July 9, 2018

The Power 50: Laurie Leshin

LAURIE LESHIN

President

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester

Residence: Worcester

Colleges: Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology

If a college president might be assumed to be stuffy, or for the head of a technical college to be a man, Leshin – the head of Central Massachusetts' largest school with 5,150 full-time undergrads and a $485-million endowment – flips both of those on its head. Leshin is the first female head of WPI at a school that was male-only for much of its history. To boot, she has nearly 6,300 who follow her prolific tweeting, including selfies with students, and an eye-catching bright red Tesla. Leshin, WPI's president since 2014, has advocated for better pre-collegiate outreach to students and for more female students to join male-dominated STEM fields, with a record 44-percent women in last year's incoming class. In 2017, she opened a small WPI outpost in Boston's Seaport District.

What advice would you young up-and-comers? Surround yourself with inspiring and effective colleagues and work together to have an impact. No major problem can be solved by a single person. Find mentors and – possibly more importantly – kick down the door for someone else.

Out of this world: She has an asteroid named after her.

Read about the WBJ's 2018 Power Players:

Retail

Harry Kokkinis, Table Talk Pies

Steve Rotman, Rotman's Furniture & Vystar

Ernie Herrman, TJX Cos.

Michael Dundas, Sira Naturals

Ralph Crowley Jr., Polar Corp.

Christopher Baldwin, BJ's Wholesale Club

Amy Lynn Chase, Crompton Collective & Haberdash

Food & Culture

Robb & Madeline Ahlquist, Worcester Restaurant Group

Troy Siebels, The Hanover Theatre

Karim El-Gamal, Rail Trail Flatbread Co., New City Microcreamery, Less Than Greater Than

Eric, Sam & Jack Hendler, Jack's Abby Brewing

Lynn Cheney, Lettuce Be Local

Sandy Dunn, DCU Center

Higher Education & Nonprofits

Ann T. Lisi, Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, College of the Holy Cross

Javier Cevallos, Framingham State University

Michael F. Collins, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Jill Dagilis, Worcester Community Action Council

Dr. David A. Jordan, Seven Hills Foundation

Laurie Leshin, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Corner Office

Kate Sharry, Group Benefits Strategies

Tina M. Sbrega, GFA Federal Credit Union

John C. Roche, The Hanover Insurance Group

Elaine Osgood, Atlas Travel

Michael P. Angelini, Bowdtich & Dewey

Susan Mailman, Coghlin Electrical Contractors

Edward F. Manzi Jr., Fidelity Bank

Manufacturing

Dinesh Wadhwani, ThinkLite

Ravi Vig, Allegro Microsystems

Nobuhiko Tamura, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals

Daniel McGahn, AMSC

Michael Mahoney, Boston Scientific

Jeannie Hebert, Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce

Valentin Gapontsev, IPG Photonics

Chris Coghlin, Coghlin Cos.

Health care

Kevin O'Sullivan, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives

Kurt Isaacson, Spectrum Health Systems

Tarek Elsawy, Reliant Medical Group

Jeffrey M. Welch, Saint Vincent Hospital

Eric Dickson, UMass Memorial Health Care

Holly Chaffee, VNA Care

Richard P. Burke, Fallon Health

Economic Development

Ann K. Tripp, Opus Investment Management

Robert Walker, RA Ventures

Yvonne Spicer, City of Framingham

Cliff Rucker, Worcester Railers Hockey Club

Sherri Greene Pitcher, Fidelity Bank

Timothy P. Murray, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

Anthony Consigli, Consigli Construction Co.

Jennie Lee Colosi, E. T. & L. Corp.

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