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QUADANGLES

ALUMNI MAGAZINE  |  Spring 2012 Volume 19, No. 3

Big Moments in the Woods The W. Alton Jones Campus Celebrates 50 Years


Photos: Nora Lewis

Alumni Association

Big Chill Weekend 2012

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Thank You Alumni, Family, and Friends, For making the URI Alumni Association Scholarship event

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a Roaring Success The University of Rhode Island Alumni Association and the 2012 Big Chill Weekend Committee express their sincere appreciation to honorary chair Laureen L. White ’81

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and corporate sponsors Bank of America BankRI Cox Communications CVS Caremark Washington Trust

It’s all about scholarships.

The Big Chill Scholarship Events were held February 10–12. The events were attended by over 350 guests and raised over $60,000 for the URI Alumni Association’s student scholarship fund. 1 Jim Taricani and Honorary Chair Laureen L. White ’81 with URI President David Dooley and Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley 2 Bethany Confessore ’97 and URI Alumni Association President Joe Confessore ’96 with URI Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn 3 Jessica Wallace ’05 and Alyssa Skrypack ’05

Photo Gallery | uri.edu/bigchill


QUADANGLES

Alumni Magazine | spring 2012  |  Volume 19, No.3

DEPARTMENTS

FEATURES

PRESIDENT’s View 3

UP FRONT 4 News and views

PRESS BOX 8

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TO HENLEY IN REGATTA STYLE By Shane Donaldson ’99 Twenty members of the women’s crew team and four coaches will head to England in June so the rowers can compete in the famed Henley Women’s Regatta

ALUMNI CHAPTERS 28 Upcoming events and contacts

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DESIGNS ON UNASSISTED LIVING By David Gregorio ’80 Jeffrey Rosenfeld ’68 is co-author of a book that explores the ways in which baby boomers are changing the landscape of retirement living

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DREDGING UP GLOBAL SOLUTIONS By Maria Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ’92 David Simonelli ’78 has managed dredging projects that protect and reclaim waterfront land in the U.S. and the Middle East

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ALEX & ANI: A VITAL FORCE IN RHODE ISLAND By Bethany Vaccaro ’06 Carolyn Rafaelian heads Alex and Ani, the Cranston-based positive energy company that is the fastest growing business in the state

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MEHUL SHETH IS FLYING HIGH By Jennifer Gaul ’89 Sheth is president of VMS Aircraft Company, Inc., a supplier to the aircraft industry, a company he started from a desk in his parents’ basement

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BIG MOMENTS IN THE WOODS By Todd McLeish URI is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich

CLASS ACTS 30 News from your classmates, photo wrap-ups, and alumni profiles

BACK PAGE 40 Built from Westerly Granite

INSIDE BACK COVER The Annual Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament

BACK COVER The 50th Class Reunion and the Golden Grad Reunion

WEB EXTRAS

URI.EDU/QUADANGLES

Marissa Norman ’12 ClassPics More . . .

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COVER: istockphoto.com Contents: Courtesy of URI Athletics Department; courtesy Great Lakes drege & dock Company; Nora Lewis; courtesy VMs Aircraft company, Inc.

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The ideas and opinions expressed in QUADANGLES do not necessarily reflect those of the Alumni Association, the editor, or the University. QUAD ANGLES is published four times a year for alumni and friends of the University of Rhode Island; standard postage paid at Burlington, Vt. QUAD ANGLES is printed at The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vt., and is recyclable. URI is an equal opportunity employer committed to the principles of affirmative action.

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QUADANGLES QUADANGLES is a publication of the University of Rhode ­Island Alumni Association, Division of University Advancement, 73 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881. p: 401.874.2242. Vice President for University Advancement Robert M. Beagle Executive Editor Michele A. Nota ’87, M.S. ’06 Editorial Committee Shane Donaldson ’99 Dave Lavallee ’79, M.P.A. ’87 Liz Prager O'Brien ’83 Managing Editor Vida-Wynne Griffin ’67, M.A. ’72 Associate Editor Barbara Caron, Online Edition Jan Wenzel ’87 Art Director Kim Robertson Interim Director of Publications Russell Kolton Director of Communications & Marketing Linda A. Acciardo ’77 Contributing Editors Gigi Edwards Mary Ann Mazzone Nicki Toler Contributing Designers Johnson Ma Bo Pickard Verna Thurber Photographer Nora Lewis Alumni Relations Staff Chris DiSano, Specialist Robert Ferrell ’07, Program Assistant Michelle Fontes-Barros ’96, M.A. ’11 Assistant Director Kathleen Gianquitti ’71, M.S. ’82, Assistant Director Shana Greene ’95, M.S.’97, Assistant Director Lisa Harrison ’89, Executive Assistant Sarah Lobdell ’96, Associate Director Kate Serafini ’08, Specialist Gina Simonelli ’01, M.S.’03, Assistant Director Alumni Association Executive Board Joseph M. Confessore ’96, President Donald P. Sullivan ’71, Past President Louise H. Thorson, M.B.A. ’85, Vice President Raymond L. Watson, M.C.P. ’05, Vice President Ronald P. Joseph ’67, Treasurer Councilors-at-Large William M. Dolan III ’81 Allison E. Field ’95 John Finan ’80 Kelly J. Nevins ’90, M.A. ’02 Kathleen P. O’Donnell ’90 Edwin R. Pacheco ’05 Gregory S. Perry ’88 Benjamin W. Tuthill ’04 Christos S. Xenophontos ’84, M.S. ’85 Representatives Arts and Sciences: Jerome H. Kritz ’76 Business Administration:   Jordan Kanter ’99, M.S.’00 Feinstein College of Continuing Education:  Edward Bozzi Jr. ’68 Engineering: Daniel G. Lowney ’75 Environment and Life Sciences: Catherine N. Weaver ’82, B.L.A. ’96 Human Science and Services:   Christine S. Pelton ’84 Nursing: Denise A. Coppa ’72, Ph.D. ’02 Pharmacy: Henrique Pedro ’76
 Faculty Senate: Andrea L. Yates ’94, Ph.D. ’06 Student Senate: David Coates ’12 Student Alumni Association: Anthony Aiudi ’14 URI Foundation: Thomas J. Silvia ’83


PRESIDENT’SVIEW The State of College Affordability In his State of the Union address, President Obama elevated the issue of the rising costs of higher education to a new level—a step that, in my view, was long overdue. America can certainly benefit from comprehensive and inclusive discussions of the critical social, economic, and public policy issues surrounding access to, and affordability of, higher education. Students, their families, colleges and universities, the federal and state governments, communities, businesses—all should be involved because everyone has a stake in the outcome. Indeed, one can argue that the President was responding to the growing popular demand, exemplified by elements of the Occupy Movement, for urgent attention to the questions of access and affordability. The problem has been widely recognized for well over a decade. The costs of higher education have been rising at a rate that exceeds the consumer price index as a measure of inflation. For public colleges and universities, the underlying reason is the systematic disinvestment in higher

An hour before President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address last January, about 90 URI students, faculty and staff told a state commission how declining support for higher education has placed crushing financial burdens on students and has hampered innovative faculty.

Michael Salerno

education by state governments. The behavior of state governments in this regard is not fundamentally irrational. In the face of ever increasing costs for mandated entitlements, health care, public safety, corrections, and pensions, funding for higher education was increasingly viewed as discretionary. If colleges and universities needed funds beyond those provided by the state, they could always raise tuition. And they did. For some time this strategy worked because in many states public higher education was inexpensive. But after several years of budget reductions and tuition increases, this is no longer the case for many students and families. Here at the University of Rhode Island two recent events highlighted the situation. The first was testimony presented by students, alumni, and faculty at a hearing on campus by the Special House Commission to Study Public Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility in Rhode Island; the second was the Occupy URI forum. It is encouraging for us in Rhode Island that the multiple issues associated with the cost of public higher education are gaining increased attention. Crafting solutions will not be easy. There are several other problems facing our state that also require urgent attention. However, most of the problems we face, including access and affordability of higher education, could be addressed far more readily if additional resources were available. I believe that the best and most sustainable path to increasing our resources is to grow the economy. This growth must happen sooner than later, it must be substantial, and it must be based on innovation. Discovery, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and a highly prepared workforce are essential to building a competitive 21st century economy. These are all things at which URI can excel. Access to affordable, excellent public higher education is a critical component of constructing solutions to the many challenges facing our state and nation. —David M. Dooley UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  3


news&views

Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

Big Discovery of Little Dinosaurs A 70-million-year-old nest containing the fossilized remains of 15 Protoceratops andrewsi dinosaurs found in Mongolia has given scientists a new understanding of how that group of dinosaurs cared for their young. It is the first nest of this genus ever found and the first indication that Protoceratops juveniles remained in the nest for an extended period. “Death likely occurred during a desert sandstorm. My guess is that the initial and present-day dryness contributed significantly to the superb preservation, not just of Protoceratops, but of all the fossils from this unit,” said paleontologist David Fastovsky, who is the lead author of the study. “Finding juveniles in a nest is a relatively uncommon occurrence, and I cannot think of another dinosaur specimen that preserves 15 juveniles in its nest in this way,” the professor of geosciences added. An analysis of the nest by Fastovsky and his colleagues found that all 15 dinosaurs— at least 10 of which are complete specimens—were about 6 inches tall and about a year old. The discovery also indicates that the young dinosaurs remained in the nest through the early stages of their development and were cared for by their parents. The relatively large number of offspring may have been a way of ensuring the survival of the species. They lived in a stressful environment alongside other dinosaurs, including the notorious Velociraptor dinosaur, which probably ate young Protoceratops.

Students Host Political Boot Camp College Democrats and Republicans at URI hosted a free, bipartisan, statewide political boot camp last fall. Of/By/For/RI: The Rhode Island Student Political Boot Camp is designed to foster stronger connections between Rhode Island’s college and high school students and equip them with the skills to become agents of change, whether they run for office, work on a campaign, or advocate for an issue about which they are passionate. Howard Dean, the former six-term governor of Vermont, contender for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, and chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 through 2009, gave the keynote address. Other speakers included former U.S. Representative Robert Weygand ’71, ’76, URI’s vice president for administration and finance; Rhode Island Republican Party Chair Ken McKay; and Rhode Island Democratic Party Chair Ed Pacheco. “The event wasn’t about ideology, it was about empowering youth with the skills to create change,” said Scott Andrews, president of College Democrats at URI, a political science major with minors in leadership studies and business. “Students who have an interest in making a difference in their own lives or lives of those around them can find the skills they may need at the boot camp,” says James

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McMahon, president of the College Republicans and an Iraqi War U.S. Marine Corps veteran majoring in communication studies. “There is no handbook for how to get involved in politics, but we’re here and we are making one. Students will have opportunities to learn about the current state of affairs, how to create their own Web sites, recruit volunteers to a cause, develop issue advocacy, media and messaging skills, résumé building, and more. An inaugural political boot camp was held last year at Brown University.

Photo courtesy of Kh. Tsogtbaatar, MICHAEL SALERNO


encouraging her students to see the study of ancient Greek and Roman art—which many see as out of reach, strictly traditional, or exclusive—as a field full of possibilities and open to anyone with a passion. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for Mary’s encouragement, mentorship, and friendship.”

One for the Book!

