About Us


URI’s Social Science Institute for Research, Education, and Policy (SSIREP) is a campus-wide consortium that brings together faculty and students from diverse fields of study to foster programs in scholarly research, teaching and learning, and outreach to business, government, and community. The Institute draws from traditional disciplines such as sociology, political science, and economics, as well as from business, communications, health studies, engineering, biology, and more. SSIREP’s faculty experts focus on interdisciplinary investigations of human behavior, social institutions, and political processes to improve society and public policy, educating our students and the public on potential policy solutions.

Our Mission

The mission of the Social Science Institute for Research, Education, and Policy (SSIREP) is to foster programs in scholarly research, teaching and learning, and outreach to students, faculty, business, government, and community.

SSIREP’S Executive Board, as of January 2024:

Our Members
Becker, Austin: Marine Affairs, CELS URI Faculty Page
Dash, Gordon: Finance, College of Business URI Faculty Page
Doerner, Jill: Sociology/Criminology & Criminal Justice, A&S URI Faculty Page
Malloy, Liam: Economics, A&S URI Faculty Page
Mather, Rod: History, A&S URI Faculty Page
Mark, Brendan: Political Science, A&S URI Faculty Page
Ye, Yinjiao: Communication, Harrington School, A&S URI Faculty Page

Why partner with SSIREP on a research or educational effort? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Support the vision and mission of SSIREP;
  2. Draw on the resources and network of SSIREP fellows; and
  3. Help improve the social sciences at the University of Rhode Island.

Submitting a Research Proposal Through SSIREP

  1. Please fill out the proposal form below prior to the InfoEd submission deadline. Please be sure to print a copy of the completed form and upload it to InfoEd along with the standard URI proposal cover. Make sure that your project title includes SSIREP before it’s official title (For example, a title in InfoEd might read “A&S/SSIREP: Building Blocks for the Future”). 
  2. If you are unsure if your submission fits the mission of SSIREP, which is required for all SSIREP proposals, please feel free to email the director of SSIREP describing your project before completing the submission form. However, if your proposal clearly meets the mission, or you are a social science faculty member, you may simply complete the submission form.
  3. If the project is funded, please notify SSIREP using the same proposal title and listing the PI.

Below you can find the form to submit a research proposal through SSIREP:

SSIREP Grant Proposal Cover Form


The Social Science Institute for Research, Education, and Policy (SSIREP) at URI was established in 2016 and given authorization to operate in 2017 by then Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Donald H. DeHayes. Lawrence E. Rothstein served as SSIREP’s first Executive Director (2016-2018), followed by Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz (2018-2021), and Julie C. Keller (2021-current).


