Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Psychology Dept. to celebrate two retiring professorsí 75 years of teaching

Media Contact:

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 7, 2006 -- Colleagues of University of Rhode Island Psychology Professors Larry Grebstein of Kingston and Dominic Valentino of West Kingston are throwing them a retirement party on Sept. 29 to celebrate the professorsí many achievements and contributions. Collectively, the pair has taught at URI for 75 years.

The banquet party will be held at the Hooffinfeathers Carriage Inn in North Kingstown, starting at 6:30 p.m. The $40 cost per person ($33 for current students) covers the buffet gift and is due by Sept. 22. The coordinators are asking all attendees as well as those unable to attend for an additional tax deductible donation. The donations will be used to support expanded research opportunities for students. Checks should be made payable to: The URI Foundation and sent to URIís Psychology Dept., 10 Chafee Road., Suite 8, Kingston, R.I. 02881. For more information about the event, contact the Psychology Department at 874-2193.

Grebstein, a native Rhode Islander, was hired in 1964 to help create a clinical psychology graduate program at URI. He has long been associated with the Universityís Psychological Consultation Center, participating in clinical work, consultation, and supervision. His special interests include juvenile delinquency, alcohol abuse, and chronic health problems. He also served as director of the Ph.D. Program in clinical psychology at two different times for a total of 12 years.

In addition to his work at URI, until three years ago he had a longstanding part-time private practice in Wakefield.

He has been a consultant to Ocean Tides, Inc., a rehabilitation program for adolescent males since 1975.
Grebsteinís retirement will allow him more time to pursue an active research project with URI sociologist Judy Van Wyk on juvenile delinquency.

But his retirement wonít be all work and no play. The professor will continue to play the trumpet in URIís Traditional Jazz Band and Big Jazz Band. And he is looking forward to spending more time with his granddaughter, Lily, who turns 4 in November.

His colleague Dominic Valentino knows something about grandchildren. He and his wife Catherine will have six of them, counting the twins that are expected in January.

Valentino, a native Californian, joined URI in 1973. His research focused on the brainís role in behavior, ranging from recovery after injury to response to psychiatric drugs, to capacity for sustained attention. In addition to teaching courses in behavioral neuroscience, he enjoyed teaching the large introductory course in psychology to an estimated 15,000 students. He was recognized for his efforts when he was awarded the URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 1991. During his career he served as director of neuropsychology and electrophysiology at the Rhode Island Medical Center and as director of the graduate program in experimental psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology. And if any of his colleagues wanted to try some spicy Mexican food, Valentino grows his own peppers to make sure that the right amount of heat is added.

During his retirement Valentino will continue working on science education projects with his wife. Their projects, designed for pre-schoolers to sixth graders, are patented and published by Houghton Mifflin, a publisher of textbooks, instructional technology, assessments, and other educational materials.

And the retiring professor expects to spend time reading. ďI have a great interest in political science,Ē he says with a smile. Itís a family legacy. The Valentinosí two sons are political science professors, one at Dartmouth College, the other at the University of Michigan.

Pictured above
Professors Larry Grebstein and Dominic Valentino
URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.