The Art of Teaching Congratulations to Art History Professor Mary Hollinshead, recipient of the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2012 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. “I learned by osmosis,” she said, noting that her mother taught first and second graders and later taught children with learning disabilities: “We used to have many talks about teaching and modes of learning.” Hollinshead was surprised to win the award: “I expect a lot from my students, but I see that as a matter of respect. That said, I also provide whatever support they need.” Her current and former students sing her praises. Donald Rodrigues ’00, M.A. ’11, a teaching assistant in the English Department, said Hollinshead played a vital role in shaping and directing his academic and post-academic life. “I often look to her each time I spot a promising, shy student sitting in the back row of my class. Mary has shown me that teaching is a political act in the truest and best sense of the term. It is a daily opportunity to challenge, engage, and empower even the least likely of minds, regardless of what major they choose upon exiting the classroom.” Samantha Henneberry ’08, a graduate student in the History of Art Department at the University of California Berkeley, said: “Mary makes the past available to everyone,

Shortly after disembarking from a research ship in Italy, Jeffrey Book, M.S. ’98, Ph.D. ’07, a civilian physical oceanographer at the Naval Research Lab at Stennis Space Center, Miss., flew to Washington, D.C., where he was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award. Book’s journey to the White House began in a small town near Cincinnati where, as a boy, he often pretended to be Jacques Cousteau, researching undersea biology in his backyard. The path veered to physics studies at the University of Missouri-Rolla. After graduation, he applied to several graduate schools, including our Graduate School of Oceanography. The GSO and oceanography was not his first choice, but all that changed when he visited the campus. You could say it was love at first sight—with the school and later that summer with Majorie Kelner ’96, his future wife. Mark Wimbush was Book’s advisor for both his master’s thesis and his doctoral dissertation. “Mark’s teaching and mentorship has played a huge role in my early career, and I try my best to model his dedication to learning, teaching, and excellence in science,” said Book. “My training at GSO influences nearly all of my work, especially the emphasis on understanding ocean dynamics through observation.” Starting full time at the NRL in 1999, one of Books’ first assignments was a

Photos courtesy of Mary Hollinshead, Naval Research Laboratory Stennis Space Center

continuation of his collaboration with Wimbush and the GSO’s Randy Watts in the Sea of Japan. Book’s work as principal investigator for the Navy lab project, Dynamics of the Adriatic in Real Time with the NATO Undersea Research Centre and 23 other institutions, has led to an improved understanding of how waters of different characteristics interact when they meet at ocean boundaries and form complex flow structures that can affect activities taking place in the sea. Those observations can be used to evaluate our ability to predict the ocean in the short term with numerical models. Book contributed to the development and use of new technologies to measure ocean structures and provide the data in real-time so it can be immediately used by prediction models to make more accurate forecasts of ocean conditions. Book is continuing such work off the North West shelf of Australia studying the effect of strong tides on ocean predictability, but in 2012 he will shift gears for a case study on ocean fine structures off South Africa. “My recent work on the Agulhus Return Current has brought me full circle to my URI master’s thesis work on the Kuroshio current as once again I am working on western boundary current dynamics,” he says.

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National Media Authority Heads Harrington School Renee Hobbs, a national authority on media literacy education, took the helm of the new Harrington School of Communication and Media this winter. The school brings together departments and programs in journalism, film/media, communication studies, public relations, writing and rhetoric, and a graduate program in library and information science.

ten through high school. This year, the American Library Association named her an Office of Information Technology Fellow. “Communication schools can no longer be confined to narrow vocational disciplines if they want to serve students well,” said Hobbs, emphasizing that verbal and written expression will remain at the heart of the Harrington School. “We are going to create a new vision that means thinking about students as global communicators and citizens in a democracy.”

College Memories Vivid for 100-year-olds

“Dr. Hobbs brings a comprehensive and innovative approach to this position, which is critical in today’s world because communication and information technologies are all about mind boggling change,” said former president and CEO of Thomson/ Reuters Richard Harrington ’73, who with his wife, Jean, established the school with a $5.5 million gift. “Renee Hobbs has the knowledge, the expertise, and the creative entrepreneurial ideas to develop a transformative educational model here at URI,” said Dean Winifred E. Brownell of the College of Arts and Sciences, the academic home of the school. Hobbs established the Institute on Media Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the first national program of teacher professional development in media literacy in the United States. Before joining URI, Hobbs was a professor of communications in Temple University’s Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunication, and Mass Media, and School of Communications and Theater. In Philadelphia, Hobbs developed Powerful Voices for Kids, a university-school partnership that offers a comprehensive digital and media literacy program for students in kindergar-

She remembers climbing the tower in Davis Hall to ring the bell after a football victory. He remembers that “almost no one had a car, and so when you were dropped off in September, you didn’t get home until the holidays.” What childhood sweethearts Elizabeth Rodger ’33 and J. Albert Newton Jr. ’35, who grew up in Pawtucket, remember most is the beauty and intimate feel of the Kingston Campus of Rhode Island State College in the 1930s. Husband and wife are both 100 years old, yet memories of their alma mater have not faded. Both attended school while the country was in the midst of the Great Depression. It was a time when freshmen wore beanies and women students were required to be back in their residences by 7 p.m. or face sanctions. Students remained on campus until June, so they organized their schedules to make room for frequent runs to Narragansett beaches.

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Elizabeth, who earned her bachelor’s in business education, was honored for scoring 150 points from 1929 through 1933 with the women’s basketball team. She also played field hockey at what the couple affectionately calls “state.” Both have great memories of watching legendary coach Frank Keaney’s teams play their “firehorse” brand of basketball in Rodman Hall. Albert said the 1,500-seat arena was always full and noisy. The couple’s great-granddaughters Lindsay Pare ‘08 and Lauren Pare ’10 helped keep URI a family tradition. Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

Nora Lewis, courtesy of The Newtons


A Perfect Match: Student-Athletes Help Save Two Lives

American Ambassador Mark Gitenstein and his wife, Libby, met with the URI nurses while they were in Romania to run the first-ever American-Romanian symposium on end-of-life care.

Empowering Palliative Care Givers in Romania Although more than 40 percent of Romania’s population lives in poverty, Romanian professionals are providing incredible palliative care despite limited resources, according to Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing Diane Gerzevitz. Since Gerzevitz joined the board of directors of the United Kingdom-based Hospices of Hope a decade ago, she and other URI nurses have been sharing their knowledge of quality of life care for terminally ill patients and their families with their Romanian medical counterparts. Last summer, Gerzevitz and 11 nurses from URI and Simmons College, including Clinical Associate Professor in Pharmacy Practice Margaret Charpentier, ran the first-ever American-Romanian symposium for palliative care. “Even though there were language barriers, I was struck by the universal language of caring,” said Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing Katherine Paquette, who accompanied Romanian nurses on home visits. “I may not have understood the words being said, but I could understand the reactions of the family members who were receiving care.”

For the second time in nine months, a student-athlete helped save a life by donating bone marrow Former Women’s Rowing Team Captain Grace Rignanese ’11 donated bone marrow this January at the Rhode Island Blood Center in Providence. Her marrow will be given to an 18-year-old woman. “It’s pretty amazing to think that you have the opportunity to change somebody else’s life for the better,” said Rignanese, who lives in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “When I found out that I was an exact match, the decision to donate was really a no brainer.” Rignanese, who helped Rhode Island win the Atlantic 10 championship during her junior and freshman seasons, registered as a possible marrow donor during her sophomore year. It wasn’t until nearly three years later, on Dec. 20, that she learned she was a perfect match for the young woman. Current URI football player Matt Greenhalgh, a senior from Chepachet, R.I, was honored during halftime of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans this January for saving the life of a leukemia patient with his donation last April. He registered to become a potential donor two years ago. He and Rignanese were found to be matches through the football team’s annual bone marrow registration drive on behalf of the National Marrow Donor Program. URI Football Head Coach Joe Trainer has organized the marrow drive for the last three years. During that span, the football players have recruited more than 700 new registrants, including Rignanese and Greenhalgh. “To have two donors from our drive is just incredible,” Trainer said. “Hopefully this continues to raise awareness for our Marrow Donor Drive and the need for potential donors.”

courtesy of Katherin e Paquette, Michael Salerno

This year’s Marrow Donor Drive will be held Thursday, April 26. For more information, contact Linda Brown, 401.874.2406.

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PRESSBOX

Mackal, Keaney Get Facelifts Things are looking a bit different at Three Keaney Road, where a $1.4 million project to redo the indoor track in Mackal Fieldhouse and a $22,000 renovation of the Keaney Gymnasium floor were completed in January. Assistant Athletic Director of Management and Planning Art Tuveson oversaw both projects. In Mackal, which opened in 1991, the track was upgraded from urethane surfacing to Mondo FTX surfacing. It’s the same surface that was used for the 2008 Beijing Olympic track and will be used for the 2012 London Olympic track. “The eight previous Olympics prior to Beijing were Mondo’s Super X,” Tuveson said. “Mondo FTX is the newest version of Super X. The fact that it’s been used in the last 10 Olympic games speaks yards.” The Keaney floor gives a new look to the home of the women’s volleyball team. Boston-based O’Sullivan Flooring did the work, part of a complete renovation for Keaney, which opened in 1953. The gymnasium also has 20 new doors to the facility and, according to Tuveson, a new volleyball scoreboard will be in place before the start of the 2012 season. The new scoreboard will also handle basketball functions. 8  QUAD ANGLES SPRING 2012 | uri.edu/quadangles

Geoff Cameron

Cameron Makes a Strong Impression With U.S. National Team Former men’s soccer player Geoff Cameron is making his presence felt with the U.S. Men’s National Team. On January 22, Cameron helped lead the United States to a 1–0 win over Venezuela. Cameron anchored the back line alongside Michael Parkhurst—brother of former URI women’s soccer player Molly Parkhurst ’08—in the first U.S. win over a South American country since 2007. “Geoff is a real joy to work with because he is very focused,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann said after the match. “He’s really dedicated to everything he’s doing, and we asked him to guide the back line, together with Michael Parkhurst, to push it high up and kind of develop his passes and play them straight into midfield and even into forwards. “We’re impressed at how he’s doing that. We knew he had the talent, but then to implement it is another story. He did that tonight.” Courtesy of URI Athletics Department


Megan Shoniker

Dan Silva

Matt Rae Delroy James

Shoniker, James Continue Hoops Careers Two basketball standouts from the 2010– 2011 season, women’s player Megan Shoniker and men’s player Delroy James, signed professional contracts in January. Shoniker joined Olimpia GrGAU Grodno of the Belarus Premier League; she is the only American on theBelarusian team. As a senior at URI, she ranked 25th in the nation in scoring with 18.9 points per game. James joined the NBA D-League with the Tulsa 66ers, an affiliate of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. He returned to the U.S. after playing briefly in Israel this winter for Bnei Eshet Tours Hasharon, where he averaged 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds in 10 games.

Football Captain is National Scholarship Finalist Football team captain Matt Rae ’12 is one of 12 national finalists for the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association postgraduate scholarship. The York, Pa., native was also among 58 student-athletes selected to the group’s Academic All-Star Team. From the team of 58, Rae was one of 12 finalists selected for the $5,000 postgraduate scholarship that will be awarded to two student-athletes during the Association’s annual membership meeting held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention in June. Rae has a 3.71 grade point average in biological sciences. On the field, he started every game on defense for the Rams and had 54 tackles, including 5.5 for losses.

Matt Hansen

URI Alumni Reach NFL Dan Silva ’07 joined the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts scouting department in January after spending five years as URI’s director of football operations. Silva was the first hire for new Colts’ General Manager Ryan Grigson. Former URI football player Matt Hansen, the school’s all-time leader in tackles, ended the 2011 season on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad. Hansen signed a futures contract with Atlanta on January 9 and is expected to be with the team in training camp for the second year in a row next summer.   UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  9


To Henley in Regatta Style “Just being around Olympic-caliber competition means a lot to the URI program. We want to rise up and go against the best, and this is our chance to do that.”

-Kelley Woodacre ’12

Bridge over the Thames on the Henley Royal Regatta course. Inset, URI rowers in a practice session on their home waters of Narrow River. Top left, URI's women's crew team. Top right, Textile, Fashion Merchandising and Design students work on ideas for the uniform URI's rowers will wear at Henley.

