Nina Schiarizzi-Tobin

  • Assistant Director
  • Disability, Access, and Inclusion
  • Phone: 401.874.2098
  • Email:


Name: Nina Schiarizzi-Tobin

Job Title:  Assistant Director, Disability, Access, and Inclusion

Job title if you could make your own: Jedi Master

In another life, I’m pretty sure I was: a vaudeville performer. I appreciate wit, and like entertaining people, singing, dancing, and playing mediocre accordion. Definitely not Broadway material, but I’m 100% content with fun over fame.  Either that, or something that would probably result in my being accused of witchcraft.

On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me: Drinking coffee, working in the garden, or when weather permits, at the beach collecting things with my daughter. Drinking more coffee, then spending my tiny bursts of free time developing such crone skills as baking, crocheting, sewing, writing cautionary tales, artsy pursuits and stubbornly attempting to fix things around my very old house.

Name a few of your daily habits:  Coffee, coffee all day long and finding creative ways to reach things (I’m quite short).  I run almost every day because it helps me to process information, plan, and it improves both my focus and my mental health. I try to set aside time for creativity when parent duties permit, and enjoy listening podcasts about social justice, true crime, and history. My family and I love exploring outdoors, old cemeteries, museums, and anything Marvel, D&D, or Star Wars related.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to accomplish your academic goals?  Attention issues, perfectionism, and self-advocacy were areas of difficulty for me, right up until college. I perpetually felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough, or that I wasn’t good enough. Thankfully, learning more about my neurology at the age of 19 helped me to better understand how think, learn best, and what skill sets I needed to develop. The result was a significant improvement in my self-perception, and newfound confidence as a learner.

What advice would you give to your past self?  Embrace your humanness! It’s okay to be learning, ask questions, to fail, to advocate for yourself, and to use your resources. Trying to go it alone doesn’t make you a better person, or add more value to your degree or goals. Societies all around the world operate collaboratively and communally for a reason! Teamwork makes the dream work.

What is your favorite part about your job?  There are so many things to love, which makes it difficult to choose just one. I love working with students, and empowering them and colleagues alike to promote inclusion, representation, and visibility in our shared communities. It’s exciting to work in a field where you are always learning newer and better ways of being and making the world a more accessible place.