Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D., inaugurated thirteenth president of Mount Mary University

"I feel so very blessed to serve this diverse, vibrant, dynamic, innovative and talented community of learners."

Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D.
President of Mount Mary University

cherney_small.jpgIsabelle Cherney, Ph.D., a nationally recognized social scientist and educator, begins her tenure as the 13th president of Mount Mary University.

Cherney assumed her duties as president on July 1, 2022, upon the retirement of fomer president, Christine Pharr, Ph.D.

Cherney’s academic research focuses on the effects of gender on STEM education and career pathways. She has experience in launching new programs, supporting educators and establishing early college and dual degree programs that provide high school students early exposure to college. A nationally acclaimed researcher, Cherney was invited by the Obama administration on four occasions to participate in White House conferences.

She was previously vice provost for graduate education at Merrimack College near Boston, Mass. Cherney has held multiple roles at the college since 2016, including dean of the Winston School of Education and Social Policy and founding director of the Merrimack Institute for New Teacher Support.

Cherney has also held positions at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., since 2000, including professor, director of the honors program, founding director of the interdisciplinary doctoral program in leadership, and the associate dean of the Graduate School and College of Professional Studies.

“Dr. Cherney’s professional accomplishments reflect her deep appreciation for educating the whole person, the importance of life-long learning, the Catholic intellectual tradition and charisms, the promotion of peace, social justice, truth, global citizenship and the common good,” said Board of Trustee President Stephanie Russell, who also oversaw the presidential search along with Mount Mary Trustee Mary Jo Layden.

Cherney’s steady leadership in higher education resulted in enrollment and revenue growth, a particularly noteworthy accomplishment during the uncertain years of COVID. Under Cherney’s direction as dean of the Winston School of Education & Social Policy, the number of students nearly doubled and the revenue increased over 30%. As vice-provost for graduate education, graduate enrollment increased over 20% during the first waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in an increase in revenue of 24%.

“I am well prepared to continue to refine, update, implement and assess Mount Mary University’s bold strategic plan and expand and build on its pillars of strengths,” Cherney said. “I am excited at the prospect of being able to shape the goals around women’s education to inspire and transform not only women, but society as a whole.”

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Honor President Cherney

As we look to celebrate and welcome our 13th President, Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D., we invite you to make a gift that will honor and support Dr. Cherney's commitment to student education.


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