Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI professor receives national psychology award

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Award recognizes excellence in teaching, student mentoring

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 22, 2005 -- Kathryn Quina, a professor of psychology at the University of Rhode Island, has been named the first ever recipient of the Florence Denmark Distinguished Mentoring Award. Quina received the honor at the Association for Women in Psychology’s (AWP) national conference held in Tampa, Fla., earlier this year.

The award is presented to a female psychology professor who inspires and mentors her psychology students following in the footsteps of famed psychologist Florence Denmark. Denmark is known for creating the psychology of women college program curricular guidelines and for her role in forming the AWP.

“This award says that the way I have been doing my work has been worthwhile to others… who can ask for anything better than that?” said Quina. “Florence is a gracious and generous person who has mentored so many younger women in her life, including me,” said the Hope, R.I., resident.

Quina, who has taught at URI since 1978 and is based at URI’s Feinstein Providence Campus, was nominated by a number of former students for the prestigious national honor. Patricia Gallagher, a resident of Providence, and the director of testing services at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus, is a former graduate student of Quina’s. She wrote in a letter of nomination: “I consider myself fortunate to have developed a lasting personal and professional relationship with her. Having Kat as a mentor and friend is a treasure.”

Quina says she has an “access and empowerment” approach to student mentoring that she developed early in her career. “Access means that every student should have the opportunity to try to become whatever they want to be. Empowerment means that as they move through their program, they should gain not only content but also the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the real world,” she said. “To know that I have made a positive difference in their lives is very gratifying. I count former students among my closest friends and role models.”

The author and presenter of more than 150 papers and of numerous textbooks and other publications, Quina is a member of the AWP, New England Psychological Association, Rhode Island Association for Women in Psychology, and the Eastern Psychological Association. She coordinated the AWP national conference in 1989 and 1999 when it was held in Newport and Providence, respectively. She teaches a number of psychology courses including History and Systems of Psychology (PSY 301), Psychology of Women (PSY 480), and Introduction to Women’s Studies (WMS 150).

The AWP is located in Washington, D.C. Since 1969, its objectives have included challenging unfounded assumptions about the psychological “natures” of women and men; encouraging feminist psychological research on sex and gender; and sensitizing the public and the profession to the psychological, social, political, and economic problems of women.

URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography