“The award was a complete surprise,” the Providence resident said. “I had no idea that I was even nominated.”
It was such a surprise, in fact, that when association treasurer Debbie Suggs called to tell Ciccomascolo that she had won, Ciccomascolo thought that Suggs was calling to tell her that her dues were up. “We played phone tag,” Ciccomascolo said. “When we finally connected, I was not expecting Debbie to tell me that I had won Woman of the Year. I was and am so honored.”
She says that much of the honor comes from looking at the women who have won previously. “All of the women who have won this award have done incredible things,” she said.
The association was created in 1979 at URI in order to ensure that professional women at the University “are accorded just and equal recognition, treatment, and advancement,” according to the organization’s website. Some of its goals are to support women both collectively and individually, allow for opportunities for URI women to meet and work across departmental, college, and divisional lines, and to host networking receptions for new URI faculty and staff members each fall and winter. In addition, the group has named a Woman of the Year each year since its inception.
Originally from Waterbury, Conn., Ciccomascolo has been at URI for 12 years. She joined the University in 2002 as a member of the kinesiology department. Since then, Ciccomascolo has served as the graduate director for the kinesiology department, as well as interim associate dean. On July 1, 2012, she assumed the role of interim dean of the College of Human Science and Services.
Ciccomascolo says that she has had proud moments in her career as both a faculty member and as a dean. “As a professor, it was wonderful to see my students learn how to be productive citizens,” she said. “They gained the skills to become effective teachers, and to see that happen was beyond satisfying. They are contributing to society in important ways.”
As a dean, Ciccomascolo is most proud of promoting the work of the College’s faculty. “Human Science and Services is URI’s best kept secret,” she said. “We have incredible, high-level researchers on our faculty. They’re outstanding teachers who give back to the community.”
While Ciccomascolo is dedicated to URI, she finds time for hobbies outside of the University. “I love the outdoors,” she said. “I really enjoy biking and the beach. But I’d have to say that my favorite sport is tennis.”
Ciccomascolo says that this award is particularly special. “I’m so grateful to APAW, and to those who nominated me for this award. It means so much to me that this award is from my peers,” she said. “I really didn’t expect it. You work because you love to work, so to receive this award is humbling.”
At the University Club reception, Ciccomascolo dedicated her Woman of the Year award to her mother. “She taught me the importance of advocating for myself and other women,” she said. As for the reception itself? “Everyone who was involved in the reception did an outstanding job, and it was a humorous and meaningful night,” she said. “It’s an event that I will not forget.”
Ciccomascolo earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Connecticut State University. She went on to earn her doctor of education in curriculum and teaching, with a sub-specialty in human movement, from Boston University.
This release was written by Rachel Donilon, a writing intern in URI’s Marketing and Communications department.
Lori Ciccomascolo of Providence, R.I., interim dean of URI’s College of Human Sciences and Services
URI Photo by MIchael Salerno Photography