Jen Gazdacko, President
Jen Gazdacko has been a Partner at Hannah Street Consulting since 2011. Prior to that she served as the Executive Director of RISE – Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education for 9 years. Jen holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston University. Jen served for six years (2010-2016) as a board member of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA), including terms as Vice President and President. She is a member of the Board of the Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA). Jen, her husband Michael, and their 1-year old daughter Emilia live on the West Side of Providence and Westport, MA with their cat and two dogs. In Providence they have a small urban farm.
Suzanne Scanlan, Vice President
Suzanne Scanlan has been a member of the Athenæum since 2009 and is an alum of the inaugural Proust group. After receiving her PhD from Brown University in 2010, she joined the faculty of Theory + History of Art + Design at RISD where she teaches a variety of courses. She has served as Visiting Faculty at Brown, Stonehill College and Trinity College in Hartford, CT and worked as a Mellon Curatorial Proctor at the RISD Museum for two years. Suzanne also teaches art history for the Providence Clemente Veterans Initiative, 2020 recipient of the Innovation Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, She is the author of Divine and Demonic Imagery at Tor de’Specchi: Religious Women and Art in 15th Century Rome (2018) and is currently writing a book on the travels, diverse relationships and prolific career of the American Modern artist, Esther Pressoir.
Thomas Bryson, Treasurer
Thomas Bryson, a Pawtucket native, is a graduate of Brown University. He was employed in various aspects of wealth management and investment banking in New York for almost forty years. After retiring he returned to Rhode Island and resides in Richmond. He is a member of the board of the Rhode Island Forest Conservators Organization.
Mary-Kim Arnold, Secretary
Mary-Kim Arnold is the author of the poetry collection The Fish & The Dove (Noemi Press, 2020) and Litany for the Long Moment (Essay Press, 2018), an experimental memoir of her adoption from Korea. Litany for the Long Moment was awarded the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Prize, was a finalist for the 2018 Chautauqua Janus Prize, honored by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, featured in NPR’s Code Switch 2018 Book Guide, and named by Entropy Magazine as one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2018. In 2020, she received a Howard Foundation Fellowship for a multi-disciplinary work-in-progress, Artist Unknown, Korean, and in 2018, she received a MacColl Johnson Fellowship for her novel in progress, Nine Men’s Misery. Other publication highlights include Conjunctions, Hyperallergic, Poem-a-Day, The Georgia Review, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, and Manual, the magazine of the Rhode Island School of Design. Mary-Kim’s textile and installation work has been featured in group shows of the Art League of Rhode Island, the Jamestown Arts Center (RI) and the Upstream Gallery (NY). Currently, Mary-Kim teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program in the English Department at Brown University. Courses include: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, Contemporary Asian American Writers, and Reframing Race in Art Writing. Prior to returning to teaching, Mary-Kim spent more than a decade working in and with arts and cultural nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, leading the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, serving in Board leadership roles at the International Charter School, the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, and New Urban Arts, among others. She holds a BA and MFA from Brown University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Mary-Kim lives in Pawtucket with her family.
Jonathan F. Bell, AIA LEED-AP Immediate Past President, ex officio
Jonathan Bell is an architect and educator in Providence. His office does a range of work, including adaptive reuse, residential, and research projects. Prior to founding his own office, Jonathan was co-founder and principal at DUAL, and has enjoyed working with many not-for-profit, university, and residential clients during his career. Jonathan also teaches in the Interior Architecture Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has taught at the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University. In 2019 and 2020, he served on the Board of the American Institute of Architects, Rhode Island Chapter. He is a graduate of Wesleyan (BA) and Princeton (MArch) Universities. Jonathan has been a member of the Athenæum since moving to Providence in 2000. In 2005, he joined the Buildings and Grounds Committee, and has been a member of the Board since 2007. His wife, Sarah Zurier, grew up in Providence going to the Athenæum, and their son Zachary is now an active user and participant in the children’s library and its programs.
Board of Directors
J. Scott Burns
Jenica Reed Conley
R. Tripp Evans
Ryan R. Greene
Karen L. Jessup
Cathy Lund, DVM
James Myers, MD