An alumna has returned to campus to take a lead role in efforts to create more data-informed decision-making about academic programs.
Ann Marie Russell, who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2001, is working in the newly created post of associate provost for data and analytics. Russell also received her master’s degree in social psychology and her Ph.D. in psychology and social policy both from Princeton University. Since 2013, Russell has served as the director of institutional research at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
“Data-informed decision-making about academic programs will help further strengthen UMass Amherst’s role in preparing our students for the economy of the 21st century and further propel Massachusetts as a global tech and life sciences powerhouse,” said John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Adding Ann Marie Russell to our team provides us with an incredibly talented higher-ed leader who understands the power of a UMass education. I am proud to welcome her back to campus.”
Upon her high school graduation from Boston Latin Academy, Russell entered UMass Amherst as a first-generation college student and calls herself a “proud product of the transformative impact of a UMass education.”
“It was my academic experience as a UMass Honors student that activated my life-long love of research and leadership,” Russell says. “And now, I am excited to return to campus in a capacity that enables me to advance data-engagement in the service of our academic mission. I look forward to the opportunity to leverage the institution’s rich data resource—utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies—to inform strategic planning and provide meaningful insights for academic programs and student outcomes.”
At Bates, Russell worked closely with the Office of the President to manage a complex portfolio of institutional research and assessment activities. Among other projects, Russell launched a large-scale in-depth analysis of student outcomes in STEM curricula to support a college initiative focused on enhancing diverse participation in the sciences. The result was a cultural shift in the way Bates perceived and approached inclusivity in STEM and formed the basis for the college’s successful attainment of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence grant. Russell also provided analysis of course evaluation data at Bates that informed training of new faculty there and enhanced Bates’ institutional approaches to admission, retention, campus life and student success. In addition to research projects, Russell spearheaded numerous institutional data initiatives including the co-founding of Bates’ first data governance program.
Russell also currently serves as a board member of the university’s Commonwealth Honors College Advisory Board. While at UMass Amherst, Russell excelled as a student leader. She was a recipient of a Chancellor’s Outstanding Community Service Award, a Senior Leadership Award and a Dean’s Scholar Recognition Award. She is a member of Psi Chi National Honor Society and was the co-founder and co-chair of the UMass Multicultural Association of Psychology Students.