Welcome to Out and Proud at URI – Allies

Out and Proud at URI promotes the visibility of URI’s lgbtq faculty and staff and encourages mentoring, awareness and networking.  Our goal is to increase our sense of community and to let our students, staff and faculty know that they are well supported and not alone here at URI.  

We are happy to have these allies join us in supporting our community.


URI’s Out and Proud Allies:


Stephen Baker

Stephen N. Baker

Ally
Member of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: he/him/his

Director of Public Safety & Chief of Police
Public Safety
44 Lower College Road
(401) 874-2109
snbaker@uri.edu
 
  • What motivates Stephen to be visible on campus:

    As the Director of Public Safety & Chief of Police, the safety and security of everyone on all URI campuses is of utmost importance to me. The University is a wonderfully diverse community, and we in Public Safety strive to ensure that all identities are valued and supported. Being visible in the community allows us to build relationships and to foster collaboration between Public Safety and everyone in the University community.

     

Bill Bartels

Bill Bartels

Ally
Former Co-Chair of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: he/him/his

Teaching Professor and Chair
Philosophy
228 Chafee Social Science Center
(401) 874-4493
bbartels@uri.edu
 
  • What motivates Bill to be visible on campus:

    Many years ago when I attended a conservative seminary, a friend and fellow student came out to me. As has happened for so many others, this was a pivotal moment (for him and me!) that broke through my inherited bias and forced me to confront the blatant injustice of anti-LGBTQ prejudice. Ever since I’ve thought it important both to work for equality and to make a public case that such work is required, not in spite of, but because of the highest ethical values of my religious tradition – love and justice
     
    More about Bill:

    When I find the time I enjoy taiji, reading, walking, classical guitar playing, and puzzles like Sudoku and crosswords
Deb Bergner

Deb Bergner

Ally
Member of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Coordinator of Educational Programs
Housing and Residential Life
Hillside Hall
(401) 874-5837
debbergner@uri.edu 
 
  • What motivates Deb to be visible on campus:

    It is important that students know that there are many faculty, staff and students who value and support them.
     
    More about Deb:

    I love gardening, being outdoors, riding my bike, and spending time with my family.
Cynthia Bonn

Cynthia Bonn

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Dean of Admission
Undergraduate Admission
Newman Hall
(401) 874-7879
cbonn@uri.edu
 
  • What motivates Cynthia to be visible on campus:

    I want all students — those who are enrolled as well as those who may enroll in the future — to know that URI strives to be an inclusive and welcoming place. Our community is better and stronger when we feel safe enough to be who we are, and when we care enough to open our minds and our hearts in order to learn from those who are different from us.
     
    More about Cynthia:

    My favorite pastime is hiking the many beautiful forest trails we’re fortunate to have in RI — as well as walking on our beautiful campus!
Anita Burke

Anita Burke

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Senior Word Processing Typist
Housing and Residential Life
Hillside Hall
(401) 874-2899
amburke@uri.edu 
 
  • What motivates Anita to be visible on campus:

    Students at URI deserve to know that people care about them.
     
    More about Anita:

    Master Gardener
    Sunday School Teacher
    Proud Grandmother to two beautiful kids
Melissa J. Camba-Kelsay

Melissa J. Camba-Kelsay

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Coordinator, Student Leadership
Center for Student Leadership Development
Memorial Union Room 210
(401) 874-2561
mjcamba@uri.edu
 
  • What motivates Melissa to be visible on campus:

     I believe ally-ship is about taking action. I believe allies need to actively engage in social justice work. In the same way that I, as a woman of color, need to see my white allies taking action, I believe that as an ally to the LGBTQQIA communities, it is my responsibility to be visible.
Joshua Caulkins

Joshua Caulkins

Ally
Pronouns: he/him/his

Assistant Director
Office for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Edwards Hall, 2nd Floor
(401) 874-5592
  • What motivates Joshua to be visible on campus:

    URI is my community and my family. Being a visible ally is how I show my commitment to a diverse, inclusive, and respectful community, and how I chose to create the society and world I want to live in
Kees de Groot

Kees de Groot

Ally
Pronouns: he/him/his

Professor
School of Education
709 Chafee
(401) 874-4149
degrootc@uri.edu
 
  • What motivates Kees to be visible on campus:

    Everyone is who they are and want to be.
    I control that for myself and so should everyone else without any obstacle, retribution, or fear.
Jill Doerner

Jill Doerner

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Interim Director
Criminology & Criminal Justice
Associate Professor
Sociology & Anthropology
Chafee 509
(401) 874-4077
jdoerner@uri.edu

  • What motivates Jill to be visible on campus:

    I am motivated by my friends, colleagues and students in the LGBTQ community to do all I can to create an environment where everyone feels safe and included, and can be their authentic selves. As a sociologist/criminologist, I study issues of inequality in society and within the criminal justice system, and it is extremely important to me to visibly advocate for equity, fairness, safety, and justice in both my personal and professional life.



