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Michelle Vital

Assistant Professor/Director of International Higher Education

faculty Louise Michelle Vital

Louise Michelle Vital, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of International Higher Education and Co-Director of the Institute for English Language Programs Beyond Borders at Lesley University. Vital has nearly 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, including in student services, international education, teaching and academic service, and higher education scholarship. Her primary line of inquiry is related to the global dimensions of higher education. Broadly, her interests center on a country and regional focus on Haiti and the Caribbean, student experiences in higher education, scholar/practitioner preparation, and critical reflexive practice in academia. Her teaching, research, and scholarship are driven by key suppositions and questions, including how inequalities in power and privilege exist in society: What are the consequences of these realities, and how do they impact experience in educational contexts?


Refereed Journals

Vital, L. M. & Yao, C. W. (2021). De-constructing the academic hood: Reflexive considerations for doctoral researcher socialization for international  research. Journal of International Students.

Vital, L. M. (2021). Higher education and career development expectations of emerging adults: A focus on university students and graduates in Haiti. African Journal of Career Development

Yao, C. W. & Vital, L. M. (2018). Reflexivity in international contexts: Implications for U.S. doctoral students international research preparation. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 13, 193-201.

Book Chapters

Vital, L. M. (2020). Understanding self to engage with the ‘other’: Pedagogical approaches  to teaching about identity and belonging in graduate education. In T. S. Jenkins (Ed). Reshaping graduate education through innovation and collaborative learning (pp. 147-166). IGI Global.

Alvarado-Young, K. & Vital, L. M. (2019). When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong: #PCpolice. In M. Benjamin & J. Jessup-Anger (Eds.) Maybe I should. . . Case studies on ethics for student affairs professionals, 2nd edition. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Boehme, L. & Vital, L. M. (2019). Student organizations and due process: A settled issue? In M. Benjamin & J. Jessup-Anger (Eds.) Maybe I should. . . Case studies on ethics for student affairs professionals, 2nd edition. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Hoffshire, M. & Vital, L. M. (2019). “It’s the intersections that get sticky”: Navigating ethnic and sexual orientation identities. In J. C. Garvey, et al. (Eds.) Case studies for student development theory: Advancing social justice & inclusion in higher education. New York and London: Routledge.

Vital, L. M. & Yao, C. W. (2018). Future directions for internationalization in higher education: Considerations for doctoral research training. In D. Proctor & L. Rumbley (Eds.), The Future Agenda for Internationalization in Higher Education: Next Generation Insights into Research, Policy, and Practice. UK: Routledge.

Practice and Policy Briefs *Denotes collaboration with Lesley University graduate student(s)

*Feld, S. & Vital, L. M. (2020, November). Crisis of self, crisis of community: An ecological understanding of inclusion and belonging during COVID-19 in U.S. global education practice. Diversity Abroad: Global Impact Exchange.

Vital, L. M. & Shaw Bonds, M. (2020, October). Identifying and supporting vulnerable campus populations in times of crisis across the local-global continuum. Diversity Abroad: News & Press Articles

*Palmacci, A. & Vital, L. M. (2020, October). Learning in the time of COVID-19: Lessons from teachers and their teachers. Diversity Abroad: Diversity Abroad: News & Press Articles

Vital, L. M. & Chhabra, M. (2019, October). Supporting students from diverse backgrounds in international education: The role of faculty. Diversity Abroad: Global Impact Exchange, 26-28.

*Chow, L. & Vital, L. M. (2019, October). Diversifying the international education pipeline: Recruiting and preparing students for intercultural work through graduate programs. Diversity Abroad: Global Impact Exchange, 7-9.

Vital, L. M. (2017). Looking ahead post disaster: What Latin American and Caribbean higher education can learn from Haiti. Revista de Educación Superior en América Latina, 3, 3-5.  

Select Presentations *Denotes collaboration with Lesley University graduate student

Vital, L. M., *Thorpe, M. *Graham, L., & *Groh, S. (October 2021). Developing scholar-practitioner identity in international higher education through teaching apprenticeships. NAFSA All Region Summit.

Vital, L. M. & Gooden, A. (June 2021). Teaching and learning English for academic purposes: Pedagogical approaches for culturally responsive online environments. Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse International Student in Open or Online Learning Environments Research Symposium, University of Windsor.

Vital, L. M. (April 2021). Engaging race and racism in teaching international higher education. Critical Internationalization Studies Network: Race and Racism Group.

Vital, L. M. & Chhabra, M. (April 2021). Racial reckoning in higher education: A social justice imperative. Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting.

Molina, D., Shaw Bonds, M., Moyen, E., Vital, L. M., Cuellar, M., Taylor, L. (November 2020). Crisis insight and opportunity: Emergent interdisciplinary research at the intersection of higher education and COVID-19 (symposium presentation). Association for the Study of Higher Education annual conference.

Vital, L. M. & *Workman, S. (June 2020). Fostering a sense of belonging in your personal and professional communities of practice. Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.

Vital, L. M…et al. (November 2020). Women of Color navigating space in PWIs (presentation). Women of Color in the Academy Conference, Northeastern University, Boston, MA.

Vital, L. M., Okello, W., Quaye, S. (July 2019). Decolonizing research [Webinar]. ACPA Pan African Network.

Vital, L.M., Sinclair, S., & Yao, C. W. (April 2019). Beyond study abroad: Developing global citizenship in graduate education through internationalization at home (research paper presentation). Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Recent International Work

Co-Director; Lesley University Institute for English Language Programs Beyond Borders

  • Co-Facilitator, Teaching for neurodiversity: Building inclusive teaching and learning classrooms, Summer 2021, 2022
    • Country Partners: St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Bahamas
    • Organization Partner: The Authentic Caribbean Foundation
  • Co-Instructor, English for Education and Empowerment: Multilingual Parent Advocacy Certificate course, The Lesley-Brockton School and Community Engagement Project, Spring 2021, 2022 (course co-developed by Dr. Vital)
  • Co-Instructor, Integrated English Skills for Academic Purposes, Lesley University/ Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies of Haiti, Summer 2019 (course co-developed by Dr. Vital)

Lesley University Delegate, UNESCO University Twinning and Networking Programme (UniTwin) Meeting, Moscow, Russia, July 2019


PhD, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, Michigan State University
MA, Student Affairs Administration, Michigan State University
BA, Sociology, Simmons University

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