Reporting to the interim assistant vice president for student affairs, the executive director of integrated health and wellness is responsible for the successful delivery of health and wellness services to the RISD community, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Health Services (HS), and health promotion and education, ensuring these services align with and are supportive of RISD’s overall mission. The executive director will provide strategic leadership and direction to health and wellness services staff committed to serving a diverse student body. With a deep understanding of key trends and best practices, the executive director will work with colleagues across campus and throughout the region to develop and instill a strong culture of health and wellness that allows RISD students to enhance their capacity to learn and develop lifelong skills for success and develop and implement a comprehensive, holistic, and integrated health approach to services, programs, protocols, and policies in order to positively affect the physical and mental health and well-being of RISD students.

The Position


The executive director will be expected to provide leadership and supervision of Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and health promotion and education; build a cohesive team among the health and wellness staff and facilitate effective collaborations to accomplish departmental and divisional goals and priorities; collaborate with other student affairs departments and their teams, as well as departments throughout campus and faculty, to promote and advance health and wellness priorities and support collaborative programming; and to lead an ongoing strategic planning and assessment process for the area of student health and well-being. In addition, the executive director will oversee health services and counseling with a focus on prevention, education, health promotion and effective clinical intervention; ensure that the HS and CAPS staff provide effective management of student illness, prevention and intervention, and health education programs within available resources, and efficient referral to resources outside of RISD; and ensure the delivery of high quality, culturally responsive care to students in alignment with RISD’s mission and goals. The executive director will oversee and champion efforts for health and wellness practices that promote personal development and student success; and actively engage with the Office of Title IX to develop, recommend, and implement learning goals and objectives related to promotion of healthy relationships among students and support and aid in the response to sexual misconduct incidents as needed. With an understanding of federal and state student health and wellness reporting and compliance requirements, the executive director will assure RISD’s student health and wellness departments, practices, and procedures follow industry standard best practices.


This is a newly created position, designed to incorporate the successful delivery of health and wellness services to the RISD community. Such services will include Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Health Services (HS) as well as health promotion and education. These areas are currently physically separate, though there is a plan to unite them in the future when more space is made available by RISD.


The new executive director will be expected to review the scope of services which have historically been administered by the CAPS and HS teams as well as the assessment recently conducted by Keeling and Associates, to determine how best to align the curricular and co-curricular aspects of students’ time at RISD. The successful candidate will be expected to successfully implement initiatives which will more efficiently and effectively address the health and wellness needs of the students. The culture at RISD is highly intellectual and analytical and students take their work very seriously, often times at the expense of their health and personal wellbeing. The executive director will need to have a “soft touch,” and be inter-personally competent in order to successfully address some of the perceived siloes within the institution. In addition, with approximately 36% of students enrolled at RISD identifying as international, the incumbent must be culturally sensitive to the needs of International students, many of whom take the instructions and suggestions of the faculty quite literally. They may sacrifice eating, sleeping and personal wellness in order to complete their projects and meet their perceived expectations of the faculty.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • An advanced degree and at least seven years of relevant progressive leadership and professional experience that includes demonstrated success in the management and supervision of health and mental health services;
  • demonstrated leadership and supervisory experience in higher education settings specific to health and wellness;
  • experience in budget and personnel management in a student life or healthcare environment;
  • ability to lead and manage organizational change and the demonstrated ability to understand and respond to the climate and the culture of a college campus;
  • excellent leadership, management, communication, interpersonal, and public speaking skills;
  • strong commitment to student growth and development, and a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to student health and wellness.
  • demonstrated ability to understand perspectives and experiences related to socioeconomic class, gender identity and expression, sexuality, race and ethnicity, privilege and power relationships, and transitions to adulthood, and a proven track record of carrying out equity and social justice efforts;
  • demonstrated experience addressing issues of equity and inclusion with specific commitment to supporting a diverse student population and leading a diverse staff in an education environment committed to inclusion and fostering a sense of belonging; and
  • sophisticated knowledge of current best practices and ability to evaluate for appropriateness and adoption at RISD. Experience with technology, systems, and tools used to provide and enhance student health and wellness services.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • knowledge of integrated care and ability to effectively lead an integrated model of health and wellness preferred;
  • behavioral health background; and
  • successful candidate should be licensed as a psychologist in Rhode Island or be license-eligible within a designated time by RISD after hire.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, campus stakeholders indicated that the new executive director of integrated health and wellness should:

