As leaders of the administrative divisions for Roger Williams University, members of the President’s Cabinet serve as his senior-level advisors and work collaboratively with him and the Board of Trustees to guide all major strategic and operational decision-making at the university.
Updated on August 27, 2019
Ioannis Miaoulis, Ph.D. :: PresidentClick to Open
A visionary leader in experiential learning and champion of STEM education, Ioannis N. Miaoulis is the 11th president of Roger Williams University, guiding our mission and commitment to providing an outstanding education through community-engaged learning and civic scholarship.
An esteemed administrator and innovative educator, Dr. Miaoulis began his distinguished career in higher education. At Tufts University, he served as Dean of the College of Engineering, Associate Provost, Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a professor of mechanical engineering. During his leadership at the College of Engineering, he helped raise $100 million for the engineering school and worked closely with students and faculty to more than double its research initiatives, introduce new programs, form professional partnerships within the industry, and significantly increase the number of female students and faculty members. In 2001, he spearheaded an initiative to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to bring engineering and technology curriculum into its K-12 public school system.
Dr. Miaoulis holds a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, a master of arts in economics and a bachelor of science in engineering from Tufts University, as well as master of science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York. He has published numerous research papers, several educational textbooks, and holds two engineering patents.
John J. King, Ed. D. :: Vice President for Student LifeClick to Open
John King came to Roger Williams in 2004 after 12 years at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., and six years at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Most recently, he served as associate vice president and dean of student affairs at Stonehill, where he coordinated the development and implementation of a first-year seminar. That program was designed to better integrate the curricular and cocurricular experiences of students, both on and off campus. As RWU's Vice President for Student Affairs, Mr. King has instituted a similar program at Roger Williams.
Mr. King holds two bachelor's degrees from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a master's degree from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H. In 2007, he earned his Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Ame Lambert, Ph.D. :: Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity OfficerClick to Open
Dr. Ame Lambert serves as the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Roger Williams University where she leads the embedding of equity into all university operations and also supports the thriving of minoritized students and employees. Her aim is to close the gap between potential and thriving and help individuals and organizations BE-COME. Evaluation data from initiatives that have been launched by division members during her tenure show an impact on 1st year minoritized student retention, academic success and climate; an increase in the yield on faculty and staff of color hires, as well as the launching and empowerment of a successful women’s employee initiative and pro equity policies and practices.
Lambert joined RWU in 2017 after working for more than a decade in diversity and inclusion leadership positions in higher education. Before RWU, Lambert served at Champlain College for 7 years where she was the inaugural chief diversity officer, and before that, senior director of institutional diversity. At Champlain, Lambert led the process for creating and implementing a strategic plan, which had measurable results in the areas of student retention and success, employee access and success and policies and practices that drove equity.
Lambert designed the institute for new chief diversity officers at the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education annual conference. Her interdisciplinary lens helps her integrate the best of disparate disciplines such as organization development, neuroscience, education and intercultural communication in the creation of complex responses to complex human challenges. As a bi-cultural immigrant black woman, Lambert believes the answer is often and/and rather than either/or.
A strong introvert, Lambert loves nothing better than a long snuggle with her spirited and smart young daughter who she wishes she could spend more time with.
Rachel A. Nuzzo, Esq. :: Co-General CounselClick to Open
Rachel Nuzzo joined the Office of General Counsel at Roger Williams University in 2014 after sixteen years in private practice. She provides legal counsel and support to the University’s leadership and administrators in a broad range of areas including corporate and financial transactions, regulatory compliance, student affairs, litigation, intellectual property, immigration and risk management. She routinely represents the University in contractual negotiations and in judicial and administrative proceedings. She also supervises and manages the work of outside counsel on general liability and property claims and on financial, real estate, regulatory and other legal matters.
Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, her practice included representation of commercial entities and licensed professionals in judicial and administrative proceedings at law firms Winston & Strawn, Adler, Pollock & Sheehan and Nuzzo & Roberts as well as management of operational, transactional, intellectual property, corporate governance and risk management matters as in-house counsel for active sports company Real Watersports.
Ms. Nuzzo earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1998 and a B.A. in English from Middlebury College in 1995. She is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
Lisa Raiola, M.P.H. :: Vice President of Institutional AdvancementClick to Open
As Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Lisa Raiola is responsible for fundraising for both the University and the Law School, including major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, and alumni/parent relations. She has more than 25 years of experience in program development and advancement at non-profit organizations in healthcare and higher education, with a special focus on distributive justice, social responsibility and economic development.
Before RWU, Ms. Raiola was a Vice President of Alumni Relations at Brown University and Deputy Director for the the Boldly Brown Campaign, a seven-year capital campaign which raised $1.6 billion – the most ambitious campaign in the University’s history. She was also a Clinical Assistant Professor for Community Health and Medical Ethics at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, where she developed and instructed courses in public health research; health promotion and disease prevention; healthcare financing and system reform; and health disparity and the burden of disease.