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PHOTOS BY istockphotos and Courtesy of URI Athletics Department


Video | uri.edu/quadangles

S

helagh Donohoe has seen the world, thanks to rowing. This summer, the URI women’s rowing coach has the chance to do the same for her team. In June, 20 team members and four coaches will head to England to compete in the famed Henley Women’s Regatta for the first time in school history. NCAA rules limit programs to competing in international events just once every four years, making a trip to Henley truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Depending on how the team performs, it will either advance to compete at the world-famous Royal Henley Regatta, which has been held every year since 1839 (except during the two World Wars), or it will go on to compete at the Marlow Regatta at Eton Dorney. The Marlow will be held on the same course as this year’s Summer Olympics. “A trip like this showcases what type of opportunities rowing can bring to the kids on the team,” Donohoe said. “This will be a worldly experience, both in terms of competition and culture.” The experience goes beyond the competition. Team members will participate in several social and cultural activities during the trip. Donohoe said the cultural experiences would be just as important for the students as the international competition. “To get these kids out of the region, or even out of Rhode Island, and show them rowing on a global scale is huge,” Donohoe said. “This is a chance to open up a world of opportunities to them.” Senior Kelley Woodacre will be among the team members making the trip. The Wellesley, Mass., native was part of URI’s 2010 Atlantic 10 championship team, but she understands heading to Henley will be a different experience altogether. “We are going to be going up against the best teams in the world,” Woodacre said. “Just being around Olympic-caliber competition means a lot to the URI program. We want to rise up and go against the best, and this is our chance to do that.” Knowing that URI will move on to compete at either the Royal Henley or the Marlow Regatta was not lost on Woodacre: “Both are great opportunities. The Royal Henley is an historic event with so much tradition. Of course, knowing that we could race on the Olympic course just a couple of weeks before the best in the world get there is insane to think about. We also have the pressure of representing the University because we are the first URI team to participate. It’s a pressure that we want. It’s going to be an amazing experience.”   UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  11


While the rowing team members will experience all that the Henley has to offer, getting the team to England has become a University-wide project. At the suggestion of Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley, wife of URI President David M. Dooley, Donohoe connected with the school’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design to have outfits designed for the team. “Having that kind of support and involvement at the top level is a huge boost,” Donohoe said. “President Dooley and the Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley really got the blazer project going. She was the spark to turn this from an experience for the rowing team into something for the entire University, both academically and athletically.” Fashion at Henley is as steeped in tradition as the regatta itself. Students from Karl Aspelund’s TMD 327 class in apparel design were charged with the task of designing several blazers, shirts, skirts, and accessories for the team to choose from. After spending more than a month researching the history of the culture and fashion of the regatta, the TMD students hosted a reception to unveil the recommended designs. In all, the students presented 17 outfits. For the Henley, the team blazer is a focal point in terms of style, and the TMD students recommended a navy “boyfriend” blazer style, as the “boyfriend” offered a feminine look without being too form fitting. “It was an amazing opportunity to be able to take what we have been learning in the classroom and apply it to real life,” said junior Jennifer Conway of North Kingstown. “Usually you work on theo12  QUAD ANGLES  SPRING 2012

retical projects for made-up clients. For us to be able to design outfits for actual people who will be representing our University was a huge deal.” Conway said she and approximately 25 classmates took pride in knowing their work was having a direct impact on the experience of their fellow students: “What the women on the rowing team do athletically is amazing. They are going to Henley as representatives of URI, and that’s a big deal. We want them to feel good about themselves while they are there. When we conceptualized the different pieces, we wanted to show an artistic flair, but we wanted to also respect the history of Henley.” The designs by the TMD students will be produced by fashion giant Jones of New York. URI alumnus Wes Card ‘70 is the CEO and Director of The Jones Group, Inc., and he agreed to have the company specially produce the designs. “There will be teams in England that have their outfits designed by large companies,” Donohoe said. “For us, knowing that we’ll be wearing the designs of URI students means more to us. They did an outstanding job, and knowing that Jones of New York is going to produce the clothing says a lot about the work of the students.” Getting the support of the Dooleys, other departments at the University, and from companies like Jones of New York has helped the team stay focused on its upcoming season. Donohoe stressed that while the team is certainly excited about the opportunity that awaits this summer, it must first focus on its spring season. Which is easier said than done. The rowing team must raise $60,000 to pay for the trip, an effort being spearheaded

by Marnie Dacko, coordinator for development and marketing for women’s athletics. Dacko is working closely with Donohoe and Sarah Lobdell, associate director of Alumni Relations, to make it all happen. Dacko and Lobdell have been working on getting corporate sponsors for the team as well as reaching out to the University’s alumni base in Europe and Asia. While in England, the team will hold two events at the exclusive Leander Club located in Remenham in the county of Berkshire. Michael Joukowski, a member of the Leander Club, agreed to host a dinner and a champagne reception on behalf of the University: “With the work of Shelagh Donohoe and her staff, the program has shown promise nationally,” Dacko said. “They are moving up the ladder very quickly, and putting themselves against the best the world has to offer will only help.” Now in her sixth season with the Rams, Donohoe has led Rhode Island to a pair of Atlantic 10 titles and has been the conference Coach of the Year three times. Dacko, a longtime women’s basketball coach in the college ranks, including head coaching tenures at the University of Massachusetts and Cornell, understands Donohoe’s need for support in this campaign: “This is a unique group of young women, and we want to establish the URI women’s rowing team on a national platform. That is a platform I can sell. We see how far this program has come in the last few years, and we see how far it can go.” By Shane Donaldson ’99


Top left and bottom right, practice sessions on Narrow River. Top right, Textile, Fashion Merchandising and Design students checking sketches of Henley uniform concepts.

Support the Team There are many different ways to help make the rowing team’s experience at the Henley Women’s Regatta even more memorable. Supporters can make donations online by visiting uri.convio.net/donate. There also are fundraising events and sponsorship packages listed below: EVENTS Yankee Cup Reception Rowing boosters Diane and Stephen Sullivan and the Rowing Team will hold a reception on March 31 in Saunderstown. For more information, contact Marnie Dacko at 401.874.7443 or mdacko@uri.edu. The Leander Club While in England for the Henley Regatta, the URI Alumni Association and

rowing team will hold a pair of events at the exclusive Leander Club. Located in Remenham in the English county of Berkshire, the Leander Club adjoins Henley-on-Thames and is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. Club member and URI supporter Michael Joukowski will host both events. The first event is a dinner on June 14 at 6 p.m. The event is $250 per person and is limited to 110 attendees. The second event is a champagne reception on June 16 at 6 p.m. The reception is $100 per person and is limited to the first 40 registrants. Interested parties can register online at advance.uri.edu/alumni/athletics or by contacting Sarah Lobdell at 401.874.2438 or slobdell@advance.uri.edu.

To learn more ab out fundrais ing even ts or making contribu tions to the team , contac t Marnie Dacko at 401.8 74.7443 or mdacko @uri.ed u.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES URI has established four different sponsorship packages for the rowing team. Varsity 8+  $25,000  Access for four people to accompany the coach in the coaching launch during a practice before the Henley trip.  One table at the Leander Club Dinner in England on June 14, 2012.  Four tickets to the champagne reception at the Leander Club in England on June 16, 2012.  Recognition in the URI alumni magazine QUAD ANGLES, with distribution to more than 100,000 alumni.  Four tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I., on March 31, 2012.  Recognition in all marketing literature.  Corporate logo on travel bags and jackets. Coaches Sponsor   $10,000  Access for two people to accompany the coach in the coaching launch during a practice before the Henley trip.  Two tickets to the champagne reception at the Leander Club in England on June 16, 2012.  Recognition in the URI alumni magazine QUAD ANGLES, with distribution to more than 100,000 alumni.  Four tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I. on March 31, 2012.  Corporate logo on travel bags and jackets. Pair Sponsors  $5,000  Access for two people to accompany the coach in the coaching launch during a practice before the Henley trip.  Two tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I., on March 31, 2012.  Corporate logo on travel bags and jackets. Individual Rower Sponsor  $2,500  Two tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I., on March 31, 2012.  URI women’s rowing sweatshirt and cap.   UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  13


Designs on Unassisted Living

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J

effrey Rosenfeld ’68 has made a career as a sociology professor and author, but if he had to name one class that he would consider a touchstone of his student days at URI, it was art history with Professor Robert Rohm. “He opened my eyes to new ways of seeing, and one reason I was drawn to sociology at URI is that it too involves different ways of seeing.” Like many other URI students of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s who went on to become writers, Rosenfeld also gained a lot from studying with English Professor Nancy Potter. He refers to her as his “role model” who gave him “the first serious feedback I ever received on my writing.” Those skills, along with the new ways of seeing he learned with Rohm, stood Rosenfeld in good stead when he was working on his latest book, Unassisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later Life (The Monacelli Press), which he wrote with architect Wid Chapman. The coffee table volume deals with the ways baby boomers—the 75 million Americans born during the post-war years from 1946 to 1964—are changing the landscape of retirement living. The volume combines gorgeous color photographs of city apartments, wilderness retreats, multifamily compounds, functional home-offices and studios, and funky bungalows along with commentary on the architecture and the new philosophies of aging that inform the choices that boomers are making in designing their retirement homes. The first generation to grow up with television and rock ’n’ roll, baby boomers spent their adult years riding the waves of countless revolutions including computers, the Internet, cell phones, and electronic commerce. They are entering retirement with the same innovative spirit, Rosenfeld said during an interview in Manhattan where he teaches Design for Aging Populations at Parsons The New School for Design: “Boomers are often in great condition, and they are planning for their later years very differently than today’s elderly did.” The plans are as varied as the millions of boomers nearing retirement age. Still, Rosenfeld spotted a few trends that seem to be popular with large swaths of this age

ROBERT WRIGHT

group, who are turning 65 at the rate of roughly 10,000 a day. Some of these trends are: • Bistro Living: Moving out of large suburban homes into smaller dwellings near city centers with easy access by walking or mass transit to cultural, social, and recreational activities; “this interest in sophisticated living has kept surprisingly large numbers of boomers from relocating to planned communities,” Rosenfeld remarked. • Three Generations Together: Multifamily homes and communities planned for boomers to retire near their children and grandchildren. • Getaways: Turning vacation homes into primary residences. • Living Off the Grid: Houses closer to nature or wilderness areas that are connected through technology to vital services and by easy transportation to family and friends. The book identifies eight trends altogether and gives examples of homes designed with those goals in mind. One of the most surprising trends to Rosenfeld was the popularity of housing arrangements enabling several generations of the same family to live with or near each other: “One of the really surprising things was my discovery of multigenerational family houses. When I started the book I was expecting something else. But I discovered that many boomers are trying to live with three generations of their own family; that’s a celebration of family that I wasn’t expecting to see. I was expecting to see cooperative housing, and I did find that. I was expecting to see a lot of home offices, and I found that too. “I also found that boomers are the beneficiaries of a lot of new technologies including telemedicine, telepharmacy, and robotics. It will allow many boomers to live by themselves as long as they want. There is a whole mythology of elderly people abandoned because they are old; this is the opposite— this is being isolated by choice.” A sociologist specializing in gerontology, Rosenfeld, who earned a master’s from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, has written several books

about aging. His first book, Legacy of Aging, grew out of his dissertation on the growing number of contested wills: “It was a look at why older people disinherit their children.” The book was featured in Psychology Today, and Rosenfeld appeared on TV to discuss it on The Today Show With Phil Donohue. Rosenfeld said he was well-prepared for his career by a top-notch sociology faculty at URI, including Ralph W. England, “a talented criminologist whose course included a class trip to the state penitentiary,” and Robert Gardner, “the professor who encouraged me to go on for graduate work at UMass, Amherst. “But if I were to acknowledge anybody at URI, foremost would be Nancy Potter. I had three different classes with her, including her fabled Faulkner seminar. The first serious feedback on my writing came from her. Along with my friend Robert M. Boyar ’68, I took the honors colloquium that she organized. I’ve kept in touch with Robert over the years; he’s an attorney in Morristown N.J., and we agree that Nancy Potter is unforgettable.” He recalled that Potter “chose creativity as the theme for the 1967–1968 colloquium and invited artists, architects, writers, actors, and dancers to visit URI and speak on creativity. This included film critic Pauline Kael and the architects who designed Boston’s path-breaking City Hall. Students had to sign on for dinner with at least two speakers; I ended up dining with Nancy Potter and Susan Sontag!” Rosenfeld fell in love with URI when he was still in high school and his parents drove him up from Long Beach, N.Y., for a visit: “The first time my folks drove me up to see the place, I just knew. While I was there, I grew to love the food, the folklore, and the spirit of Rhode Island.” Rosenfeld has remained active in the URI alumni community, interviewing high school students for the Office of Admission and organizing reunions for his fraternity, AEPi: “I love to go back in autumn to see the fall foliage—it makes me feel like I’m 18 again.” By David Gregorio ’80

