Annemarie Vaccaro

  • Associate Dean and Professor
  • Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
  • Phone: 401.874.2270
  • Email:


Dr. Vaccaro strives to be an engaged educator whose teaching, research, and service are connected by a commitment to social justice and passion for inclusive praxis. She is also committed to being actively engaged in both the field of student affairs and the URI community. At URI, she has been active in a variety of social justice committees, including current membership in the University Diversity Council. Over the past decade, she has volunteered for numerous professional leadership and committee roles in NASPA and ASHE. Dr. Vaccaro has received numerous awards for her work including the NASPA 2018 Pillar of the Profession Award and 2017 George D. Kuh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature and/or Research.


Dr. Vaccaro’s scholarship focuses on inclusion and social justice in higher education. She uses a combination of critical perspectives (i.e., Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Feminism, Feminist Theory, Intersectionality, Queer Theory) to inform her work. Annemarie has published extensively about the experiences of diverse college students, faculty and staff. Inspired by a passion for socially just education, she has also published widely about educational praxis—where she delves deeply into how holistic and equitable higher education is designed, delivered, and evaluated.


  • Ph.D., Higher Education Administration, University of Denver, 2005
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Denver, 2005
  • M.A., Student Affairs in Higher Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1996
  • B.A., Social Sciences and History, Castleton State College, 1994

Selected Publications


Vaccaro, A. & Camba-Kelsay, M. J. (2016). Centering women of color in academic counterspaces: A critical race analysis of teaching, learning, and classroom dynamics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Vaccaro, A., McCoy, B., Champagne, D., & Siegel, M. (2013). Decisions Matter: Using a Decision Making Framework with Contemporary Student Affairs Case Studies. Washington, D.C.: NASPA.

Vaccaro, A., August, G., & Kennedy, M. S. (2012). Safe spaces: Making schools and communities welcoming to LGBT youth. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Recent Journal Articles

Vaccaro, A., Miller, R. A., Kimball, E. W., *Forester, R., & Friedensen, R. (2021). Historicizing minoritized identities of sexuality and gender in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields: A grounded theory model. Journal of College Student Development, 62(3), 293-309.

Vaccaro, A., *Baylor, C., *Forsythe, D., *Capobianco, K., *Knibb, J., *Olerio, J. (2020). “There’s a human being here”: A doctoral class uses duoethnography to explore invisibility, hypervisibility, and intersectionality. International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS), 13, 637-652.

Vaccaro, A., Lee, M., Tissi-Gassoway, N., Kimball, E. W., & Newman, B. M. (2020). Gender and ability oppressions shaping the lives of college students: An intracategorical, intersectional analysis. Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education, 13(2), 199-137.

Moore, A. M., Kern, V., Carlson, A., Vaccaro, A., Kimball, E. W., Abbotte, J. A., Troiano, P. F. & Newman, B. M. (2020). Constructing a sense of purpose and a professional teaching identity: Experiences of teacher candidates with disabilities. The Educational Forum. doi:10.1080/00131725.2020.1738608

Miller, R. A., Vaccaro, A., Kimball, E. W., Forester, R. (2020). “It’s dude culture”: Students with minoritized sexual/gender identities navigating STEM majors. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Vaccaro, A., Swanson, H. & Marcotte, M. A. & Newman, B. M. (2019). Insights into the sense of belonging from women of color:  Interconnections of cultural competence, expectations, structural diversity, and counterspaces. Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity (JCSCORE), 5(2).

