RISD Appoints New Vice Provost

RISD Appoints New Vice Provost

Carol Strohecker, an award-winning designer of learning environments with a specialty in interactive media, has accepted the newly created position of Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at RISD. She will assume the new position in late August.

Coming to RISD from the University of North Carolina system, Strohecker has served as director of the multi-campus Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem since 2006. In this capacity, she works with the constituent campuses and the regional community to lead collaborative research, education, design and economic development programs based on technologies for data sensing, capture, analysis, modeling and visualization.

“Visiting RISD felt like coming home,” Strohecker says of her new appointment. “I am delighted to be returning to my own roots in the arts by joining this remarkable creative environment and participating in the ongoing evolution of its processes for talent development.”

Prior to her work in the UNC system, Strohecker was the principal investigator of the Everyday Learning group at the MIT-affiliated Media Lab Europe (MLE), where she served as one of its founding researchers. In that capacity, she advised program development for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture and for Information Society and Media, among other initiatives.

After completing her undergraduate degree in journalism, Strohecker held positions in publishing and graphic arts at the National Geographic Society and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. She earned an MA in Visual Studies at MIT, working with the renowned cinema verité filmmaker Richard Leacock. She completed her PhD at MIT in 1991, working with the educational technologist and artificial intelligence theorist Seymour Papert. Emerging as a software designer and creator of “constructive” learning environments, she worked in the Human Interface Group at Sun Microsystems and then became one of the first researchers at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. There her collaborative work led to four US software patents.

Strohecker is a founding co-principal investigator of the SEAD network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Design and has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, MLE and Learning Lab Denmark.

“With her extensive work in art, design and media, industry, educational technology and learning environments, Dr. Strohecker brings distinctive expertise and valuable experience to initiate and advance many significant strategic initiatives at RISD,” notes Provost Rosanne Somerson. “Our search committee found her to be a dynamic thinker with a long history of fostering and developing creative collaborations and managing complex initiatives.” In addition, Somerson says, Strohecker’s colleagues appreciate “her energy, her intelligence and her commitment to building an inclusive and cooperative community.”

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