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

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

As the St. George's sexual abuse allegations continue to unfold, an Episcopal reverend named in the investigation has been relieved of some duties in the small Pennsylvania town where he now works.

Elisabeth Harrison

In a written statement, St. George's School  "deeply apologizes" for the harm done by employees and former students accused of sexual abuse.

"We recognize the long-lasting impact of sexual abuse and are dedicated to working with survivors to aid them in healing from its painful aftermath," the school said on Tuesday.

Lara/Creative Common License

After releasing a report that found 26 students were sexually abused by multiple staff members in the 1970s and '80s, St. George's School is back in the headlines this week. Attorneys representing survivors of the abuse say the school's report downplays the number of victims.

Elisabeth Harrison

A pair of Providence schools are testing out standing desks, a growing trend in workplaces across the country.

West Broadway Middle School has about 30 of the desks, which were donated by the manufacturer, Ergotron. Math teacher Emily Mowry says she likes the way they move easily and quietly around the classroom, and students have quickly gotten used to them. 

"I would say it has a positive impact on most kids, and you’ll see some kids who may have been fidgety before, get that nervous energy out just with the standing," Mowry said.

The sale of the Block Island Times is expected to become final on January 1st. The weekly’s owners for the last decade, Fraser and Betty Lang, are selling the paper to Michael Schroeder, who owns several Connecticut newspapers, including the New Britain Herald.

Once he takes over, Schroeder says he plans to spend one or two weeks a month on Block Island.

The Rhode Island Foreign Language Association is calling for a new post at the State Department of Education to oversee foreign language education in public schools.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Islanders hail from all over the world, and so too do the dishes and traditions we practice during the holidays. To sample some of this season’s international flavors, Rhode Island Public Radio sent reporters into several communities. Kristin Gourlay begins our story at a Liberian restaurant. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison and producer Nate Mooney also contributed to this piece.          

If you who still have people on your holiday shopping list, don’t panic! We have book picks from the chair of RISD's Department of Literary Arts and Studies. Associate Professor Nicole Merola sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

RIPR FILE

The House Oversight Committee is expected to issue more subpoenas Tuesday in connection with 38 Studios, the video game company that went bankrupt, leaving Rhode Island with millions to pay from a state-backed loan. The committee is trying to review how the loan deal got approved.

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Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took an active role in the overhaul of the “No Child Left Behind Act”. That’s the federal education law that ushered in a new emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. The new law, known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is supposed to reduce the focus on testing. It got a signature last week from President Barack Obama. Senator Whitehouse joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison now to discuss the new law.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President Barack Obama was "too slow" to recognize that Americans need to know more about what is being done to stop the Islamic State. 

"I think if you’re the president and you’re getting national security briefings every minute and your military are running a very complex program to try to deal with ISIS, it’s easy to think, okay, we got this," Whitehouse told RIPR.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Language immersion programs known as “dual language” programs are a growing trend in public elementary schools. They allow students to become bilingual in English and another language, like Spanish. 

Providence school officials have just announced a plan to offer new dual language programs in Spanish and possibly Mandarin at Carl Lauro Elementary School.

The programs would begin with two Kindergarten classrooms in each language, then add a grade every year until fifth grade.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Islanders are reacting to the passage of new federal legislation for public schools. The "Every Student Succeeds Act" is expected to get a signature Thursday from President Barack Obama. Rhode Island Association of School Committees Executive Director Tim Duffy said a new law will help state and local officials move forward with their efforts to improve public schools.

RIPR file photo

The State Council on Elementary and Secondary Education is scheduled to vote Wednesday on new rules for the length of the school day and the school year. The regulations are supposed to clarify some language around snow days, after multiple storms last winter. 

 A group of parents and other advocates seized on the rule change as an opportunity to push for  minimum requirements for recess in elementary schools. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A new analysis of executive compensation at private universities shows Bryant University’s Ronald Machtley is the highest paid in Rhode Island. 

When you add up base pay, bonuses and other compensation, Machtley earned more than $795,000, according to tax filings from 2013 analyzed by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

At nearly $740,000, Brown University President Christina Paxson also earns more than the median for a private university president, but her salary remains lower than the presidents of most other Ivy League institutions.

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