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Marie Volpe

Professional Background

Educational Background

  • B.A., Psychology, Iona College
  • M.A., Organizational Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Post-Graduate Studies, Harvard University, Institute for Lifelong Learning

Scholarly Interests

  • Qualitative Research Process and Methods
  • International Adult Education Initiatives

Selected Publications

Aggaral, B., Volpe, M. and Blair, J.  (Forthcoming: Fall 2011) Challenges, Needs and Experiences of Recently Hospitalized Cardiac Patients and their Informal Caregivers: A Qualitative Study.  American Journal of Cardiology

Volpe, M. and Goldman, N.,(in progress) Engaging Students in the Classroom: What Educators Can Learn from Comedians

Finger, M., Volpe, M. and Asun, J. (1995) Learning Our Way Out: The Theoretical Implications for Adult Education. Paper presented at Adult Education Conference.  Helsinki, Finland, 1995

Marsick, V. J. and Volpe, M., Eds (1999)  Informal Learning on the Job,  in The Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Series 3.      

Volpe, M.  Managing Organizational Change, Paper presented at Workplace Learning Institute, N.Y., June 1993.

Volpe, M. (1992) The Relationship between Organizational Change and Informal learning in the Workplace. Doctoral Dissertation.  Teachers College, Columbia University.

Volpe, M. Professional Learning in a Petrochemical Multinational: Challenges and Issues.  Paper presented to Commission on Professional Education, American    Association of Adult and Continuing Education, Pre-Conference, “Professionals’    Ways of Knowing,” Montreal, Canada, October 1992.

Volpe, M. How an Integrated Formal Training curriculum can Support the Organization’s Business Strategy, HRD Advisory Committee, Paper presented to the University of Texas at Austin, June, 1991.

Volpe, M. Preparing a World-Class Workforce:  Educational Partnerships for the 21st Century, The New Jersey Department of Higher Education Conference, Trenton, N.J., May 1991.

office location

biographical information


Dr. Marie Volpe is currently adjunct professor of Adult Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, after having completed a successful 35-year career at Exxon Corporation. She earned a Master's Degree in Organizational Psychology, and a doctorate in Education, both at Teachers College, Columbia University and completed her Post-Doctoral work at Harvard University. Dr. Volpe's unique contributions include leveraging her vast professional experience with theory and practice and her great care and humor in demystifying the dissertation process for graduate students.

As a dissertation adviser at Teachers College, Dr. Volpe has sponsored and brought over thirty candidates to successful completion of their doctoral degrees, served on well over fifty doctoral defenses, and has worked with students to publish their work post-defense. Her numerous publications focus on adult learning, informal learning and managing organizational change in the work place. Dr. Volpe teaches courses on Qualitative Research Methods, Dissertation Proposal Development, and core courses such as Staff Development & Training, and Program Development. She also leads an active consulting practice in international adult education and the management of organization learning and development. In addition, she regularly conducts workshops and lectures in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia) on qualitative research methods. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Mongolian Education Alliance, Dr. Volpe has been actively involved in the development and expansion of the entire school system for Mongolia.

Dr. Volpe's more recent work in 2011 has been with Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital, where she trained staff on the use of Qualitative research methods to collect and analyze data on a study of cardiac patient care.

ORLD 5053: Developing and managing adult learning programs

Organization studied in relation to community structure and social forces. Finance and facilities, personnel, program, and community relations. Major emphasis on case analysis.

ORLD 5900: Research in adult education

Permission required. Conduct research studies (not a part of a doctoral dissertation) under guidance. Focus on a particular institution or type of institution, e.g., college of liberal arts, professional school, community college.