Honors Program Staff
- Lynne Derbyshire, Ph.D., Director
- Cheryl Foster, Ph.D., Associate Director
- Carolyn Hames, Associate Director
- Kathleen D. Maher, Assistant Director
- Deb Gardiner, Program Coordinator
- Nancy Caronia, Ph.D., Honors Program Lecturer and First Year Advisor
- Brian Clinton, Pre-Health Lecturer/Advisor
Lynne Derbyshire, Ph.D.
300B Lippitt Hall
Director, Honors Program
Associate Professor/Communications Studies
Ph.D. University of Maryland
M.A. State University of New York, Buffalo
B.A. State University of New York, Buffalo
Professor Derbyshire has been at URI since 1987 and director of the Honors Program since 2013. Research interests include women and public discourse, especially 19th century women’s rights discourse and women and constitutive discourse. Teaching interests include gender and communication, contemporary rhetorical criticism, feminist theory, and diversity.
She co-coordinated the Fall 2000 Honors Colloquium: “Nonviolence: Legacies of the Past, Bridges to the Future” featuring Coretta Scott King and legendary folk artist Pete Seeger, among others and the Fall 2010 Colloquium on “Race,” which featured Cory Booker, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, among others.
Cheryl Foster, Ph.D.
300H Lippitt Hall
Associate Director, Honors Program
Professor, Philosophy Department
Professor Cheryl Foster’s research interests include pedagogy, student advisement, and nineteenth century literature and philosophy. Teaching interests include philosophy, collections, and literature. Professor Foster was awarded the prestigious Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award in 2013. She was one of only two university professors and seven teachers nationwide to receive the Sondheim Award in appreciation for their contributions to the field of teaching. Professor Foster is also the recipient of an American Philosophical Association’s Teaching Award Citation in 1998, and the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising in 2008.
A founder of URI’s Office of National Fellowships, Professor Foster also has a special academic advising role for freshmen and sophomores.
Carolyn Hames, Associate Director
300G Lippitt Hall
Associate Director, Honors Program
Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Since 2000, Professor Hames teaches both nursing students in the College of Nursing and non-nursing undergraduates in the University Honors Program. She directs the Honors Projects.
She is involved with the College’s Weyker Thanatology Endowment and many of her research and service initiatives and publications focus on these interests. She assisted in establishing FRIENDS WAY (www.friendsway.org), a children’s bereavement center where she is a group facilitator, trains staff and volunteers, and serves as president of the Board of Directors. She is a trainer for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), and is certified in thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (www.adec.org).
303 Lippitt Hall
Assistant Director, Honors Program
As Assistant Director of the Honors Program, Kathleen Maher oversees both the Pre-Health Professions Advising Program and Office of National Fellowships. She is an active member of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA) and the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP).
Before coming to Honors Kathleen served as the Assistant Director of URI’s renowned International Engineering Program for ten years, during which time the program doubled in size. She came to URI in 1999 from the University of Iowa, where she was a study abroad adviser and the administrative coordinator for three study abroad programs in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Mexico shared by an academic consortium of 14 Mid-western universities.
Kathleen received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Siena College in Loudonville, NY, where she participated in a departmental Honors Program. She studied abroad for a semester in Madrid, Spain. She then earned a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona, and has taken 15 postgraduate credits in education at URI. In 1995-96 Kathleen taught a variety of subjects from art history to philosophy at the bilingual preparatory school on a campus of Monterrey Tec (ITESM-Campus Sonora Norte), a prestigious private university in Mexico. In addition to perfecting her Spanish, Kathleen met her husband Roberto during her time in Mexico. They have two children, Norah and Sean, and reside in Wakefield, RI. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time in nature with her family.
300A Lippitt Hall
Program Coordinator, Honors Program
300F Lippitt Hall
Lecturer, First Year Advisor
PhD, University of Rhode Island
MA, SUNY Brockport
BFA, Hofstra University
Lecturer and Freshmen Advisor, Honors Program
Dr. Nancy Caronia’s research interests include contemporary American and British literature, film, and popular culture. Her teaching interests include literature, gender and women’s studies, composition, and creative non-fiction.
Dr. Caronia has co-edited Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo (Fordham UP 2015) and wrote the introduction to the reprint of Louise DeSalvo’s Casting Off. Her scholarship appears in peer-reviewed journals, including AEQ, Italian American Review, and Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture. A Pushcart Prize nominated author, her creative non-fiction and fiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Animal, New Delta Review, Lowestoft Chronicles, biostories, and Coloring Book: An Eclectic Anthology of Fiction & Poetry by Multicultural Writers.
In 2013, she received a URI Diversity Award. Additionally, Dr. Caronia is long-time practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan.
303 Lippitt Hall
Brian Clinton’s research interest includes the reduction and elimination of health care disparities and STI/HIV prevention. He teaches community health and health education classes at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson Connecticut as an adjunct instructor. He is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and is on the Executive Board of a Community Health Center in eastern Connecticut.
As the pre-health lecturer/biological science advisor his duties include teaching, advising and coordination of activities in support of pre-health students.