Nicola Allain

Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities, which has three departments: (1) Arts and Media (2) Historical Studies,  and (3) Literature, Communication, and Cultural Studies. We offer associate and bachelor's level individualized degrees in The Arts, Cultural Studies, and  Historical Studies - with a wide range of possible concentrations, as well as a BS in Digital Communication, and BA or BS in Digital Media Arts. 

Teaching and scholarship in arts, Asia Pacific cultural traditions and digital media, with thesis supervision in the Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies. Formerly director of curriculum and instructional design for the Center for Distance Learning. Expertise in digital media arts, digital learning design, 3D, and virtual immersive environments. Translates poetry (Philippe Beck) and philosophical texts in French, Tahitian, Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese. Former dance director and choreographer specializing in Oceanic and Mexican folk traditions. 

Extensive University administration experience in adult, online, remote and distance learning, with large funded projects, large-scale program and curriculum development, and pedagogical innovation. This includes national and international STEM, STEAM, Fire Services and Homeland Security collaborations, and DEI initiatives. HSI experience. Research teams secured $4+M for digital learning initiatives. Invited speaker and external reviewer in online and distance learning, digital arts, and emerging media/technologies. Supervised a curriculum design group, instructional technology staff, and adjunct faculty. Multidisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual, with extensive international experience. External advisor for the Tertiary Accord of New Zealand eCampus development. On Steering Committee of the Open SUNY Innovative Instruction Research Council, and serve on the SUNY FACT2 Taskforce for Artificial Intelligence and the subgroup revising the SUNY FACT2 Guide to Optimizing Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education. Certified in change management and mindful leadership. Currently serving on the Empire State University UUP IDA Committee, the General Education Advisory Council and the ProDiG Steering Committee. 

Recent Publications

Allain, Nicola Marae. “Applying Mindful Leadership and Aloha Values to Effective Academic Leadership.” ACAD Leader, October 31, 2023.

Julie Gedro, Nicola Marae Allain, Desalyn De-Souza, Lynne Dodson & Mary V. Mawn (2020) Flattening the learning curve of leadership development: reflections of five women higher education leaders during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, Human Resource Development International, 23:4, 395-405, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1779911

Recent Performances & Presentations 

Saratoga Performing Arts Center School of the Arts, Saratoga Springs, NY, December 19, 2023:  
Program on Tahitian Culture with a focus on Polynesian Ocean Navigation (1 hour program) 

36th Annual Flurry Festival, Saratoga Springs, NY, February 19, 2024: 
Oceans and Origins – Tahitian Dance and Storytelling 
Solo performance (1 hour program) 

Empire State University, March 6, 2024
CMLAI Webinar: Navigating AI in Higher Education – SUNY’s Path Forward  (1 hour program).  



  • M.A. in Dramatic Art, Dance and Music from University of California
  • Ph.D. in Media and Communication from European Graduate School
  • Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Ottawa