Amy Rutstein-Riley smiling with cityscape in background

Graduate School of Leadership and Change Announces New Associate Dean

Antioch University is thrilled to announce that Amy Rutstein-Riley, PhD, MPH, will join the Graduate School of Leadership and Change (GSLC) as Associate Dean to lead the PhD in Leadership and Change program, effective July 1, 2023. Through an extensive search process that began in summer 2022 and involved all GSLC faculty and staff, colleagues from other Antioch University departments, and GSLC students and alumni at the March residency, it became abundantly clear that Rutstein-Riley was the top candidate. She brings deep wisdom, relevant experience, a mission-driven vision, great humor, and tremendous energy to this opportunity to build the PhD program forward into its third decade.

“I have always been a fan of Antioch’s progressive, mission-driven, and learner-centered model of education,” Rutstein-Riley says, “as it closely aligns with the ways I think about and approach teaching, learning, and leading. Moving through the search process afforded me an up-close view of the PhD in Leadership and Change program, the faculty, staff, students, and alumni. With each stage in the process, I was inspired by all I learned, and I am excited about the possibility of joining this vibrant learning community. I am truly delighted to call Antioch and the PhD in Leadership and Change my new professional home, and I look forward to the many collaborations that await.”

Rutstein-Riley is a highly collaborative leader, seasoned educator, and interdisciplinary scholar. For the past eighteen years, she has served in a number of roles at Lesley University, including Director of the PhD Specialization in Adult Learning and Development, Dean of the Faculty, Chair of the PhD in Education Studies, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, and, most recently, Associate Provost of Academic Affairs.

As an Associate Professor of Sociology, Rutstein-Riley taught undergraduate and graduate courses in a wide range of topics, including Health Care and Society; Race, Class, and Gender; Interdisciplinary Inquiry; Qualitative Research Methods; Body Image; and Ways of Knowing. In the Graduate School of Education, Rutstein-Riley taught courses in qualitative research, adult learning and development, and dissertation seminars. She has mentored many students on the path to completing their PhDs. Her own academic training includes an MPH in Public Health, Epidemiology, and Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University’s School of Public Health, and a PhD in Educational Studies, with a specialization in Sociology and Women’s Health, from Lesley University.

“Amy brings a superb mixture of academic experience, organizational talents, and vision for the future, all of which will be central to our efforts to continue to build on the successes of the PhD program. We are fortunate to have her join Antioch,” says Chet Haskell, DPA, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Antioch University.

Rutstein-Riley’s commitment to Antioch University’s mission and the PhD program’s values are long-standing, from her proven record building consensus among and across stakeholders to her commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion, especially as it relates to supporting diverse students and retaining diverse faculty.

Since 2008, Rutstein-Riley has been the Founding Director and Principal Investigator for the Girlhood Project, a community-based service learning program and research initiative in the Boston area that fosters leadership and mentoring opportunities with girls and leverages intersectional feminist group processes. Rutstein-Riley’s most recent publications focus on the leadership identities of girls and young women, peer- and self-mentoring, identity and lifelong learning, feminist relational practice, and pathways to resilience in feminist work.

GSLC Dean Laurien Alexandre, PhD, who has served for the past two decades as the PhD in Leadership and Change’s founding director, is thrilled that Rutstein-Riley is joining Antioch. “Transitions are times to dream, new possibilities and opportunities to explore, and additional creativity and expertise with which to engage. I couldn’t be more pleased as Amy joins our learning community. Having the chance to collaborate together on this transition and to do so in ways that embody feminist and relational practice is, in fact, a dream come true!”

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