Before Brown, Ms. Raiola spent nine years with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Brookline, Mass., where she served as the Director of Organizational Development, Clinical Training and Quality Management. At Harvard Health she also founded and led the first formal ethics program in managed care in the country.
Ms. Raiola earned a bachelor of arts degree in biomedical ethics from Brown University and a master of public health from Boston University School of Medicine.
Joseph P. Sassi, Esq. :: Co-General CounselClick to Open
Joseph Sassi joined Roger Williams University’s Office of General Counsel in 2011. In his current role, Mr. Sassi provides strategic advice and proactive counseling to the University’s executive management team and administration on a broad spectrum of higher education legal issues including litigation avoidance and management, regulatory compliance, ethics, risk management, and faculty affairs, with a particular emphasis on labor and employment law. He represents the University in negotiations, arbitration, mediation, and other administrative and judicial proceedings and is deeply involved in the day-to-day administration of the University’s collective bargaining agreements with its five recognized labor organizations. He also supervises and manages the work of outside counsel on insured employment and educator liability claims, as well as other litigation matters that may arise.
A 1999 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, Mr. Sassi spent the first nine years of his career practicing as an in-house attorney with legal department of the United States Postal Service (USPS). There, his practice was dedicated exclusively to the law of the workplace, and in that role, he, along with various United States Attorney’s Offices, defended the USPS in labor and employment litigation before various federal district courts around the northeastern United States. Another significant portion of Mr. Sassi’s practice was devoted to defending the agency in litigation before administrative tribunals including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the United States Merit Systems Protection Board.
In 2008, Mr. Sassi joined the University of Connecticut, where, for three years, he served in its equal employment opportunity function, first as a neutral attorney-investigator and fact-finder, and later as its director. During his time with UConn, Mr. Sassi served as an advisor, strategist, and subject matter resource to the university administration on a vast range of employment law and EEO compliance matters, and was a central contributor to the university’s development and implementation of related non-discrimination policies and procedures, including those touching upon Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Act of 1975.
In addition to his law degree, Mr. Sassi holds a BA in government from Clark University, as well as a certification in mediation from the Quinnipiac University School of Law / UConn Labor Education Center. He is admitted to practice law in both Rhode Island and Connecticut, and is also a member of the bar of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Jamie Scurry, M.A. :: Vice President of University CollegeClick to Open
Jamie Scurry is the Vice President for University College at Roger Williams University, where she oversees the transformation of the School of Continuing Studies to University College. Scurry oversees the academic program, Center for Workforce and Professional Development, Research, Policy, and Practice Collaborative, business operations, and leads the innovative efforts of University College. Scurry is considered a leader in adult education and her innovative reforms are making Roger Williams University a premier institution for continuing studies. When she served as the Dean of the School of Continuing Studies, Scurry developed new programs, models, and partnerships that remove the barriers to post-secondary education and ensure the public purposes of education are realized.
Prior to her work at Roger Williams University, Ms. Scurry was the Co-Director of College Unbound, a Big Picture Learning higher education initiative that integrates students’ own purposes and visions for learning with the needs of their workplaces and communities. She also worked as the Director for Policy and Research at the New England Board of Higher Education and as a Research Associate for The Futures Project: Policy for Higher Education in a Changing World, based at Brown University.
Ms. Scurry holds a master’s degree in American Civilization from Brown University where she also was an Adjunct Assistant Professor, teaching Leadership and Organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Marketing from Bentley University. She served on the Board of Directors for the Academy for Career Exploration (ACE) and currently serves on the Latino Policy Institute (LPI) and Housing Works RI. Scurry received the ARISE 2018 Success Award for Elevating and Amplifying Student Voice and was a recipient of the 2019 Ronald McDonald House Women’s Leadership Award for her contributions in Higher Education.
Robert Shea, Ph.D. :: Vice ProvostClick to Open
Dr. Robert Shea currently serves as the Vice Provost at Roger Williams University. His portfolio of responsibilities includes oversight of the Center for Student Academic Success, Center for Career & Professional Development, Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching & Technology, Community Partnership Center, and the Feinstein Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement, and the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs. Included in these Centers are the Tutoring Center, Writing Center, Advising & Peer Mentorship Office, and the Accessibility Services Center. Dr. Shea has oversight responsibility for the RWU General Education and CORE programs, and also serves as the institutional lead for the First-Year Experience program, success and retention initiatives, and interdisciplinary programs. Shea partners with RWU’s chief diversity officer on campus initiatives about access, equity, diversity and inclusion, and most recently was a lead author and participant in an Andrew Mellon Foundation grant-funded Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts institute hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges.
Prior to joining Roger Williams University in July 2015, Dr. Shea served as the Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning at Bryant University. Dr. Shea has also held posts at the University of Rhode Island where he served as the Director of the Office Student Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Accreditation, as well as the Assistant Director of the Instructional Development Program. Previously, Shea held the position of Dean of the First-Year Experience at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He also served as the Director of Faculty and Leadership Curriculum Development at PMC’s Center for Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility. In addition, he was an Associate Professor of Sociology.
