January 22, 2021

Purdue University Global bolsters leadership team with innovation catalyst

lawrence-m21 Maricel Lawrence

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University Global has bolstered its executive team with the hiring of Maricel Lawrence as its inaugural innovation catalyst, effective March 1.

In this position, Lawrence will unite teams to imagine, design and implement new strategies, programs, modalities, processes and initiatives. Her work will be focused on Purdue Global’s mission to provide personalized online education tailored to the unique learning and career needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, and to meet the needs of employers for ongoing employee professional development that responds to changing environments and supports the growth and retention of employees.

“I am thrilled to join the Purdue Global executive team in a position that will support the institution’s innovative strategies and initiatives,” said Lawrence, who previously worked at Purdue University West Lafayette as online program launch director (2017-19) and associate director of digital education (2015-17). “I am honored to join an institution that is well positioned to lead in areas of the future of education and the future of work.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to come back to the Purdue family and continue collaborating with the faculty and staff of our respective institutions. Purdue’s land-grant mission and Purdue Global’s mission to ‘deliver personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults’ offer the perfect guide for us as we work to provide our students with access to the high-quality education they deserve.”

Lawrence comes to Purdue Global from the University of Montana, where she has served as executive director of UMOnline, the university’s online portfolio, since 2019. In that role, she has worked closely with UM’s colleges to identify opportunities for growth by understanding needs and ideas from learners, workforce demand and industry. She has effectively formulated innovative solutions for a scalable and financially sustainable online portfolio.

“Maricel is an innovative thinker and leader in online education who is skilled in bringing together diverse teams to imagine, develop, plan, implement and sustain new directions,” Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley said. “She boasts a strong track record of connecting university groups and their external partners to facilitate change, as well as designing and managing processes for organizational growth.”

In her most recent role at Purdue West Lafayette, Lawrence worked with academic units to launch new online degree offerings, helping them navigate all stages – from generating ideas and market analysis to development and launch of a new program that aligned with Purdue’s strategic initiatives. She provided leadership, coordination, management and support for Purdue Online Learning innovative activities and initiatives.

“We are thrilled to have Maricel joining the Purdue Global team,” Purdue Global Provost Jon Harbor said. “She brings a wealth of experience in innovation in online education, from initial ideation to robust implementation. She is active in national conversations around the future of work and the role of online learning and will also enhance our capabilities in internationalization.”

Lawrence earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Indiana University in 2011, a human resource management certificate from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2013 and a master’s degree in adult education and training from Colorado State University in 2015.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves approximately 36,000 students (as of January 2021), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit purdueglobal.edu.

Writer, Media Contact: Tom Schott, 765-427-1721, tschott@purdue.edu

Sources: Frank Dooley, frank.dooley@purdueglobal.edu

Jon Harbor, jon.harbor@purdueglobal.edu

Maricel Lawrence, j.maricel@gmail.com

Note to Journalists: A photo of Maricel Lawrence is available on Google Drive.

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