Rhode Island College Quiet But Not Closed During Winter Break

RIC music professors, from left, Denise Guilbault-Langworthy, Ian Greitzer, Edward Markward and Rob Franzblau.

RIC music professors, from left, Denise Guilbault-Langworthy, Ian Greitzer, Edward Markward and Rob Franzblau.

It may be easy to find a parking space at Rhode Island College during winter break, but don’t make the mistake of thinking the college has shut down. Many faculty members and students are still busy at work.

Eric Hall, associate professor and chair of biology at RIC, said he uses the downtime to complete projects that he couldn’t get done when regular classes were in session.

“I’ve worked on letters of recommendation, curriculum proposals and faculty evaluations,” he said. “I’ve reviewed the upcoming spring, summer and fall class schedules, and I've been planning for a new course that I’ll be teaching next semester.”

A quick check of other departments reveals other faculty engaged in similar endeavors.

RIC student Irina Maglysh works on her honors project.

“There is almost always a handful of faculty working in the research labs, and quite often students are working in the labs as well,” said Hall.

Across campus, Sue Pearlmutter, dean of the School of Social Work, said she and her colleagues use the “quiet time” to work on undergraduate and graduate admission applications.

In the Department of Music, Rob Franzblau, professor and conductor of the RIC Wind Ensemble, is busy preparing for the daylong Instrumental Conducting Symposium slated for Jan. 19.

Earlier in the day he met with students, reviewed the progress of a student trumpet major, answered email, checked on the status of a music order, copied music files and met with a local resident who wants to be part of a community band that Franzblau conducts on Thursday nights.

Winter break is also a time when students enroll in “early spring” courses that run Jan. 3 to 23, while the Office of Professional Studies and Continuing Education also offers courses that include criminal justice and gender studies, accounting and grant writing strategies. 

Dante Del Giudice, director of the program, said the introduction of the early spring session is “part of RIC’s outreach efforts to introduce non-degree students to RIC and its offerings.”

Some of the courses are offered online only, while others are hybrid, combining online learning with classroom instruction.

So although the parking lots may appear empty, there's still lots of activity around campus throughout the winter break.