Psychology Professor Ellen Flannery-Schroeder named inaugural Dr. Glenda L. Vittimberga ’88 Endowed Professor

The University of Rhode Island College of Health Sciences has awarded the inaugural Dr. Glenda L. Vittimberga ’88 Endowed Professorship in Psychology to Ellen Flannery-Schroeder, professor and director of training in clinical psychology.

The endowed professorship was established by the Vittimberga family in memory of their sister, a renowned child psychologist who left an outstanding legacy of teaching, research, and community service.

“Establishing an endowed professorship in Glenda’s name is a lasting tribute to a woman whose work was highly regarded in the field of child psychology,” said Gary Liguori, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “The professorship allows URI to recruit and retain outstanding faculty who maintain those same standards, and we greatly appreciate that the Vittimberga family has so generously entrusted us with these resources.

“We selected Ellen Flannery-Schroeder for this prestigious honor because of her exceptional research and teaching, which also align with Glenda’s own professional interests.”

Flannery-Schroeder has been involved in the prevention and treatment of anxiety disorders for children and adolescents for more than 30 years and has written numerous articles and book chapters on the topic. She is the director of URI’s Child Anxiety Program, which provides cognitive-behavior therapy for anxiety and depressive disorders; individual, family, and group approaches to treating anxious youth; and prevention strategies for children at risk for anxiety. 

“Our family is delighted at the appointment of Dr. Flannery-Schroeder as the Dr. Glenda L. Vittimberga ’88 Endowed Professor,” said Gail Vittimberga Gay. “Glenda was an exceptional educator and clinician. Her work with children with disabilities, as well as her work with future psychologists in her role as a professor, will have a positive ripple effect in the lives of those she impacted. We are gratified to acknowledge and continue her life’s work in this way.” 

An endowed professorship supports knowledge creation by allowing the faculty member to focus on research, preparing papers for scholarly publication, and presenting at professional conferences.

“I am honored to be named the Dr. Glenda L. Vittimberga endowed professor,” said Flannery-Schroeder. “My clinical work and my research to assist children with anxiety and their families has been a lifelong passion, and I look forward to spending even more time researching effective prevention and treatment modalities.”

Glenda Vittimberga, who passed in 2004, graduated summa cum laude from URI in 1988. Her now-deceased parents, Drs. Bruno and Jacklyn Vittimberga were long-standing URI faculty who established the Vittimberga Family Endowed Fund for Chemistry.

After URI, Glenda earned a master’s and Ph.D. and was awarded tenure at California State University at Los Angeles at age 36, the youngest faculty member to be granted the rank of full professor. 

Vittimberga created a body of knowledge that has improved the lives of countless children struggling with behavioral issues and learning disabilities in the aftermath of trauma. Her research appeared in national peer-reviewed journals, and she was a sought-after lecturer in her field. She was very active at the University and in the community.