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Dr. Sponsler received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Saint Joseph’s University and a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Sponsler served as the founding director for NASPA’s Lead Initiative, a project recognizing a network of nearly 100 postsecondary institutions for their commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement. Dr. Sponsler represented NASPA and its civic work with local, regional, and national partners. She also collaborated with NASPA's Professional Development team to incorporate civic learning and democratic engagement into conferences and professional development opportunities for NASPA members. In addition, she provided research support to the NASPA Research and Policy Institute. Prior to her scholarly work, Dr. Sponsler served as a practitioner in student affairs. She coordinated the Franklin Community, which is dedicated to developing civic leaders for an increasingly democratic and culturally complex world. Dr. Sponsler also served as the Assistant Director of Service-Learning in an immersion program along the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico as well as coordinated service and leadership programming at Cabrini College.