Assistant Director for Scholars Programs and Diversity Initiatives
Nirva R. LaFortune oversees and coordinates the administrative, programming, and advising elements of the Presidential Scholars Program-Social Sciences and Humanities (PSP-SSH). Nirva also coordinates support and programming across key cohort-based programs in the Office of the Dean of the College. In collaboration with campus partners, Nirva provides students with additional support and enhanced academic advising with an emphasis on identifying targeted and/or funded opportunities that will advance their academic and professional goals. The goal of this work is to ensure that underrepresented students and those with the highest demonstrated financial need, in particular, receive holistic academic advising from matriculation to degree completion, and that they are effectively connected to opportunities, resources, and support services.
Nirva brings over a decade of professional experience in higher education, which includes program development for retention and support and along with resources designed to foster equity in educational access. She previously served as Manager of Academic Programs and Student Affairs in Brown’s School of Engineering, as assistant director of the Centers for Public Policy and Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University, and as an administrator in the Center for Academic Advising at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Nirva's commitment to equity in education extends beyond higher education. She served on a committee charged with developing two new high schools in the Providence Public School District and as a board member at Independence Charter School in Philadelphia, where she collaborated with educational leaders and community members to create resources that address educational disparities, and has volunteered abroad in underserved communities.