Skip to Content
  • CPC :: University Partners

Within Roger Williams University there are several academic centers and organizations who work to improve the community. Many of them collaborate on CPC projects, and offer programs of their own:

Program name


Mission (excerpted from RWU website)


Roger Williams University Cooperative Committee

RWU President's Office

In September 2007, when Roger Williams University and the Town of Bristol reached agreement on the landmark PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) pact, a group comprising key representatives from both the town and the University was established to jointly consider items of mutual interest or concern. In the years since, the Town of Bristol / Roger Williams University Cooperative Committee has provided an open venue for discussion and decision-making and has assisted in building upon a truly symbiotic relationship between both parties. Through the Fund for Civic Activities – one of its most visible initiatives – as of summer 2012 the Committee has awarded $106,326 to local organizations and residents in support of more than 10 projects and initiatives designed to enhance the civic experience of Bristol residents.

Peter B. Wilbur
Vice President - University Outreach & Engagement


Marine & Natural Sciences

The Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED) draws upon the scientific, legal and business resources of the University to promote the economic development of marine industries that are compatible with a healthy environment. CEED encourages innovative environmental stewardship by involving students, faculty and the local community in strategic educational, management and entrepreneurial initiatives that yield a sustainable environment.

Dr. Timothy Scott
Director - Center for Economic and Environmental Development

Community Partnerships Center

University Outreach & Engagement

The Roger Williams University Community Partnerships Center (CPC) delivers project-based services to organizations and municipalities in local and regional communities. Community partnerships broaden and deepen the academic experiences of RWU students by allowing them to work on real-world projects, collaborating with residents and citizens. CPC projects often focus on architectural and urban design and historic preservation, and the Center was housed in the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, which has a solid foundation of project-based community outreach before moving to University Outreach & Engagement to reflect its focus beyond the built environment. In a true collaborative model, the Center is able to draw upon the diverse talents of RWU programs in law, business, construction management, engineering, environmental science, community development, the arts and many others.

Arnold Robinson
Director - Community Partnerships Center

Latino Policy Institute

University Outreach & Engagement

The Latino Policy Institute (LPI) is committed to generating and communicating non-partisan data of Latinos in Rhode Island. The LPI will stimulate public policy discourse and enhance the public's understanding of the Rhode Island Latino experience. With this information, Latinos’ social, economic and civic contributions to the state can be better documented and understood.

Anna Cano-Morales
Director – Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University

Macro Center

School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation

The Center for Macro Projects and Diplomacy fosters the interdisciplinary formulation, design, demonstration and debate of large-scale project proposals that can contribute to human progress through the improvement of world habitat. With invited leaders, faculty and students concentrating on clearly-defined issues of importance to the world community -- land, water, energy, food supplies, transportation, environment, housing, education, health and heritage -- the Center annually follows through on steps needed to design, display, debate, evaluate, test, and in appropriate cases, deploy undertakings of relevance and urgency.

Stephen White - Dean of the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation

New England Center for the Public Understanding of Science

Marine & Natural Sciences

A partnership between several New England colleges and universities, NE-SciencePublic (NESP) was launched in 2012 and is based at RWU. With a mission of increasing the public understanding of all types of science, NESP provides training and educational activities with a cross-disciplinary approach. NESP especially aims to promote science literacy and communicate research findings with students across New England so that they might remain competitive in STEM fields. Since 2007, RWU and NESP have led intercampus outreach collaborations through Biology New England South (BioNES). Additionally, NESP publishes a yearly journal that includes original research articles, comprehensive reviews and other viewpoints that challenge traditional scientific consensus and create discussion and new ideas. Partner institutions include: Brown University, Bryant University, Providence College, University of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University, Rhode Island College, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Sea Education Association and Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).

Dr. Avelina Espinosa – Associate Professor of Biology

Field Experiences

School of Education

Field experience is an integral part of the curriculum in all of RWU's School of Education programs. Through it, prospective educators in the School of Education at Roger Williams University: 

  • Gain experience and proficiency teaching academically, culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse students through a range of field experiences in urban, urban-ring, and suburban placements
  • Have ongoing opportunities through field experiences to integrate subject matter and pedagogical knowledge into teaching practice
  • Perform field work in schools and classrooms that are consistent with the Rhode Island Professional Teaching Standards 
  • Are guided in their development by expert full-time and adjunct faculty Clinical Supervisors and highly effective Cooperating Teachers during Practicum and Student Teaching

Sheila McGraw
Dir. Of Partnerships & Field Experiences

Partnership Schools and Districts

School of Education

The School of Education at Roger Williams University has partnerships with elementary, middle and high schools across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts where many of our students perform their student teaching. Schools and locations include the RI communities of Bristol, East Providence, Middletown, Johnston, Newport, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Providence and Tiverton. Massachusetts communities include New Bedford, Fall River, Seekonk and Somerset.

Sheila McGraw
Dir. Of Partnerships & Field Experiences


School of Education

This course is designed to engage pre-service teachers in teaching experience at the elementary or secondary school level. Students are placed in a public school for a minimum of 100 hours of participation. During this field experience, students are required to perform several teaching actions and provide corresponding artifacts in their portfolio. This is a supervised field experience. University Clinical Supervisors observe participants in their school settings, assess their performance artifacts and provide seminars to debrief experiences and explore teaching/learning topics. Pre-service teachers work toward meeting the Rhode Island Professional Teaching Standards (RIPTS) in an authentic classroom setting.

Sheila McGraw
Dir. Of Partnerships & Field Experiences

Feinstein Institute for Legal Service

RWU School of Law

RWU Law is committed to the belief that lawyers should serve their communities, and that introducing students to public service can set the stage for a lifetime of valuable contributions to society. The vehicle for this mission is our Feinstein Institute for Legal Service, which provides a staggering array of hands-on learning experiences through its Public Interest and Judicial Externship Program and its Public Service Program. It also offers generous summer stipends, public-interest scholarships, a speaker series and other distinctive law school/community partnerships.

Laurie Baron - Executive Director - Feinstein Institute

Pro Bono Collaborative

RWU School of Law

RWU School of Law's unique Pro Bono Collaborative mobilizes Rhode Island law firms, law students and community organizations to provide needed legal assistance for underserved residents of the state.

Eliza Vorenberg
Director - Pro Bono Collaborative

Public Service/Community Partnerships

RWU School of Law

The School of Law values service to the community as a fundamental part of legal education. The public service requirement is intended to help law students develop a commitment to pro bono legal service and public service that they will take into their legal careers.  All students must complete at least 50 hours of law-related public service in order to graduate. This service may be done at any time during the student’s three years of law school. At least 20 hours must be completed at one placement.

Elizabeth Tobin-Tyler
Director of Public Service/Community Partnerships

Sea Grant Law Fellows

RWU School of Law

In partnership with the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program, the Institute hires law students as Sea Grant Law Fellows to conduct legal research and analysis for government agencies, industry and non-profit organizations.  Fellows are supervised and work on timely legal issues such as fisheries management and coastal access, honing their legal research and writing skills while acquiring hands-on application of their classroom knowledge.  Constituents benefit from receiving balance, neutral research while also providing students with real world experience.

Susan Farady
Director - RI Sea Grant Legal Program

Marine Affairs Institute

RWU School of Law

RWU Law’s Marine Affairs Institute, in partnership with Rhode Island Sea Grant and University of Rhode Island, is a comprehensive clearinghouse for marine law and policy, engaged in preparing the next generation of marine law professionals.

Susan Farady
Director, Marine Affairs Institute
Director, RI Sea Grant Legal Program

Justice System Training & Research Institute

School of Justice Studies

The mission of the Roger Williams University Justice System Training & Research Institute is to provide high quality, academically challenging training to public safety personnel, and to serve as an applied research resource and information provider for the criminal justice community to enhance the professionalism of public safety personnel as they effectively police with the community.

Robert McKenna
Asst. Dean - Director - Justice Systems Training Institute

Teaching Police Department Initiative

School of Justice Studies

It is the intent of the Teaching Police Department Initiative [TPDI] to help advance the “profession of policing” by creating a new paradigm for police leadership, professional development and organizational change.  Envisioned as a multi-year, multi-stage effort, the TPDI will begin by designing, developing and piloting the implementation of a model for transforming police departments.  This new model will challenge and support police departments - first in New England and subsequently nationally – to become working laboratories for conceptualizing, developing, testing and implementing new crime reduction and crime prevention strategies, and for creating and fostering a police culture committed to innovation and organizational learning, as well as to life-long learning for officers.

Robert McKenna
Asst. Dean - Director - Justice Systems Training Institute

Center for Business Support

Gabelli School of Business

The Center facilitates the formation and advancement of small businesses in the Rhode Island, Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts areas and assists existing small businesses in achieving their business goals. Activities of the Center include: 1) Organizing workshops, seminars, and conferences directly relevant to small and medium-size businesses and non-profit organizations, 2) Providing small and medium size businesses and non-profit organizations with student consulting teams, 3) Coordinating student internships and cooperative education assignments for eligible businesses and 4) Providing planning assistance for small businesses.

Joel Cooper
Director -  Business Support Center

Leadership Institute

Gabelli School of Business

The Leadership Institute at Roger Williams University leads the way in providing developmental opportunities for participants to build the refined skills needed to lead high-performing organizations. The Institute provides the expertise, resources and support necessary for participants to explore and strengthen leadership skills through a portfolio of services. The mission of the Institute is to deliver excellent, contemporary leadership education and to serve the developmental needs of local and global constituents. The Leadership Institute portfolio of services includes:

•Customized Professional Development Opportunities - The Institute designs individualized leadership education experiences for all types of organizations. Instruction is provided by highly-qualified and talented faculty, experienced in delivering education to professional adults. Rather than using a set group of faculty, The Institute recruits and selects instructors based on the client’s need. Delivery of instruction is also customized; options include online instruction, classroom settings or a combination of both.
•Distinguished Lecture Series – invited speakers share their expertise and inspirations relative to leadership.

Barbara Grota
Asst. Dean - Director of the Leadership Institute

Feinstein Center For Service Learning & Community Engagement

Student Affairs

At Roger Williams University, we believe the college experience should encompass a lot more than classroom study and on-campus activities. In fact, engaging in the local community can play a major role in helping students to create post-graduation paths. With a day-long service program central to the freshman-year Weeks of Welcome program, service to the community plays a part in students’ lives from the day they arrive on campus. And for each of them, myriad service opportunities throughout the year mean endless chances to connect and serve the communities in which they live.

KC Ferrara
Director - Feinstein Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement

Housing Works RI

University Outreach & Engagement

Housing Works RI is a coalition of nearly 140 organizations working to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have a quality, affordable home—an essential component of our state’s economy. Our members include banks, builders, chambers of commerce, colleges, community-based agencies and advocates, faith groups, manufacturers, preservationists, realtors, municipal officials and unions…and that’s just a small sample.  Our collective aim is to improve housing rental and ownership opportunities in Rhode Island, especially for the state’s workforce, thus strengthening the state’s economy.  We identify best practices, conduct research, and analyze data to support: policy recommendations, public education strategies, and communication initiatives. We educate stakeholders, advocate, and work to build consensus around the connection between housing and economic development.

Nicole Lagace

Interim Executive

The Housing Network of Rhode Island

External Partnership/School of Graduate & Continuing Studies

The Housing Network of RI provides a forum for communication and resource-sharing among non-profit housing developers and others who support their goals;  identifies resources and creates delivery systems to build the organizational and technical capacity of nonprofits; promotes policies and programs that facilitate the development and preservation of affordable housing by non-profits; and increases public awareness of non-profit housing corporations as important tools in addressing Rhode Island’s housing . 

Elizabeth Debs
Special Project Consultant

Career Center

University Outreach & Engagement

Utilizing HAWKS HUNT, the University's  online Career Center database system, students can search for full-time, part-time, summer and co-op/internship positions. Alumni can also use HAWKS HUNT to search for full-time and part-time positions. Employers can upload their full-time, part-time, summer and co-op/internship positions. Mentors can use HAWKS HUNT to share their expertise in a given career field with current students and alumni. Mentors may be alumni, employers, family members or other friends of the University

Robbin Beauchamp
Director, RWU Career Center

Institutional Advancement

Institutional Advancement

By supporting RWU with your philanthropic donations, you are helping to preserve and improve an institution that is helping generations of young men and women on their own paths of professional and personal growth.  The University has identified key priority areas requiring on-going support, including capital projects, scholarships, faculty support and research. In addition, the University offers opportunities to support special campaigns and program initiatives.

Polly Hutcheson
Executive Director - Grants & Contracts

Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs

Academic Affairs

The Spiegel Center develops, administers, and supports global and international programs and partnerships that build the global competencies of RWU students, faculty and staff.  In addition, the Spiegel Center reaches out to the local community to foster opportunities for Rhode Islanders to learn about and engage with the world.

Kate Greene
Assistant Director, Global & International Programs