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Biography: Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan


When Rosemary Costigan enrolled in what was then Rhode Island Junior College, she was a recent high school graduate from Pawtucket West High School (now Shea) and a first-generation college student with a plan to enter the Nursing field.  What she never envisioned then was that she would one day serve as Interim President of her alma mater – the present-day Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) – becoming the first alumnus to do so.

Before being appointed Interim President, Dr. Costigan served nearly eight years as Vice President for Academic Affairs, responsible for assuring the college provides the quality of instruction and broad array of educational programs and support services so that first-generation students like herself can achieve their own academic success and career goals, including graduation and entry into the workforce and/or transfer to a four-year institution.

Dr. Costigan has led the college’s work to expand courses online and invest in remote, accessible support to meet the ever-expanding needs of the student body; developed collaborative, faculty-led professional development that champions high-impact, equitable teaching, and learning practices; and helped enhance shared governance at the college with the launch of the Faculty Senate. In addition, Dr. Costigan facilitated the first formal academic master plan, along with faculty and instituted data-driven process to promote quality improvement within Academic Affairs. With her background and experience rooted in healthcare, Dr. Costigan was central to CCRI’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting the college’s instruction to remote teaching and learning within a span of just two weeks to keep the college community safe.

After graduating with an Associate Degree in Nursing, Dr. Costigan continued her education while enjoying a successful nursing career at the former Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. Upon graduating from RIJC, Dr. Costigan transferred to Rhode Island College where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then onto the University of Rhode Island where she completed her Master of Science Degree (Nursing) and Doctor of Philosophy (Nursing). Dr. Costigan returned to the academic hallways at CCRI and URI to teach Nursing and has served in multiple academic leadership positions at CCRI, including Chair of the Department of Nursing and Assistant Dean of Nursing.

Dr. Costigan serves on the Board of Trustees for Davies Career & Technical High School and has served as a peer-evaluator for both NECHE and ACEN. Among her many accomplishments and honors, Dr. Costigan was inducted into the CCRI Society of Knights in 2016 and is a past recipient of the Rosemary Wood Nursing Leadership Award, and the Academic Excellence Award by the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.

Dr. Costigan is married and is the mother of five children and seven grandchildren.