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The UpSkill Institute at Jacksonville University is overseen by Dr. Chris Sapienza and Dr. Will Miller. Bios for each are below.
Chris Sapienza, Ph.D. (E-mail)
Dr. Chris Sapienza was appointed Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Jacksonville University on May 1, 2018. As the chief academic officer, Dr. Sapienza is responsible for ensuring the quality of undergraduate, graduate, and professional education and enhancing Jacksonville University’s function as a prominent private and distinguished comprehensive university through excellence in faculty teaching, research, scholarship and service. Sapienza works together with members of the Provost Leadership team and other university leaders and faculty to frame academic priorities and policy, to allocate resources appropriately, and to oversee faculty evaluation, faculty tenure and promotion process, post-tenure review and leads the preparation of the university's annual operating budget and accreditation.
Dr. Sapienza joined Jacksonville University in July of 2013 as Associate Dean and Program Director for Communication Sciences and Disorders where she helped establish the first programs of its kind at the University. In May 2014, Dr. Sapienza was tapped to lead the formation and strategic growth of the first new college at the university in more than thirty years, the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences. Under her leadership as Dean, the college has garnered significant research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs and received accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology for its new master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, the first in the region, as well as accreditation for numerous other graduate programs. Her leadership saw the installation of one of the largest and most sophisticated nursing simulation laboratories in the State of Florida, and the establishment of numerous partnerships throughout the healthcare industry. The College now stands as one of the largest and fastest growing at the university.
Prior to coming to JU, Dr. Sapienza served for eight years as chair of the University of Florida’s highly ranked department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, helping it become a top 10 department within the UF Health Science Center. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation R&D Service, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the non-profit CurePSP. She has built a strong national and international reputation for expertise in the design and implementation of larger scale randomized clinical trials examining treatments and protective disorders, as well as the careful reporting of peer reviewed outcomes from these studies. Dr. Sapienza has been widely published in the area and is highly sought after by the scientific community as a keynote speaker, presenter and to lead workshops and clinical teaching platforms. Dr. Sapienza has served on numerous college and university administrative committees and boards, serves extensively in the community, and is the recipient of awards through a variety of local and national channels including the Florida Blue Sapphire Award, Brooks Rehabilitation Research Award, and various dissertation advising, faculty, and professor designations.? Dr. Sapienza holds a Ph.D. Speech Science, State University of New York at Buffalo as well as an M.A. and B.A., Communication Sciences.
Will Miller, Ph.D. (E-mail)
Dr. Will Miller is Executive Director of Institutional Analytics, Effectiveness, and Strategic Planning at Jacksonville University. Prior to JU, Dr. Miller served as Assistant Vice President of Campus Strategy at Campus Labs, a higher education technology and consulting firm. During his time at Campus Labs, Dr. Miller leveraged data best practices to help campuses across the globe make strategic, data-informed decisions. Prior to Campus Labs, Dr. Miller served four years as a faculty member, senior administrator, and the SACSCOC liaison at Flagler College, where he oversaw the campus-wide outcomes assessment process, as well as planning and institutional research activities. Prior to joining Flagler, he held faculty positions at Southeast Missouri State University, Notre Dame College, and Ohio University.
As an educator, Dr. Miller draws on his perspective as a public intellectual to engage students in courses on political science, public policy, program evaluation, and organizational behavior. He earned his master’s degree in applied politics from the Ray C. Bliss Institute at The University of Akron, where he also earned his doctorate in urban studies and public affairs. He holds both a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University.
A forward-thinking data analyst and dynamic speaker, Dr. Miller presents at professional conferences focused on higher education, institutional research, and political science. Whether analyzing public opinion data from central Asian nations for the U.S. Department of State, assessing the inner dynamics of the Republican Party in the era of Trump, or creating models for effective, inclusive strategic planning, he aims to provide relevant, actionable data to relevant stakeholders. As a prolific author, Dr. Miller has written for outlets including Political Science Quarterly, Inside Higher Ed, Journal of Political Marketing, and Times Higher Education, in addition to authoring multiple books and book chapters in published works.
Dr. Miller has served as a strategic advisor to elected officials, agency administrators, and social service agencies. His scholarly pursuits focus on assessment, campaigns and elections, polling, political psychology, and the pedagogy of political science and public administration.