Marcella Runell, Ed.D. is the Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students and Lecturer in Religion at Mount Holyoke College. Prior to coming to Mount Holyoke, Marcella was the founding Co-Director for the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership (now the Global Center for Academic & Spiritual Life) and program director for the minor in Multifaith & Spiritual Leadership at New York University.

Trained in the interdisciplinary field of social justice education as both a practitioner and scholar, Marcella has authored books, articles, and curricula on topics of popular culture, friendship, race, spirituality and critical pedagogy. Most recently, she co-authored the book, UnCommon Bonds: Women Reflect on Race & Friendship with Dr. Kersha Smith and a chapter on “Parenting Mixed Race Children,” in Biracial Families: Crossing Boundaries, Blending Cultures, and Challenging Racial Ideologies. Additionally, she has written for Routledge, Scholastic Books, the New York Times Learning Network, VIBE, academic journals, including Equity and Excellence in Education, and contributed to various edited book projects.

Marcella was the recipient of the NYU 2013–2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award and has received teaching and programmatic awards, including the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award. She has also co-created multiple award-winning programs (recognized by NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) such as Faith Zone, Be Well, Ally Week, ACT-I, and the Hip-Hop & Pedagogy Initiative. Marcella was honored by inclusion in the JFK 50th Anniversary Legacy Gallery; recognized by the Brooklyn Borough President for her social justice work and a former fellow for the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding.

Marcella is an advisory board member for Embrace Race, an affiliated member of the Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, recently served on the Board for the Holyoke Children’s Museum and currently serves on the Scott Academy Board & 2023 Conference Leadership Committee for the NASPA.