Jul 22, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Feinstein School of Social and Natural Sciences

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Overview       Mission Statement      Programs of Study       Faciities

Administration           Faculty           Special Events       

Degrees, Majors, Minors and Certificates


Mission Statement

At the heart of each strong, established university is its College of Arts and Sciences. At Roger Williams, the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences (FCAS), like its counterparts on other campuses across the world, houses and ensures the vitality of that tradition. Here as elsewhere, today as in the times when human imagination first entertained the enterprise of higher education, the College is the unifying center of the University and of undergraduate studies. Here students and faculty come together from all parts of the University and of the world. Here we pursue knowledge. We master skills. We become informed. We discover how the traditional arts and sciences impact contemporary interdisciplinary and professional studies. We achieve in the fullest sense of the term a well-rounded education.

The following pages describe the College’s wealth of knowledge and diversity of programs in the humanities, in the natural and social sciences, and in the fine and performing arts. Here all paths toward graduation, toward rewarding work and toward enriched lives converge. As each student pursues his or her own path through professional studies majors or through arts and sciences, all students meet in the College to explore the traditional disciplines, to accomplish the University Core Curriculum, and, in growing numbers, to earn dual majors.

The College’s programs and its faculty are dedicated not only to preserving and transmitting the tradition, but to developing habits of mind that appreciate and can deal well with the increasing complexities of contemporary, global life and work. Teaching and learning in the College are characterized by exploration, diversity, inquiry, interaction, tolerance, confidence, competence, community and service.

Education is relevant and interpersonal. It is the means by which students prepare for the challenging roles they will play and for the civic responsibilities they will fulfill in this rapidly changing world. As students complete their studies in the College, they carry forward a sense of the joy involved in the process of discovery and an understanding of why that fundamental process must be an integral component of their daily lives.



The Feinstein College of Arts and Science consists of two “Schools;” the School of Humanities, Arts and Education (SHAE) and the School of Social and Natural Sciences (SSNS). Roger Williams undergraduates have opportunities to pursue a liberal arts curriculum as they major or minor in the humanities, fine arts, social or natural sciences. All university undergraduates may access the liberal arts as they satisfy the university’s core curriculum and take elective courses that explore disciplines outside of their major. Small classes, none taught by teaching assistants, a commitment to student-centered learning, achievement, and quality, distinguish the College, its faculty, students and programs. Situated thus, and with the largest number of students, faculty and courses of study, the schools compose the heart of the university.

Academic programs emphasize analytical thinking, problem-solving and research, all of which prepare FCAS graduates to compete effectively in a world that increasingly requires flexible habits of mind and teamwork. Professors and students work together in an academic community that values the hallmarks of a liberal education: intellectual inquiry, the lively exchange of ideas, an appreciation of diverse perspectives, scholarship, and development of the skills devoutly wished for by 21st century employers. The schools foster cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies that include the experiential education that is the hallmark of Roger Williams University.


Programs of Study

Academic programs emphasize analytical thinking, problem-solving and research, all of which prepare FCAS graduates to compete effectively in a world that increasingly requires flexible habits of mind, teamwork, the ability to reason well and a broad base of knowledge. Students enrolled in the College also develop competence in effective communication; they learn to read, write and speak with clarity and precision. They learn to think critically about the works, ideas and events that have shaped knowledge. They learn to explore how these relate not only to the past, but also to the present and future. They engage in the creative process and learn how the arts are produced and why they are integral to humanity. As they study and learn in multiple areas of the arts and sciences, FCAS students develop intelligence, talent, competence and confidence.

Choosing from over 22 majors and minors, FCAS students are able to combine and tailor their academic programs to meet their goals and interests. They can exercise the option to complete two majors by applying work in the Core Concentration toward a second major. In addition to traditional majors, students in good standing may undertake individualized majors and directed independent studies. Cross-disciplinary programs further promote the flow of knowledge and skill across traditional academic fields of study, and students develop competence in multiple areas. FCAS students may also expand their portfolios by enrolling in courses in the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business, the School of Engineering Computing and Construction Management or the School of Justice Studies.

Pre-professional and interdisciplinary courses of study offer additional options. Students interested in preparing for law school enroll in a joint program that includes course work in the College and in the School of Justice Studies. FCAS majors who plan to enter the medical or veterinary fields can pursue studies that prepare them for graduate studies in those areas. Those who elect careers in secondary education follow a program of study that ensures a rich background in the arts and sciences, coupled with course work in educational history, philosophy, and the teaching-learning process.

As a result of this rich range of choices, graduates of the College possess both multi-disciplinary perspectives and multiple skills competitive advantages always, but never more so than Well-rounded,  knowledgeable and skilled, FCAS graduates are well prepared and highly competitive as they enter either the workforce or graduate school. All majors offered through the College of Arts and Sciences lead to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.


The academic departments of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences are housed in several campus buildings, conveniently grouped according to their shared needs for laboratories, studios, stages, lecture halls, seminar rooms, computer and audio-visual equipped classrooms and other facilities. Administrative offices are located in GHH; faculty offices are also located there and in other buildings on the campus.

