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Dr. Darshini Roopnarine

Dr. Darshini Roopnarine Named Director of ESF’s Open Academy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Jan. 9, 2024 - The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) – one of the nation’s premier colleges focused exclusively on the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable future – appointed Dr. Darshini Roopnarine to Director of ESF’s Open Academy. The Open Academy comprises online education programs, teaching and curriculum support, summer programming, K-12 STEM education, and professional education.

“The Open Academy plays a vital role in both student success and connecting the College with the growing number of non-traditional learners in the community,” said Dr. Samuel Mukasa, ESF Executive Vice President and Provost. “Dr. Roopnarine’s experience with open-access learning and her student-centered approach will foster new relationships and help both traditional and non-traditional learners reach their greatest potential.”

Roopnarine will guide the Open Academy in its mission to provide high-quality, innovative, and accessible programs that promote the development and success of students, faculty, professionals, and individuals in the community.

As director, Roopnarine is responsible for expanding the Open Academy’s programming and overseeing initiatives that support student learning outcomes, program quality, and provide access to diverse learning communities.

“I want to build upon the great work that’s already been accomplished in the Open Academy whether it’s in K-12, online learning, teaching and curriculum support,” said Roopnarine, “continuing to work collaboratively to provide high-quality, equitable, innovative, and accessible programs to deepen ESF’s global engagement.”

Roopnarine brings more than 20 years of higher education experience to ESF. She most recently served as assistant dean of academic affairs/student development at Le Moyne College, where she developed and oversaw innovative programs and services that promoted new opportunities for student retention and success. She has taught at SUNY Morrisville, Syracuse University, and Cazenovia College. She established College Science Technology Entry Programs (CSTEP) at Le Moyne and SUNY Morrisville. Roopnarine leads with a student-centered approach and has mentored over 10,000 students during her career.

Roopnarine holds a Ph.D. in child and family studies, a master’s in social work from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Science and associate of applied science degrees from Cazenovia College.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study, and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.