- Department, Office, or School
- Feinstein School of Education and Human Development
- Interim Dean of Feinstein School of Education and Human Development
Since joining the Rhode Island College Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) faculty in 2010, Dr. Cummings has enthusiastically provided her expertise in advancing health literacy, school-based health education, public health promotion, and preparing professional educators in school and community settings. Dr. Cummings infuses her commitment to social justice, health literacy, and effective pedagogy in teaching, service, and research. She has designed and taught student-centered undergraduate and graduate courses aligned with professional standards and the FSEHD outcomes, using culturally responsive teaching, effective teaching strategies, and technology that supports empowering students to take ownership of their academic success. Dr. Cummings has served as the Coordinator of the B.S. in Community and Public Health Promotion and the M.Ed. in Health Education programs.
As a full professor and administrator, she continues to present her original research at both the state and national level, as well as serving as principal investigator on state and federal grants
Dr. Cummings served as the Health and Physical Education Department Chair from 2018 until 2021. She facilitated the department's operation, including long-range goals that reflected the mission and vision of the FSEHD and the college. In 2021, Dr. Cummings served as FSEHD Interim Associate Dean. Her efforts focused on advancing all FSEHD academic programs' quality and status within the school and implementing processes and procedures to support admissions, accreditation, and leadership for educator preparation and certification. Dr. Cummings successfully led the accreditation review process for all FSEHD undergraduate and graduate educator preparation programs during the 2022 - 2023 academic year.In 2023, Dr. Cummings became the Interim Dean of the FSEHD, where she continues to work with the faculty, implementing best practices to enroll, support, and retain the best candidates seeking to make a difference in the lives of others through various educator preparation and community undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Education is transformative, and the FSEHD will continue to embody a culture anchored in social justice that empowers and motivates all learners, faculty, and staff to advance our mission and vision.
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA): Health Education, Minor: Educational Psychology
Bridgewater State University (Bridgewater, MA): Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure: Elementary Education
Boston University (Boston, MA): Public Health Certification: Maternal and Child Health
M.A. Indiana State University (Terre Haute IN): Research Studies in Health Education
B.S. Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN): Community Health Education
American Public Health Association
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Society for Public Health Educators
Rhode Island Public Health Association
American School Health Association
Sex Information and Education Council of the United States
Cummings, C. & Fisher, C. (2023). Embedding professional development and undergraduate research skills using an experiential learning approach. Sage Research Methods Cases Part 1. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781529630893
Cummings, C., & Reilly-Chammat, R. (2023). Perspective Chapter: Strengthening and Empowering Professional Health Educators’ Capacity and Practice. In Health and Educational Success - Recent Perspectives, I. Ramavhoa (ed) doi: 10.5772/intechopen.108980
Flynt Wallington, S., Greaney, M., Rampa, S., & Cummings, C. (2022). Using 3 assessment tools to measure patient health literacy in Rhode Island at federally qualified community health centers. American Journal of Health Education, 53:3, 161-173, DOI: 10.1080/19325037.2022.2048751
Cummings CA, Fisher CM, & Reilly-Chammat R. (2021). Improving practice: Giving voice to the experiences of sexual health education teachers. Health Education Journal. August 2021. doi:10.1177/00178969211029677
Greaney, M.L., Wallington, S.F., Rampa, S., & Cummings, C. (2020). Assessing health professionals’ perception of health literacy in Rhode Island community health centers: A qualitative study. BMC Public Health 20, 1289. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09382-1
Cummings, C., Wallington, S., Rampa, S., & Greaney, M. (2020). Data Brief: Determining a Health Literacy Baseline at Thundermist Health Centers in RI (Project No.80000954) RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services. [Unpublished raw data]. Rhode Island College.
Cummings, C., Wallington, S., Rampa, S., & Greaney, M. (2020). Data Brief: Determining a Health Literacy Baseline at Providence Community Health Centers in RI (Project No.80000954) RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services. [Unpublished raw data]. Rhode Island College.