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  15 11


Dredging up Global Solutions It was February 1978 when civil engineering major David Simonelli ’78 attended a presentation on dredging by recent grad Jim Beattie ’77, who was wearing shorts and sporting a great tan. Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

16  QUAD ANGLES Spring 2012  |  uri.edu/quadangles


Sold on the idea of working abroad in warmer climates, like recruiter Beattie, Simonelli and classmates Dan Urso and Dave McCarthy accepted job offers from Oak Brook, Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD). “Engineers were in high demand,” Simonelli recalled. “ I had many offers, but Great Lakes gave me the opportunity to work on huge port projects throughout the world.” The rest, as they say, is history. Simonelli’s 34-year tenure with the country’s largest provider of dredging services is akin to Amazing Race episodes that depict contestants crisscrossing the globe in heated competition. Joining GLDD as a field engineer, Simonelli hit the ground running. After a

few months of learning the basics on a project in New York, he found himself on a PanAm flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to work on Jebel Ali: “The Sheikh envisioned this port becoming the busiest in the world,” said Simonelli. The sheik’s premonition was correct. With 67 berths, Jebel Ali is the biggest port in the Middle East and the world’s largest man-made port. GLDD’s success in Dubai not only helped the company establish a firm stronghold in the Middle East, it also successfully tested Simonelli’s aptitude for large, complex global projects. His subsequent assignments included a port improvement project in Mombassa, Kenya; the construction of a coal export facility in Colombia; and a

large Middle Eastern reclamation project that brought the Simonelli family to Qatar for four years. “It was an incredible experience. We lived in a compound with other expatriates associated with companies like Mobil Oil, Occidental, and Qatar Gas. Together, we were like family,” remarked Simonelli, whose responsibilities expanded along with the scope of the projects that he undertook. Advancing steadily through the engineering ranks, in 2010 Simonelli was named president of dredging operations, overseeing a Dredging Operations Group that includes estimating, engineering, plant and equipment, and domestic and foreign operations.

Sugar Island Rainbowing

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  17


way to protect the vulnerable shoreIn this role, Simonelli “I realized that URI taught me to solve lines along the East and Gulf coasts. ensures that GLDD’s problems—to break them down into GLDD’s hopper and cutter suction state-of-the-art fleet—the dredges mine sand from offshore borlargest and most diverse manageable components and think sites and hydraulically transport in the U.S. industry with through viable solutions.”  — David Simonelli row the material to shoreline locations: more than 200 specialized “In the Gulf of Mexico, we are creating vessels—is flexible enough to barrier islands to protect Louisiana’s coastmeet the nation’s needs of deepening and soils on such projects as the Hudson River line from natural erosion and storm dammaintaining its ports and waterways. “We PCB cleanup.” age. When Hurricane Katrina swept through are constantly upgrading and modifying our Simonelli noted that while the Middle the area, the levee system failed, causing specialized equipment, for example, to East continues to be a very important marmass destruction. The lack of natural dredge the rock in New York Harbor more ket for the company’s services, last year’s defenses to absorb the energy compounded efficiently while also meeting the EPA’s Arab Spring unrest temporarily interrupted the problem. Our work is replacing thouTier II Emission Standards,” he said. operations there in March 2011. Division sands of acres of lost marshland.” Moreover, Simonelli is concentrating on Manager and V.P. John O’Brien ’79 Replacing jobs lost in the Great Recesguiding GLDD toward achieving its five-year relocated staff and implemented security sion is also among the advantages of goal of doubling its size by entering new measures to ensure the safety of the dredging activity. Port expansions are international markets and expanding the company’s employees and assets. expected to jumpstart the economy. East company’s menu of services: “Early last In a twist of irony, the uprising served as Coast ports hoping to capitalize on the year, we acquired Matteson Dredging the genesis for the $57 million East Hidd Panama Canal expansion—scheduled for in Iowa. Its focus is on the inland river Reclamation Housing Project that a GLDD a 2014 completion—are racing to deepen systems, a market we were not active Joint Venture was awarded last November. in. Now we have the tools to operate in “Shia protesters decried the lack of housing their access channels and berths in order to accommodate the larger, deeper draft shallower waters. in the capital city, Manama, so this project vessels transiting the expanded canal. “We’ve also developed an environmental that reclaims 618 acres of the Arabian Gulf “Deepening projects are in the planning arm through a joint venture with Belgiumwill create suitable land for that population stages for the ports of Charleston, Savanbased contractor DEC. This partnership will to move to.” allow us to participate in the removal and In the U.S., domestic beach nourishment nah, and Miami; this will provide significant treatment of contaminated sediments and and coastal reclamation projects are under- opportunities for utilization of the company’s 18  QUAD ANGLES spring 2012  |  uri.edu/quadangles


Diyar reclamation, Bahrain

East Berm to Chandeleur Islands Left, rock cutter

dredging fleet,” said Simonelli. “These deeper ports have significant flow down effects. Larger ships capable of accessing American ports reduce the shipping costs of imports and exports. Increased trade means more jobs loading and unloading. Warehouses are built to store goods. Roads and tunnels are improved to expedite the transport of goods. I often say ‘it all starts with dredging!’” Or, in Simonelli’s case, it all began with a presentation by an enthusiastic alum with a mid-winter tan. While travel to exotic locales was appealing, Simonelli says it was his URI education that inspired him to remain with GLDD: “I majored in structural engineering. After three years with GLDD, I was concerned about losing that skill set, and I struggled with that possibility. “That is when I started to understand the value of my education. I realized that URI taught me to solve problems—to break them down into manageable components and think through viable solutions. And that’s what I was doing—daily tasks like quantity calculations and production analysis with multinational teams of engineers supporting dredging vessels on projects around the world. “It gives me great pleasure to recruit from URI. Engineering graduates have the skills we need, and what’s more, given URI’s location, they are comfortable working on the water.” By Maria V. Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ‘92 Photos courtesy Great Lakes drege & dock Company

Nags Head, N.C. beach renourishment

Durrat Island reclamation, Bahrain

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  19


in Rhode Island

W

hen Carolyn Rafaelian got in trouble as a child, her mother, Lucy, would send her to work with her father, Ralph Rafaelian, at ­Cinerama, the family jewelry factory in Cranston. “It gave me a great work ethic,” Rafaelian laughs. “Always be productive!” She would start by carding jewelry but would often end up firing up a torch and soldering her own jewelry together.

A winning partnership between Alex and Ani owner and chief designer Carolyn Rafaelian and CEO Giovanni Feroce ’91 came about through their connection to URI.

Perhaps it is no surprise to her parents that today Rafaelian sits at the head of Alex and Ani, the Cranston-based positive energy company that is currently the fastest growing business in Rhode Island. With nine retail locations and 24 more scheduled for 2012 and an international presence, Alex and Ani is rapidly becoming a top name in accessories. Numerous Hollywood celebrities have been spotted wearing the signature expandable bangles, and the brand is regularly featured in magazines such as Vogue and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Since launching in 2004, the company has distinguished itself with an eco-friendly approach, using recycled metals from local vendor partners as components for the jewelry. For Rhode Island, this is good news as Rafaelian is committed to continuing to ­produce the jewelry in Cranston. Rafaelian, who named the company after her first two daughters, aims to share the power of positive energy—what the company also refers to as “vital force”— with everyone who wears her designs. She defines her life’s work as inspiring her ­customers to relish what is unique and authentic about themselves. Her products are known for their symbolism, bearing


designs ranging from the tree of life to the peace sign to a paw print. “I made a business out of my own personal preference and style because I was passionate about it,” says Rafaelian. “When you truly love what you do, you can’t stop doing it, and you do it with a lot of energy behind it.” That passion has taken Alex and Ani on an explosive journey. In 2010, the company recorded revenue of $4.6 million; in 2011, it finished at $17.5 million. The rapid growth and growing popularity trace back to the partnership between Rafaelian, the owner and chief designer, and Giovanni Feroce ’91, the CEO, a collaboration brought about through their connection to URI. Rafaelian studied marketing at URI from 1987 to 1989 before leaving for a more hands-on experience at The American ­College in Los Angeles. Feroce graduated from URI with a degree in political science. But it wasn’t until October 2009 that they ran into each other at a URI fraternity/ sorority reunion. Feroce, an optical industry executive who founded and previously owned the optical center in the Memorial Union, was reintroduced to Rafaelian, who was building her jewelry business. “When I came to Rhode Island in March 2010, I decided to stop and say hello to Carolyn,” Feroce recalls. “When I saw her operation and realized there was real substance behind her business, I basically never left. Within a short time, we had decided we should work together.” Before taking the helm at Alex and Ani, Feroce served as the nation’s youngest state senator. He is also a retired U.S. Army field grade officer and an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veteran. Feroce credits his unique background with aiding him in piloting the company forward: “Alex and Ani is following a path to make us a pillar business of the community to be recognized in the same breath as CVS, Hasbro, or GTECH. For that to happen, one has to understand the political landscape. My experience allows us to do that.”

“A URI graduate can compete with anyone,” Feroce smiles. “I grew up in West Warwick, then went to public schools and to our state university. I think that’s a good example of what can be achieved even when you don’t come from the best economic ­conditions.” Rafaelian agrees: “There’s nothing but opportunity for kids in college today. We didn’t have half of what is at their disposal now. I initially had to deal with buyers and middlemen just to get my product out to the consumer. Now I would just set up a Web site. Anybody can be an entrepreneur!” Both Feroce and Rafaelian identify the relationships they formed at URI as one of the keys to their success. “If your business is based in Rhode Island” explains Feroce, “going to URI allows for the connectivity to last your whole business life. You will definitely cross paths with a URI grad if you are in business. If you succeed at URI, you’ll succeed in Rhode Island.” To date, Alex and Ani has had six URI interns and has hired three of them into full-time jobs. Samantha Primavera, a senior art history major who began as an intern in the merchandising department, was recently hired to work as assistant merchandiser after her graduation. “My favorite thing about Alex and Ani is the love and positivity that is put into each piece,” says Primavera. “It’s so much more than jewelry. Our collections are made up of pieces that inspire our wearers and represents what is special about each of them.”

Alex and Ani interns Samantha Primavera ’12 (standing) and Janelle McGovern ’12 will join the company after graduation.