Erin Earle

Erin Earle

Ally
Co-Chair of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Director, Campus Visit Experience
Department of Admission
Newman Hall
(401) 874-7114
erinearle@uri.edu

  • What motivates Erin to be visible on campus:

    I am motivated to be visible on campus because I believe it is important for allies to speak up and advocate for the LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. Equality is a non-negotiable right in my mind and I am passionate about identifying areas that we can improve at URI and putting in the hard work to making tangible change. It is a privilege to lead the LGBTQ Commission in its pursuit to making URI a safe and inclusive campus.

    More about Erin:

    I am very passoinate about the field of higher education and enjoy participating in professional organizations that help support college access. In addition to LGBTQ rights I am also committed to assisting student veterans and students of color navigate their college experience. In my free time I can be found at the beach, trying the newest restaurants and binge watching “bad” tv.

Cheryl Foster

Cheryl Foster

Ally
Member of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Professor
Philosophy Department
Chafee 225
(401) 874-4022
cherylf@uri.edu

  • What motivates Cheryl to be visible on campus:

    Justice! And the chance for individuals to be utterly themselves. LGBTQ equity sits firmly at the center of my personal and professional priorities. As a philosopher, I focus on issues surrounding existential identity, values, and authenticity, as well as ethics and equity. As a relative of family members who either identify as LGBTQ or forged lives of dignity in the age before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – my uncle and his partner were among those who turned Boston’s South End into a thriving gay community – I promote visibility and equity in honor of their courage and pride.

    More about Cheryl:

    Reading. More reading. And reading. Plus the arts, writing, community service, hiking, swimming, and hanging with my family. 

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

Ally
Member of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Assistant Director
Greek Life
34 Lower College Road
(401) 874-4667
megan_fox@uri.edu

  • What motivates Megan to be visible on campus:

    I am passionate about supporting students with their personal and professional goals.  Part of this support means appreciating and recognizing everything that makes them unique.  Equity for all students drives me to advocate for the LGBTQ community at URI. 

    I also strive to be a resource for LGBTQ students on campus, especially in Greek Life.  Fraternities and Sororities at URI are a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community and I want to help educate our students about the diversity among their members and the URI community.  I am also here for students to talk to about concerns they may have navigating how to be an ally to a friend or family member who is LGBTQ.

     

Charles Hall

Charles Hall

Ally
Pronouns: he/him/his

Assistant Director
Housing and Residential Life
Hillside Hall
(401) 267-8556
hall@uri.edu

  • What motivates Charles to be visible on campus:

    I believe that people should love the person they love regardless of their gender identity. Love is Love is Love!

    More about Charles:

    Member of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department

     

Diane Kern

Diane Kern

Ally
Proud parent of a daughter who is queer
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Associate Professor
School of Education
708 Chafee Hall
dkern@uri.edu

  • What motivates Diane to be visible on campus:

    As a former public school teacher and now a teacher educator, I know that one’s identity must be valued and respected in order for that person to learn, to be happy, to grow. Every person has a right to an education and to be treated with respect. I am a visible ally because URI must be a place where all people can learn and achieve their goals.

     

Ann Morrisey

Ann Morrisey

Ally
Former Co-Chair of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Special Assistant to the Provost for Planning
Office of the Provost
Room 113 Green Hall
(401) 874-4846
morrissey@uri.edu

  • What motivates Ann to be visible on campus:

    A passion for equity, justice, and respect for all people, especially those in our URI community; and for all to live and love freely

     

Alycia Mosley Austin

Alycia Mosley Austin

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Associate Director
Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program
Assistant Dean
Graduate School

alycia@uri.edu

  • What motivates Alycia to be visible on campus:

    As a university community, we are not doing our jobs unless everyone on campus feels safe and valued for being their whole selves. I am a visible ally because everyone benefits from an environment that is more diverse and more inclusive, and everyone has a role to play in creating that environment.

     

Chris Nasin

Chris Nasin

Ally
Pronouns: he/him/his

Medical Director
Student Health Services
Potter Building
(401) 874-2246
cnasin@uri.edu

  • What motivates Chris to be visible on campus:

    To ensure all students at URI that Health Services feel welcome and safe

     

Robin Noel

Robin Noel

Parent of transgender children
Bisexual
Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Receptionist
Office of Undergraduate Admission

Newman Hall
Upper College Rd
(401) 874-8518
robin_noel@uri.edu

  • What motivates Robin to be visible on campus:

    Being the mom of trans kids has helped me become more open-minded, and more confident in terms of fighting for their rights to be treated equally. I try to take as many opportunities as I can for teachable moments for others.

     

     

Amy Olson

Amy Olson

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Executive Director 
Hillel
Norman M. Fain Hillel Center
6 Fraternity Circle
(401) 874-2740
amyolson@uri.edu

  • What motivates Amy to be visible on campus:

    I believe that every human being is created in God’s image and should be treated with dignity and respect. I was blessed to grow up in a family that championed the values of kindness, compassion and justice and I feel it is my obligation and holy honor to do the same. I am happy to live in a time and place where my son can marry his boyfriend, yet know there is still so much more work to be done to secure the rights and safety for the LGBTQ community.

