Dr. Bersola currently serves as Dean of Students for the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Boston, Massachusetts. Sam Bersola has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, most recently as assistant vice provost for graduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles. A first-generation-to-college Filipino-American, Bersola has championed equity, inclusion, and diversity in higher education throughout his career, leading numerous programs that have increased the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented and low-income students. He began his career in undergraduate admissions, working at the University of Southern California, California State University Maritime Academy, and Amherst College. Later, he served as vice president of student services at a California Community College and chief operations officer for residential life at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Bersola earned a master’s in educational administration and social policy from the Graduate School of Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in education policy from Stanford University and has published research on the transitions from high school to college and from college to graduate school.