College Community Mourns Passing of Dynamic Professor 

Flags at Rhode Island College have been lowered to half-mast in memory of Associate Professor of English and Secondary Education Jennifer Cook, who was killed in a traffic accident over the weekend.

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo stated that the entire college community is shocked and saddened by the professor’s sudden passing. “Dr. Cook was a well-liked and well-respected member of the English Department and of the Educational Studies Department,” she said.  “We all thought that Jenn, who was tenured a few years ago, had a long career ahead of her at Rhode Island College.”

English Department Chair Daniel Scott added, “Jenn was more than a professor to her students. For almost all of them, she was the very model of what they wanted to be: dynamic, engaged teachers and scholars. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked down the hall in Craig-Lee and heard intense, unadulterated joy flowing from her classroom. Dr. Cook brought so much humor, common sense and daring to her classroom that her students thrived. She challenged her students to learn new models for teaching and to try out fresh ways to approach writing and reading texts.  Over the years, she inspired and trained hundreds of students who are now teachers in Rhode Island and around the country. That's a huge legacy!"

Messages of condolence may be shared at the Piddock Funeral Home website,

In addition to her work with RIC students, Cook served as the executive director of the Rhode Island Writing Project, a professional development initiative for elementary and secondary school teachers.

Cook, who taught at RIC for 10 years, received her B.A. from American University and her M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts. She is survived by her spouse, Moira Collins, an adjunct professor in the RIC English Department.

Grief counseling is available to the RIC community. Please contact the Counseling Center at 401-456-8094 or the Office of Student Life at 401-456-8061 for more information.

The campus community will be notified as plans for a memorial event are developed in keeping with the family's wishes.