Announcing SEA’s new Executive Director, Laura DiZazzo!

After a thoughtful search, we are incredibly excited to announce that Laura DiZazzo has accepted the Executive Director position at Seattle Education Access to begin on July 8, 2019.

Laura has been an ardent supporter of SEA since 2008. In that time, Laura has acted as a program partner at two colleges and served as a member of our board of directors – and now we’re thrilled to have her as our leader!

Laura’s professional and personal achievements reveal a resilient, focused visionary with an unwavering commitment to the most diverse and historically marginalized students on our college campuses. As Laura stated, “We, as a society, are missing out on too many brilliant minds due to intergenerational cycles of poverty, systemic racism, and other structural bias. Without organizations like SEA working for social and racial justice, our post-secondary education system will continue to sell hope, but deliver inequity.”

Professionally, Laura’s dense resume includes many accomplishments as a non-profit and educational leader. Since 2012, Laura has worked in partnership with SEA as the Dean of Instruction for Basic and Transitional Studies at Seattle Central College.  Her work included collaboration with SEA to establish a high school reengagement program at Seattle Central College, Learning Center Seattle. During her tenure as Dean, Laura worked tirelessly to lead her department in serving 2,500 non-traditional students annually in the areas of adult basic education, English as a second language, GED completion, high school completion, and more. Between 2007 and 2012, Laura worked in partnership with SEA as the Dean of Instruction for Language, Academic Skills, and Wellness at Green River College.  While at Green River College, Laura expanded the community presence of basic skills programs across South King County and established the high school reengagement program and SEA partner site, iGrad.

Personally, her story reflects that of many SEA students. Due to the barriers she faced, Laura is acutely aware that statistically she should be in a very different place. Guidance from individuals outside of her family who helped her to explore college opportunities changed the trajectory of her life. As she explained, “I believe that the model of combining authentic relationships with funding and other post-secondary education supports changes lives – it did for me.”

Laura’s breadth of experience working with non-traditional students, expertise in organizational growth management, and deep institutional knowledge of SEA, paired with her personal experiences accessing higher education, makes her a spectacular fit as our next Executive Director. We are confident that Laura’s talents, leadership, and skills will shape SEA’s trajectory for years to come.

We are excited about how SEA will continue to grow, learn, and reflect with Laura’s leadership—and continuing SEA’s commitment to always centering the voices of those who are at the core of our mission.

 

 

 

Matthew Norman,

SEA Interim Board President

 

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