The South County History Center is operated by a team of dedicated staff, Trustees, volunteers and interns.

Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Erica Luke, Executive Director

Erica became the Center's Executive Director in 2014.  A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Erica has more than a decade of experience in museums and other educational institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Newseum.

Erica earned an M.A. in Museum Studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in History with Distinction from the University of Delaware.  She and her husband Robert live in Greene, RI.

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Ryan Saglio, Assistant Director

Ryan Saglio is a native Rhode Islander and is expected to complete her Master’s Degree in Public Humanities from Brown University in May 2019. Prior to that, she graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2015 with degrees in English and Art History. Ryan’s past work in museums and non-profits include education, programming, community partnerships, exhibition design and interpretation. Much of her work focuses on accessible, inclusive, and equitable experiences for all.  Ryan lives in Pawtucket with her boyfriend and two cats. 


Hilary Gunnels, Collections Manager

Hilary joined the Center as the Collections Manager in January of 2019. She comes to the Center from the world of libraries, having worked in academic and public libraries in Louisiana and Ohio, respectively, for the past nine years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and B.A. in Sociology from Loyola University New Orleans. Born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, she lived in New Orleans, LA, and Columbus, OH, before moving to Rhode Island in 2018. She lives with her partner, Jake, in Providence.

Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Alicia Vaandering, Special Projects Manager

Alicia has served the Center since 2014, as a volunteer, Collections Manager and and presently as our Special Projects Manager.  A graduate of Willamette University and native of Oregon, Alicia moved to the East Coast to pursue an M.A. in History and a Master's Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island.  In January 2018, she joined Salve Regina University as its Educational and Instruction Design Librarian.

Board of Trustees

Dr. Joanne Pope Melish, Chair             Heather Kisilywicz, Vice Chair
John Parkhurst , Treasurer                    Mary Keane, Secretary
Shantia Anderheggen                           Dr. Jon Marcoux    
Holly Stephenson                                  Joseph (Jay) N. Waller, Jr. 

H. Graham Nye, Trustee Emeritus

 Volunteers                            2017-2018 Interns

  Dianne Comiskey                                                Racine Amos
  Michael Costa                                                     Anne Colletta
  Michael Gannon                                                 Alexander Creese
  Linda Eppich                                                       Erin Cunningham
  Claire Gold                                                          Mat Ferraro
  Christine Hendrick                                             Megan Horn
  Mary Keane                                                        Tarilyn Medlar
  Harold Kemble                                                   Emily Piers 
  Robert Luke                                                       Pam Rochette                                                  
  William Linden                                                 Rachel Strashnick                                               
  Pam Mead Emma Tanner                                                              
  Jean Quinn Julia Teeter
  Jim Roehm
 David Stephenson                                                         
  Claudia Swain                                                            
  Jeff Taber