Institutional News

Bennington College President Laura R. Walker Joins Editorial Board of LearningWell Magazine

Bennington College is pleased to announce that President Laura R. Walker has joined the Editorial Board of LearningWell magazine, a publication of the Mary Christie Institute.

Image of Laura Walker

The new publication, which was first announced this spring, will present news, ideas, data, and perspectives on the promotion of mental health and life-long well being through higher education. 

“With her experience in journalism, her role as president of Bennington College, and her extraordinary commitment to innovative approaches to student mental health and wellness, Laura is the perfect addition to our accomplished Editorial Board,” said Marjorie Malpiede, editor of LearningWell and executive director of The Mary Christie Institute. “I know she will make significant contributions, and I am delighted that she accepted the commitment.”

LearningWell will appear in print each January and digitally every month. The first digital issue went out to subscribers this week. Operating under a non-profit journalism model, the publication is funded by donors; subscribers will get the link for free. Those interested should visit the magazine’s website,, to subscribe.

Walker became president of Bennington College in 2020. She has made mental health and wellbeing a top priority by exploring and creating innovative and holistic approaches to student wellbeing that complement Bennington’s self-directed educational model. Prior to her time at Bennington, Walker was the President and CEO of New York Public Radio (NYPR), a position that she held for 23 years. During her tenure, NYPR was awarded ten George Foster Peabody awards and many other honors.

Other members of the board include Lynn Pasquerella, PhD, President, American Association of Colleges and Universities and President Emeritus, Mount Holyoke College; Eric Wood, PhD, Director of Counseling & Mental Health, Texas Christian University; and Kara Miller, PhD, Journalist, The Boston Globe, to name a few.

“I am very pleased to join this distinguished group in efforts to share current research- and experience-based information at the intersection of mental health and higher education,” said Walker. “I know I am not alone as a college president in saying that student mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of my mind. Making helpful information on this topic more accessible is a worthy pursuit.”

The publication’s aim is to become a robust forum of ideas on how education policies and pedagogy can help students of all backgrounds achieve flourishing lives. Readers can expect to find storytelling, research dissemination, best practice sharing, and interviews and opinions that take social determinants—including access and equity, affordability, teaching and learning policies, and mental health strategies—into account.  

About The Mary Christie Institute

The Mary Christie Institute is a national thought leadership organization dedicated to improving the emotional and behavioral health of teens and young adults with a particular focus on American college students. Through convening, research, journalism, and advocacy, The Mary Christie Institute has become the inter-institutional epicenter for new ideas and initiatives in college-age behavioral health.