    More about Amy:

    Chair of the Chaplains Association, Member of the Equity Council.  I am a professional vocalist specializing in Broadway show tunes, Yiddish theater music and Israeli songs. In my previous position as Hillel Director at the University of Minnesota I was recipient of the “Breaking the Silence” award from the University of Minnesota GLBT Programs Office for my work on behalf of GLBT students.

     

Chris Nasin

Kathy Peno

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Professor
Education
Chafee
(401) 523-1477
kgugs@uri.edu

  • What motivates Kathyto be visible on campus:

    Everyone should be free to be themselves and I want to be supportive and helpful to all.

     

Ellen Reynolds

Ellen Reynolds

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Director
Health Services
6 Butterfield Road
Potter Building
(401) 874-4756
ellenreynolds@uri.edu

  • What motivates Ellen to be visible on campus:

    As the Director of Health Services, I am committed to the health and safety of our community.  I am passionate about creating an environment where all members of our community receive high quality, compassionate health care by a dedicated team of professionals committed to inclusiveness, equality and respect for all.  I’m particularly proud of the collaboration URI Health Services has with the Gender & Sexuality Center around advocacy for comprehensive health insurance coverage for our students.  

     

Ellen Reynolds

Penny Rosenthal

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Director
Women’s Center
22 Upper College Road
(401) 874-5412
pjrose@uri.edu

  • What motivates Penny to be visible on campus:

    I am motivated to be a visible ally at URI by love…simply believing that we all need to love and be loved. There are too many people hating and I want to contribute to making our community anti-hate.

Ellen Reynolds

Kelley Ryan

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Assistant Director, Substance Abuse Prevention Services
Dean of Students Office
302 Memorial Union
(401) 874-2098
kelley_ryan@uri.edu

  • What motivates Kelley to be visible on campus:

    To help create a more inclusive environment on campus where everyone feels welcome, accepted, and comfortable.

Ellen Reynolds

Anne Seitsinger

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Professor and Interim Associate Dean
Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies
Shepard Building, Providence
(401) 274-5468
anneseitsinger@uri.edu

  • What motivates Anne to be visible on campus:

    I want students, staff, and faculty to feel free to talk with me about issues that concern them.

    More about Anne:

    I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love to ski and play golf.

Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor

Ally
Pronouns: he/him/his

Hall Director II
Housing & Residential Life
Heathman C102
(401) 874-2140
dantaylor@uri.edu

  • What motivates Dan to be visible on campus:

    Every member of campus should know they are accepted and valued for who they are and for all their identities. Support must be unilateral and not just from in-group. I have worked with many colleagues and students through the years who I have been able to offer support and from whom I have learned. I want those who do not normally come into contact with me to know that if they see me, they, too, will be supported.

    More about Dan:

    Movies, music, NY Yankees, NE Patriots, URI history

Naomi-Thompson180x180

Naomi Thompson

Ally
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Associate Vice President
Community, Equity and Diversity
305 Green Hall
(401) 874-7439
naomi@uri.edu

  • What motivates Naomi to be visible on campus:

    Being visible is personal, professional and political:
     
    Personally:  My best friend, brother-cousin, nephew, and my closest friends on the planet  identify within the spectrum of LGBTQ. Unconditional love for my friends and family ignites my desire to be visible.
     
    Professionally: We in the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity serve as allies to listen, affirm and support students, faculty and staff members with a special sensitivity for marginalized individuals inclusive of those who identify as LGBTQ.  Passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work fuels this desire to be a visible ally.
     
    Politically: All human beings deserve the right to be free from discriminatory laws, policies and procedure that adversely impact individuals or groups based on protected identities.  Commitment to social justice makes it important to be visible.

    More about Naomi:

    Time spent biking, jogging, walking, praying, exercising, playing tennis or listening to music with loved ones – is time well spent.

Welcome to Out and Proud at URI – Allies

Susan Trostle Brand

Ally
Mother of a transgender daughter
Member of the President’s LGBTQ Commission
Pronouns:  she/her

Professor
School of Education
702 Chafee, Kingston Campus
(401) 742-1198
Susant@uri.edu

  • What motivates Susan to be visible on campus:

    URI professors, staff, and students Think Big! I could not be more proud of our accepting campus climate in which differences and uniqueness are celebrated and discrimination and inequity are not tolerated. Together, as a strong and united force, we will move forward to ensure that every single person on our campus and in our community feels welcomed and valued, regardless of gender preference or identity.

    More about Susan:

    Nine years ago my daughter, Jessica, informed me that she is transgender. Since that time, we have shared an incredible journey as she gradually found the courage to be her true self and the resources at URI and beyond to seek gender confirmation surgery. Thanks to the URI Health Center, the supportive administration, and the very accepting professors, Jessica’s transition was a smooth one. Since that time, I have become very involved with social equity. 


    I am a board advisor for the national trans youth equality foundation and teach a grand challenge course at URI including gender equity issues. Jessica and I present workshops on gender issues at colleges and classes, locally and regionally.

Think Big We Do

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