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 West Warwick, RI.


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 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. She lives in Warren, RI, with her husband, William, and their two cats.

Board of Trustees

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

H. Graham Nye, Trustee Emeritus

 Volunteers                            2018-2019 Interns

  Dianne Comiskey                                                Erin Cunningham
  Michael Gannon                                                 Georgia Exner
  Christine Hendrick                                              Claire Gold
Robert Luke Megan Horn
  William Lundeen                                                 Ashley Lamoureux                                          
  Pam Mead  Rachel Strashnick                                                     
  David Stephenson  Josephine Taranto
                                        Lara Taylor