Skip to content

Mizzou Associate Provost Alexandra Socarides Named Emerson Provost

Alexandra Socarides head shot
Dr. Alexandra Socarides

Dr. Alexandra Socarides, current Associate Provost and Professor of English at the University of Missouri (Mizzou), will join Emerson as the College’s next Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs beginning July 1, 2024.

“Dr. Socarides is a distinguished scholar and accomplished administrator who deeply values the role of faculty in the academy,” said Emerson College President Jay Bernhardt. “She is strongly aligned with our values and mission and will be an outstanding addition to the Emerson community.”

As Emerson’s chief academic officer, Socarides will lead domestic and international academic programs; oversee teaching, research, ongoing faculty searches, and promotions; actively participate in the strategic planning process; and initiate academic program reviews, launches, and changes.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Emerson College community,” said Socarides. “I have long admired Emerson for its commitment to curiosity and creativity, and I am deeply committed to its mission and values.

“I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners to not only meet the needs of this generation of students, but to imagine together how to build and support Emerson’s innovative, ambitious, and inclusive academic programs,” she said.

In a message to the community, President Bernhardt thanked Interim Provost Jan Roberts-Breslin for her “leadership and support” over the past two years, as well as members of the Provost Search Committee, led by Assistant Provost Brooke Knight and supported by WittKieffer.

Socarides was selected based on her academic credentials and support for faculty development, her commitment to advancing equity and social justice, and her experience aligning academic innovation with an institution’s strategic plan.

A literary critic, creative writer, and award-winning teacher, Socarides began serving as Associate Provost at the University of Missouri in 2020, where she oversaw academic programs and centers, including 5-year reviews, creation of new degrees, program changes, and college-level accreditations, and built a suite of faculty development programs that have benefited hundreds of faculty members.

In addition, she created a program called the “Service Audit Project,” an initiative that leads cohorts of department chairs through the process of collecting and interpreting departmental service data to improve career advancement. She also co-created a program called “The Huddle,” which provided a regular gathering opportunity for junior faculty of color to access wisdom and advice from a diverse group of senior faculty, including one-on-one coaching opportunities, and she co-created a program called the “Provost Leadership Program,” which trains aspiring faculty leaders in the principles of inclusive leadership.

Recently, she co-led an initiative to support first-generation students by improving communication with students and families about navigating college, streamlining systems to support first-generation struggling students, and launching more financial literacy resources. 

Before her position as Associate Provost, Socarides served as Chair of the Department of English for four years. In that role, she was responsible for the faculty, staff, and students in the department’s five central programs: the undergraduate program, graduate program, composition program, online program, and creative writing program. As Chair, she launched a 4+1 program as well as a graduate certificate for high school English teachers, and she worked with an alumni board to increase access to internships for English majors. In addition, she was a Faculty Fellow in the Provost’s Office, a Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor, and Director of Undergraduate Studies and Literature Coordinator within the Department of English. She began her career at Mizzou as an Assistant Professor of English in 2007.

A scholar of 19th-century American women’s poetry, Socarides is the author of several books, including In Plain Sight: Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry and the Problem of Literary History (2020) and Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics (2012), both published by Oxford University Press. She has also received several awards, including the William T. Kemper Fellowship, awarded to five University of Missouri faculty each year for excellence in the classroom.

She holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in English from Rutgers University, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (poetry) from Sarah Lawrence College, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Bates College. 

(Visited 2,082 times, 1 visits today)