Meet the panel for Linking the Humanities to Careers 2016:
My journey in the humanities began during my undergraduate studies at the University of Rhode Island, where I earned a B.A. in Art History and Spanish in 2012. Following a yearlong intermission, I went on to pursue my M.A. in Art History at the University of Delaware from 2013 to 2015. Shortly after graduating with my M.A., I began work at the Worcester Art Museum as the Luce Curatorial Assistant in American Art, where I am currently organizing two exhibitions and providing research assistance to the Assistant Curator of American Art. I have also maintained an active scholarly profile by participating in an academic conference in June 2016, where I presented my current individual research. My social media presence is largely limited to my Instagram (@museumpapi), which I use as a platform to document places, things, and moments of both personal and professional interest.
URI 1990 English/RI Teacher Certification in Secondary English
Owen currently serves as the Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. In this role Owen serves as the lead fundraiser for the College of Arts and Sciences, working to secure private funding from individuals for all programs offered through the college. Prior to URI Owen served in similar roles at Northeastern University and the American Cancer Society. Owen is married to Maureen (URI 1989 English) and father of Jack (freshman at LaSalle Academy). The Devine’s live in East Greenwich, RI with their black lab Sidney. Owen enjoys swimming, tennis, bicycling and coaching youth lacrosse.
Rebecca J. Kelly is an art and dress historian. She is adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and a new part-time faculty member at The University of Rhode Island in The Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design. Rebecca worked for many years as a museum conservator holding positions at The Preservation Society of Newport County, and later the Museum at FIT. She continues to work as a consultant assisting numerous organizations and private clients with the interpretation and installation of textile exhibitions. She holds a degree in Art History (1996), as well as a Master of Science degree in Historic Dress and Textiles (2001), both from the University of Rhode Island. Her research interests include investigation of the production and consumption of luxury goods, and the way fashion and textiles are represented in visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
After graduating college with a BS in Elementary Education, in 1981 from URI, I went on to teach nursery school and kindergarten in Head Start programs around the state, eventually becoming Director of the nursery school for the East Side YMCA. Stopping for years to have and stay home with my own children, I returned to the work force ….as a Parent Liaison in the COZ After School Program at Quidnessett Elementary School in North Kingstown, RI. I started back to college part time in 2014, one class at a time, with a desire to get a degree in Art History and change careers. I graduated with a BA in Art History (also from URI) in May, 2016 and now work at the Newport Art Museum, both in the Visitor Services Department as well as the Office of Development.
I am married with three sons, the youngest of which is a drama major at Hofstra University. My middle son studied film at URI and works in LA for TMZ and my oldest son is married and is a lawyer, having attended BU as an undergrad, as well as BU Law. My husband is also a graduate of URI and is CEO of the nonprofit OSHEAN.
I was working as a data architect when I went to the University of Rhode Island for a B.A. in Art History (2003). Museum jobs were scarce after 9/11 so I decided to pursue a Masters in Library Science (2008), because most museums have libraries. I interned at the Rhode Island Historical society for three years as a curatorial assistant (2001-2004). I was an architectural research assistant at the Public Archaeology Laboratory for a year (2001). Both of these internships helped me to refine my career goals. While I was a student in the library program, I interned at the Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design as a cataloger. The internships I did while at URI gave me the experience I needed to take advantage of different opportunities. My work at RISD led to a part time job doing cataloging (2002), and then to a position doing acquisitions (2009), which I still hold. This experience helped me to get a job cataloging for a historical society in Taunton, Massachusetts (2005-2010.) After ten years of work and volunteering as a librarian and an archivist, I started an archival consulting business with a partner (2012). I worked with the Prudence Island and Charlestown Historical Societies to help them create and organized collections for their museums and archives. I worked in archives and museums for other local historical societies, and also helped a golf course to create an archive. I conducted workshops on archival practices, special collections care, and care of books. My partner purchased my half of the business this summer, but I’ll be continuing this work as an individual consultant.
My undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island is a B.A. in Art History (1984). After several years of various administrative positions in different arenas of the arts and humanities (academic library, fine crafts, for example), in 1990, I decided to pursue an M.A. in Preservation Studies, with an emphasis on New England vernacular architecture, at Boston University. Throughout my tenure at BU, I interned at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA then, now Historic New England), and immediately upon graduating, was offered a fulltime position in the Preservation Division. By 2004, I was part of the organization’s leadership, in charge of historic preservation, but left non-profit work for private consulting, including working on Historic Structures Reports for architects. In 2006, I was hired as the Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Newport (RI), providing professional preservation oversight for the City, including its Historic District Commission. Between 2009 to mid-2016, I worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC, based in the Law Division administering the organization’s 120+ preservation and conservation easements located across the country. I am now the Director of Preservation at the Newport Restoration Foundation, overseeing that organization’s 80 historic properties located in Newport. While active on Facebook, and not yet fully using Instagram, I’ve not yet ventured into Twitter!