Biography

A teacher, scholar, and prominent ethicist with a career marked by local and global engagement, Lynn Pasquerella will assume the Presidency of Mount Holyoke College on July 1, 2010.

Pasquerella has written extensively in the areas of medical ethics, theoretical and applied ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law. A celebrated master teacher who ascended through the professorial ranks in the Philosophy Department of the University of Rhode Island, she stepped into academic administration in 2004. Pasquerella went on to a prodigious rise through successive leadership positions, in which she focused particularly on high academic standards, interdisciplinary as well as strongly discipline-based teaching and research, connections with and service to the community, improved access to higher education, and the enduring power of liberal education.

Pasquerella served as vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Rhode Island before joining the University of Hartford as provost and chief academic officer. Concurrently, she served as project leader for a research team with the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions, focusing on women empowering women in Kenya. She was previously a fellow in the John Hazen White Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service and a professor of medical ethics in Brown University Medical School’s Affinity Group Program.

A first-generation college student, Pasquerella first found her way to Mount Holyoke in 1978, transferring in as a junior from Quinebaug Valley Community College. It was at Quinebaug where she was discovered by faculty members and encouraged to move on to a rigorous and challenging four-year college. Still working full-time throughout the academic year to support herself, she graduated from Mount Holyoke magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1980. "The unwavering support of my peers and the faculty encouraged me to take up the challenge to excel, and the educational opportunities afforded me at Mount Holyoke gave me the academic and leadership skills to succeed," Pasquerella says. She went on to receive a full fellowship at Brown University where she earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1985.

In 1998, Pasquerella was honored by Change Magazine and the American Association of Higher Education as one of the nation’s “Young Leaders of the Academy.” Her leadership has extended beyond higher education into surrounding communities and around the globe, including service on the boards of the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions and Paul Newman's Discovery Center in Woodstock, Connecticut. She has also served on Rhode Island Health Department's Institutional Review Board, the advisory board for the Women's Adult Correctional Facility in Rhode Island, and Day Kimball Hospital's ethics committee and as chair of its Institutional Review Board.

Pasquerella has received funding through the U.S. Department of Energy to work on ethical issues related to the Human Genome Project. She has also received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the American Bar Association, the Council of Graduate Schools, and the Office of Research Integrity. She was the principal investigator on a $3.5 million NSF ADVANCE grant to promote the careers of women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and on a $750,000 NSF-Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate grant to encourage recruitment of underrepresented groups into the professorate in STEM fields.

Pasquerella and her husband, John Kuchle, who is a biologist and photographer, live in Woodstock, Connecticut. Their 19-year-old twin sons are in college: Spencer at Hampshire and Pierce at Mitchell.