The South County History Center is operated by a team of dedicated staff, Trustees, volunteers and interns.
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.
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.
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 Kingston with her husband, William, and their two cats.
Board of Trustees
Dr. Joanne Pope Melish, Chair Heather Kisilywicz, Vice Chair
John Parkhurst , Treasurer Mary Keane, Secretary
Shantia Anderheggen 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 Linden Ashley Lamoureux
Pam Mead Rachel Strashnick
Jean Quinn Josephine Taranto
David Stephenson Lara Taylor