Our Members
Aspelund, Karl: Textile Marketing and Design, Business; Anthropology, ethnography, material culture, space-travel, design, clothing, dress, fashion, identity, cultural boundaries, culture creation; URI Faculty Page
Atash, Farhad: Landscape Architecture, Community Planning; site planning and urban design, land use and transportation in urban and suburban areas, developing countries, Middle East, spatial development strategies, new town planning and design; URI Faculty Page
Atlas, Stephen: Business; behavioral economics, consumer finance, marketing, intertemporal choice, mental accounting, pricing; URI Faculty Page
Becker, Austin: Marine Affairs; coastal planning, climate adaptation, resilience, disaster response, human dimensions, ports, coast lines, decision support tools; URI Faculty Page
Bovy, Kristine: Anthropology; human and animal interactions in marine settings, human behavior, environmental and biological conservation, environmental change; URI Faculty Page
Brasher, Melanie: Sociology, Human Development, Gerontology; aging and the life course, gerontology, demography, population studies, family, intergenerational relations, health, medical sociology, Chinese society, quantitative research;
URI Faculty Page
Burbank, Patricia: Nursing; health care reform, gerontology and older adults, LGBTQ health care, exercise and behavioral change; URI Faculty Page
Burkett, John: Economics, Coastal Institute; statistics, big data, healthcare systems, environment, natural resources, nurses, income distribution, Eastern Europe, econometrics; URI Faculty Page
Dalton, Tracey: Marine Affairs; human interactions with marine and coastal environments. I’m particularly interested in public participation, spatial planning & management, shellfish aquaculture, marine protected areas, and governance of linked social and ecological systems; URI Faculty Page
Dash, Gordon: Business: Computational Finance; Behavioral Operations Research; Multi-Objective Combinatorial Optimization; SMART Cities; Automated Trading; Neurofinance and Neuroeconomics; Municipal Bond Management; URI Faculty Page
Davis, Kathleen: English; periodization, secularism, medieval culture, modernism, translation, PhD training in the humanities; URI Faculty Page
DeCesare, Catherine: Rhode Island History, Legal, Colonial, and Applied History; URI Faculty Page
Dekker, Harrison: Library & Information Science; Data Services Librarian; juvenile criminal justice; policy analysis; reproducible and transparent research practices: statistical computing and data management; altmetrics; research data; management; open data; social science databases; URI Faculty Page
Devine, Theresa: Economics; labor, city finance, taxation, employment, housing, social security; URI Faculty Page
Doerner, Jill: Criminology and Criminal Justice; gender, race/ethnicity, age, sentencing, aging offenders; URI Faculty Page
Dunsworth, Holly: Sociology and Anthropology; childbirth, primates, infant development, motherhood, altriciality, human brain development; URI Faculty Page
Forster-Holt, Nancy Business; financial gerontology, gender, small business, entrepreneurship, lean start-up, innovation in new and existing business, small firm accounting and finance, business plans, valuation, retirement, owner mortality, and 'end'repreneurship; URI Faculty Page
Gamache-Griffiths, Donna: Business, Law; technological unemployment, business ethics, women's legal issues, unemployment policy; URI Faculty Page
Gorman, Kathleen: Director of URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America, psychology, education, Spanish, nonprofit advocacy, policy initiatives, assistance programs, infant behavior and development; URI Faculty Page
Goswami, Saheli: Business; Textile Design and Marketing; corporate behaviors, sustainability, social sustainability, corporate hypocrisy, textiles and retail industry, psychophysiological responses; URI Faculty Page
Hutchison, Marc: Political Science; Domestic consequences of international conflict, political tolerance, territorial conflict, terrorism, Israel, Africa, civil conflict, state development, political trust, and comparative political behavior; URI Faculty Page
Jervis, Kathryn: Accounting; business; health care management; education management; non-profits; accounting & the public interest; URI Faculty Page
Johnson, Galen A.: phenomenology, recent Continental aesthetics, philosophy of social sciences, psychology of child development (Piaget), behavioral and cognitive psychology/philosophy, psychoanalysis, political philosophy; URI Faculty Page
Keller, Julie: Sociology; immigration; migrant labor; food and agriculture; Mexico; qualitative research; URI Faculty Page
Kemassong, Georges Tsafack: Business; risk management and derivatives, fixed income, financial econometrics, international finance, and empirical corporate finance, URI Faculty Page