The College’s Marine and Natural Sciences Building (MNS), houses the science and mathematics programs. This two-level bayside complex contains state-of-the-art laboratories, including an open seawater lab that was expanded in 2009. The Performing Arts Center (PAC), affectionately called The Barn, is a lively venue of cultural activity on campus. The Performing Arts Annex (formerly the North Campus Classroom Building) is another hub of creative activity for the Theatre, Dance and Music programs, for rehearsals and classes. It includes two rehearsal/dance studio spaces, a chorus room, music practice rooms, a classroom, and faculty offices. The Center contains professionally lighted stage and performance areas as well as costume, makeup and scenery rooms. More than 30 events are staged here each year. The Fine Art Center (FAC), sometimes called “The Muffin” for its unique shape, is home to the Visual Arts disciplines of drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Courses in photography and digital media take place in the SAAHP darkroom and MAC labs. Additional studio space is located in nearby downtown Bristol at the Reynolds and Byfield schools on the historic Town Common. There, a new ceramics studio, senior studio spaces and a project space for exhibitions and installations are in close proximity to working arts professionals, cultural centers, Bristol businesses and restaurants.

Global Heritage Hall - the newest academic facility on campus, opened in fall 2009 - is home to the humanities including the departments of communication and graphic design, English and creative writing, foreign languages, philosophy and culture, history, and writing studies, rhetoric and composition. This four-story technology-rich academic center features heritage-themed classrooms, an interactive world languages center, four Mac labs and a fully equipped broadcast production studio for hands-on learning experiences.

Click Learning Outcomes to view all learning outcomes for Academic Programs in the Feinstein College of Arts & Sciences


Benjamin J. Greenstein, Ph.D., Dean
Annika Hagley, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Anne-Marie Cerda - Manager of Operations



Garrett Berman - Psychology
Nancy Breen - Chemistry
Loren Byrne - Biology
Sean Colin - Environmental Science
Jacquline Cottle - Public Health
Frank DiCataldo - Psychology
Frank Eyetsemitan, Ph.D. - Psychology
Steven Esons - Political Science
Lonnie Guralnick - Biology
Alejandro Leguízamo - Psychology
MaryBeth MacPhee - Public Health
Marcia Marston - Biology
Clifford B. Murphy - Chemistry
Stephen K. O’Shea - Chemistry
Jason Patch - Sociology
Judith Platania - Psychology (Emeritus)
Andrew Rhyne - Marine Biology
Joseph W. Roberts - Political Science
Lauren Rossi - Chemistry
Teal Rothschild - Sociology
Scott Rutherford - Environmental Science
Timothy Scott - Biology
Jessica Skolnikoff - Anthropology
June Speakman - Political Science
David Taylor - Biology
Cliff J. Timpson - Chemistry
Yajni Warnapala - Mathematics
Kerri Warren - Biology/Public Health
Paul Webb - Biology
Donald Whitworth - Psychology
Brian Wysor - Biology
Matt Zaitchik - Psychology

Associate Professors:
Kelly Brooks - Psychology
Bonita G. Cade - Psychology
Edward Dougherty - Mathematics
Avelina Espinosa - Biology
Annika Hagley - Political Science
Saeed Hydaralli - Sociology
Tadeusz Kugler - Political Science
David Moskowitz - Political Science
Jennifer Kreft Pearce - Physics
Galit Sharon - Marine Biology
Koty Sharp - Marine Biology
Roxanna Smolowitz - Biology (Honorary Retiree)
Erin Tooley - Psychology/Public Health
Laura Butkovsky Turner - Psychology
Adria Updike - Physics

Assistant Professors:
Hum Nath Bhandari - Mathematics
Christopher Burtner - Biology
Selby Conrad - Psychology
Hasala Gallolu Kankanamalage - Mathematics
Wendy Godek - Political Science
Victoria Heimer-McGinn - Psychology
Xinyu (Judy) Hu - Psychology
Mina Poursharifi - Chemistry
Joel Singley - Enviromental Science

Alyson Hildum - Mathematics
Katherine Mattaini - Biology

Special Events

The Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lectureship and Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Endowed Library Fund, were established by Roger Williams University alumnus Robert Blais ‘70, to honor Professor John Howard Birss, Jr., mentor and life-long friend of Mr. Blais. Professor Birss studied in the New York public school system and completed his academic work at New York University, Harvard University, and Columbia University. An English instructor at Rutgers University and later a professor of English and American Literature, Birss was a noted Herman Melville scholar and one of the founders of the Melville Society. He was also a bibliographer and collector of letters as well as inscribed and rare first edition books. His extensive collection included a wide variety of material on Melville, Hart Crane, Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman.

The library funds are allocated for the purchase of reference and research books for the library and expand holdings in the Humanities area. The Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lectureship is an annual event that features an important work of literature. Past works honored have included Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.


Degrees, Majors, Minors and Certificates


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceMaster of ArtsCertificateMinorNon-degree

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