Maria Puzziferro, PhD

Associate Chief Academic Officer and Vice President, Teaching, Learning & Innovation

Dr. Maria Puzziferro brings more than 25 years of experience in academic leadership, course and program delivery, and innovation to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.


From 2017 to June 2023, she served as the Dean of Teaching, Learning and Innovation, where she oversaw the University’s teaching and learning innovation strategy across all five campuses. She became Associate Chief Academic Officer and Vice President, Teaching, Learning & Innovation in June 2023. In this role, she collaborates with University and academic leadership, faculty and other key stakeholders to lead efforts in the faculty experience, strategic initiatives, learning resources and instructional design and delivery.

These responsibilities include leading academic quality initiatives, program development, ensuring excellence in teaching and learning outcomes, and providing strategic direction for digital learning, the Centers for Innovative Clinical Practice, University libraries and the Institute for Learning, Innovation and Faculty Excellence (iLIFE).

Dr. Puzziferro’s background encompasses a strong record of academic, leadership and educational technology experience. She was previously the Executive Director of Online Global Strategic Initiatives at Laureate International Universities. Additionally, she served as President and Provost at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and as Dean of Academic Affairs at Colorado State University-Global Campus. Furthermore, Dr. Puzziferro has extensive experience as a teacher in various modalities and has contributed to curriculum development.

She holds a Doctor of Education in higher education administration from New York University, a master’s degree in government and politics from St. John’s University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Adelphi University. Dr. Puzziferro has made significant contributions to the field of virtual and online learning through her publications, has served as a reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and holds the role of Associate Editor for the Journal of Innovation in Health Sciences Education.