Sacred Heart University has appointed an academic administrator as provost, vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of English.

Laura Niesen de Abruna, Ph.D., has 14 years of higher education management experience, most recently in the role of provost, executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of English at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., according to a release from Sacred Heart. Previously, she was vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Heidelberg University; dean of the School of Arts, Humanities & Communication at Susquehanna University; and ACE Fellow and special assistant to the president for strategic planning at the State University of New York at Oswego.

Prior to taking on management positions, she taught for 24 years at the University of Texas, the University of Puerto Rico and Ithaca College.

Niesen de Abruna's awards and achievements include receiving two Fulbright-Hays Awards in the early 1990s, leading to research and teaching positions in Belgium and Luxembourg. She was also a recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, London, in the summer of 1987.

Niesen de Abruna holds a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in French from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and a doctorate in modern American and British literatures with a minor in 18th and 19th-century American literatures from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also recently earned a M.S. Ed. degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.