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Alumni Profiles

Nichole Aguiar (double major; Women's Studies & Psychology, 2007)

Nichole has been very busy since she left RIC. She recently received her M.A. in clinical social work from Boston University and currently is the Director of Program Services & NICU Family Support for the RI Chapter of the March of Dimes. Nichole is the current board President of the Women’s Health & Education Fund, an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to ensure that all women, regardless of income, have access to the reproductive healthcare of their choice.

Nichole reports that her WMST degree “increased her awareness of the inequities women face and the multitude of ways one can make a difference to positively impact the lives of women and girls (one-on-one clinical work, public health & education, advocacy & public policy, etc.). The program helped me to become an activist and provided me with the knowledge and tools to become a leader and get involved in the larger feminist community. I received support, encouragement and was empowered by WMST faculty.”

Kayla David (2012)

After receiving her B.A. in Women’s Studies Department, Kayla went on to complete her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University of New England in 2015. Currently Ms. David works as a National Child Traumatic Stress Network grant-funded clinician in Family Service of Rhode Island’s Children’s Treatment and Recovery Center. Utilizing evidence based practices, Ms. David works with children and their families who have experienced traumatic events. Through her work with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Ms. David contributes to the development of national policies and practice standards for LGBTQQIAOP* children across our nation. Ms. David has served as an adjunct professor in Rhode Island College’s Gender and Women Studies Department and is a regular columnist for Providence’s GET Magazine, an LGBTQQIAOP* Inclusive community publication. She reports that “what I value most from my time at Rhode Island College was the development of my voice and my critical eye. I not only developed an ability to critically examine and interpret knowledge for discourses that may create inequality based on issues of gender, sexual orientation and desires, age, ability, class, ethnicity, race, religion, or national origin; but I was also given time to reflect on my own beliefs that without examination could have further contributed to the maintenance of the status quo.”

Robin Dionne (2009)

For several years after graduation, I served as the board chair of a (now defunct) RI non-profit organization whose focus was reproductive rights and healthcare policy. From there, I moved on to spend about 4 years as the Legislative Chair of the Outside LinkRI Chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women) and 4 years as their Communications Strategist. I resigned this year to focus on other activities, but I currently sit on the national NOW board on the Structure & Process Committee. As legislative chair for RI NOW, I handled our policy agenda, lobbying, candidate endorsements, and general strategy. I am also a member of the Outside LinkTEDxProvidence core team and Outside LinkThe Lady Project team, and Communications Director for both.

In 2016-2016, I was selected to be a policy fellow at the Women's Policy Institute at the Women's Fund of Rhode Island, where my team and I led the introduction of legislation which would remove the "luxury tax" on tampons and medical supplies for diabetics in RI.

I am currently working as a project manager/grant writer at Outside LinkWomen's Development Corporation, one of the largest nonprofit real estate developers in Rhode Island. We identify properties that can be redeveloped into affordable housing for women and families, and then we rebuild and maintain the properties. Prior to joining WDC, I worked as Director of Outreach & Client Relations for the redevelopment of the oldest indoor mall in the country, Outside Linkthe Arcade Providence.

During RI's part time legislative session, I work for the Senate Committee on Outside LinkHealth & Human Services for Outside LinkSenator Josh Miller, whose political campaign I have managed for the past several years. I have two consulting businesses, one with a partner (Outside and one alone (Outside My work for both of those firms has a very narrow focus - we only work for progressive political campaigns, local non-profit organizations whose missions we support. I am currently attending the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis, for a Masters in Public Policy.

Elizabeth Lee (double major; English, Women’s Studies, 2008)

Elizabeth Lee reports that she “graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a MA in Professional Writing. My concentration was in writing for new media and nonprofits. I'm not sure what's next. I do volunteer work here in Pittsburgh for a nonprofit that provides counseling and other resources to survivors of domestic violence, particular communications. I'd like to find (paid) work doing something in a related field. We'll see!”

Jennifer Magaw (double major with Political Science, 2008)

After RIC, Jennifer Magaw received her law degree from Roger Williams School of Law. She has since been “living her dream,” working as a public defender in New Bedford, Massachusetts representing indigent adults. Jennifer is proud to practice in an office that values client-centered, holistic representation, including the support of social workers to meet the needs of each client. In addition to her work as an attorney, Jennifer was recently elected to serve on the board of directors for the ACLU of Rhode Island.

She would describe her time spent in the RIC Women's Studies program as priceless. Academically, the critical thinking and writing skills that she cultivated at RIC would later come in handy while pursuing an advanced degree. Perhaps more importantly, though, RIC provided a community in which Jennifer forged enduring professional relationships and strong friendships with the people that have continued to mentor and support her in invaluable ways over the past few years.

Lisa Middleton, (double major; Women’s Studies and Psychology, 2004; MA., Psychology 2010)

Currently, I serve as an HR Business Partner Team Lead in the State’s Division of Human Resources and oversee a team of HR professionals. We provide direct, front-line HR leadership and support to multiple state departments in areas such as labor relations, employee relations, strategic planning, equal opportunity/diversity, and recruitment.

I also serve as the Secretary of the Rhode Island Commission on Women and Girls which was reinvigorated in 2015 by Governor Raimondo. The Commission was established in 1970 to advocate, educate, and advise on issues impacting the status of women in Rhode Island. The Commission serves as an advisory commission to the State and the community at large. My coursework and experience in the Women’s/Gender Studies program at Rhode Island College supplemented and complimented my work in the Psychology programs and provided a solid foundation for the critical and creative thinking required in my current career. Additionally, my experience in the Women’s/Gender Studies program provided me with the knowledge of and sensitivity to the ways in which we are all shaped by broader social and cultural constructs, and helped me to focus my desire to work towards improving opportunities for women and girls to achieve equity in all areas of life.

