Past PRPC Leaders

Sue VGSusan Vernon-Gerstenfeld founded the Puerto Rico Project Center in 1992 and directed it until July 2013, a year before her retirement. Her training in the social sciences and work with WPI’s projects program allowed her to apply her conviction that learning through doing provides students essential practice in critical thinking and in testing theory in real situations. Susan focused the center’s work on environmental problems and sustainable development.



Lauren Mathews directed the center from 2013-2021, building upon her background in biology and ecology to further extend the center’s strengths in environmental and sustainability themes. The center thrived under her leadership despite challenges presented by both hurricanes and pandemic.





Beatriz Arsuaga served as the local coordinator for the Puerto Rico Project Center since shortly after it was established in 1992 until 2022. A long-time resident of Puerto Rico, Beatriz was instrumental in developing relationships with many sponsoring organizations. The project center would not be what it is today without her dedication and leadership.