March 29, 2022

Susquehanna University has named Laurie Carter as the dean of the School of the Arts and School of Humanities.

Laurie Carter, incoming dean, School of the Arts and School of Humanities. Laurie Carter, incoming dean, School of the Arts and School of Humanities.Carter comes to Susquehanna from Hampton University, Virginia, where she serves as the Mellon Foundation endowed chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages. She will join the university on July 1.

“Laurie personifies the things we are most proud of at Susquehanna,” Provost Dave Ramsaran said. “She has used her education as a means of transforming her life and positively impacting the lives of those around her. She brings a new and exciting vision for our schools of arts and humanities and I look forward to working with her in support of our students and faculty.”

A first-generation college graduate, Carter was also considered a nontraditional student when she enrolled in college after spending six years in the U.S. Army. Carter went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in languages and literatures from Austin Peay State University, Tennessee. She received her doctorate in literature and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, followed by a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

As dean, Carter will lead two schools comprised of 78 full-time faculty within 10 departments. She will work collaboratively with university leadership to advance the institution’s academic mission and further develop its academic programs. She will drive excellence in curricula, teaching and learning, academic advising, scholarship and creative activities, faculty development, and innovation that reflect Susquehanna’s emphasis on academic achievement. Carter will also be a member of University President Jonathan Green’s Senior Leadership Team, the Provost Council and the University Council.

“Growing up in Portsmouth, Virginia — the product of a single-parent household and a survivor of social and economic disparities that often left me emotionally and academically petrified — I could not have dreamed a more impossible, improbable dream for myself,” Carter said. “I am honored to join Susquehanna in its mission to effect change across the globe. SU’s consistent commitment to academic excellence, research and scholarly development, and service to one’s community makes me feel right at home.”

Advocate, Author and Educator

Carter is a nationally recognized author. Her memoir, Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul, was named by The Root as one of the best nonfiction books by Black authors in 2015. The memoir was also listed as an Indiefab Book of the Year 2015 finalist in the autobiography/memoir category and named a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for nonfiction.

An outspoken advocate for survivors of military sexual trauma, Carter has published personal essays on the topic, as well as poverty and domestic violence, in several publications, and has presented talks, lectures and workshops at organizations including the KGB Literary Bar, Girls Write Now, The Women’s Initiative and West Point Military Academy. Most recently, Carter served as a panelist on military sexual trauma and presented to Denis McDonough, secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Carter is also an award-winning educator having recently been awarded the Academic Excellence Award for outstanding faculty member from Hampton University.

Carter’s most recent memoir, Other Than Honorable: A Soldier’s Struggle Through Military Sexual Trauma, will be published by Etruscan Press in January 2023. Additionally, her craft book From the Trenches: Writing and Workshopping Race will be published by Kendall Hunt publishing this spring.

In 2021, Susquehanna has restructured the School of Arts and Sciences into three schools — School of the Arts, School of Humanities and School of Natural and Social Sciences — and they are overseen by two deans. The School of the Arts encompasses the departments of art and design, theatre and music. The School of Humanities includes the departments of communications, education, English and creative writing, history, languages, literatures and cultures, philosophy, and religious studies.

Susquehanna was assisted by executive search firm Spelman Johnson.