The Next President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute

leshinThe board of trustees of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts have selected Laurie Leshin as the university’s 16th president. When she takes office on July 1, she will be the first woman president in the nearly 150-year history of the institute. Warner Fletcher, chair of the board of trustees, stated, “Laurie Leshin is impressive by any measure. She is an academic who understands the role of – the potential for – academia in a larger world.”

Dr. Leshin has been serving as dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Earlier in her career, she served as director of science and exploration and deputy director at the Goddard Space Flight Center, a NASA facility in Greenbelt, Maryland. Before joining NASA, Dr. Leshin taught at Arizona State University and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Leshin is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she majored in chemistry. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. For her contributions to planetary science, the International Astronomical Union has named an asteroid in her honor.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute enrolls about 4,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students. Women make up 32 percent of the undergraduate student body.


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