The Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellowship Mini-Grants Program

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Promoting Intersections between Well-Being, Teaching, and Learning.

One of the core tenets of the PC Lifelines Suicide Prevention Project is that the successful promotion of student well-being and resilience is a community effort. Students who struggle with mental health challenges (i.e., anxiety, depression, symptoms of eating disorders) have lower GPAs and are less likely to graduate (Eisenberg, Golberstein, & Hunt, 2009).

Academic resilience, which is the ability to experience positive educational outcomes in the face of challenging life experiences, is fundamental to student flourishing.

Academic and social engagement, a sense of belonging and purpose, gratitude, hardiness, mindfulness, and self-compassion are among the key factors identified as important for promoting student resilience and overall well-being (Bonamo, Legerski, & Thomas, 2015; Fong & Loi, 2016; Masten, 2014; Smith, Epstein, Ortiz, Christopher, & Tooley, 2013). The Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellowship Mini-Grants Program is a collaborative effort involving Student Affairs, the PC Lifelines Project, and the Center for Engaged Learning. Funded primarily through a generous gift from PC Alumnus Chris Riccobono ’01, it is designed to promote student flourishing at Providence College.

Modeled after Georgetown University’s Engelhard Connecting Life and Learning Enrichment Project, this mini-grants program is designed to incentivize and support efforts to infuse well-being promotion throughout the curriculum and integrate classroom experiences that promote student well-being across a variety of majors and programs. Up to 10 proposals per academic year will be awarded.

  • These grants are designed to promote activities that merge classroom experience with opportunities related to promoting health and well-being (outside and/or co-curricular opportunities are encouraged).
  • Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellows integrate a well-being topic into their course to make meaningful connections between course content and students’ lived experiences. Fellows are encouraged to be creative in how they incorporate the health topic(s) of choice into their course.
  • Innovative ideas that may lend themselves to adoption in other courses are of particular interest.

Example course profiles from Georgetown’s Engelhard Project can be viewed at


  • Individual faculty members will be awarded a maximum of $750 per year (not per course). An initial $250 award is provided following participation in the Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellows mini-retreat held at the beginning of the spring 2024 semester. The remaining $500 award will be provided following completion of all RARFF Grant Requirements (see below).
  • An additional $250 per year is available to support project-based expenses (speakers, off-campus activities).


This program is open to all ordinary and practitioner faculty. Applications from full-time visiting faculty will be considered on a space available basis. Only individual applications, not joint applications, will be considered. Applications are due on by end of day, Sunday, Oct. 22

Grant Requirements

Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellows will commit to:

  1. Attend the Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellows mini-retreat for project planning and to share resources and ideas to support academic resilience and student flourishing.
  2. Have enrolled students complete on-line pre/post assessments to evaluate program outcomes (links to the assessments will be provided).
  3. Write a RAR course blurb (50-75 word summary) and brief report summarizing students’ experiences and reflecting on the overall merits of the project.
  4. Attend a post-luncheon (May 2024 for spring 2024 courses) to share reflections and debrief.
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Spring 2024 Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellowship Recipients

School of Arts & Sciences

Fang Dong, Ph.D., Social Science/Economics
SSC 480, Social Science Capstone 

Emily Gentes, Ph.D. Psychology
PSY 268, Psychopathology 

Smaranda Lawrie, Ph.D., Psychology
PSY 317, Social Psychology

Caitlan Tighe, Ph.D., Psychology
PSY 100, Intro to Psychology 

Elizabeth Bridgham, Ph.D. & Rob Stretter, Ph.D., English and Development of Western Civilization
DWC 202, The Global City

Judd Shiffman, MFA., Art and Art History
ART 152, Ceramics II/Wheelworking 

School of Education and Social Work

Abby Emerson, Ed.D., Elementary & Special Education
EDU 470, Teaching of Social Studies in K-12 Schools

Molly Driessen, Ph.D., Social Work
SWK 254, Human Behavior in Social Systems 

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Brett Romano Ely Ed.D., Health Sciences
HSC 102, Anatomy & Physiology II

Jillian Waugh, R.N., MSN, CNE, Nursing
NUR 101, Introduction to the Professional Nursing 

2020-21 Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellowship Recipients

School of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Margaret Healy-Varley, English
ENG480: Medieval Meditation in Theory and Practice

Fr. David Orique, O.P., History, Latin American and Latinx Studies, DWC
DWC202 Cuba Libre: Global Commodities in Latin American and Caribbean History

Dr. Cayla McBee, Mathematics
MTH107 Math Business Analysis I

Dr. Saaid Mendoza, Psychology
PSY321: Industrial Organizational Psychology

Dr. Victoria Templer, Psychology
PSY326/426 Biopsychology/Experimental Biopsychology

Dr. Kelly Warmuth, Psychology
PSY178 Introduction to the Psychology Major

Dr. Dana Dillon, Public and Community Service, Theology
PSP/THL 479: Faith, Politics, and Dialogue*cross listed course

Dr. Terence McGoldrick, Theology
THL270/470 Growth Christ Life/Faith, Friendship & Resilience

Fr. R. Gabriel Pivarnik, O.P., Theology
THL 380 Prayer and the Liturgical Life

School of Business

Dr. Christopher Lyddy, Management
MGT301 Organizational Behavior

School of Professional Studies

Dr. Lin Zhang, Elementary and Special Education
EDU 270 Teaching Science and Math in Elementary Schools

Dr. Tuba Agartan, Health Policy and Management
HPM 101 American Health Care System

Dr. Robert Hackey, Health Policy and Management
HPM 450 Field Experience

Dr. Comfort Ateh, Secondary Education
EDU 211 Urban Education

Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Secondary Education
EDU201 Educational Psychology

Dr. Robert G. Hasson III, Social Work
SWK-253 Human Behavior through the Life Span

2019-20 Riccobono Academic Resilience Faculty Fellowship Recipients

School of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Nuria Alonso Garcia, Global Studies and Urban Education
GST 490 Collaborative Engagement Across Borders

Megan Chang, Theatre, Dance & Film
TDF 204 Voice & Speech

Dr. Despina Prassas, Theology
THL/HON 480 Christianity & Mindfulness

Dr. Natoschia Scruggs, Global Studies
GST 101 Intro Global Studies

Rev. Nicanor Austriaco O.P., Biology
BIO 103 General Biology I

School of Business

Dr. Matthew Eriksen, Management
MGT 411 Leadership Development

Dr. Deirdre Snyder, Management
MGT 301 Organizational Behavior

School of Professional Studies

Dr. Marcy Zipke, Elementary/Special Education
EDU 231 Teaching Reading

Contact Us

Dr. Rosemary F. Mugan

Executive Director of Personal Counseling

Dr. Saaid A. Mendoza

Associate Professor of Psychology, IDEI Faculty-in-Residence

Dr. Mary O’Keeffe

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology