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Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Kimberly Rothwell-Carson '86

When asked how she's adapted to quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Kimberly Rothwell-Carson '86 said: "Since I was able to stay in Rhode Island after school, I cope with the uncertainties of these times by walking to the beach and admiring the birds and the ocean and providing some fresh air. Connecting virtually has been very important. Virtual family birthday parties (there are a lot of April birthdays in my family) help to keep the extended family connected. Virtually connecting with my son is especially important as his first job has required him to be on the front line of this pandemic. It allows us to be together since we have not been together since January."

"I also joined a virtual book club with people all over the globe," Rothwell-Carson added. "The book provides a mini-vacation to France and includes a virtual meeting of the authors. Perhaps my best virtual experience has been the Salve Class of 1986 virtual cocktail party. It was great to reconnect. Some people never change, and it was fantastic to chat with folks as if it was still the '80s, but also hear how this new reality is for them. I was even able to connect with a classmate whose work may be able to help me support my teachers more. All with some '80s music in the background. I love that Salve continues to be an important connection in my life and helps me to be my best self."

Rothwell-Carson is the director of pupil personnel services for the North Kingstown School Department. Since March 13, when Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered schools to move to a distance learning plan, she has been supporting families and teachers to navigate from a brick-and-mortar classroom to a virtual classroom. From Google classrooms to Zoom IEP meetings, she has spent many hours working with teachers and others to continue special education and related services for special needs students. Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking has been key. Everything from virtual cooking lessons to virtual lunch bunches for social skills groups to sending seeds and dirt home for science projects has all come together with reading and mathematics to create a school day. Rothwell-Carson credits her beginnings at Salve Regina as a special education major for giving her the skills to do this important work.