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Jonnie Guerra


MA 1975, English
PhD 1981, English

Jonnie Guerra has spent her entire career in higher education. She began her career in academia as a faculty member for ten years at Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C. where she earned tenure and was appointed as the Director of the First-Year Program, a position that facilitated her entry into academic administration.

Since 1992, Guerra served in academic administrative posts at three institutions, Walsh College (Ohio), Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) (Virginia), and Cabrini College (Pennsylvania) where she currently is the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  In each position, she has handled a broad range of responsibilities and challenges and has earned recognition as an agent of positive change for the institution. At Cabrini, Guerra worked closely with the President and faculty to strengthen and secure the College’s position as a regional institution known for academic excellence, innovative undergraduate and graduate programs, and community outreach. She is particularly proud of her involvement in the planning of a new Science, Education, and Technology building which opened in fall 2005 and of her work with Cabrini faculty to globalize the curriculum and to launch an undergraduate research program at the College. 

Guerra is a specialist in American literature, with a special focus on Emily Dickinson, and has established a national and international presence among Dickinson scholars. Her book chapter on adaptations of Dickinson’s life and work in the arts and theater has been cited for charting new territory in Dickinson studies.  She was selected by the Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS) to direct its first international conference, Translating Emily Dickinson in Language, Culture, and the Arts, held in October 1992 in Washington, D.C.  Guerra became a member of the Society’s Board of Directors in 1992, served as the Board President from 2000 to 2004, and chairs the Committee on Membership. Since 1994, she has been the editor of the Poet to Poet series, a regular feature on poets influenced by Dickinson, for the Society’s Bulletin. Her other scholarly interests include American women playwrights and contemporary American regional theatre.