  • be current on all federal and state reporting and compliance requirements;
  • be adept at navigating the political process and working together with faculty at RISD;
  • be energetic and eager to work hard, as the culture throughout RISD is one of hard work;
  • be willing to understand the uniqueness of an art school in general and RISD in particular vis-à-vis the students and their work ethic;
  • be approachable and have the desire to partner with faculty and all administrative offices to ensure that students maintain a healthy lifestyle balance;
  • be culturally sensitive and aware of the nuances in which individuals may be talking about issues; have the ability to discern “real issues” as well as “cultural issues;”
  • have the ability to mobilize campus partners and to work collaboratively with the office of Title IX to develop, recommend and implement learning goals and objectives related to the promotion of healthy relationships among students;
  • be a responsible, skillful and visionary supervisor who can integrate the three major offices (CAPS, HS and health education) within the division;
  • listen to all constituents as well as synthesize all of the policies within the existing RISD policy framework while reviewing the need for additional/different policies;
  • understand the rigor of the academic work and the expectations of the faculty as well as the creative disposition of RISD students;
  • endeavor to assess and address the tension between the health services personnel (promoting students’ health) and the expectations of the faculty;
  • build credibility by clearly communicating with the faculty;
  • understand that RISD is a “high touch” institution, and that the expectation is that they need “all boots on the ground;”
  • be open to the “identity of an artist,” in order to work with students and faculty at RISD:
  • understand that, unlike other institutions, there is a diversity of gender experience at RISD;
  • understand that students are torn between committing to their art and to their wellness;
  • have experience with health insurance plans;
  • have the ability to say, “No,” as appropriate;
  • be transparent, a good manager and understand the clinicians in the division; and
  • understand the “elite artist,” which describes all RISD students.


An Overview of the Office of Student Affairs

Student Affairs at RISD provides opportunities for all students to develop personally, socially, and intellectually. In support of the college’s academic mission, we foster the skills engaged citizens need for success and achievement. We create active learning environments that support students’ co-curricular experience. Our programming and services reflect the values of community, inclusiveness, responsibility, leadership, and well-being.

The Office of Student Affairs serves as a general advocate for all RISD students. In other words, we are the people to turn to when you have financial aid concerns, need to take a leave or withdraw from RISD, or when you are not quite sure whom to ask about your particular need.

Leadership of the Office of Student Affairs

James O’Hara – Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Jamie O’Hara joined RISD’s leadership team in September 2017 after serving as vice president for Enrollment Management at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ since 2004. At RISD he oversees enrollment strategies that enable the college to continue to attract and retain the best and most talented students from increasingly diverse backgrounds.

As Rider’s first VP for Enrollment Management, O’Hara built all aspects of undergraduate, graduate and international admissions from the ground up, including oversight of financial aid and the Bursar’s Office. During his 13-year tenure, he also oversaw web and digital strategy and enrollment marketing planning. He designed and implemented innovative financial aid strategies to diversify the student community and achieve enrollment goals, and also supervised a research program focused on factors that contribute to student matriculation, success and progress towards graduation.

Prior to his work at Rider, O’Hara served as director of Enrollment Management at Pace University in New York for seven years. He began his career at his alma mater, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and also served as director of the US admissions office for Franklin College Switzerland.

O’Hara assumed responsibility for the Office of Student Affairs in addition to his enrollment management responsibilities in the fall of 2019.

Dr. Barbara LoMonaco – Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs

Barbara LoMonaco holds a BA in philosophy and an MA and PhD in cultural anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She is also a certified addictions counselor and therapist who worked in community mental health and private practice in Chicago.

At RISD, LoMonaco oversees the Center for Student Involvement, Residence Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, Intercultural Student Engagement, Student Conduct and Compliance, Disabilities Services and Academic Support, Health Services, and International Student Services. For four years before joining RISD’s leadership team in 2019, she was the vice president for student affairs at Salve Regina University.

Institution & Location


Institutional Background/History

Rhode Island School of Design is a private, nonprofit college founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1877, making it one of the first art and design schools in the U.S. Approximately 2,500 students from around the world are engaged in liberal arts studies and rigorous, studio-based learning at RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee’), where they earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees in 21 major. Each year more than 5,800 children and adults also access RISD’s specialized studio facilities through RISD Continuing Education courses.

As one of the first independent colleges of art and design in the U.S.—incorporated on March 22, 1877 as both a school and museum—Rhode Island School of Design has always stood out as something of a maverick. By the time RISD began offering full bachelor’s degree programs in the 1930s, our reputation for vision and leadership in advanced studio-based education had already begun to grow.

RISD was founded and nurtured by a small group of women more than 40 years before women in America even gained the right to vote. That year Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf urged 34 members of the Rhode Island Women’s Centennial Commission to invest their group’s surplus funding of $1,675—which they had raised for RI’s contribution to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876—in founding a school of art and design (instead of building a public fountain, one of the other options on the table).

The idea behind the college was driven by the desire to support the state’s thriving textiles and jewelry industries in particular, with the first courses of study offered at RISD addressing two main areas: Freehand Drawing and Painting and Mechanical Drawing and Design.

Under Metcalf’s able leadership, the women who founded RISD embarked on a radical experiment that set a precedent for its ongoing commitment to challenging expectations.


Eliza Radeke

In pouring her time, energy, vision and funds into running the institution and ensuring its survival, Metcalf was joined by her daughter Eliza Radeke, who from 1913–31 was the first woman to serve as RISD’s president.

An avid and eclectic collector, Radeke worked closely with artists, dealers and museum directors to develop the RISD Museum’s extensive collection and funded the construction of the gallery that connects Pendleton House to the 1926 museum building named in her honor.

Radeke was then succeeded by her niece Helen Metcalf Danforth, who was president from 1931–47 before serving as RISD’s first Board of Trustees chair from 1947–65. It was during her tenure that RISD earned the right to grant college degrees (as opposed to certificates) in 1932 and became a fully accredited college in 1949.

About Providence, Rhode Island

Founded in 1636, Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States. With its colorful mix of historic and modern architecture, the Creative Capital offers a college-town feel with a city’s thriving concert, arts and theater scene — think big city on a welcoming scale.

Readers of Travel + Leisure have ranked Providence as “America’s Favorite City.” Other accolades include:

  • Top 10 Best New Food City by Jetsetter
  • Best City for Foodies and Night Owls by Travel + Leisure
  • 15 Cities for Creative 20-somethings by Huffington Post
  • Top 7 Cities for Pizza by Huffington Post
  • Best Small City by Architectural Digest

And with more than 30,000 college students living in the city, it’s also the ultimate college town. The city is diverse and welcoming, with lots of collegiate and cultural events to participate in.

Providence is located at the head of Narragansett Bay, with the Providence River running into the bay through the center of the city.

Providence has 25 official neighborhoods, many of which are a quick walk from our Downcity Campus:

  • East Side: Home to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), as well as the unique shops and restaurants along Thayer, Hope and Wickenden streets.
  • Jewelry District: This former industrial area has become the Knowledge District, the city’s medical-education corridor. It’s where you’ll find Johnson and Wales University’s Center for Physician Assistant Studies, Brown’s Alpert Medical School and our latest academic building, the John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation.
  • Federal Hill: Italian markets, restaurants and bakeries line historic Atwells Avenue.
  • West Side: Also known as the Armory District. Home to an eclectic group of restaurants (including alum-run spots like Nicks on Broadway, North and North Bakery), bars, coffee shops and markets.

The city is filled with art and entertainment, from live music venues to big screen multiplexes, small art house cinemas and an IMAX.

You can walk to 4 of the Downcity Arts District’s performing arts centers from campus:

  • Trinity Repertory, New England’s oldest theater company
  • Providence Performing Arts Center, for touring Broadway productions, comedians and concerts
  • Veterans Memorial Auditorium, for dance, classical and standup
  • AS220, a nonprofit community arts center that includes unjuried performance spaces, galleries, digital and fabrication labs and live/work spaces for artists

Providence is home to AHL hockey team The Providence Bruins, as well as the Pawtucket Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots play just a short drive away, in Foxborough, Mass.

Providence is just 45 minutes from Boston, Cape Cod and Newport and a quick 3-hour trip from New York City.

Known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island has 400+ miles of coastline with 100 beaches. The state has 20% of the nation’s registered landmarks, most of them in Providence and Newport, which is known as the sailing capital of the world.

This is New England, so expect snow and rain. On the plus side, summers are sunny and warm.

  • Summer average temp: 72°F
  • Winter average temp: 30°F

Strategic Plan

NEXT: RISD 2020-27

NEXT, RISD’s seven-year strategic plan, builds on our progressive roots and willingness to experiment, iterate, and embrace change.

Created collaboratively by members of the RISD community, the strategic plan proposes how we intend to educate students for the future and bring our current creative practices to bear on today’s most critical social, political, and environmental challenges.


  • further diversifying our community and expanding access to RISD
  • advancing understanding of social equity and inclusion through research and education
  • promoting civic learning and action through cohesive community engagement practices


  • adopting renewable energy sources and green building practices on campus
  • advancing critical research at the nexus of art, design and living systems
  • aligning our research and studio work in this area with a global network of experts


  • developing innovative curricula and pedagogy that reflect our values
  • increasing our overall research capacity and output
  • establishing an ecosystem of labs to support interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange


Rosanne Somerson – President

Rosanne Somerson is an American-born woodworker, furniture designer/maker, educator, and current President of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). An artist connected with the early years of the Studio Furniture, her work and career have been influential to the field.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she began her undergraduate degree at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in photography, but switched her focus, and received her BFA degree in Industrial Design in 1976. During this time of transition, she took a semester off of her studies at RISD to attend full-time furniture making workshops at Peter’s Valley Craftsmen (Peter’s Valley School of Craft). After graduation, Somerson worked as a correspondent for Fine Woodworking magazine. She also assisted for photography with her former professor and mentor Tage Frid’s three-part book series “Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking” published by Taunton Press (1996).

 She taught woodworking with the Harvard Extension School from 1977 to 1978, and at the Boston Architectural Center in 1981. Somerson joined the Rhode Island School of Design faculty in 1985. Starting in 1985, Somerson ran the MFA Graduate Program in Furniture Design and she co-found the creation of the Furniture Design department in 1995. She served as RISD’s interim associate provost for Academic Affairs from 2005 to 2007, as interim provost from 2011 to 2012, as provost from 2012 to 2013 and as interim president from 2014 to 2015. The RISD Board of Trustees appointed her the college’s 17th president in February 18, 2015.

After being appointed president of the university in February 2015, Somerson’s first speaking engagements as president came in the spring at the National Art Education Association Annual Convention and at South By Southwest EDU, where she discussed the impact of critical making. In April, 44 technicians at the college went on strike, but the three-day job action concluded with the ratification of their contract. In May, the work of Apparel Design seniors was showcased in New York City for the first time at RISD Backstudio. Somerson’s first semester as president concluded with filmmaker John Waters delivering the college’s commencement address. His remarks went viral and have been turned into a book.

Kent Kleinman – Provost

Before assuming the role of provost at RISD in 2019, Kent Kleinman was the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University as well as professor in the Department of Architecture from 2008–18. He has taught at institutions internationally including the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin, the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, and ETH Zürich, and was also a faculty member at the University at Michigan, chair of architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and dean at Parsons School of Design, The New School.

Kleinman received his professional degree in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. His scholarly focus is 20th-century European Modernism and his books include Villa Müller: A Work of Adolf Loos; Rudolf Arnheim: Revealing Vision; The Krefeld Villas: Mies’s Haus Lange and EstersAftertaste; and a translation of Jan Turnovsky’s Poetics of a Wall Projection. He was awarded a Mellon Foundation Senior Public Goods Fellowship in 2002 and was a visiting scholar at the Canadian Center for Architecture in 2005. He has received four Graham Foundation Grants, the national Bruner Prize, two Architect’s Journal 10 Best Books awards, a New York Council for the Arts grant and (with Eric Sutherland) a Progressive Architecture Design Award.

In 2012 Kleinman received the American Institute of Architects New York State Educator Honor Award and was recognized as a Top 25 Most Admired Educator by Design Intelligence in both 2016 and 2018. He is a co-principal investigator on a grant from the Mellon Foundation focused on integrating architecture and the humanities in the study of urbanism. He is a registered architect in California.

Academic Programs and Faculty

181 full-time (2018/19)

421 part-time (2018/19)

9:1 student/faculty ratio (fall 2019)



The Student Body

2,501 total enrollment 2019/20

2,009 undergraduate students (2019/20)

492 graduate students (2019/20)

32% students of color (2018/19)

36% international (from 69 countries, 2018/19)



A major cultural institution in Rhode Island, the RISD Museum houses approximately 100,000 works of fine and decorative art ranging from ancient times to the present. It is the only comprehensive art museum in southeastern New England and, as such, is a vital resource both for RISD and the broader community.

With seven curatorial departments, the museum offers a rich and varied program of exhibitions, lectures, tours, workshops and publications. It is dedicated to the interpretation of art and design from diverse cultures and to educating and inspiring artists and designers, families, scholarly researchers and students of all ages.

Nature Lab

As a campus-wide resource and forum for exploring the exciting connections between art, design and science, the Nature Lab is a hub for research, with staff and facilities to help support the increasing number of science courses offered at RISD. Students find a natural entry point here for addressing issues of sustainable living through biodesign—emerging areas of inquiry that include biomimetics, biophilic design and the use of natural and biological materials in architecture and building systems.

Deep observation of the disparate collections housed at the Nature Lab—from nearly nano-scale to life-sized objects—provides students the opportunity to touch and examine specimens from the natural world, discover the wonder and complexities of design in nature and inform their studio work through the processes, materials and organizing principles found in the living world. Selected specimens may also be borrowed for short periods of time—like checking a book out of the library.


Students in all disciplines make use of a wide range of advanced equipment available at Co-Works for 3D printing, 3D scanning, CNC routing, laser cutting, vacuum forming, machine embroidery and knitting, and more.

This state-of-the-art fabrication lab also hosts seminars, studio courses and special research projects undertaken by faculty and graduate students.

Created to support and enhance cross-disciplinary learning, Co-Works is an ideal space for deep exploration of concepts and topics unencumbered by departmental boundaries.

RISD Library

Founded in 1878, the RISD library is one of the country’s oldest independent art college libraries. Its circulating collection of more than 150,000 volumes offers unusual depth and richness in the areas of art, architecture, design and photography.

The collection provides strong historical and contemporary perspectives and specialized materials in landscape architecture, ceramics, textiles and jewelry to support upper-level research. RISD’s specialized library is also noted for its artist’s books collection, rare books, some 400 periodical subscriptions and collection of outstanding visual resources.

Center for Arts and Language

The Center for Arts & Language’s exceptional team of staff and tutors provides individualized guidance for all RISD students, who may seek support on anything from an academic research paper to an artist’s talk, from the mechanics of a single sentence to the design of a whole graduate thesis book. RISD takes pride in its commitment to language as a vital tool for artists and designers, and A&L dedicates itself to helping students become more confident and proficient communicators.

Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery

Located on the second floor of the Chace Center, the Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery and the Dryfoos Gallery for new media within it are at the heart of campus both literally and figuratively. The galleries offer unparalleled learning opportunities for students along with ideal space for showcasing student work and making it readily accessible to museum visitors and other members of the general public.

Benefits Overview

Among the employment benefits RISD offers are:

  • Medical and dental insurance plans
  • Retirement plan
  • Generous paid time off
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Employee assistance program
  • Tuition remission for dependents
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health savings account

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Kendra E. Dane at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the RISD website at

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.