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The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Simmons welcomes new provost, Stephanie Cosner

“I’m excited to focus on what it means to get a Simmons education, and making sure the curriculum best serves students.”
Provost Stephanie Cosner. Image via
Provost Stephanie Cosner. Image via

Stephanie Cosner has transitioned from Vice Provost to Provost of Simmons University, succeeding Russ Pinizzotto who is now serving as the Chief Operating Officer.

Cosner has been at Simmons since 2018, when she was the inaugural Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice. The College she was first Dean of will become the Gwen Ifill School of Media, Humanities, and Social Sciences upon the implementation of the academic redesign.

 In an email obtained by the Voice from Communications Director Laura Wareck, President Wooten told faculty that Provost Cosner will “lead the vision and strategy for the full range of Simmons’ academic offerings…this includes continued work to implement our updated academic vision, programs, and the Simmons Edge.”

Russ Pinizzotto joined Simmons in 2020 and has since worked to strengthen the online degree program and prepare for the introduction of the academic redesign. In his new role, he will oversee day-to-day operations in technology, facilities, and finance. He hopes to continue working toward long-term sustainability of the University. 

“Simmons is focused on non-majority populations achieving their dreams, so they’re supported to succeed in any environment,” said Cosner in an interview with the Voice. “[Simmons] has a mission that they still hold to be leadership, women-centered education, and preparing for the future.” 

Cosner added that her favorite part of the new position will be connecting with students and continuing lasting relationships with the faculty and administration she’ll be collaborating with. 

The academic redesign brings new physical and academic changes to Simmons, including One Simmons and the Simmons Edge. Cosner said she is excited to see the changes in its implementation stage.

“I’m excited to focus on what it means to get a Simmons education, and making sure the curriculum best serves students…I have the joy of seeing the impact of these programs on students,” Cosner added.

The Provost Office collaborates with the Board of Trustees in terms of strengthening all aspects of the student experience; Gretchen Groggel Ralston, Secretary to the Board, said to the Voice that Provost Cosner will continue to emphasize the uniqueness of Simmons and its vision – especially in regards to the academic redesign. 

“We always have the mission of Simmons in mind, but decisions aren’t always easy,” said Groggel Ralston. “The Board puts students in mind first…the academic redesign elevates our strengths, and provides more efficient pathways to graduate degrees.”

Beth Kramer, Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Advancement spoke excitedly to the Voice about how Cosner emphasizes the importance of providing Simmons students with an educational experience that aligns with the mission and goals of Simmons – leadership and change-making.

Kramer encourages open communication between students and the administration, adding that she wants the redesign to make Simmons a “great buzz” not only academically, but in terms of leadership and career development.

“Provost Cosner can articulate what is special about Simmons and its vision,” said Groggel Ralston. “She speaks with passion and clarity about why the world needs a place like Simmons. It’s hard not to be inspired by that.”


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Abigail Meyers
Abigail Meyers, Social Media Editor
Abigail Meyers (2026, she/her) is a sophomore majoring in Journalism with minors in Political Science and Social Media. She has been writing for the Voice since fall of her freshman year and is elated to be joining the editorial team! When she's not in the newsroom, you can find her exploring the city, working out, obsessing over Taylor Swift, or baking something she saw on TikTok.

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