Helen Mederer


Professor Helen Mederer retired from the University of Rhode Island in February 2020. Professor Mederer joined URI in 1984, and served more than two terms as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  Her teaching and research centered around families, gender, and work.  She was a member of the NSF ADVANCE Leadership Team from 2003- 2008, working with an interdisciplinary group of URI faculty to transform URI into a more inclusive institution for women in science.  She was co-founder of URI’s Work-Life Committee and helped create work-life integration practices and policies at URI.  In 2006 she received URI’s Woman of the Year award from the Association of Professional and Academic Women.  After retirement, she will continue her work on the state level to refine and promote policies aimed at social justice for women and families.


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Minnesota, 1982
  • B.A. in Sociology, Muhlenberg College