Dr. Shea earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brown University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia.
Brian G. Williams, D.M. :: Interim Chief of Staff and Vice President for Enrollment Management and MarketingClick to Open
Brian Williams joined RWU as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing (EMM) in 2017. The EMM division encompasses the offices of undergraduate and graduate admission, the office of financial aid, and university marketing.
Mr. Williams’ career has spanned all facets of the enrollment profession at five institutions prior to joining the RWU team. Since the early ’90s, Mr. Williams has worked across admission, financial aid, student retention, assessment, data analytics and institutional strategic planning. His approach to enrollment management embraces strong analytic competency with service excellence to create a campus culture focused on recruiting the future alumni for RWU.
Mr. Williams earned a doctorate of management degree in 2016 from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. His dissertation focused on the effects of visual analytics on organizational decision making behavior. He presents frequently at the regional and national level on the strategic use of data visualization and analytics in enrollment management.
In addition to his doctoral degree, Mr. Williams earned his master’s degree in higher education administration from Boston College, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire.
Jerome F. Williams, M.B.A. :: Interim Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for Finance and AdministrationClick to Open
Jerome Williams came to Roger Williams University in early 2009 following an extensive career in state government and the financial services industry. Most recently, Mr. Williams served as the director of Rhode Island’s Department of Administration (DOA), a role he stepped into after a nomination from Governor Donald Carcieri.
Previously, Mr. Williams served as Department of Transportation director after more than a decade as deputy director of the DOA. His state government roles focused on a tremendous range of administrative functions including budgeting, internal auditing, accounting, purchasing, human resources, capital projects, facilities management and more. Prior to his tenure in state government, he served for nine years as a senior vice president of a major banking institution responsible for various business units.
In his role as executive vice president for finance and administration at RWU, Mr. Williams focuses much of his energy on merging the University’s fiscal needs with the expectations of students, families, alumni and employees with a close eye on ensuring that the University remains an effective, efficient organization. In July of 2018, the Board of Trustees named Mr. Williams as Interim Chief Operating Officer after the untimely passing of the President of Roger Williams University. Within this role, Mr. Williams, in addition to his role as Chief Financial Officer, will be responsible for the timely execution of policy and operational measures outlined by the Board and Interim President along with additional internal and external reporting within the operations of the University.
Mr. Williams holds two bachelor’s degrees from Bryant University, where he studied institutional management and accounting. He also earned a master’s in business administration with a specialization in accounting from Bryant in 1986.
Michael J. Yelnosky, Esq. :: Dean, Roger Williams University School of LawClick to Open
Michael J. Yelnosky became the dean of Roger Williams University School of Law on July 1, 2014.
Dean Yelnosky is a founding member of the RWU Law faculty. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for four years, and he was named Distinguished Service Professor in 2011. He has also taught as a visitor at Seton Hall University School of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law/IIT, and Villanova University School of Law.
Dean Yelnosky is an expert in employment and labor law, and much of his scholarship explores alternatives or adjuncts to traditional enforcement of employment discrimination law. He is a Research Fellow with NYU Law School’s Center for Labor and Employment Law. He has served as President of the Rhode Island chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, and he was the neutral arbitrator in a major interest arbitration between the State of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers.
Another focus of Dean Yelnosky’s scholarship involves the judicial selection process, both in Rhode Island and nationally. He has written several articles and hosted a major symposium about Rhode Island’s merit selection system, and the major findings of his research into the role of the ABA in the federal judicial selection process were summarized in a Washington Post op-ed he wrote in 2013. He is regularly quoted in the local and national media on these and other topics, and he has published several op-ed pieces in the Providence Journal.
In the classroom, Dean Yelnosky was a favorite with 1L students in Civil Procedure and with second and third year students in Employment Law, Labor Law, and Employment Discrimination. He has also taught a course entitled Judicial Behavior and Social Change Litigation, with the Honorable William E. Smith, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.
In his previous administrative role as associate dean, Yelnosky was instrumental in leading the law school’s successful effort to gain membership in the Association of American Law Schools. He also designed and conducted annual studies of the scholarly output of the faculties of most American law schools, studies that documented the achievements of the faculty at Roger Williams and that garnered the attention of a national audience, including influential bloggers Brian Leiter and Paul Caron.
Dean Yelnosky graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and magna cum laude from the University of Vermont. Before he began teaching he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edmund V. Ludwig in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and worked for two law firms: Mellon, Webster & Mellon; and Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius.
Under Dean Yelnosky’s watch, the School of Law has launched a D.C. Semester in Practice program, a Veteran’s Disability Appeals Clinic, a dual J.D./M.S. in Cybersecurity, a Master’s Program in Law for non-lawyers, and a 3+3 Program with Johnson & Wales University. The School of Law also helped launch the Rhode Island Center for Justice, a civil legal services office that represents indigent clients and is home to a fellowship program reserved exclusively for graduates of the School of Law.
Dean Yelnosky and his wife Laurie Barron are the parents of twins. Yelnosky has completed seven marathons, including Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.