PITTSBURGH -- Catherine Koverola, inaugural provost and senior adviser at the African Leadership University in Mauritius, Africa, has been named president of the University of Pittsburgh's Bradford and Titusville campuses, effective June 1, 2019.
Over the past two decades, Koverola has held leadership positions at large and small institutions in both urban and rural locations.
In her current role, she established a university system designed to deliver academic programs on a mass scale across the African continent. She has also served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cambridge College, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences at Lesley University and dean of psychology and interim vice president of academic affairs at Antioch University Seattle.
She also held several administrative posts - including director of doctoral and Master of Arts psychology programs, director of the Alaska Rural Health Training Academy and chair of the Department of Psychology - at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. An inter-culturally minded program innovator, she led the development of a doctoral program in clinical, community and cross-cultural psychology and graduate programs in drama therapy, eco-psychology, mindfulness studies and trauma-focused interdisciplinary studies that integrate the expressive arts.
"Catherine's commitment to partnering with regional campus communities is clear, and her capacity to lead and succeed in a wide range of higher education settings is exceptional," said Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am excited to welcome her to the University of Pittsburgh community - and I cannot wait to watch both campuses continue to evolve under her watch.”
Koverola is an internationally recognized scholar of interpersonal victimization in cross-cultural contexts. She has developed culturally relevant programs that serve victims of violence in locations as varied as urban medical centers to remote indigenous communities in Canada and Alaska. Globally, she has provided clinical consultation to a wide range of practitioners including those serving Syrian refugee populations in Jordan; victims of the armed conflict in Colombia; and vulnerable children in Guyana, Nicaragua, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Norway and Finland.
Having specialized in serving traumatized youth, specifically inner-city African-American and Latino youth and rural Canadian First Nations and Alaska native youth, Koverola is equipped to address the pressing issues college students face today. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, and many private foundations.
“Catherine's exceptional experience in the needs of students and of rural communities, as well as relationship building and innovation within those spaces, is as impressive as it is substantive,” said Ann E. Cudd, provost and senior vice chancellor. “From start to finish, she possesses the leadership qualities that can both continue the successes of the campuses at Bradford and Titusville and propel them forward in a time of transformation.”
Creatively supporting faculty development, she established Centers of Excellence in Teaching and Learning at two universities. The American Council of Education Women's Network of Massachusetts recognized Koverola's dedication to faculty development and mentorship of women by awarding her the 2014 Leadership Award.
Koverola earned her doctorate in clinical psychology and a Master of Arts in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She also holds a Master of Arts in clinical child psychology from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of British Columbia.
“It is truly an honor to be given this opportunity to further strengthen both the Bradford and Titusville campuses to ensure they keep developing as distinctive leading academic institutions serving the students and communities of the region,” Koverola said. “I look forward to weaving together the strengths of the vibrant regional campuses with the tremendous capacity within the University of Pittsburgh as a large research-intensive institution.”