Kern, Diane: Education; policy and reform; Literacy and English Language Arts Teacher Education; classroom management with attention to trauma-informed practices, restorative justice, cultural competence; teaching adolescent literature; disciplinary literacy practice; access to college education and careers in education for historically marginalized/minoritized people; URI Faculty Page
Krieger, William: Philosophy; archeology of Israel, practice and methodology of archeology; URI Faculty Page
Krueger, Brian: Political Science; public opinion, political behavior, technology, large N observational studies, vaccine policy, exit polls, survey research, monitoring and surveillance; URI Faculty Page
Lardaro, Leonard: Economics; Labor Economics, Public Finance, Money and Banking, and Managerial Economics, Econometrics, Forecasting; URI Faculty Page
Leedahl, Skye: Human Development and Family Counseling and Political Science; social integration & health, community and social engagement, quality of life for older adults, health and social services for older adults, public program evaluation, intergenerational programs; URI Faculty Page
Ley, Aaron: Political Science; public policy, environment, climate change, legal mobilization; URI Faculty Page
Lloréns, Hilda: Anthropology; Race/Racism, Gender, Environmental Justice/Environmental Racism, Power, Resistance, Semiotics, Ethnographic methods, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, U.S. Latinxs. URI Faculty Page
Loomis, Erik: labor and environmental history of the United States; global capitalism, U.S. West; URI Faculty Page
Maguire, Ryan: Business; Innovation, design process, creativity, mind-maps, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, imagination, project visualization, multicultural, interdisciplinary; URI Faculty Page
Malloy, Liam: Economics; Inequality (unions, minimum wage, taxes, trade), Behavioral economics, Political economy (campaign advertising, campaign finance, policy adoption); URI Faculty Page
Mankodiya, Kunal: Wearable devices, smart textiles, internet of things, smart healthcare, smart communities, technologies for aging, deep learning, big data analytics, URI Faculty Page
Mather, Rod: History: Marine Archaeology, Maritime History, Applied History, GIS-based, marine cultural resource survey, systems engineering, resource management, environmental resource management, data management, geography; URI Faculty Page
McCurdy, Karen: Human Development and Family Studies; Research interests: prevention of child obesity, family food environments, promoting child development in low-income families; parenting; maternal depression and its effects on parenting behaviors; URI Faculty Page
McIntyre, Richard: Economics; Comparative and international political economy, labor relations and labor standards, and contemporary heterodox economics, Cuba; URI Faculty Page
Mclean, Elizabeth: Marine Affairs; applied and experimental coral reef studies, ecology and human dimensions of coastal fishermen and their local ecological knowledge in Rhode Island, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, fuel efficient technologies for fish processors in the lakes of Malawi; URI Faculty page
Mederer, Helen: Sociology; workplace policies, employment, gender equity, equality, family, eldercare, focus groups, survey research, future leaders and legislative process, underrepresented students; URI Faculty Page
Moore, Amelia:  Marine Affairs; green travel branding, destination design, environmental politics, fisheries, and the social worlds of field ecology in the Caribbean with a special focus on The Bahamas and small island states; URI Faculty Page
Murray-Johnson, Kayon: Education;  Adult and Higher Education, Creative Teaching Strategies, Faculty Development, Multicultural Education, Immigrant and International Students’ Learning Experiences; URI Faculty Page
Parker, Chris: Political Science; U.S. Supreme Court; judicial politics, judicial decisionmaking, Fourth Amendment, Search and Seizure, War on Drugs; URI Faculty Page
Pearson-Merkowitz, Shanna: Political Science; public policy, voting, election campaigns, religion, political behavior, socialization, social welfare, immigration, state politics, student research; URI Faculty Page
Peckham, Joan: Computer Science and Statistics; Real-time systems, distributed systems, real-time data distribution,big data, real-time sensor networks, real-time middleware, quality of service, real-time databases, semantic concurrency control, object-oriented programming, Behaviorial Model of Pedestrian Dynamics, Bioinformatics, Intelligent Transportation Systems; URI Faculty Page
Petro, Nicolai: Political Science; international relations, foreign policy, Russia, democracy, political symbolism, religion, culture, and politics; URI Faculty Page;Personal Website