Cummings, C. (2019). [Review of the book Nutrition & You, by J. S. Blake]. Pearson.
Pomeroy, M., Brooks, C., & Sandino, S. (Host). (2018). Cummings, C. Nutrition Education [Audio Podcast]. Society of Health and Physical Education
Cummings, C. & Pepin, K. (2018). Findings and recommendations, year 5 report (2013-2018): RI Healthy Youth initiative: Promoting adolescent health through policy and program improvement, exemplary sexual health education, access to sexual health services, and establishing safe and supportive environments. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Cummings, C. & Pepin, K. (2018). Healthy youth initiative year 5 survey report: Gains, gaps and going forward briefs. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Cummings, C. & Dunklee, B. (2017). Community health worker certification training module 1: Health literacy. Institute for Education in Healthcare at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI.
Cummings, C. & Fisher, C. (2017). Assessing teacher confidence and proficiency with sexual health education standards. SAGE Research Methods Cases. https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526403483
Cummings, C. & Obel-Omia, C. (2016). Healthy reading: Teaching strategies for integrating health and literacy education. Childhood Education, 92(6), 455-464.
Fisher, C. & Cummings, C. (2015). Assessing teacher confidence and proficiency with sexual health education standards: Implication for professional development. Pedagogy in Health Promotion, 2(2) 94-100. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2373379915618216
Cummings, C. (2015). Rethinking the fishbowl discussion strategy: A mechanism to construct meaning and foster critical thinking and communication skills through student dialogue. Journal of Health Education Teaching Techniques, 2(3), 23-37.
Grants and Funded Projects
Cummings, C. (Principal Investigator). (2019 – 2021). Assessing health literacy in RI and building health literacy skills in vulnerable populations and the healthcare professionals who serve them, year 2 (Project No. 80000954) Medicaid ISA RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Award: $105,882.00.
Cummings, C. (Principal Investigator). (2018 – 2019). Assessing health literacy in RI and building health literacy skills in vulnerable populations and the healthcare professionals who serve them, year 1 (Project No. 80000954) Medicaid ISA RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Award: $106,021,000.
Cummings, C. (Principal Investigator) & Pepin, K. (2018). Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, RI Healthy Youth Initiative: Analysis of the 5-year Healthy Youth Initiative (Project No. 90000889) RI Department of Education, Award: $20,000, 2018.
Cummings, C. (Principal Investigator) & Fisher, C. (2016). Strengthening undergraduate research skills using an experiential learning approach (Project No. 44929) Rhode Island College Center for Research and Creative Activity Grant, Award: $2500.00.
Cummings, C. (Principal Investigator). (2016). Integrating Sexuality Education Standards into Graduate Level Sexuality Education Courses. Future of Sex Education mini-grant, Award: $1500.00.
Cummings, C. (Principal Investigator), Percoco, V. & Furtado, G. (2016). Food logging and blogging: Central Falls and Rhode Island College innovation lab project. Feinstein School of Education & Human Development Central Falls Innovation Grant, Award $300.
Additional Grant Work:
RIC Institute for Education in Healthcare: COEXIST Program: An interdisciplinary and multi-system response to HIV in Rhode Island. Role: Assist with curriculum development, grant writing, and development of evaluation instruments.
RIC Institute for Education in Healthcare. Age-Friendly RI Grant. Co-chair Food Insecurity Sub-Group. Conducted a meeting focused on strategic initiatives with community partners.
Cummings, C., Greaney, M., Wallington, S., & Rampa, S. (November 2021). Health literacy in Community Health Centers in RI. Health Literacy Annual Research Conference, Virtual Conference.
Cummings, C., Hardy, N., Cardente, B. & Gough, B. (January 2019). Healthy eating, active living [Conference session]. Health Start Annual Conference, Fall River, MA.
