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Painting by Paul Gaugin

Experiential Learning

We are beginning two exciting initiatives to provide more and better focused experiential learning opportunities for students and to help students develop the knowledge and skills that will make them outstanding candidates if the choose to pursue careers in non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The University has a well developed internship and experiential learning program, and many of our students both in sociology and anthropology have taken advantage of those opportunities. Over the next few semesters, we want to cultivate additional placements both locally and internationally. Also, we want to link our coursework more tightly with students’ placements to enhance their learning and their value to the sponsoring organizations.

For now, you might want to check out the URI Internship Office.

There are already a number of fieldwork opportunities available in anthropology. URI has several homegrown programs worth considering:

There are many other programs nationwide. Some of the better ones include:

Sociology students have taken advantage of a number of opportunities for internships and experiential learning in many different contexts

  • Rhode Island Public Defender's Office
  • Rhode Island Attorney General's Office
  • Rhode Island Department of Corrections (multiple divisions)
  • Rhode Island State Police
  • New Jersey State Police
  • Local Police Departments (Charlestown, Narragansett, and Westery, among others)

Over the last several years, many of our best students have expressed an interest in improving the common good through work in various NGOs - environmental protection, poverty alleviation, health care, rehabilitation, peace and justice, and many more. We are exploring several possible ways to help students interested in this work become well-prepared to pursue it.

Some of the things we’re thinking about are courses and coursework focused on NGOs, a minor field of study in NGOs, and full-blown, interdisciplinary major in NGO work. Stay tuned.

If you are interested in additional possibilities for this sort of work, either paid, volunteer, or internship, take a look at 

for wide selection of domestic and international opportunities.


News & Announcements

New Faculty in Sociology:

Dr. Melanie S. Brasher has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University in 2013. Prior to coming to URI, Dr. Brasher was a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College. Her appointment is a joint appointment in Sociology and in Human Development and Family Studies where she will participate in the Gerontology program. For more info click here.

Dr. Hilda Lloreans has joined the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut in 2005. Prior to coming to URI, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University and a Lecturer at Middlebury College. She has also held positions as a Research Associate at the University of Puerto Rico and at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, Connecticut. For more info click here.

Early Career Faculty Research Award

For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award. Assistant Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,