Connecting with the community is an important aspect of our programs in the Department of History and American Studies. We are located in an area rich in historical resources which allows for easy access to local archives and historical sites for class projects and field trips. Rhode Island’s East Bay and the surrounding area is also the home to the largest Portuguese community in the United States as well as a number of other vibrant ethnic communities, so studying ethnic cultures within our larger American culture is also something we can do in a really up-close and hands-on fashion. Our proximity to Providence as well as some of Rhode Island’s richest farm lands allow us easy access to communities of all kinds from the urban to the rural. Our faculty regularly take advantage of all these resources to supplement in-class instruction and activities.
In addition, we are fortunate to have on our campus the Community Partnership Center (CPC) where local community organizations can submit requests for faculty and student assistance in advancing their organization’s interests. Working with community partners, Roger Williams students and their faculty leaders participate in real world situations, tackling real world problems and apply what they are learning in the classroom and gain experience in the areas they hope to work one day. In only two short years the CPC has already connected many community organizations with members of the RWU community in projects that have had a significant impact on the local area and have provided invaluable experiences for our students. The Department of History and American Studies has been fortunate to participate in these kinds of projects and looks forward to many more opportunities like this in the future as the CPC continues to grow.
A course with Professor Debra Mulligan that utilizes the community and our local archives in the state.
Professor Charlotte Carrington teaches Early America, and regularly takes students out of the classroom and into history: