Rosalie Franks

Rosalie Franks
Rosalie FranksAdjunct Professor

Contact Information

401-254-3035rfranks@rwu.eduGlobal Heritage Hall 209


B.A, Smith College M.A., Columbia University, Teacher's College Ed.D., Boston University

Dr. Franks teaches WTNG 100: Introduction to Academic Writing, WTNG 102: Expository Writing, Writing 200: Critical Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Core 104: Literature, Philosophy, and the Ascent of Ideas, and COMM 210: Introduction to Public Speaking.

Professor Franks enjoys a varied career in education, writing, research, and television production. She began as a fourth grade teacher in Westwood, Massachusetts where, inspired by Columbia University’s Dr. Leland Jacobs, she taught creative writing in addition to many other subjects. Four years later Rosalie was asked to write and teach the fourth grade Science series "The Earth Around Us" on Boston’s WGBH TV for the Massachusetts Board of Education’s “The Twenty-One Inch Classroom”; this began her television career.

Before joining the faculty at Roger Williams, Dr. Franks appeared as a television tipster/reporter on WJAR TV’s Evening Magazine, PM Magazine with Matt Lauer, and These are the Days. She has also written and produced television specials for WPTV TV in West Palm Beach, Florida for their Time to Care campaign and written for Good Housekeeping, the Providence Sunday Journal Magazine, and the Harvard Business School Bulletin. Today she writes for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance on-line magazine.

In 1985 Dr. Franks wrote her qualitative doctoral dissertation “Struggling to the Top: The Managerial Woman’s View of Aging and Retirement”. It focuses on interviews with a dozen pioneering female senior executives in corporate America.

Nine years later she conducted qualitative research again, interviewing 92 Holocaust survivors for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Two of her full-length interviews with Kurt Thomas and Joseph Singer are available on the USC Shoah Foundation website.

Because of the lessons she learned from more than 550 hours of conversations with survivors from all over Europe, Dr. Franks designs her courses around issues involving social justice, human rights, and equality, urging students to think about what it means to be part of a global community and to care about others as well as themselves.

Professor Franks’ research has inspired her to present numerous peer-reviewed papers at conferences sponsored by the Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, the Oral History Association, the Popular Culture Association, the College English Association, the New England Psychological Association, the Pine Manor College, National Conference on a New Kind of Leadership in Our Classrooms, Our Communities, and Our Workplace, and at the Special Conference for Educators: Teaching the Holocaust to Future Generations at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel.

In 2002 Dr. Franks was invited to be a Fellow of the Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization at Northwestern University. Later in 2003 and 2005 she traveled throughout Eastern Europe as one of the scholars on the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Lest We Forget® Study Tour. She has toured 11 concentration camps in Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia and shares her experiences and the history of World War II with her students. Dr. Franks’ post–doctoral study of “Literature of Memory” with Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel at Boston University, of constructive-developmental psychology with Robert Kegan, Ph.D. at Harvard University, and of post-World War II British Literature with Peter Kemp at Oxford University also enriches her interdisciplinary work.

Rosalie Franks’ recent qualitative research encourages businesses to examine their founders’ oral histories to implement their moral aspirations in today’s world. Visit