Elisabeth Harrison

News Director

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.  She was promoted to full-time News Director in June of 2015.

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.

Ways to Connect

Kristin Gourlay

Child welfare officials say they are already working to correct several problems highlighted in a report from the Office of the Child Advocate, which found two infants' deaths could have been prevented. The report looked at the deaths of three infants, two in state care and one whose parents had prior contact with the child welfare system.

The findings raised questions about safety for foster children, particularly children placed with relatives in unlicensed foster homes. 

Elisabeth Harrison

When Sue Lusi said she was leaving the Providence Public Schools to pursue new professional opportunities, she wasn't kidding. 

Boston-based consulting group Mass Insight announced Monday that Lusi will be the new President and CEO of the non-profit Mass Insight Education.

Monday's spring snow blast snarled commuters during both morning and evening rush hours, causing accidents and spin outs, and set a snowfall record in Rhode Island. The National Weather Service recorded 5.9 inches at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, which easily broke the 1957 record of 1.7 inches.

Unofficial snow totals reported to the National Weather Service ranged from three inches in Narragansett to seven inches in Providence, and eight inches in Bristol.

RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s Office of the Child Advocate has released a disturbing report about the deaths of three infants, two of them in state care. The report found that at least two of the children’s deaths could have been prevented, and it points to serious concerns about safety for children in state care.

Elisabeth Harrison

The leader of one of Rhode Island's two powerful teachers' unions sounded unconvinced this week, following the unveiling of State Education Commissioner Ken Wagner's proposal to open public schools to students from other districts and provide more leeway on items like budgets and textbooks.

In a written statement released after Wagner's "State of Education" speech at the General Assembly, National Education Association Rhode Island President Larry Purtill suggested he takes issue with some aspects of the plan.

More problems are emerging in relation to a new website unveiled as part of a statewide business and tourism campaign. 

Critics jeered the state's release of a new logo with the slogan Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer, and a website also unveiled Monday included several embarrassing errors.

A promotional video had to be removed from YouTube Tuesday after it was found to contain footage of Iceland.

Wikimedia Commons

The University of Rhode Island has taken a rare step to create a new college focused on health care. They're calling it the College of Health Sciences and say it will join together programs like physical therapy, sports science, gerontology and psychology.

The university plans to hire a new dean to lead the new College of Health Sciences,  which will join the colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing under the umbrella of an Academic Health Collaborative.

  A senior fellow from the Watson Institute for International and Public Policy at Brown University is weighing in on the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Stephen Kinzer is a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, who writes about foreign policy. He says the west should prepare for more attacks in the future.

“This can’t be the last one, and I think there has to be some recognition in the minds of Europeans and Americans that we can be thrown into a panic every time something like this happens,” said Kinzer. “This is exactly what the attackers are hoping for.”

Elisabeth Harrison

This post has been updated.

Rhode Island’s senior U.S. Senator says the terrorist attacks in Brussels appear similar to other attacks with ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

John Bender / RIPR

 This post has been updated.

In a scene reminiscent of winter, schools have been closed and parking bans enforced on this early day of spring.

The storm was expected to leave up to eight inches of snow before tapering off mid-morning. But the National Weather Service reports that most of Rhode Island got just three-four inches. Burrillville topped the list of snow totals at about six inches.

National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Nocera said most of the snow will melt away by mid-week.

Providence College

After besting the University of Southern California, Providence College faces the top-seeded University of North Carolina on Saturday as March Madness continues.

In Providence, Yale faces it's own tough contest against Duke.

Both teams would make big headlines if they win Saturday, although analysts have said PC is unlikely to pull off a victory. Still, in the world of college basketball, RIPR sports blogger Mike Szostak says "it's a tournament that any of the top teams can win any team can win." 

The head of the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island is part of a group of Episcopal bishops raising concerns about divisive rhetoric in the presidential election. The bishops have issued a rare, unanimous statement condemning “violent forces” that are turning Americans "against their neighbors."

Bishop Nicholas Knisely of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island gives the example of crowds threatening to riot if their candidate is not elected, or politicians who blame a small group for the problems of the larger society.

Elisabeth Harrison

A bill to require daily recess for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade has been placed on Wednesday's agenda for the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. The legislation calls for a minimum of 20 minutes for free-play every day.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Fogarty (D-South Kingstown), has said playtime is healthy for young kids, who benefit from developing social skills and getting a break from schoolwork. A group of parents has also been organizing support for the idea.

RIPR file photo

Through a partnership with Microsoft, the University of Rhode Island and several other organizations, Governor Gina Raimondo has unveiled a plan to bring computer science to every public school in the state.

Raimondo discussed the initiative she calls "CS4RI" at Tolman High School in Pawtucket on Monday. She was joined by members of the state's congressional delegation and hundreds of Tolman students.

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