As an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Leadership Program Director, Dr. Vail fosters a leadership development environment at Salem where students can examine questions and issues in health leadership through a range of academic lenses. Her teaching and research interests focus on gender, leadership, identity, campus cultures, and the history of American higher education.
Before coming to Salem College, Dr. Vail served as Associate Dean and Honors Program Director at Tulane University. In that role, she taught epistemology and research methods courses, worked closely with the faculty to develop and offer Honors courses, and oversaw a robust fellowships advising program for Tulane undergraduates, graduate students, and graduates. Previous to that appointment, she was the founding director of the Newcomb Scholars Program for academically ambitious undergraduate women at Tulane. She taught seminars on epistemology and the history of women in higher education and established an environment for them to pursue leadership opportunities both on and off campus. Dr. Vail also worked with faculty and administration at Tulane to design and develop the Newcomb Institute, the erstwhile women’s coordinate college, after Hurricane Katrina. Rethinking the women’s coordinate college model to offer opportunities to students today, she was committed to maintaining its identity and history while also creating opportunities for modern undergraduate women at Tulane. In both of those roles, Dr. Vail’s unwavering commitment was to the students where she fostered a vibrant community of student scholars.
Dr. Vail earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of New Orleans. Her research focused on the intellectual development of college students through service-learning. Dr. Vail’s work is grounded in the liberal arts; she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in literature with an emphasis on the later Romantics.