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

PASA

Representatives from 10 different cities head to Rhode Island this week to find out how Providence provides afterschool programs. They're interested in the Providence Afterschool Alliance, which coordinates bussing and activities for roughly 2,000 Providence students.

PASA works with nonprofits that provide a range of programs from art and music to science, math and sports. The group also works with city and school officials to serve roughly one-third of all Providence middle school students. In recent years, PASA has been expanding into high schools. 

Elisabeth Harrison

School resource officers, police officers who are embedded in public schools, have become commonplace in Rhode Island. But the practice is under new scrutiny after a controversial incident in South Carolina, where an officer dragged a high school student from her chair, flipping the student and her desk onto the floor in the process.

In Burrillville, Officer David Beauchemin takes what I would describe as a community policing approach to the district's five public schools.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

There’s an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose unfolding across Rhode Island right now, and Burrillville, a small town in the northwestern corner of the state has been particularly hard hit.

Jesse M. Smith Library in Harrisville
RIPR

Join Rhode Island Public Radio for a listening party for our series One Square Mile: Burrillville at the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library in Harrisville!  Hear highlights from the series, meet the local reporters who produced the stories, and share your stories with us!

RIPR FILE

Two survivors of sexual assault will testify Monday before a statehouse commission aimed at curbing sexual violence on college campuses.

Commission member Peg Langhammer directs the nonprofit Day One, which helped to arrange the victims’ testimony. Langhammer said they will share details from their personal experiences and discuss what happened after the sexual assault.

One day after learning his non-Hodgkins lymphoma is in remission, Red Sox Manager John Farrell says he is feeling grateful.

During a Friday afternoon conference call with reporters, Farrell said he's recovering after treatment.

"Basically there was six months of chemo given in an eight week period," Farrell said. "That was to combat the aggressive nature of the cancer."

Farrell described the treatment regimen as "pretty intense."

"It beat me up physically, but honestly right now, feeling pretty darn good."

Elisabeth Harrison

Five years after lawmakers approved a formula to determine state aid to school districts, Governor Gina Raimondo is calling for a review  of the system. 

Raimondo has convened a panel of more than two dozen lawmakers, businesspeople, school leaders and others to study the way the state distributes money to elementary and secondary schools.

Questions for the panel include funding for charter schools, special education services and the overall effectiveness of K-12 spending, which is the second largest piece of the state budget.

Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo is defending her administration from criticism that information has become harder to obtain.

Some reporters, editors and good government groups have complained about less-than-forthcoming responses to requests for public documents and a lack of access to public officials under Raimondo's leadership.  

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Council for Elementary and Secondary Education approved funding for school building projects in more than a dozen school districts. Most of the money comes from a multi-million school building authority proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo and passed by state lawmakers.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Council on Higher Education wants to freeze tuition at state colleges and universities for the upcoming academic year. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison sat down with State Higher Education Commissioner Jim Purcell to ask about the cost of a college degree.

RIPR FILE

The Community College of Rhode Island plans to open a new facility in Westerly to train workers for Electric Boat.

The company needs welders and other specialized employees to build nuclear submarines. Rhode Island Education Commissioner Jim Purcell said the new center is part of an effort to be more responsive to Electric Boat and other companies.

“And we’ve made a commitment to actually have a learning center at Westerly, which is really going to support job opportunity and access not only here in Rhode Island, but also at the Groton, Ct. site,” said Purcell.

Aaron Read

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in September, down from 5.7 percent in August and 7.2 percent a year earlier, according to new numbers from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The drop came as the national unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed that 1,300 fewer  Rhode Island residents were actively seeking work in September, compared with August. The number is down by more than 9,000 since this time a year ago.  

Elisabeth Harrison

The search committee seeking a superintendent for Rhode Island's largest school district has scheduled a series of public meetings to gather input from residents.

Organizers said the forums will focus on a job description for the Providence superintendent and discussion of the major issues the district faces.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island's council for higher education has voted against tuition increases at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island. 

In a letter, Governor Gina Raimondo had urged the council to keep tuition at current levels to make college more accessible to students.

"We must make it a priority to ensure that students who work hard, and want to pursue higher education, aren't prevented from doing so by high costs," Raimondo wrote.

Milken Family Foundation

Kendra Borden, a Pawtucket junior high school English teacher is Rhode Island's winner of the 2015 Milken Educator Award.

Borden received the award in a ceremony at Slater Junior High School on Wednesday, where state education officials described her as a dedicated, urban teacher with a positive influence on  students and teachers.

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