Lisa Ford headshot

Lisa Ford Acting Director

Lisa joined the Presidential Leadership Acaedmy from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business where she has served in various capacities since 1999. Lisa graduated from Smeal in 1991 with a bachelor of science degree in economics. She also received her master’s degree in Human Resources from Penn State.

Lisa most recently held the position of associate director of the Borrelli Institute for Real Estate Studies. There she developed and implemented Real Estate Boot Camp programming for undergraduate and graduate students, coordinated numerous events to enhance students’ engagement with real estate professionals, advised the Real Estate Association student organization, and more.

Sam Piacente headshot

Sam Piacente Graduate Assistant

Sam joined the Presidential Leadership Academy in August 2022. He is responsible for managing and supporting the students in their blogging efforts as well as supervising them on special tasks. In addition, he assists the PLA Director in the implementation of new projects and initiatives.

Sam can be contacted at