Prochaska, James O.: Psychology, Cancer Prevention Research Center; behavioral change, addiction, smoking cessation, risk behavior regarding disease and natural disasters, cancer and randomized trials, modeling; URI Faculty Page
Rambur, Betty: Nursing; Payment reform, Workforce implications of payment reform, Value-based care, Provider financial risk sharing, Health delivery redesign, Health policy; URI Faculty Page
Ramnarain, Smita: Economics; feminist economics, economic development, post-conflict economies, microfinance, inequality, peace, community development, South Asia, Africa; URI Faculty Page
Rothstein, Lawrence: Political Science, Law; privacy, constitutional law, civil liberties, professional ethics of attorneys, protection of genetic information, genetic non-discrimination; URI Faculty Page
Rusnock, Andrea: History of science and medicine; science and technology studies; vaccination; disease patterns; quantification; research ethics; women and health care; URI Faculty Page
Saint-Eloi Cadely, Hans: Human Development and Family Studies; dating aggression, dating violence, intimate partner violence, adolescent romantic relationships, young adult romantic relationships, identity development; URI Faculty Page
Silver, Barbara: Labor Research Center and Psychology; worklife, workplace, women in science, engineering and STEM fields, family leave, minorities and work, employment equality; URI Faculty Page
Sodhi, Manbir Singh: Engineering; manufacturing and service industries, industrial processes and systems, workplace practices, employment, automation; URI Faculty Page
Spivak, Asha Leah: Human Development and Family Studies; altruism, empathy, social inclusion, conflict resolution, ethnicity and race, social and emotional learning interventions, teacher practice, early childhood intervention, parent education; URI Faculty Page
Stein, Lynda: Psychology; Social service settings, including justice settings, Implementation science and evidence-based practices, Treatment outcomes and mechanisms of action, Racial/ethnic bias, Assessment and evaluation; URI Faculty Page
Sterne, Evelyn: History; religion, Christianity, immigration, ethnicity, 19th and 20th century American history, labor, class, and ethnic politics; URI Faculty Page
Strubel, Jessica: Business – Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design: Body image/appearance management and social media usage; Countercultural identity and appearance; Ethnic identity and dress; Men and body image/appearance; Gender identity/self-concept and consumer behavior; Tattoo behavior; URI Faculty Page
Thompson, Marcella: Nursing; Role of the Environmental Health Nurse as a Knowledge Broker, Strategic and Synergistic Partnerships, Native American fish consumption, Environmental Health Policy, Multiple Environmental Chemical Exposures (lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls) Among Childbearing-Aged Women, Contaminated Fish Consumption Among Indigenous Populations; URI Faculty Page
Thulier, Diane: Nursing; breastfeeding, infant weight loss, maternal and newborn health; URI Faculty Page
Trimm, Ryan: English; contemporary Britain; colonial/postcolonial; modernism/postmodernism; culture; film; literary and cultural theory; continental philosophy; nation identity; political economy; globalization;URI Faculty Page
Tutwiler, M. Shane: Education; advanced quantitative methodologies to model learning and behavioral change; virtual environments (video games, augmented reality); science education; URI Faculty Page
Vaccaro, Annemarie: Human Development & Families: College Students, Campus Climate, LGBTQ Issues, Disability in Higher Education, Race in Higher Education, Gender in Higher Education; URI Faculty Page
Weiss, Nicole: Psychology: trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, emotion dysfunction, substance use, HIV/sexual risk, multicultural issues; URI Faculty Page
Westin, Stu: Business computing; online environments for behavioral research, online pedagogy, business processes, tools for online data collection, big data, custom software development, fraud, ethics; URI Faculty Page
Weyandt, Lisa: Psychology; ADHD, Alzheimer’s, neuroscience, pharmacology, stimulants; URI Faculty Page
Williams, Travis: English; Renaissance literature and culture; history of science and mathematics; science communication; cultural and social understanding of science; practical ethics; URI Faculty Page
Xu, Ping: Political Science; immigration, welfare, inequality, Medicaid, government spending, China, fiscal policy, disasters, globalization; URI Faculty Page
Yalcin, Mehmet: Business: supply chain management, operations, supply chain ambidexterity (SCX), sustainability, innovation, process improvement, project management, lean/six sigma, humanitarian logistics; URI Faculty Page
Ye, Yinjiao: Communication Studies; health, social media, media effects, consumer trust, Chinese media, research methods; URI Faculty Page