Mary Tucker Thorp photo

Mary Tucker Thorp College Professorship

The Mary Tucker Thorp College Professorship is awarded each academic year to a full professor with at least six years of service at Rhode Island College who has demonstrated excellence in teaching along with excellence in scholarship and/ or excellence in professional and collegial service. The professorship honors the contributions of Mary Tucker Thorp, whose illustrious career at the college spanned the time period of 1926–1967.

Candidates for the Thorp College Professorship are evaluated by a college-wide committee composed of faculty from the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Business, the Onanian School of Nursing, the School of Social Work, and the Adams Library. The appointment is made by the college president.

Selection and appointment criteria include demonstrated excellence in teaching along with excellence in scholarship and/or excellence in service. 

Funds to support the Thorp College Professorship were provided by a generous bequest in the will of Mary Tucker Thorp and are held in the Tucker Thorp Fund, which is administered by the Rhode Island College Foundation.  Starting in 2004-05 the Thorp Professorship became a college-wide award.

2019 Recipient
Dr. Zubeda Jalalzai

Watch or Listen to the Lecture

Zubeda Jalalzai

Lecture Title: "Literary License: 19th Century Travel Writing and the Afghan Frontier"

Lecture Description: Dr. Jalalzai examines both the literature of early British and American travel writing to Afghanistan and Western India as well as the role literariness itself played in a range of western colonial texts that framed the region. Based on the larger project, Overland to Afghanistan: Travel Writing and the Afghan Romance, Professor Jalalzai analyzes the authors’ desire to maintain documentary objectivity and the powerful draw of the “poetical nature” of frontier war. 

Bio for Dr. Jalalzai: Professor of English (Rhode Island College)

  • Globalizing Afghanistan: Terrorism, War, and the Rhetoric of Nation-Building. Co-edited with David Jefferess. Duke University Press, 2011.
  • Overland to Afghanistan: Travel Writing and the Afghan Romance. Current book project.
  • Washington Irving and Islam. Critical Essays. Lexington Books, 2018.

Read more about Dr. Jalalzai


Support the Mary Tucker Thorp Memorial Fund!

signs of RIC at entrance

About Mary Tucker Thorp

Mary Tucker Thorp was a graduate of the Rhode Island College of Education. In 1926, she began her forty-year tenure at the college where she served as a professor of education until 1967. In 1961, the college's first residence hall was named in her honor. The Thorp College Professorship, is awarded to an outstanding faculty member, in recognition of her legacy of scholarship and service to the RIC community. - From Rhode Island College: Meeting the State's Needs Through Time


Mary Tucker Thorp College Professorship

Previous Honorees

Zubeda Jalalzai, English, 2019-2020

Susan Abbotson, English, 2015-16

Pamela Irving Jackson, Sociology, 2013-14

Kathryn Kalinak, English, 2011-12

Meredith McMunn, English, 2008-09

Ying Zhou, Mathematics and Computer Science, 2007-08

Ronald Dufour, History, 2006-07

Maureen Reddy, English, 2005-06

Frederick G. Reamer, Social Work, 2004-05

Mary Tucker Thorp Award

Previous Honorees

Prior to 2004, there were three Mary Tucker Thorp awards, one each in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, School of Social Work, and the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development. The FAS Thorp Award was for outstanding scholarly or creative activity, the FSEHD Thorp Award was for distinguished teaching, and the SSW Thorp Award rotated among outstanding scholarship, distinguished teaching, and excellent service.

James F. Barton, Elementary Education
Pamela I. Jackson, Sociology

Jayashree Nimmagadda, Social Work
Jeannine Olson, History

Cathleen M. Calbert, English
Daniel Weisman, Social Work

Peter S. Allen, Anthropology
Karen S. Castagno, Health and Physical Education
Daniel Weisman, Social Work

Barbara A. Schapiro, English 
Felicia Wilczenski, Education
Julie E. Wollman-Bonilla, Education

Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Anthropology 
C. David Brell, Education
Patricia Medeiros-Landurand, Education

Richard A. Lobban, Anthropology
William J. Oehlkers, Education

Yael Avissar, Biology
Carolyn P. Panofsky, Education

Thomas E. Malloy, Biology
Sharon M. Fennessey, Education

Peter Meyer, Physical Sciences 
Patricia A. Cordeiro, Elementary Education
Elizabeth H. Rowell, Elementary Education

Stephen E. Fisher, Art
Nancy H. Gewirtz, Social Work

Curtis K. Lafollette, Arts and Sciences
Joan C. Bloom, Education
Ellsworth A. Starring, Education

Amritjit Singh, English
John J. Gleason, Education

Judith Lynn Stillman, Music
Mary Ann Bromley, Education

Edythe L. Anthony, Biology
Judith H. Dimeo, Education

Terence E. Hays, Anthropology
Frederick G. Reamer, Social Work

J. Stanley Lemons, History
Joan I. Glazer, Education

Harriet Brisson, Art
A. Anthony Antosh, Special Education

Charles J. Marzzacco, Arts and Sciences

William H. Robinson, Arts and Sciences 
Nancy H. Gewirtz, Social Work
Victoria S. Lederberg, Education
Ezra L. Stieglitz, Elementary Education

S. Salman Wasti, Arts and Sciences 
Rose C. Merenda, Education
S. Scott Mueller, Social Work

Sally J. Marks, Arts and Sciences
Marilyn G. Eanet, Education
Joan I. Glazer, Education
Clyde C. Slicker, Education

Alene F. Silver, Arts and Sciences
Richard L. Dickson, Education
James J. Rubovits, Education
Paul V. Sherlock, Special Education

Lillian D. Bloom, Arts and Sciences 
Thomas F. Lavery, Education
Sidney P. Rollins, Education
Robert T. Rude, Elementary Education

Nancy Sullivan, English
Joan I. Glazer, Education
Anne K. Petry, Education
Sheri L. Smith, Education​​