deeply involved in community service. She has served on the boards of the Indiana Free Library and the Moon Township Library, advocating for literacy initiatives and community engagement. She served on the board of Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania as well, furthering her commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders. She has been a consultant to numerous local school districts, most recently as part of the strategic planning committee for her own local school system.

    With over 40 refereed articles and numerous presentations at state, national, and international conferences, Dr. Mary Ann Rafoth continues to be a leading voice in academia, championing educational equity and excellence. Her dedication to fostering independent learning skills and enhancing student outcomes are represented in her two books and one monograph with the National Education Association and in her supervision of fifty doctoral dissertations.

    Character: Dr. Mary Ann Rafoth demonstrates integrity, compassion, and dedication in her leadership roles, fostering trust and respect within the academic community.

    Knowledge: With a wealth of experience and expertise in education, Dr. Rafoth leverages her deep understanding of pedagogy and educational psychology to inform strategic decision-making and innovative practices.

    Strategic: Dr. Rafoth exhibits strategic vision and foresight, consistently identifying and pursuing opportunities to enhance academic programs, promote student success, and address educational challenges.

    Communication: Through clear and effective communication, Dr. Rafoth fosters collaboration, empowers stakeholders, and articulates a compelling vision for advancing educational excellence and equity.


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    Lisa Williams is a versatile professional with a strong track record in marketing, business ownership, and interior design. Currently, as the Marketing Director at Boardsi since February 2021, she has been a driving force behind the company's branding and strategy. Her creative vision and strategic insight have been instrumental in Boardsi's growth and success. With a history of entrepreneurial ventures, Lisa owned Tootsies Shoes, a boutique from February 2017 to September 2019, where she managed sales, accounts, buying, and merchandising. Earlier, at Pottery Barn, she excelled as a Sales and Interior Design Specialist from February 2008 to May 2016, bringing her talent for creating appealing living spaces and exceptional customer service. Lisa's educational foundation was laid at California State University, Chico, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Interior Design in 2004, coupled with active involvement in the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.