Kathleen Gorman

  • Director, Professor of Psychology
  • Phone: 401.874.9089
  • Email: kgorman@uri.edu


Kathleen Gorman has spent the last 30 years studying how poverty and related factors affect the development of children throughout the world. As a sophomore in college at the University of Notre Dame, she spent a year in Mexico during which she developed a fluency in the Spanish language. Upon graduation, she received a Rotary Fellowship to study at the Universidad Católica, in Lima, Perú (1979-1982) where she fulfilled the requirements to be licensed as an educational psychologist. In 1987, she received her PhD in Human Development at the University of Maryland. She spent the next 18 months as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, living in Guatemala and collecting data on the effects of malnutrition on infant behavior and development. She continued at UC Davis as a research associate until 1993 when she became an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Vermont. At UVM, she continued her work on the effects of malnutrition and expanded her research to examine the effects of maternal iodine deficiency on infant development in China.

In 2000, she became the first director of the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America. As director of the center, she administers the Hunger Studies minor, advises students on research and service learning experiences in the community, and works with government and non-profit advocacy agencies across the state to support policy initiatives to improve the quality of life for low-income families and children. She is also a Professor of Psychology at URI, and managed the state of RI’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamp Program) Outreach Project between 2001 and 2020.  Additionally, she has served on a number of boards, including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, between 2001 and 2007 and the the Emergency Food and Shelter Board of Rhode Island, of which she is currently the chair.