Tiffany Moreau (triple major with Psychology and Chemical Dependency, 2009)

Tiffany Moreau currently works as a Service Coordinator in a transitional housing facility for Community Access, Inc. in New York and is pursuing her MSW at Hunter College. Tiffany reports that the Women’s Studies Program “helped me to better understand poverty, diversity, class, culture, and how they are all intertwined, and how systematic they are, and it helped me better relate to my clients, better serve them, better empathize with their struggles, the oppressions they face, and therefore better help empower them to rise above. The program taught me how to listen to people with more perspective……there are values and beliefs that people hold, and though initially we may be quick to judge, after listening, we come to appreciate those differences for what they mean to that person, and see them as just that...differences….that are no better or worse than our own. The Women's Studies Program is invaluable at RIC.”

Kelsey Morris (with double minor in Philosophy and Sociology, 2014)

Kelsey Morris moved to San Diego, California and earned her Domestic Violence Counseling Certificate for the State of California. This certification taught her about vital aspects of teen dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse, empowerment and cycles of abuse. Kelsey is currently working at Home Start, Inc. as a Residential Supervisor where she manages pregnant and parenting homeless youth and their children in a residential setting. This agency provides various services to their clients such as support groups, therapy, parenting and life skills classes, community dinner nights, substance abuse and recovery education, and transportation. Home Start, Inc. has exposed Kelsey to many aspects from homelessness to foster care upbringings, Child Protective Services, family violence, transitional living and community resources. Kelsey has earned multiple Continuing Education certificates in areas such as Trauma Informed Care, Positive Youth Development, Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution, Mental Health Awareness, and Crisis Intervention. Kelsey loves working in the non-profit social work sector and hopes to move on to a Case Management position in her agency.

Deirdre O'Donnell, 2013 (double major Political Science and Women’s Studies)

Deirdre spent her years at RIC engaging in community organizing and activism to advance the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals. After working on various issues including comprehensive sex education, actions against the epidemic of rape and sexual assault, domestic violence prevention and awareness, and women's health, Deirdre discovered that her biggest passion is public health. Studying gender and politics saved and liberated Deirdre's life, and she has carried her passion for these issues into Boston University's School of Public Health where she is now pursuing a master's degree. She is slated to graduate in December 2016 with a degree concentrating on community health sciences, with coursework in maternal and child health and social and behavioral sciences. Deirdre cannot wait to get back to servicing the populations she cares about through public policy and teaching.

Yvonne Short, (double major with English, 2012)

“I graduated from RIC at the age of 51 and am currently employed as an Advocate for the Women's Resource Center of Newport and Bristol County where I work with survivors of domestic violence. I am considering a Master’s degree in Rehabilitative Counseling. I didn’t intend to major in Women’s Studies, however, it soon became apparent that my choice of electives fell under the Women’s Studies category: race, Gender and class, sociology, women in education, history, literature and politics. The subjects taught under the umbrella of Women’s Studies are as diverse as an inquiring mind would hope for and provide a solid foundation for anyone interested in a career where people, not profit, count. In the classroom, and during my internships, I gained strong research skills and public speaking experience as well as a deeper understanding of the value of community.

Chris Susi (2010)

Chris was awarded the Gender and Women's Studies Scholarship and Activism Award. He completed an Individualized M.A. on the intersections of oppression and methods of collective resistance for underrepresented communities including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people, People of Color, Women, Differently Able People, and Working Class communities. In his not-so-spare time he is strengthening his Boston-based non-profit Inn Motion Inc. ( a soon-to-be overnight safe-space for homeless LGBT youth. He also dedicates time to the campus's Learning for Life Initiative as student "navigator" - helping students from marginalized populations conquer obstacles to their education at RIC. He dreams of being a Gender and Women's Studies professor at Rhode Island College.

Katherine Wilson (2012)

“It has been two years since I graduated from RIC. Since then I have grown in my work at Community Action Partnership of Providence, moving from a case manager to a "supportive services" supervisor. My day ranges from working with teen parents to working with families in crisis. Most of my work centers around educational planning, work readiness, asset development, and crisis management.

I continue to work with Healthy Families Initiative toward the empowerment of Muslim women in Rhode Island experiencing interpersonal violence. Over the spring, we completed our first empowerment series and are building for more programs during our next grant year. Some of the work I have been doing with this organization and in the community I live in, has led me to begin to work on my master's degree in Islamic Studies through Al Rawiya College. I was first introduced to the work of Al Rawiya through a conference entitled Shaykha Fest which gathered over a dozen women scholars of varying Islamic traditions. Some women were academics that focused on social justice, some were historians, some focused on theory, and others focused on art and design. It was an amazing experience and I have since enrolled with the college.

I still work for that all natural and organic market where I receive all my health benefits, retirement, stocks, etc. Regardless of where I am working or what I am studying, I have that gender and women studies lens that I view the world through.”

Jeremy Rix (double major Political Science and Women’s Studies))

Jeremy's Gender Studies 2010 internship, as campaign manager for RIC alum and now-State Representative David Bennett (D-20), helped prepare him to found the Warwick Progressive Democrats in 2013 and run for City Council in Warwick in 2016 as the endorsed Democratic candidate.

Jeremy graduated in the top ten of his class from Roger Williams University: School of Law in 2015, where he had the privileges of working as a research assistant for Professor Walker, externing for Justice Indeglia of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and gaining experience at three law firms. Jeremy is currently a law clerk at the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court where he works directly with the judges at the trial and appellate levels.​

Page last updated: November 09, 2016