Cummings, C., Wallington, S., Rampa, S., & Greaney, M. (March 2019). Assessing health literacy among community health center patients in Rhode Island [Poster presentation]. Society of Behavioral Medicine, WDC.
Cummings, C., England-Kennedy, E., & Fisher, C. (November 2019). Training and preparation of nSchool Nurse Teachers as health educators [Poster presentation]. American Public Health Association 2019 National Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Cummings, C., England-Kennedy, E., & Fisher, C. (October 2018). Training and preparation of school Nurse Teachers as health educators: Implication for school health [Conference session]. American School Health National Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Cummings, C., Reilly-Chammat, R., & Fisher, C. (March 2017). Let’s talk about sexuality education: Using educator and student standards to build competence and confidence [Conference session]. Society for Health and Physical Education, Boston, MA.
Cummings, C., Furtado, G., & Percoco, V. (March 2017). Blogging and food logging toward healthier nutrition [Conference session]. Society for Health and Physical Education, Boston, MA.
Cummings, C., & Fisher, C. (October 2017). Building teacher candidates' confidence to teach sexual health education successfully [Conference session]. American School Health Association National Conference, St. Louis, MO
Cummings, C., Reilly-Chammat, R., & Fisher, C. (December 2017). Building indispensable professional development for sexual health educators [Conference session]. Center for Sex EducationnNational Conference, Atlantic City, NJ
Cummings, C. & Fisher, C. (March 2016). Empowering sexual health education teachers to learn and grow [Conference session]. Society for Public Health Education, Charlotte, NC.
Cummings, C., Furtado, G., & Percoco, V. (October, 2015). Blogging and Food-Logging towards Healthier Nutrition: Central Falls / Rhode Island College Innovation Lab. American School Health Association National Conference, Orlando, Florida.
Cummings, C. & Johnson, K. (2015). Literacy Walks: How Can Health Educators, Physical Educators, & Classroom Teachers Collaborate Together? Eastern District Association of Health Physical Education Recreation & Dance, Springfield, Massachusetts
Cummings, C. & Johnson, K. (2014) What Does My Health Look Like? Eastern District Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Newport, RI.
Cummings, C., Carreiro, D. & Parenteau, J. (2014). Development, Implementation & Impact of a Middle School Grade 6 Nutrition Unit. Eastern District Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Newport, RI.
Cummings, C. & Symons, C. (October 2012) Using a Cross-Curricular Approach to Integrate Vocabulary Instruction in the Health Classroom. American School Health Association, San Antonio, Texas.
Courses taught as Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education
FNED 101 Introduction to Teaching and Learning
HPE 221 Introduction to Nutrition
HPE 300 Health Education and Health Promotion Pedagogy
HPE 303 Research in Community and Public Health
HPE 345 Wellness for the Young Child
HPE 406 Program Development in Health Promotion
HPE 426 Internship in Community and Public Health
HPE 429 Seminar in Community and Public Health
HPE 530 Family Life and Sexuality Education
HPE 652 Seminar in Health Education (Capstone Graduate Course)
FSEHD Fuse Fellowship, 2018-2020, Partnership with the FSEHD, the Highlander Institute, and the RI Office of Innovation (Focus: To expand educator capacity by examining how personalized and blended learning is linked with the vision of the FSEHD. Creating a strategic integration of face-to-face instruction with digital tools and data that inform both the student and instructor.)
Curriculum Development and Trainer, Community Health Worker Public Health Training, RI Department of Health and RIC Institute for Education in Healthcare, 2023
Awards, Certifications, and Service
FSEHD Dean’s Recognition Award, 2017
Certified Health Education Specialist
Dialogue on Diversity Committee
Strategic Planning Committee
New England Commission of Health Education (NECHE): Organization and Governance Subcommittee
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and Executive Committee Member
Chair, FSEHD Milestones Committee
FSEHD Department Leadership Committee
Reviewer (2016 - Present)
Pedagogy in Health Promotion
American Journal of Sexuality Education
Journal of School Health