Vaccaro, A., Moore, A. M., Kimball, E. W., Troiano, P. F. & Newman, B. M. (2019).  “Not gonna hold me back”: Coping and resilience in students with disabilities. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 56(2), 181-193. doi:10.1080/19496591.2018.1506793

Vaccaro, A. & Kimball, E. W. (2019). Navigating disability in campus housing: An ecological analysis of student affairs work. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 56(2), 168-180. doi: 10.1080/19496591.2018.1490307

Vaccaro, A. & Koob, R. M. (2019). Toward a more comprehensive understanding of LGBTQ microaggressions: A proposed model. Journal of Homosexuality (Special Issue: “A Decade of Microaggression Research and LGBTQ Communities66(10), 1317-1344. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2018.1539583

Vaccaro, A. & Ramirez, A. (2018).  “Swim with the current, stand like a rock:” Non-traditional age undergraduates coping with racial microaggressions. Journal About Women in Higher Education, 11(2), 130-150. doi:10.1080/19407882.2017.1392874

Kimball, E.W., Vaccaro, A., Tissi-Gassoway, N., Bobot, D., Moore, A. M, Troiano, P. F., Newman, B. M.  (2018). Gender, sexuality, & (dis)Ability: Queer perspectives on the experiences of students with disabilities. Disability Studies Quarterly, 38 (2).

Newman, B. M., Kimball, E. W., Vaccaro, A., Moore, A. M. & Troiano, P. F. (2018, Online first). Diverse pathways to purpose for college students with disabilities. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 1-11.

Vaccaro, A. & Ramirez, A. (2018).  “Swim with the current, stand like a rock:” Non-traditional age undergraduates coping with racial microaggressions. Journal About Women in Higher Education. 1-21. doi:10.1080/19407882.2017.1392874

Vaccaro, A., Kimball, E. W., Moore, A. M., Newman, B. M., & Troiano, P. F. (2018). College students with disabilities narrating an emerging sense of purpose: A grounded theory model. Journal of College Student Development, 59(1), 37-54. doi:10.1353/csd.2018.0003.

Vaccaro, A. (2017).Trying to act like racism is not there”: Women of color at a predominately white women’s college challenging dominant ideologies by exposing racial microaggressions. The Journal About Women in Higher Education, 10(3), 262-280, doi:10.1080/19407882.2017.1348303

Mena, J. A. & Vaccaro, A. (2017). “I’ve struggled, I’ve battled”: Invisibility microaggressions experienced by women of color at a predominately white institution. The Journal About Women in Higher Education,10(3), 301-318, doi:10.1080/19407882.2017.1347047

Vaccaro, A. (Online First, 2017). Does my story belong? An intersectional critical race feminist analysis of student silence in a diverse classroom. The Journal About Women in Higher Education. Online first:

Vaccaro, A. & Newman, B. M. (2017). Belonging through the eyes of first-year LGBP students: A multi-layered analysis. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 1-13. doi:10.1080/19496591.2016.1211533

Kimball, E. W., Moore, A., Vaccaro, A., Troiano, P. F. & Newman, B. M. (2016). College students with disabilities redefine activism: Self-advocacy, storytelling and collective action. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(3), 245-260.

Adams, S. K., Williford, D. N., Vaccaro, A., Kisler, T. S., Francis, A., Newman, B. M. (2016). The Young and the Restless: Socializing trumps sleep, fear of missing out, and technological distractions in first year college students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 1-12. doi:10.1080/02673843.2016.1181557

Kimball, E. W., Vaccaro, A. & Vargas, N. (2016). Student affairs professionals supporting students with disabilities: A grounded theory model. Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice, 53(2), 175-189. doi:10.1080/19496591.2016.1118697

Miller, R. A. & Vaccaro, A. (2016) Queer student leaders of color: Leadership as authentic, collaborative, culturally competent. Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice, 53(1), 1-12. doi:10.1080/19496591.2016.1087858

Vaccaro, A. (2015). “It’s Not One Size Fits All”: Diversity among Student Veterans. Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice, 52(4), 1-12. doi:10.1080/19496591.2015.1067224

Mena, J. & Vaccaro, A. (2013). Tell me you love me no matter what: Relationships and self-esteem among LGBQ young adults. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 9(1), 3-23. doi:10.1080/1550428X.2013.746052

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