Lori Ann Gionti

Degree: Ed.D. in Adult Education and Human Resource Development

College: School of Education and Human Development in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Lori Ann Gionti first learned about orphaned children in middle school. She remembers thinking it was an injustice to grow up without a parent and started volunteering at local homes for foster children.

That spark continued through high school and early college. Eventually, it became her passion. So much so that Lori and her husband have adopted seven children over the course of 10 years – some she adopted as toddlers.

Lori has juggled multiple roles over the years, including business owner, daughter, sister, wife, student, and advocate. In her spare time, she taught licensing and continuing education classes to foster parents. She decided to pursue a master’s in education at Barry University to develop better teaching skills.

At FIU, Lori has conducted research on issues within foster care, foster parent training and professional development, as well as higher education for students who were formerly in foster care.

For over three decades, Lori has also volunteered with the child welfare system in Broward County — and now her children are following in her footsteps. The Gionti family was recognized as Hurricane Heroes by the Broward County Board of Commissioners for their volunteer work.

Lori considers this degree a culmination of both her profession and her longtime passion. She plans to continue her advocacy work as well as transition to a faculty position.

By Giselle Cancio
Senior Content Managing Editor
College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Nominated by Tonette Rocco