Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Robert Whitcomb Joins New Class of Fellows at Pell Center

Scholars and Practitioners will support wide-ranging efforts in public affairs and international relations

Newport, RI—The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University today announced the addition of five new fellows to its growing cohort of scholars and practitioners.  With distinguished careers in journalism and the academy, the group is the second to join the Pell Center since the creation of its fellows program last autumn.

Adjunct Fellow

Mr. Robert Whitcomb
Day Job:
Vice President/Editorial Page Editor of the Providence Journal
Areas of Expertise: Media, Renewable Energy, Healthcare, New England Culture, Business, Politics, International Affairs, Developing World Economics

After having been educated in New England and New York schools, Bob Whitcomb embarked on a 43-year career in writing and editing, mostly as a journalist. Beginning as a writer at the Boston Herald Traveler after college, he worked subsequently at the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal and was an editor at The Wall Street Journal where, among other things, he occasionally wrote the World-Wide column. Whitcomb later became the financial editor of the International Herald Tribune, based in Paris. He has been editorial-page editor at The Providence Journal since 1992, and also vice president since 1997.  There he also helped plan annual public-affairs conferences with Brown University. Along the way Whitcomb has written and reported for such national magazines as Newsweek and The Weekly Standard, been the editor of several books and international newsletters and co-written a book called Cape Wind.  Whitcomb has co-hosted a weekly public-affairs show on television and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio.

Faculty Fellows

Dr. Emily Colbert Cairns
Day Job:
Assistant Professor of Modern and Classical Languages, Salve Regina University
Areas of Expertise: Early Modern Spain and Latin America, Diaspora and Sephardic Studies

Dr. Emily Colbert Cairns was born in New York and did her graduate work in Spanish literature in California. Her research explores crypto-Jews and conversos in the Early Modern period and the larger Sephardic Diaspora. She studies how women through material practice preserve culture and religious tradition.


Professor Robin L. Hoffman
Day Job:
Professor and Chairwoman of Administration and Justice, Salve Regina University
Areas of Expertise:  Juvenile Justice

Robin L. Hoffmann, J.D. is a Professor of Administration of Justice and the Chair of the Administration of Justice Department at Salve Regina University.  Professor Hoffmann’s focus has been in the field of juvenile justice and family violence.  She served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Rhode Island Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and as a member of the Governor’s Justice Commission.  She has been a member of the RI Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Task Force, chairing its Juvenile Subcommittee, and has worked with the RI Family Court Truancy Court in planning conferences at Salve Regina University. Professor Hoffmann is a graduate of New York University and Rutgers University School of Law and is a member of the NY Bar. She is the Pre-Law Advisor for Salve Regina University.

Dr. Jon Bernard Marcoux
Day Job:
Assistant Professor of Cultural and Historic Preservation
Areas of Expertise: Cultural and Historic Preservation, Cultural Heritage Management, Historic Preservation Law, Archaeology, Native American Policy

Dr. Jon Bernard Marcoux is an archaeologist who specializes in cultural and historic preservation and the study of late prehistoric and early historic Native American Indian societies. He has over 15 years of professional experience serving as a preservation consultant for private firms and government agencies across the southeastern U.S.  As a teacher and researcher, he explores the role of public policy in balancing the benefits of economic development with the need to protect our cultural heritage locally and nationally.

Ms. Susannah Strong
Day Job:
Lecturer of Art, Salve Regina University
Areas of Expertise: Art in the Public Sphere. Art as a Vehicle for Reinterpreting Space and Reevaluating the Environment.

Susannah Strong received an undergraduate degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s degree in visual arts/textiles from Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and England, and is included in the private collections of playwright Edward Albee as well as the late Sol Lewitt and curator Walter Hopps.  Strong is a three-time recipient of Individual Fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts: twice in Three Dimensional Art and once in New Genres. She has been nominated for both a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and the Saint-Gauden’s Memorial Fellowship.   In addition to her studio practice and teaching, Strong worked in the field of historic preservation for over eight years. She has helped to conserve many of the historic mansion museums that surround the Salve campus.

With these additions, the Pell Center now has 20 fellows who specialize in a diverse range of fields, from cybersecurity and healthcare to national security, international relations, and human rights.

“I am delighted by the continued growth and energy we see at the Pell Center,” said Dr. Jim Ludes, the center’s director, “but mostly I’m grateful to this distinguished group for what I know will be a body of meaningful contributions to the public dialogue on important issues.”  He continued, “We’re building a team that reflects the strengths and identity of Salve Regina University: from the policies that support cultural and historic preservation, to healthcare, education, and broader national and international issues.  It’s an exciting time to work here and these new fellows will make an immediate impact.”

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