Verrazzano Hall

Provost's Biography

Eva Fernandez

Dr. Eva M. Fernández

Dr. Eva M. Fernández began her role as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercy University on July 1, 2022.  She joins Mercy after close to 22 years at the City University of New York (CUNY), where she served as a member of the faculty and took on progressively more complex administrative roles, culminating in Associate Provost for Innovation and Student Success at Queens College (2019-2021) and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Guttman Community College (2021-2022).

Dr. Fernández has led projects and programs designed to advance faculty expertise in teaching in order to improve learning, deepen learning through experiential education, strengthen shared governance, and support the University’s mission by connecting to the community. Through her administrative work, she has developed expertise in matters related to teaching and learning, particularly regarding how faculty development, institutionalized course redesign, informal learning, experiential education, and peer mentoring influence student learning. Dr. Fernández has received funding for conducting and evaluating evidence-based institutional interventions from federal agencies and private foundations, including the National Science Foundation, US Department of Education, Petrie Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, and NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Dr. Fernández’s early interests in how people learn and use multiple languages led to majors in Linguistics and German at New York University (BA, 1991) and to a specialization in Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center (MA, 1995, and PhD, 2000). She joined the Department of Linguistics & Communication Disorders at Queens College in 2000, where she reached the rank of tenured full professor. She also had doctoral faculty appointments at the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD Programs in Linguistics; Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures; and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Dr. Fernández’s scholarly research has concentrated on cross-linguistic aspects of sentence processing, particularly on syntactic ambiguity and the contribution of prosody to syntactic disambiguation. Another focus of her work has been the impact of the second language on the first language of bilinguals.

A deep commitment to social justice permeates Dr. Fernández’s work and values as a higher education leader, in how she approaches designing and delivering programming and supports for students and faculty, and in how she takes on collaboration with and supervision of University personnel. Throughout her career, she has interacted with diverse groups and striven to help others excel, while learning to do better: in finding compassion in teaching students, in cultivating a culture of empathy and inclusion, and in working to advance institutional change.