Meet the Provost Office Leadership & Staff

Meet the Provost Office Staff

Vice Provosts and Vice Deans

Katie Embree
Senior Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Post-Secondary Education
Katie Embree is thSenior Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Post-Secondary Education (co-terminus) at Teachers College, Columbia University.  In her role she oversees the Office of Teacher Education, the Office of Accreditation and Assessment, the Office of Academic Affairs Compliance, and the Teachers College Library.  In addition, she leads high-level project management and policy development and serves as the College's Ambassador as needed.  Prior roles at Teachers College include Associate Director of the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation, Assistant Dean, Interim Associate Dean, Associate Vice Provost, Associate Provost and Vice Provost.  In prior roles, Katie oversaw Student Affairs, the Office of Digital Learning, the Office of Continuing Professional Studies, the Academic Affairs Budget, Academic Affairs Administration and chaired the College’s Psychological Emergency Response Team and the Student Conduct Committee. 


She earned a BA with majors in Economics and Psychology at Drew University in 1988 and entered a management training program at Anchor Savings Bank.  Her first permanent placement after the training was in Internal Auditing.  She then moved to a small company that created and sold courses to prepare insurance agents for life or property and casualty state exams.  In 1993 she became a full-time student at Seton Hall University and received an MBA in Finance. Just after completing the MBA she started at Teachers College, as a student and full-time employee.  She earned a doctorate in Higher and Post-Secondary Education in 2001.

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Vice Dean for Research

Professor Carol Scheffner Hammer is the Vice Dean for Research, effective September 1, 2020.  As Vice Dean for Research, Carol will work with Teachers College faculty, students, staff, and administration to provide leadership on issues affecting our research environment.  She will have responsibility for optimizing the research infrastructure, supporting and growing faculty research, fostering interdisciplinary research efforts, and helping to lead the College’s research mission.   

Professor Hammer joined Teachers College’s Department of Biobehavioral Sciences in 2015 as Professor of Communication and Sciences Disorders and has been serving as Department Chair of BBS since January 2020.  Prior to joining Teachers College, she served as Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Temple University.


Read more about Professor Hammer's vision for research here

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Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs

Professor Marie Miville is the Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs, effective September 1, 2020.

As Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs, Dr. Miville will provide leadership in faculty development and initiatives that contribute to the strategic priorities of the College.  She will be responsible for leading efforts in faculty mentoring and career development; working with leadership and faculty to create and facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; overseeing the development and review of policies and procedures relating to faculty appointments; and fostering a climate where our faculty can thrive.

Dr. Miville joined Teachers College in 2003 as Associate Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology and was promoted to Professor in 2016.  She is a leading scholar in her field, authoring two books and over 65 publications focused on social justice and multicultural issues in counseling and psychology.  Dr. Miville has held numerous significant academic administrative positions at TC, most recently as the College Ombudsperson (2019-2020) as well as Chair (2011-2017)/Co-Chair (2006-2009) of the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology.  In these latter roles, she facilitated the development of new programs, engaged in faculty assessment and workload management strategies, and provided guidance and resources for the faculty, students, and staff in her department.

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Thomas Rock
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Dr. Thomas Rock earned his BA in Communication Studies from the University of Dayton (OH); his MS in Education in Counselor Education from Alfred University (NY); and his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University (NY). He also received a Certificate of Completion from the Harvard Graduate School of Education for participation in the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE).  Dr. Rock was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship from the United States Department of State in 2018 and traveled to Japan as part of the Fulbright Scholarship Program.

Dr. Rock has over 25 years of experience in student affairs having worked in undergraduate and graduate admissions and enrollment management and graduate student affairs. In his role as Vice Provost for Student Affairs at TC, Dr. Rock oversees the administrative offices and staff that support students in their out-of-classroom experiences while enrolled at Teachers College. He also chairs the Psychological Emergency Response Team (PERT), the Student Code of Conduct Committee and is a member of the Title IX Team for Teachers College.

Dr. Rock has worked in the field of undergraduate admissions and College Counseling at the University of Dayton, Alfred University and The Albany Academy (NY).  He has worked in graduate admissions at Columbia University (NY), Hofstra University (NY) and Teachers College, Columbia University (NY).  His student affairs work has been at Teachers College, Columbia University (NY).

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Associate Provost for International Affairs and Assistant Professor in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies

Portia Williams is the Associate Provost for International Affairs and an Assistant Professor (Coterminous) in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. As the College's chief international officer, Dr. Williams guides policy and practice for institutional partnerships and collaborations, oversees the Office of International Students and Scholars, serves as the Campus Administrator for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and facilitates a range of programming initiatives involving faculty, students, and international stakeholders. Dr. Williams was the founding Director of the Office of International Affairs in 2008, and has led the continued expansion of the College's internationalization efforts.

With more than 25 years of experience in education and development, Dr. Williams has directed, advised, or collaborated on policy and program endeavors in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, East and Southern Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States. Additionally, as an ESL professional, Dr. Williams has held faculty appointments at Georgetown, American, and George Washington Universities, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and the University of Shkodra in Albania. 


Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in International Educational Development and Policy Studies and an Ed.M in International Family and Community Education from Teachers College Columbia University. She also holds an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Dr. Williams is a former Spencer Research Fellow, David L. Boren Fellow, and Peace Corps Volunteer. 

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Special Advisor for Doctoral Studies

Noah Drezner is the Special Advisor for Dcotoral Studies. In this position, he will be helping collect and analyze data on our doctoral programs that was originally requested by Columbia’s GSAS. These data focus on admissions, time to degree, and placements by race and gender. Using these data to inform his work, he was asked by Provost Rowley to help build a College-wide strategy for outstanding support of doctoral student development. Dr. Drezner looks forward to working with the different doctoral programs as he begins to engage this work. 

Dr. Noah D. Drezner is  Professor of Higher Education in the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, founding editor of Philanthropy & Education, and a leading researcher on educational philanthropy.

Read more about Professor Drezner's research here

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Katie Schmitt
Director of Administration

Katie is the principal liaison and advisor to the Provost. Her key responsibilities include helping the Provost to identify strategic priorities, leading the implementation of initiatives, overseeing Provost Office policies and procedures, administering the office's budgets and finances, overseeing the Provost’s Office staff, and scheduling and coordinating all meetings of the Provost, determining the best use of time.

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Phone: (212) 678-3611

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Director of Academic Affairs
Director of Budget for Academic Affairs

Rob Graham is the Director of Budget for Academic Affairs.   Rob has worked in Academic Affairs at TC for more than a decade, currently overseeing the Academic Affairs budget, budget planning and strategic allocation of financial resources.   He received his BS from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and his MA from the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College.    



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Phone: (212) 678-8314

Director of Academic Program Planning
Amy's key responsibilities include oversight of the Office of Continuing Professional Studies (CPS) and support of various new program initiatives at Teachers College.  


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Phone: (212) 678-7492

Kira Grant
Associate Director of Academic Affairs

Kira's primary responsibilities include faculty personnel review administration, faculty recruitment oversight, Goldberg Postdoctoral Fellow recruitment, student worker management, and new faculty onboarding. She also supports the Faculty Development Advisory Committee. She received her M.A. from Teachers College in 2016.

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Phone: (212) 678-7416  

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Executive Assistant
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