Life After RIC: Faculty, Administrative and Staff Retirees

Vice President for Student Affairs Gary Penfield and RIC President Nancy Carriuolo.

Professor of Psychology Joan Rollins and President Carriuolo.

Just when the RIC community thought Vice President Gary Penfield and Professor Joan Rollins were going to be lifers, they decide to retire.

Gary Penfield, who heads the Office for Student Affairs, holds the longest tenure of currently active administrators – 38 years, while Rollins holds 48 years among faculty. Along with a number of other distinguished faculty and staff, Penfield and Rollins have decided to pass on the torch.

Penfield said, of all his achievements, which include overseeing the Campus Store; the Counseling Center; Donovan Dining Center; Health Services; Intercollegiate Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation; Residential Life and Housing; the Office of Student Life/Dean of Students; and Upward Bound, the accomplishments he is most proud of are the founding of Disability Services and establishment of the Unity Center within the Office of Student Life.

Today Penfield looks back on 38 years of hard work but also has a pretty good idea of what not working will look like. By September he will be on a boat in southern France.

Europe has been one of Joan Rollins’ many destinations, as well, where she attended conferences and presented papers.

“Dr. Rollins is one of those exceptional individuals who gave her all to her career,” said Chair of Psychology Randi Kim.

Rollins was former chair of the Psychology Department. She was president of the Rhode Island Psychological Association and of the New England Psychological Association. Her research has produced three books, including “Women’s Minds, Women’s Bodies: The Psychology of Women in a Biosocial Context,” and over 50 peer-reviewed articles and paper presentations at regional, national and international conferences. “She is truly an outstanding role model not only for her students but for her colleagues,” said Kim.

Not far behind Rollins in longevity is Associate Professor Tony Teng who for 46 years has taught modern Chinese and Japanese history.


Associate Professor of History Tony Teng.

“Dr. Teng has considerable knowledge of East Asia, and his students benefited from his first-hand experiences in Taiwan,” said Chair of the History Department Robert Cvornyek. “He leaves with our respect and appreciation for the graceful and substantive contributions he made to the college.”

Also noted for his exceptional contributions to the college is Professor of English Spencer Hall. He is founder and director of the College Honors Program and “has been a mentor to some of the College’s most successful students,” said Daniel Scott, chair of the English Department. Four of those students are now on the RIC faculty.

Hall, who has taught at the college for 42 years, recalled one honors student to whom he gave the only ‘B’ she had ever received in English. “She reciprocated,” he said, “whether out of compassion or revenge,” by becoming his wife of 37 years. “RIC has been a very special place, and only now am I realizing fully how much it has become part of my being. I hope that I have become a part of it as well,” he said.

Professor of Anthropology Peter Allen is retiring after 42 years. Allen earned the Mary Tucker Thorp Award for excellence in teaching and scholarship and the Patrick O’Regan Service Award for distinguished service to the college and community. On his final day of teaching, his students stood up and applauded. “Every moment in the classroom has been meaningful to me,” he said.

From left, Professor of English Spencer Hall, Professor of Anthropology Peter Allen and Associate Professor of Physical Education Kenneth Ainley.

From left, Professor of Health Education Bennett Lombardo, Professor of English Pamela Benson and Professor of Modern Languages Ghislaine Geloin.

According to Robin Kirkwood Auld, chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education, the faculty member who is “almost single-handedly responsible for the success of RIC’s master’s in health education students” is Associate Professor Kenneth Ainley now retiring after 40 years, while Professor of Physical Education Bennett Lombardo, who not only taught but developed many of the physical education courses, is retiring after 41 years.

Other faculty retirees are Professor of English Pamela Benson, Professor of Modern Languages Ghislaine Geloin and Professor of Management and Marketing John O’Del.

“A teacher affects eternity,” wrote educator Henry Adams. That is life after RIC for these retirees.

President Carriuolo with former Power Plant Operator Clarence Pelletier (seated) and his son Peter.

William Angell, operations manager for Operations Management Information Services, is the only 2014 retiree among nonteaching staff.

“I've worked with wonderful individuals over the years,” he said. “People who communicate well and give back and directors who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves.”

Nonteaching staff members who retired earlier in the 2013-14 academic year are:

George Aguiar, assistant director of facilities operations and custodial services

Alphonse Caletri, accountant

Russell Chenot, systems support technician

Francis Duffy, campus police officer

Deborah  Forte, information aide

Henry Jacques, housekeeper

William Levesque, painter

Jospeh Nassi, motor equipment operator

Clarence Pelletier, power plant operator

After seven years teaching children who are blind or visually impaired at the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, the late Lee Fazio retired and died shortly after.