Dr Scarparo will lead the university’s focus on providing strategic academic leadership for student life at the university, including the implementation of many aspects of the student experience strategy.

She takes over the position from Professor Wai Fong Chua, who has been interim in the role since February this year, and who returned to her role in the Business School last month.

Dr Scarparo is an accomplished academic who comes to Sydney most recently from the Australian National University (ANU), where she is currently Associate Professor for the School of Literature, Language and Linguistics, and Associate Dean (Student Experience).

As part of that role, Dr Scarparo introduced a Student Peer Mentoring and Leadership Program for the Arts faculty’s 5000 students.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison said: “Dr Scarparo will continue the very good work of Professor Chua, with her really impressive skills and experience, as well as her real passion for student welfare and learning.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming her to Sydney.”

Highlights of Professor Chua’s work include kick-starting the student experience project, refining the Student Code and developing the Mental Health Strategy.

“I am thrilled to be able to share my passion for education with staff and students at the University of Sydney,” Dr Scarparo said.

“Student life is central to the University’s culture and I am really looking forward to building on the work that the university has already been doing.”  

Prior to ANU, Dr Scarparo was for seven years the Associate Dean for Education and Associate Professor in the Faculty of the Arts at Monash University.

During that time, she led the review and restructure of the faculty’s Arts and Masters by coursework programs, the introduction of the Bachelor of Global Studies, and established a Peer Ambassadors Leaders Program for Arts students.

Dr Scarparo has a PhD in Italian and Comparative Literature from the University of Auckland.

Her academic portfolio in literature, Italian language, culture and cinema is extensive, with a focus on women filmmakers and contemporary women writers.

She is the author of Elusive Subjects: Biography as Gendered Metafiction (2005) and is co-author of Reframing Italy: New Trends in Italian Women’s Filmmaking (with Bernadette Luciano, 2013).