Elisabeth Harrison

Morning Edition Host, Education Reporter

Elisabeth Harrison's journalism background includes everything from behind-the-scenes work with the CBS Evening News to freelance documentary production.

She joined the WRNI team in 2007 as a Morning Edition producer and freelance journalist. In 2009, she became a full-time reporter, and became the Morning Edition host in 2011.

Harrison's education is as wide ranging as her work at Rhode Island Public Radio. She has a B.A. in English and French from Wellesley College, and a joint M.A. in Journalism and French Studies from NYU.

A native of Los Angeles, Harrison loves good food and good movies.

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The Education Blog
11:54 am
Mon June 9, 2014

RIDE Releases 2014 School Rankings

31 percent of public schools in Rhode Island need to make improvements, according to the latest school classifications from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

A total of 32 schools, mostly in Providence, East Providence and Pawtucket fall in the department's lowest categories, which means they must craft or are in the midst of implementing restructuring plans with state oversight.

Another group of schools are labeled "warning" which means they must make improvements but without the same level of state involvement.

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Higher Education
10:54 am
Mon June 9, 2014

PC Renews Contract for President Brian Shanley

Providence College has offered a new five-year contract to President Brian Shanley, who has led the private Catholic college for the last decade.

Shanley, a member of the Dominican order, has presided over the construction of a new building to house PC's humanities program, a two-year requirement for all students, and the accreditation of a new business school. He is also credited with shepherding a reorganization of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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Higher Education
9:01 am
Thu June 5, 2014

$18.8 Million Awarded to URI Research Collaborative

A biomedical research program based at the University of Rhode Island has received $18.8 million in new grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Created in 2001, The Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (RI-INBRE), was intended to expand the state's biomedical research capacity. Since that time, it has received $42 million in federal grants, according to URI officials.

The new funding will shift the focus to research in areas of cancer, neuroscience and molecular toxicology. 

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The Education Blog
9:16 am
Wed June 4, 2014

In Providence, Teachers not just Students are Chronically Absent

Nearly a quarter of Providence’s public school teachers are chronically absent, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Overall, teachers in Providence miss an average of nearly 13 days per school year, the 8th highest average in the study, higher than Baltimore, New York and Newark.

A total of 40 large school districts submitted data for the study, which looked at teacher attendance in major metropolitan areas.

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The Education Blog
12:42 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

In Defense of Cursive

A fascinating article in The New York Times this week suggests that cursive may have benefits beyond attractive penmanship.

As the author, Maria Konnikova, points out, cursive is largely left out of the Common Core standards, but there may be evidence that handwriting plays an important role in teaching children how to read and think.

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Higher Education
9:17 am
Tue June 3, 2014

RISD Launches Presidential Search

In an email to RISD faculty, Board Chair Michael Spalter has announced that the search for a new president is underway.

The board has appointed an 11-member search committee, which includes representatives from the RISD Museum, the faculty and the board of trustees.

The university has hired executive search firm Isaacson Miller to help with the search.

RISD's former President John Maeda stepped down unexpectedly in the middle of the academic year to take a venture capital job in Silicon Valley.

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The Education Blog
8:48 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Don't Miss Our Series Paying For It: Rhode Islanders Struggle with Student Debt

Students at Bryant University
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Recent college graduates in Rhode Island have some of the highest loan burdens in the country, according to a national study called the Project on Student Debt. At the same time, Rhode Island faces consistently high unemployment and a sluggish economy.

All that made me wonder what it’s like to finish college with significant debt, so I set out to meet some of the graduates facing this problem and the experts who study it. I’ve been amazed by the response to their stories.

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The Education Blog
11:56 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Gist Responds to Providence Graduation Waivers

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has declined to comment, at least in person, on Providence's waiver of the testing portion of the state's diploma system for roughly 200 seniors. She did provide the following written statement to RIPR, via email.

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The Education Blog
10:47 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Emma Watson On Brown

Emma Watson's graduation selfie.

Emma Watson graduated from Brown University last week, taking a selfie that quickly made the rounds of various social media.

The actress started at Brown in 2009 but later left, returning to England and pursing her film career.

It can't have been easy for the actress who famously portrayed Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise to find herself smack in the middle of an entire campus raised on Harry Potter.

Somehow, Brown managed to keep her return to campus under wraps until her appearance at graduation.

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RI News
11:25 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Colin Kane, Director Of The I-195 Commission On Progress Made, And The Future Of The Land

The vacant land formerly used by the I-195 highway. It's now being readied for development.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Proposals are in for developments that could go up on acres of land opening up for redevelopment in downtown Providence.  The land was freed up by a major highway project that involved moving I-195.  Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with Colin Kane, the director of the I-195 Commission.  The group has been charged with overseeing the development of the land.  Kane discussed the progress made since the project broke ground about a year ago, and where they hope to go.

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