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Kathleen Gorman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

Kathleen Gorman has spent the last 30 years studying how poverty and related factors affect the development of children throughout the world. As a sophomore in college at the University of Notre Dame, she spent a year in Mexico during which she developed a fluency in the Spanish language. Upon graduation, she received a Rotary Fellowship to study at the Universidad Católica, in Lima, Perú (1979-1982) where she fulfilled the requirements to be licensed as an educational psychologist. In 1987, she received her PhD in Human Development at the University of Maryland. She spent the next 18 months as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, living in Guatemala and collecting data on the effects of malnutrition on infant behavior and development. She continued at UC Davis as a research associate until 1993 when she became an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Vermont. At UVM, she continued her work on the effects of malnutrition and expanded her research to examine the effects of maternal iodine deficiency on infant development in China.

In 2000, she became the first director of the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America. As director of the center, she administers the Hunger Studies minor, advises students on research and service learning experiences in the community, and works with government and non-profit advocacy agencies across the state to support policy initiatives to improve the quality of life for low-income families and children. She is also a Professor of Psychology at URI, and has managed the state of RI’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamp Program) Outreach Project since 2001. Additionally, she has served on a number of boards, most notably, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank which she joined in 2001 until her term expired in December 2007.


SNAP Outreach Coordinator

Maria Cimini, MSW

Since 2004 Maria Cimini has been the coordinator of the SNAP Outreach Project for the State of RI through the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America. She is responsible for media messaging, information material creation, trainings and developing community partnerships.  Maria is a resident of Providence and received both her BA in Political Science and Masters of Social Work, with a concentration in organizing and policy, from Rhode Island College. Before joining the Hunger Center, Maria was the Assistant Director of South Providence Neighborhood Ministries, worked with the RI Organizing Project and spent several years with the Professional Development Committee of the Volunteer Center of RI. With more than ten years as an advocate for social and economic justice, Maria works to ensure all people have the ability to meet their basic needs.


SNAP Outreach Supervisor


 Katie West


Prior to joining the Hunger Center, Katie worked for the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children and BrightStars, the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for early care and education programs. Katie also previously worked for the URI Talent Development Program as well as the URI Cancer Prevention Research Center. Katie’s responsibilities at the Hunger Center include the supervision and scheduling of student outreach workers. As a former student outreach worker herself (Katie worked for the Hunger Center from 2006-2008), Katie is excited to return to the Center and be a part of work she finds rewarding. Katie graduated from URI in 2008 with a B.A. in Sociology and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She has studied Spanish for many years and traveled to South America in 2007. She is interested in issues impacting non-profit management and structure, Spanish language and culture, and social issues including access to basic needs and education. She lives in Warwick with her spouse, cat, and two very cute indoor bunnies.


Graduate Research Assistants


Anna Lubiner, Psychology Department, Doctoral Student, School Psychology

Zach Kunicki, Psychology Department, Doctoral Student, Behavioral Science


Hunger Center Student Workers




Outreach workers in front of Ranger Hall, URI







A client and outreach worker discuss the SNAP application process





Have you heard about snap?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

Program is the new name for the Food Stamp Program.

Learn more about the SNAP Outreach Project or to access a benefits application:

What's new at the hunger center

The Restaurant Meals Program comes to Rhode Island

Now there is a way for homeless, elderly, and disabled SNAP recipients to buy hot, prepared meals. The Restaurant Meals Program uses the same SNAP benefits and EBT cards to allow certain low-income individuals to buy low-cost meals at participating locations. Eligible individuals are the homeless, elderly, and disabled who may not have access to food storage or preparation.

For more information about the Restaurant Meals Program, visit

For more information about the Restaurant Meals Program in RI, visit



SNAP Outreach Coordinator takes part in Food Stamp Challenge

University Students Respond to Hurricane Irene

Pres. Dooley mentions the Hunger Center in his most recent "Conversation with URI"

Kathleen Gorman speaks at Hungry for Answers conference

Reaching out to the Hispanic community