Photos: courtesty of Carolyn Rafaelian and by Nora Lewis

The URI Connection Carolyn Rafaelian: Owner and Designer, Alex and Ani Rebecca Rafaelian ’90: Owner of Cinerama Giovanni Feroce ’91: CEO, Alex and Ani Robert Rainville ’91: General Counsel, Alex and Ani Allison Carley ’96: Director of Sales, Alex and Ani Iris Carlomusto ’06: Director of Marketing, Alex and Ani April Reach ’89: Account Executive, Alex and Ani Samantha Primavera ’12: Assistant Merchandiser (Intern/Hire) Janelle McGovern ’12: Design Assistant (Intern/Hire) Nicole Enteado ’11: Sales Operation Coordinator (Intern/Hire)

Guided by that vital force, Alex and Ani continues to evolve, explains Rafaelian: “We’re working on a line of beauty products, perfumes, body sprays, lip balms, and lotions. The line, under the name Scent Seven, is scheduled to launch late spring. They all relate back to our positive energy message. Each one has a formulation that cleans and balances the environment, ­ energetically speaking.” “Alex and Ani is a lifestyle brand,” says Feroce, “and we’re still at the beginning. You should not be surprised if three years from now, we look very different from what we look like right now. But the message will always be the same. We’re a positive energy lifestyle company. Someday you’ll sit on an Alex and Ani chair, and it will feel better. Or you’ll eat off of Alex and Ani plates, and the food will taste ­better.” By Bethany Vaccaro ’06

Video | uri.edu/quadangles

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  21


Mehul Sheth is Mehul Sheth’s life story is a classic ­American tale: Boy sets out to make his fortune with nothing more than a can-do attitude. He works long hours, takes menial jobs, learns everything he can, picks himself up when the chips are down, and keeps on going. He never gives up. Our country was built on these principles: With hard work, tenacity, and an unwavering belief in yourself you will ultimately find success and riches.

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Flying High I have to admit that I didn’t recognize these qualities in Sheth when we were both students at URI. To me he was a skinny Indian guy with a friendly smile and high energy. Sheth was majoring in accounting, and what’s more, he was excited about it. This was incomprehensible to me, a dreamy music major. Hanging out all those years ago in Bonnet Shores, watching football (Sheth was a huge sports fan), and drinking beer, I had no thought for the future. Reconnecting with Sheth after 26 years, I didn’t immediately comprehend the magnitude of his achievements. In actuality I was amused that he was traveling from his home in California to New York City specifically to attend a Jets game, an annual pilgrimage for him. Not surprisingly in this era of digital socializing, he found me through Facebook. In retrospect it says a lot about Sheth that he looked me up. An extroverted networker, he understands the power of connections. Sheth’s interest in people is genuine and is probably the secret behind his success. Today Sheth is president of VMS Aircraft Company, Inc., a supplier to the aircraft industry. The company recently broke the $8 million mark in sales, an impressive feat in a down economy when so many airlines have been hard hit. The story of the company’s creation is even more impressive: Sheth started the company from a desk in his parent’s basement. He had no contacts, no customers, and nothing to trade.

Photos: Courtesty of Mehul Sheth and iStock photos


“I had just been fired from my job,” Sheth recalled. “I had been working for a company located in the World Trade ­Center. I had a job on the trade desk in gold options, and while I was there I met this guy on the 55th floor. He was teaching a course in how to export products, and I decided to take it. “After six months at my job, my boss let me go because he said I was no good. But I was still taking this course, so I went to my last meeting and then went home and told my dad I’d been fired. He said, ‘you have a desk, you have a company, so you have a job.’” After his firing in 1991, Sheth focused his efforts on his career: “I spent all my time working on leads and looking at various products. For three years I tried out different things. I was completely broke and was delivering food as a roadrunner to make money. You know those warmer bags with food? I had to do it to survive.” In early 1994 he finally got his first break: “My dad had a close friend in India, a real genius in every way. I’d just met a ­Fel-Pro representative who said they were looking to export so I said I had this major contact in India. I guess the Fel-Pro guy liked me because he connected me to a guy looking to sell solvents to the Italian air force. It took some time, but their first order was for $20,000. The order came in a week before I married my wife, Vipashi.” From there on, Sheth’s story progresses from New Jersey, where he and his wife were living with his parents, to California: “We were completely broke, but I knew we needed to move out. I’d always wanted to live in California so I convinced my wife to move to San Diego.” Because his first customer had been in the aircraft business, Sheth decided to change the company name to VMS Aircraft Company—V for his wife, Vipashi, and MS for himself. Sheth spent the next 18 months

Sheth was a marketing major until he calling on a factory in Tijuana, Mexico, to took his first accounting course: “I did really get his second big customer. He sucwell, and decided accounting is a better ceeded, landing a $50,000 contract with an background for business.” Besides, Sheth ex-Chicago policeman he met there. That already knew that he had a knack for marsatisfied customer helped Sheth land a keting: “When I was 13 years old, my family major customer in Asia who was looking went to the Montreal Summer Olympics. My for a business that could supply directly dad wanted to see the field hockey game to airlines. between Pakistan and India. We bought Sheth’s days of being broke are far three tickets, but no one else in the family behind him. VMS Aircraft Company just wanted to go. So my dad turned to me and celebrated 17 years in business, has 15 said, ‘what are we going to do with this employees, is an authorized distributor for ­single ticket?’ companies such as 3M, Bostik, and “I took the ticket and sold it on the side ­Permacel, and supplies aerospace and of the road. That is the only time my father ­aviation chemicals for both military and gave me a compliment. He said, ‘you will commercial aircraft. never starve; you are a born salesman.’ I After years of hard work, Sheth is now believe that with sales you either have it or truly flying high. you don’t; accounting you need to learn.” But Sheth has never followed a straight path. As a teenager he was torn between By Jennifer Gaul ’89 his love of sports and his desire to be a businessman. In high school he had broadcast football reports over the school PA system and written sports columns. He was accepted into S­yracuse (the same school that produced Marv Alpert and Bob ­Costas) for sports journalism, but his dad urged him to consider other options. Originally Sheth enrolled at URI to study journalism and business, but knowing the stellar reputation of the College of Business Administration, he decided to concentrate on business: “My uncle owned two youth hostels in London, and I spent summers in England helping out. That’s when I decided I would like to own my Mehul Sheth ’86 and his wife, Vipashi Trivedi-Sheth, with their own business.” daughter Opal and son Saager.

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  23


Big Moments in the Woods Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the W. Alton Jones Campus It has been used as a movie set and a safe house for mob informants, as a presidential retreat and fishing lodge, and as a destination for weddings, conferences, and youth camps. A former Rhode Island governor even survived a helicopter crash there. This year the W. Alton Jones Campus, whose history also includes a visit by royalty and the wedding of former URI President Robert L. Carothers, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

President Eisenhower and Alton Jones shown here enjoying a successful fishing trip at what is now URI’s W. Alton Jones Campus.

The campus, located 25 miles from Kingston in the town of West Greenwich, is a site like no other. Its 2,309 acres of forests and lakes and farm fields is almost three times as large as the city of Central Falls, and its acquisition by URI in 1962 tripled the size of the University’s landholdings, giving it more land than any other of the six New England state universities. The property was originally a group of farms that were purchased by William and Sophia Louttit, owners of several laundry services in the state, who named their weekend retreat Hianloland Farm. When it became too much for them to maintain, it was put up for sale in 1954 and purchased by oil company executive William Alton Jones, who wanted the property for periodic hunting and fishing weekends. According to a story about Jones in

24  QUAD ANGLES SPRING 2012  |  uri.edu/quadangles

Newsweek, accepting an invitation to relax with him was often a strenuous experience. “Jones got us up at 6 a.m. for one of his typical breakfasts: Five kinds of fruit, three eggs, ham, bacon, biscuits, coffee, milk, pie, and cheese,” said one friend. “Then we rushed through 36 holes of golf before stopping for lunch about twice the size of breakfast. He worked lunch off with a 3-mile horseback ride, an hour of tennis, and a swim. Next he drove us 40 miles to a roadhouse for dinner. When we got back to his house, he suggested we go night fishing. Nobody would go, so he talked us into an all-night session of bridge. It started all over again at 6 a.m. I haven’t recovered yet.” Highlighting the Jones years were four visits to the property by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who frequently vacationed in PHOTO COURTESY OF THE W. ALTON JONES CAMPUS


Rhode Island. An important supporter of the Republican Party, Jones had met and become friendly with the president in the early 1950s. The president visited Jones at Hianloland Farm in 1958 and 1960, when the pair engaged in fishing, duck hunting, and skeet shooting. “It was a hectic time,” said George Wheatley ‘51, who managed the property for Jones and later served as manager of campus operations for URI. “We didn’t know he was coming, and one day I was near the cow farm and these two guys get out of their car. They told me they were Secret Service, just checking the place out because Eisenhower might want to visit.” President Eisenhower wasn’t the only famous guest at Hianloland Farm. In May 1960, His Majesty Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva, the king of Nepal, and his wife Joshua Araujo; Nora Lewis

visited at the end of a 36-day tour of the United States and Canada. In thanks, the king gave Jones a pair of large coffee tables that incorporate bronze engravings of cultural scenes of Nepal, both of which are still in use today. On March 1, 1962, Jones was en route to Los Angeles for a fishing date with President Eisenhower when his plane crashed on takeoff at Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) in New York City. All aboard were killed. Not long after the fatal crash, Wheatley heard that the property had been put up for sale, and there were rumors that it might be donated to Brown University. “So I called Mrs. Jones and asked if there was any way of giving it to somebody,” Wheatley said. “She said yes, so I asked her about URI, and she said yes.”

Above, the Whispering Pines Main Lodge offers fine dining and cozy bedrooms for overnight guests

Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  25


A formal dedication of the property, including speeches by Gov. John Chafee and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stuart Udall, was held in April 1964. By that time, plans were already underway to designate 1,000 acres of the property as a research reserve. Dozens of faculty members have conducted research at the site since then: C. Robert Shoop spent decades tracking the movement patterns of salamanders and other amphibians at the campus; Stanley Cobb conducted numerous studies of the aquatic life in the campus ponds; and Irene Stuckey surveyed the property for wildflowers and led public wildflower walks for more than 30 years. Others led studies of white tailed deer, erosion control, soil moisture, caddisfly larva, and colors that elicit avoidance behaviors in mallard ducks, among many other topics. The Rhode Island Department of Health has used the campus to monitor ozone levels in the state since 1975. During its 50 years of operation by URI,

the campus has been caught up in some rather strange events. Perhaps the most famous of these occurred in 1976 when then-Gov. Phillip Noel planned to visit the campus to speak at a meeting of the Providence Newspaper Guild. As the governor’s helicopter was approaching campus, its tail rotor malfunctioned and flew off the aircraft, causing the helicopter to plunge into the forest below. According to Wheatley, the helicopter went straight down and was impaled on a tree trunk that went between the seats occupied by the governor and the pilot. Neither were seriously injured. Lesser known is the story about the day when the State Police used the conference center facilities as a safe house to hide an important organized crime informant. The conference center received a call from State Police Superintendent Walter Stone, who was looking for an isolated place to use as a temporary hideout. “They kept him here for about a week, and they strung trip wire around the building to keep everyone out,”

26  QUAD ANGLES SPRING 2012  |  uri.edu/quadangles

Upcoming Events To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the W. Alton Jones Campus, the University is planning a range of events: • A 5-kilometer run/walk in the woods • A reunion of camp counselors and staff who have worked at the Environmental Education Center • A series of nature walks • A reunion of graduates of the Executive M.B.A. program • A formal celebratory event, including guided tours of the campus In addition, a book about the history of the campus will be published in the fall.


At left, Woodvale Farm gives day campers an opportunity to care for chickens, geese, pigs, sheep, and goats. Below, clockwise from left, Alton Jones hosts about 50 weddings each year; Adirondack chairs offer peaceful outdoor relaxation; URI alumni enjoying a picnic at the Environmental Education Center.

Wheatley recalled. “One of our workers walked over there and accidentally tripped it, and they came out with their machine guns.” The first construction project at the campus—a youth science center (now called the Environmental Education Center)—was completed in 1966, and an extensive variety of camps and educational programs have been offered ever since. Accredited by the American Camp Association, the camp program at the Alton Jones Campus has repeatedly been rated as one of the top three camps in Rhode Island and one of the 15 best in New England. Even before the first camps got under way, the facilities were being used as a conference center where managers could get away from the distractions of their urban offices to think and reflect and plan. Thousands of organizations have held conferences there, from major corporations like IBM and Polaroid to religious organizations, government agencies, and other universities. The coaches of the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers even gathered there for a meeting in 1964, the first of

three years that the team held its training camp at URI’s Kingston Campus. In the early 1980s and continuing into the 2000s, Alton Jones was the site of an executive M.B.A. program that targeted those with significant business experience who were rising to the top of their organizations. Part of the program’s allure was that it was scheduled as a residential program on weekends to accommodate busy professional calendars. “Alton Jones was an ideal setting for this program,” said Richard Scholl, who directed the program. “The residency component was important because there was a lot of work that got

Joshua Araujo; Nora Lewis; istockphoto.com; Courtesy W. alton Jones Campus

done after class at night, and that’s when a lot of the bonding happened.” In more recent years, Alton Jones has marketed itself as a wedding destination. Today the campus is the site of about 50 weddings per year, one nearly every Saturday and Sunday from April through October. “We like to create the impression that the wedding is being held at the bridal couple’s private estate,” explained George Lewis, assistant director of the campus. “It’s modeled after Alton Jones’ philosophy of bringing friends and family to a private place to build relationships.” Looking ahead, Alton Jones Campus Director Thomas Mitchell hopes to expand campus facilities to attract larger conferences, more campers, and bigger weddings. But he doesn’t anticipate making any major changes. “We’re a unique facility in New England,” Mitchell said. “Nowhere else can you go that combines a research forest with a retreat for adults and an environmental classroom for children. We embody all three venues in one.”  — By Todd McLeish

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  27


ALUMNICHAPTERS

advance.uri.edu/alumni/chapters

Chapter events are open to all alumni, family, and friends of the University. Contact your local chapter rep and join the fun!

Calendar of events Upcoming Events April 21 The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter will be at the North Texas Food Bank for a community service project, sorting food and preparing boxes for pickup. Children aged 10 and older are welcome. Register online today or contact David Nicolato ’98 at 401.255.5127 or RhodyGrad@gmail.com for more information. April 25 Members of the Villages (FL) Chapter are getting together for dinner at Lil Bits Café on April 25. The chapter is also participating in the Alumni Association's "Alumni Serve" month by bringing non-perishable food items for a local food bank to this event. Register online or contact Al Bateman ’59 at acbnaples@aol.com with questions.

May 5 An International Reunion in Braunschweig, Germany, will give URI alumni abroad the opportunity to network and celebrate the International Engineering Program’s 25th anniversary. Special guest President David M Dooley will discuss the University's global initiative and its positive impact at home and abroad. The cost of the event is €25, which includes the formal program and a dinner buffet. The deadline to register is April 9. Register online today. For more information, contact Katie Zimmerman in URI’s International Engineering Program at zimmermank@uri.edu or 401.874.2472. May 17 Massachusetts Chapter alumni will be at Boston’s Harpoon Brewery for a tasting at the 5:30 Club. For more information, contact Nick Chigas ’03 at Nicholas.G.Chigas@mssb.com.

June 5 For details about the Theta Chi Affinity Chapter’s quarterly dinner, contact John Eastman ’62 at jeastman33@gmail.com. August 11 The Ohio Chapter will take in a Red Sox–Indians game in Cleveland with a reception before the game. Further details and registration available soon. For questions, contact Shana Greene at 401.874.2218 or sgreene@advance.uri.edu. September 1 The Northern California Chapter will head to the ballpark for a Red Sox–A’s game in Oakland—with tailgating before the game. Game tickets, on first base field level, are $28. Registration available soon. For more information, contact Sarah Lobdell at 401.874.2438 or slobdell@advance.uri.edu.

Events Gone By The RIDOT Chapter enjoyed a pre-game reception at the Ryan Center before cheering on the Rams at the PC–URI men’s basketball game on December 23. The New Jersey Chapter met on January 4 at the Newark’s Prudential Center for a night of Boston Bruins–New Jersey Devils hockey. The Washington, D.C./Baltimore Chapter held a pre-game reception on January 11 at Tonic in Washington, D.C. before the URI–GWU men’s basketball game. The Massachusetts Chapter took in the Montreal Canadiens–Boston Bruins game on January 12 at the TD BankNorth Garden in Boston. The Southwest Florida Gators Chapter held a luncheon on January 21 in Fort Myers that featured a presentation by special guest Sandra Ketrow, URI professor of communication studies. The Student Alumni Association Chapter met at the Ryan Center to watch the URI men’s basketball team play Temple on February 4.

RHODY FANS Members of the Washington D.C./Baltimore Chapter took in the URI–GWU men's basketball game on January 12, and got together for a reception before the game.

28  QUAD ANGLES SPRING 2012 | uri.edu/quadangles


REGIONAL Chapters Arizona Rhode Runners Julie Griffin ’99 Scottsdale, AZ p: 480.634.1950 (h) e: Julez99@aol.com California • LA Rams Brett Freitas ‘99, Santa Monica, CA p: 323.833.8011 (h) e: brettfrietas@gmail.com • Northern Greg Passant ’80, Pleasanton, CA p: 925.227.1878 Josh Feinberg ’08, Berkley, CA p: 973.945.0971 (h) 510.563.2205 (w) e: feinberg973@gmail.com • Southern Jeff Bolognese ’02, Oceanside, CA p: 760.945.4560 e: jeffbolognese@gmail.com Colorado Mile High Rams Christy L. Gallese '03 Denver, CO p: 717.856.8525 e: christygallese@gmail.com Connecticut Tara Blumenstock ’96, Wallingford, CT p: 203.294.0246 e: tarabarbara@hotmail.com Janet Sisson ’87, Middletown, CT p: 860.214.7998 e: sissonj@independentdayschool.org Florida • Southeast Robert Tingley ’66, Boca Raton, FL p: 561.350.0332 e: rtingley111@att.net • Southwest Gators Richard Boldt ’64, Naples, FL p: 239.417.0375 e: rboldt854@aol.com • The Villages Al Bateman ’59, The Villages, FL e: acbnaples@aol.com Illinois: Chicago Jimmy De La Zerda ’04, Orland Park e: jimmydlz401@gmail.com Louisiana/Mississippi Dee Canada ’62, Slidell, LA p: 985.643.8801 (h) e: delinac@charter.net Phyllis DelFiore ’68, Slidell, LA p: 985.643.1609 (h) e: feliciadf@hotmail.com Massachusetts Nicholas G. Chigas ’03, Waltham, MA p: 978.505.7161 (h) 781.672.5170 (w) e: nicholas.g.chigas@mssb.com Michigan David Diana ’84, Warren, MI p: 586.268.0048 e: dianad@flash.net Minnesota John ’92 & Kristen Turcotte ’95, Saint Louis Park, MN p: 952.285.1148 e: jfturcotte@mindspring.com keturcotte@mindspring.com

New Hampshire White Mountain Rams

INTERNATIONAL CHAPTERS

Clarissa M. Uttley ’04, M.S. ’06, Ph.D. ’08, Rumney, NH p: 603.786.5035 (h) 603.535.2915 (w) e: cmuttley@plymouth.edu New Jersey

Germany

Lauri Pietruszka ’84, West Paterson, NJ p: 973.890.1623 (h) e: lauriann_p@yahoo.com Erica Stuppler ’09, Basking Ridge, NJ p: 908-456-2737 e: estuppler@gmail.com New York • Albany Cindy Ladd Anderson ‘80, Clifton Park, NY p: 518.373.9440 (h) 518.527.4195 (c) e: rhodymom3@gmail.com • Metro John Companario ’93, New York, NY e: john.campanario@gmail.com North Carolina

Braunschweiger Rams Robert John Ellwood ‘06 Braunschweig, Germany p: 0176-7631-1971 e: ellwood@mail.uri.edu

Affinity Chapters Alpha Chi Omega Gamma Sigma Shanon Whitt Horridge '86 Cranston, RI p: 401.383.4657 e: shannyh40@aol.com Chi Phi Douglas Bennet ’77, Providence, RI p: 401.351.3522 (h) e: dbennet@aol.com Community Planning Mike DeLuca ’80, M.C.P. ’88, Narragansett, RI p: 401.789.6888 (h) 401.461.1000, ext. 3137 (w) Continuing Education Joyce Dolbec ’95, Slatersville, RI p: 401.766.2209 (h)

Ohio

John Flaherty ’87, Slatersville, RI p: 401.766.4981 (h) 401.273.5711 x5 (w) e: john.flaherty@cox.net Graduate School of Library and Information Studies

Tom Noyes ’67, Wooster, OH p: 330.345.6516 (h) 330.264.8722 (w) e: noyes.1@osu.edu

Sybil Akins '08 Wakefield, RI p: 401.783.0953 e: sma718@gmail.com

Bill ’74 & Betty ’74 Sepe, Hudson, OH p: 330.650.6715 e: OHRhody@hotmail.com

Jenna Hecker '09 Providence, RI p: 518.542.7654 (h) 781.769.0200 (w) e: jennahecker@gmail.com Italian

Ed Doughty ’93, Charlotte, NC p: 704.995.9300 (h) 704.331.2219 (w) e: eddoughty@gmail.com

Pacific Northwest Scott Adams ’96, Seattle WA p: 206.913.9931 e: s.v.adams@gmail.com Rhode Island Allison Field ’95, Providence, RI p: 401.808.9463 e: allison@conderi.com Texas • Dallas/Ft. Worth Cortney ’01 and David Nicolato ‘98, Lantana, TX p: 401.255.5127 (c) e: rhodygrad@gmail.com • Texas Rhode Horns Jeffrey A. Ross ’75, Houston p: 713.668.3746 (h) 713.791.9521 (w) e: jross67785@aol.com Washington, D.C./ Baltimore Hank Nardone ’90, Laytonsville, MD p: 301.803.2910 (w) 301.482.1062 (h) e: henryjn@us.ibm.com Brina Masi '01, Baltimore, MD p: 401.261.5416 e: brimasi16@gmail.com

Alfred Crudale ’91, West Kingston, RI p: 401.783.3081 e: acwvmhs@rinet35.org Remo Trivelli, Kingston, RI p: 401.874.2383 Lucia Vescera ’96, Lincoln, RI e: lvescera@hotmail.com LGBTIQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, and Questioning Alumni and Friends) Marc R. Archambault ‘73, Wakefield, RI p: 401.932.3715 (c) e: marc@randallrealtors.com Gregory C. Waugh ‘07, North Kingstown, RI p: 401.787.3980 (h) e: Gregory.waugh@gmail.com Lambda Chi Alpha Jeffrey Hill ‘00, Shippensburg, PA p: 717.530.0188 e: firemarshal70@hotmail.com Lambda Delta Phi Linda F. Desmond ’68, North Andover, MA p: 978.687.7443 (h) 978.794.3896 (w) e: lfdesmond@comcast.net

Martha Smith Patnoad ’68, Wyoming, RI p: 401.539.2180 e: mpatnoad@uri.edu Music Department Alumni

ROTC William MacKinlay '69 p: 781.608.7335 e: WMacKinlay@TaskForcePro.com Military Instructor Group, Kingston, RI e: urirotcalumni@cox.net www.uri.rotc.alum.org

Allison Lacasse ’07, Boston, MA p: 508.971.3527 (h) 978.251.5177 (w) e: allisonlacasse@gmail.com

Schmidt Labor Research Center

Nicholas Zammarelli Jr. '97 Coventry, RI p: 401-828-5823 (h) e: nzamm1@verizon.net Phi Gamma Delta

J. Richard Rose M.S. ’06 p: 401.461.2277 (h) e: rrose@mail.uri.edu Sigma Chi

Richard Kingsley ‘71, Jamestown, RI p: 401.874.6693 (w) e: kingsley@gso.uri.edu Phi Kappa Psi Joe Hart ’85, Kingston, RI p: 401.783.4852 e: jphart@cox.net www.ribeta.com Phi Mu Delta

Mark Trovato ’89, Wakefield, RI p: 401.782.0064 (h) e: mtrovato@riag.state.ri.us www.rhodysig.com Sigma Pi George B. Smith ‘66, Venice, FL p: 941.408.9786 e: drgeorgebsmith@verizon.net Student Alumni Association

Jim DeNuccio ‘75, East Greenwich, RI p: 401.884.2993 (w) f: 401.885.2228 (w) Phi Sigma Kappa

Louis R. Maccarone II ’00, Cranston, RI p: 401.486.7849 e: Louis.maccarone@gmail.com

Lindsay Redfern Lazzeri ‘04, Kenneth Gambone ‘88, New York, NY Boynton Beach, FL p: 917.701.4631 p: 561.735.7811 e: Kenneth.gambone@barclayscapital.com 401.474.6580 (c) e: lindsayredfern@gmail.com Political Science Stand Up Against Lyme Al Killilea, Kingston, RI p: 401.874.2183 (w) David J. Wallace ’76, ‘92, Physical Therapy Program Alumni Exeter, RI e: dave@teegreensod.com John McLinden ’93, Wakefield, RI Theta Chi p: 401.783.7179 (h) 401.874.5001 (w) John Eastman ’62, e: Elvis1122@aol.com North Kingstown, RI p: 401.295.1956 (h) Public Relations Society e: jeastman33@gmail.com DeAnna Lynn Englezos ’08, Mike Testa ‘63, Jamestown, RI Brooklyn, NY p: 401.423.8918 p: 212.237.0048 (w) e: jtown@cox.net e: dlenglezos@gmail.com Theta Delta Chi

Kate Scozzaro ‘10, Fairfield, NJ p: 973.809.5044 (h) e: kate.scozzaro@gmail.com Rhode Island Blood Center

Eric Lalime ’95 p: 347.739.7345 (h) 347.739.7345 (cell) e: eric_lalime@ml.com URI Difference Equations Association

Jennifer Siegal ’05 p: 401.480.7891 e: jsiegal@ribc.org

Michael A. Radin ‘01, Rochester, NY p: 585.461.4002 (h) 585.475.7681 (w) e: michael.radin@rit.edu

Courtney Entwistle '06 p: 401.413.9368 e: Courtney.entwistle@ribc.org RIDOT Christos Xenophontos ’84, Exeter, RI e: xenophon@dot.ri.gov

Writers Affinity Group

Jan Wenzel '87, Tiverton, RI p: 401.714.6595 (c) Charles St. Martin ’92, Coventry, RI 401.874.5190 (w) e: cstm@cox.net; cstmartin@dot.ri.gov e: wenzel@ds.uri.edu

Let Us Hear from You! If you are interested in starting a regional or affinity chapter, have ideas for upcoming events, or want to participate in events in your area, please contact Shana Greene at sgreene@advance.uri.edu or 401.874.2218.

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  29


CLASSACTS

ALUMNI DIRECTORY Read Class Notes Online at advance.uri.edu/quadangles/classnotes Submit Class Notes Online at advance.uri.edu/eservices

ALUMNI OF THE GAME

`51

Seen here with President David Dooley and Vice President for Advancement Robert Beagle are this year’s Alumni of the Game, left to right, Robert S. Russell ’75; Michael J. Lobdell ’96; Scott J. Asadorian ’89, M.B.A. ’91; Thomas J. Silvia ’83 and Shannon E. Chandley ’83; and

`78

`63

Antonio William Faella, HS&S, of Kingston, R.I., writes: “We enjoyed meeting others from URI at our 60th Reunion and with the group in Florida. We hope to join the Gators again. We still like to travel, and we just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. We live close to URI. Come visit us and our azalea garden!”

Robert H. James, A&S, of Fallbrook, Calif., writes: “I am still working full time as an estate planning attorney in Fallbrook, which is in the north end of San Diego County adjacent to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. I retired from the Marine Corps Reserve after 30 years of active and reserve service. My last job was as a military judge. My granddaughter `59 Jessica Willett is entering San Jose Robert C. Ayotte, ENG, of Louisville, State College with a scholarship. I Ky., writes: “2011 was a busy year. We enjoy boating,fishing and traveling.” celebrated our 50th wedding anniver- `65 sary with the entire family in Wyoming in June. We also took a two-week Bruce R. Mastracchio, HS&S, of East trip down the Danube in the fall with Greenwich, R.I., writes: “I was honfriends. I’m still busy with several ored at a recent Rhode Island/Concorporate boards and college boards/ necticut All Star Game, at a recent committees. Our health is fine. We Cranston West football reunion, and look forward to summers in Rhode by East Greenwich Youth to Youth Island where we visit with family and for dedicated service to children fraternity brothers.” and families. I run Strong Hearts, a program to help military inner city

and reservation families. I also run East Greenwich HIgh School’s Wall of Honor to recognize outstanding East Greenwich High School graduates.”

Roy L. Streit, A&S, of Portsmouth, R.I., has been named an IEEE Fellow.

`73

Lori Gingerella Corah, HS&S, of Westerly, R.I., was named 2011–2012 Teacher of the Year for the Westerly school district. A 25-year teaching veteran, Lori is an English teacher at Westerly High School. She was totally surprised at receiving this honor.

Joseph B. Conti, ENG, of Hudson, Fla., has just published his sixth book, O Wheel: Ezekiel’s Cherubim and the Chariot of God. One reader, Rhoda N. of New Port Richey, Fla., had this to say about the book: “I am so impressed. You have a very provocative writing style that pulls a person in...the reader wants to read more.”

`74 Maurice “Mo” E. Guernon, A&S, of North Scituate, R.I., has published an article, “The Forgotten Pope,” in America magazine (americamagazine.org). Mo did research in Italy last summer for a biography he is writing on Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, the 33-day pope.

`77

READ LISTEN WATCH

QUAD ANGLES ONLINE uri.edu/quadangles

30  QUAD ANGLES  SPRING 2012 | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES

STAY

CONNECTED

George S. La Cross, A&S, of Barrington, R.I., has worked at The Providence Journal since 1980. His second career is editor and DVD producer of Laff In The Dark Productions (laffinthedark.com). He has produced two documentaries; one, Behind the Scenes At Knoebels Haunted House, aired on Rhode Island PBS on February 11, 2012. The show is part of the series on Rhode Island stories.

`80

Donna Russo Morin, A&S, of Saunderstown, R.I., announces that her fourth book, The King’s Agent, was released world-wide on March 1, 2012. A recipient of a Publishers Weekly starred review, The King’s Agent is an adventurous quest in Renaissance Italy with undercurrents of the supernatural—powers that could change the balance of supremacy across Europe. In addition, Donna’s second book recently finaled in the Best Book of the Year contest held by USA Book News.

`83 Mark J. Dennen, CBA, has been named chief financial officer at San Francisco-based Solairus Aviation, a private jet charter company. Edward C. Gibbon, CBA, of Oakhurst, N.J., has been admitted to Rosenberg & Fecci Consulting, LLC, as a partner. He is a field examination manager as well as director of human resources.


Christos S. Xenophontos ’84, M.S. ’85. Also honored this year were Gustin L. Buonaiuto ’53 and Laureen L. White ’81. Held during halftime at home A-10 men’s basketball games, the Alumni of the Game program honors URI alumni who have distinguished themselves through their careers and by their service to the University and/or their communities.

`85

`93

Dawn Mirone-Bartz, A&S, of Pleasantville, N.Y., was named principal of Pleasantville High School on July 1, 2011.

Robert J. Machado, NUR, of Tampa, Fla., published “Bridging the Gap Between Primary Care and Mental Health” in The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, November 2011, Vol. 49, No. 11. Major depression, a leading cause of disability in the United States, is frequently diagnosed and managed within a primary care setting, with less-than-optimal results. Studies have shown that adequate follow up significantly affects patient outcomes, including mortality. However, primary care providers face many challenges in providing this care within the constraints of a primary care setting. Collaborative care models have been shown to be effective in managing depression, and accordingly the Translating Initiatives for Depression in Effective Solutions (TIDES) model was selected at Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System to help primary care providers manage depressed patients within the primary care setting. This article describes the implementation of TIDES and identifies a new role for mental health nurses outside of the traditional mental health setting.

`86 Steven M. Fiedler, CBA, of Brooklyn, Conn., was promoted to franchise development leader for the East region for Taco Bell. Steven has been with Taco Bell for over four years. J. Brett Taylor, A&S, of Wilmington, Del., received his Doctorate of Education from the University of Delaware in January 2012. He is the intergovernmental policy advisor for the Delaware secretary of transportation and teaches economics and environmental ethics in the M.B.A. program at Wilmington University and at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

`89 Richard G. Dunn, A&S, of Saunderstown, R.I., was promoted to senior vice president, risk manager at BankRI. Richard will oversee the management of the bank’s commercial and residential managed asset portfolios, provide guidance on at-risk relationships, and oversee the proper risk rating and reserve requirements for various portfolios.

Nora lewis and jim white

A Special Evening honoring Robert M. Beagle June 22, 2012 at 6 p.m. Thomas M. Ryan Center Kingston, RI President David M. Dooley invites you to celebrate the career and achievements of Vice President for University Advancement Robert M. Beagle at a special evening in his honor.

Robert M. Beagle After 21 years of service to the University of Rhode Island, Robert M. Beagle will retire on June 30, 2012. As the longest-serving vice president in URI history, Bob redefined the University’s advancement operation, creating a new culture of communication, philanthropy, and pride in the state’s flagship University.

uri.edu/beagle

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 31 


CLASSPICS Share your big moments. uri.edu/quadangles

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE

Learn for the Joy of It If you’re 50 or older and would like to be part of a community of learners, you’ll want to find out more about the new Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Rhode Island.

`00 Solanchi R. Fernandez, HS&S, of Cranston, R.I., is coordinator of the Latino College Access Coalition, a free service with a mission of educating, informing, and assisting Latinos of all ages and backgrounds to access and succeed in higher education.

`03 Mark A. Vieira, CBA, of Bristol, R.I., was promoted to sergeant in the Johnston Police Department.

`11 William C. McDonald, CBA, of West Hartford, Conn., has joined the Barnum Financial Group, an office of MetLife, as a financial advisor.

Weddings Adam C. Russell ‘98 to Ema Rodrigues, on October 23, 2010. Lindsay M. McQueeney ‘04 to Michael P. Batalon ‘00, on June 26, 2010. Eugenio Milano ‘02 to Cristina Ricci, on June 25, 2011. Georgia I. Dunn ‘04 to Ryan S. Faillace, on August 20, 2011. Eric S. Petterson ‘04 to Kate E. Monahan, on October 15, 2012. David P. Pavao ‘06 to Michelle Labrie ‘08, on August 20, 2011.

Register Online Lectures Today! Open houses

Fongman Wu ‘07 to Carolyn Gnirke ‘07, on November 4, 2011. Rachel M. Tanzi ‘08 to Nicholas Switchenko, on October 22, 2011.

Field trips Non-credit educational courses Special music and theatre performances Lunch-and-learn receptions

Nicholas E. O’Brien ‘09 to Brianna Z. Knox ‘10, on October 8, 2011.

Inaugural membership is $50 for one year.

Gregory Blanchard and Melissa L. Jendzejec-Blanchard ‘98, a son, Zachary Ryan, on May 25, 2008; and a son, Joshua Kennedy, on November 5, 2011.

For details, go to uri.edu/olli or contact Beth Leconte: 401.874.2405 email: bleconte@uri.edu

32  QUAD ANGLES  SPRING 2012 | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES

Births Michael and Jayme M. Bundy ‘93, a son, Noah Ryan, on April 28, 2011.

Lonn and Jessica Jarvis Greenberg ‘00, a son, Owen Reynolds, on November 19, 2011.

Kevin R. ‘03 and Patricia Conn Ryan ‘05, a daughter, Victoria Isabelle, on September 24, 2011.

In Memoriam Mary Louise Gourlie Hill ‘36 of Fayetteville, Ark., on November 12, 2011. Elsie Brindle Brown ‘37 of Concord, N.H., on December 7, 2011. Frank Raymond Anderson ‘38 of Shrewsbury, Mass., on October 31, 2011. James Malcolm ‘40 of Norwich, Conn., on December 5, 2011. Thomas Aissis ‘41 of Seekonk, Mass., on December 28, 2011. David Sisson ‘42 of Westerly, R.I., on December 27, 2011. Gladys Bills Culley ‘43 of Washington, N.C., on December 22, 2011. Ruth Johnstone Roche ‘43 of Mount Prospect, Ill., on November 16, 2011. Elizabeth Records Hendrick ‘44 of Exeter, R.I., on November 18, 2011. Louis Prunier ‘47 of Oxford, Mass., on November 4, 2011. Jacqueline Teverow Factor ‘47 of Boynton Beach, Fla., on January 8, 2012. Joseph Hall ‘48 of Jacksonville, Fla., on November 26, 2011. Anthony Silvestri ‘48 of Cranston, R.I., on December 17, 2011. Jean Lindsay Anderson ‘49 of South Dennis, Mass., on November 22, 2011. Vernon Matley ‘49 of Holliston, Mass., on November 17, 2011. Robert Miller ‘49 of Exeter, N.H., on December 11, 2011. Herman Eschenbacher ‘50 of Providence, R.I., on November 11, 2011. Julius Migliori ‘52 of Cranston, R.I., on January 13, 2012. Richard Cosimini ‘53 of Newport, R.I., on November 12, 2011. Ruth Brady Horrocks ‘54 of Kingston, R.I., on December 6, 2009. John Florio ‘55 of North Providence, R.I., on November 14, 2011.


Michael Lobdell ’96, M.A. ’10

Milken Educator Award Winner

During a school assembly on Wednesday October 19, 2011, Pilgrim High School science

teacher Michael Lobdell was initially preoccupied by all of the things he had to do that afternoon. He was unaware that by the end of the assembly, the Warwick school gym would resound with cheers as he accepted a Milken Educator Award and check for $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation while dignitaries like Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Congressman James R. Langevin (D-Dist.2) looked on. During the ceremony, Gov. Chafee praised Lobdell saying, “he is always forward-looking and sees the opportunities for improvement in his own practice.” For the past 25 years, the Milken Family Foundation has sought out and recognized out-

standing elementary and secondary teachers like Lobdell across the country. During the six years that Lobdell has been at Pilgrim High, he has developed a teaching style centered on inquiry, critical thinking techniques, and problemsolving strategies. Described as a “hands-on” teacher, Lobdell runs his classroom like a workshop, assimilating technology, film, and literature into his lessons. But his commitment to his students doesn’t end when the bell rings. He started and runs a Homework Club open to all Pilgrim High students and participates in the School Improvement Team. During the summer, Lobdell works for a research program at Rhode

Island College that gives high school students the opportunity to conduct DNA research. Lobdell holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology and an M.A. in education from URI. He can still recall conversations with his undergraduate advisor that would eventually help steer him into a teaching career. He also credits the encouragement of his wife Sarah Howard Lobdell ’96, the associate director of Alumni Relations at URI. During the ceremony, Lobdell thanked the students and his fellow teachers at Pilgrim High for their support. “My door is always open,” he promised. “I’ll continue doing my best for you.” —Bethany Vaccaro ’06

Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

Mary Earle Larsen ’04

Co-host of Fox TV’s The Rhode Show

Musician Mary Larsen seized the opportunity to audition to become the next co-host of The Rhode Show: “As a musician you have to work on your confidence and your performing skills, and that is what I worked on at URI,” said Larsen, who sings and plays many instruments. “With all the different ensembles, I performed multiple times a month. As an RA and orientation leader, I had to be a leader and role model. Through that, I gained a lot of public speaking skills and

self confidence I didn’t have in high school.” Those traits work in her favor as co-host on the Fox Providence morning talk show. As part of the extensive audition process, Larsen suggested a new segment. Inspired by Discovery Channel‘s Dirty Jobs, Larsen’s If The Shoe Fits would take a close look at jobs throughout the state. Before pitching her segment idea, she spent the day with a local beekeeper: “I was in a bee suit! It was scary and it was great. I want to do stories outside the studio.” Larsen and her husband, Blake, live in East Greenwich. A graduate of Toll Gate High School, she has been the youth ensembles coordinator and a branch coordinator for the

Juliette Nash ’06

Listening to Animals Juliette Nash has worked with animals for as long as she can remember. The decision to start her own pet behavior modification business came naturally to this biology grad, for whom understanding animals has become second nature. Nash launched Polly Wanna Solution two years ago in response to the lack of resources for frustrated bird owners in the San Diego area where she now resides. She specializes in cat and bird behavior, but also has experience working with dogs, wildlife, and other animals. Nash’s holiday card featured her with her The animals Nash sees have cat, Zoharet, and parakeet, Kailani. behavioral issues, including separation anxiety, aggression toward Nora Lewis; PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RHODE SHOW FOX PROVIDENCE

Rhode Island Philharmonic. She remains a teacher for the organization. She was also Providence Country Day’s performing arts director and works with a local film production company, Verdi Productions. Larsen was one of more than 100 co-host hopefuls to show up at Twin River Casino in October to give a brief interview on camera. Based on voting by judges from Fox Providence and online voting, 20 finalists were selected. A shocked Larsen was instructed to come to the studio for a job interview where she practiced reading off the teleprompter. Videos of the 20 finalists were posted online and another round of voting commenced.

their owners or other animals, or problem behaviors like excessive barking or obsessive grooming. Through a lifetime of working with pets, as well as exotic animals, Nash has learned how to identify the underlying issues and work with pet and owner to change negative behaviors and encourage healthy new ones. Nash grew up outside of Boston surrounded by pets and local wildlife. “I like to say that I was trained by my cat,” she says. “From a young age, I paid close attention to what animals were doing and how they would interact with me, with each other, and with other species. I watched and I learned from them.” By age 15 she had moved from working with

Mary Larsen, center, with Eyewitness News Anchors Patrick Little and Danielle North.

The final five stood arm-in-arm wearing fancy dresses when the winner was named on live television. —Ericka Tavares ’88

Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

her own pets to handling owls, hawks, and other raptors at the Mass Audubon Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton, Mass. In addition to running Polly Wanna Solution, Nash is a master’s student at the University of San Diego, where she is studying the social behavior and communication of killer whales. Nash says she wants to continue working in animal behavior, whether with pets or exotic animals: “It‘s a joy to watch an animal come around and begin to trust you and to be comfortable with its surroundings. It‘s just the most rewarding feeling in the world. I can‘t imagine doing anything else.” —Mary Bates

UNIVERSITYOF OFRHODE RHODEISLAND 33  ISLAND 33  UNIVERSITY


William MacQuattie ‘56 of San Francisco, Calif., on November 7, 2011.

Dennis Abbate ‘73 of North Smithfield, R.I., on January 7, 2012. Elizabeth Gunning ‘74 of Kingston, R.I., on November 15, 2011.

Phillip Berger ‘57 of Winsted, Conn., on July 17, 2011.

Janice Paton ‘76 of Warwick, R.I., on November 22, 2011.

Marjorie Conner Engel ‘57 of New York, N.Y., on November 23, 2011.

Angelo Menna ‘78 of Cranston, R.I., on January 4, 2012.

Laura Cook Essex ‘57 of Palm Harbor, Fla., on December 9, 2011.

Nathan Nelson ‘78 of Warwick, R.I., on December 22, 2011.

Robert Tupper ‘58 of West Warwick, R.I., on December 19, 2011.

Anthony Hart ‘79 of Coventry, R.I., on January 15, 2012.

Ernest Simpson ‘59 of Tiverton, R.I., on December 5, 2011.

Richard Heavers ‘79 of Kingston, R.I., on November 14, 2011.

Francis Swift ‘60 of East Greenwich, R.I., on January 2, 2012.

Stephen Daylor ‘81 of North Kingstown, R.I., on November 22, 2011.

Anthony Perrotti ‘62 of Lincoln, R.I., on January 12, 2012.

Mary Geary Quarters ‘82 of North Kingstown, R.I., on June 10, 2011.

Marion Worrlell Cormack ‘63 of East Greenwich, R.I., on December 31, 2011.

Gary Mathias ‘86 of Portsmouth, R.I., on November 2, 2011.

Stephen Cooper ‘68 of Jamestown, R.I., on January 11, 2012.

Eugene McPeake ‘88 of Pawtucket, R.I., on January 12, 2012.

Peter Kansas ‘68 of Cranston, R.I., on November 25, 2011.

Nancy Dale Millin ‘89 of Wakefield, R.I., on December 24, 2011.

Theresa Newton ‘70 of Narragansett, R.I., on December 29, 2011.

David Magnone ‘92 of Hoboken, N.J., on January 10, 2012.

CLASSnote

READ & WRITE CLASS NOTES ONLINE!

note to: your life. Send your class Let us know what’s new in i Center, mni Association, Alumn Class Acts Editor, URI Alu Kingston, RI 02881-20011 73 Upper College Road, u : classacts@advance.uri.ed Fax: 401.874.5957, Email

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Three Inspiring Days for writers 6th Annual

Ocean State Summer Writing Conference June 21–23, 2012 Keynote Speakers

Highlights

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry Workshops, Master Classes, and Craft Sessions Amy Bloom Fiction

Nick Flynn Creative Non-Fiction

Kevin Young Poetry

Also featuring: Kathleen Aguero, Talvikki Ansel, LaShonda Barnett, Mary Cappello, Tina Chang, Peter Covino, Amity Gaige, Edvige Giunta, Richard Hoffman, Robert Leuci, Jody Lisberger, Patrick Madden, Lisa Tener, Padma Venkatraman, Crystal Wilkinson, and others to be announced

“The Writing Life” and Publishing Sessions One-on-one Consultations Networking Opportunities

Photos: Elena Seibert, Todd MartEns, Geordie Wood

uri.edu/summerwriting

Discover The Ocean State Review, our new journal of literary arts. UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 35 


Linda Jean Miles ‘92 of Londonderry, N.H., on August 3, 2011. Russell Ciolli ‘94 of East Meadow, N.Y., on November 23, 2011. Christopher Lee ‘02 of Bridgeport, Conn., on December 22, 2011. Jose Reyes-Rivera ‘04 of Woonsocket, R.I., on November 11, 2011. Deborah Lucia DePiero ‘07 of Laurinburg, N.C., on December 27, 2011.

In Memoriam Faculty Winifred Caldwell, M.A. ’68, age 95, professor emerita of speech communications, died at her Kingston home on Dec. 13, 2011. In 1966, Agnes Doody, professor emerita of communication studies, hired Caldwell to teach an oral interpretation of literature course in URI’s newly formed Department of Speech. Caldwell eventually taught chamber theater, contemporary approaches to prose fiction and poetry, voice and diction, and fundamentals of oral communication. Caldwell was born in Liverpool, England, and her career was shaped by World War II. “During the war, she

was reading to wounded soldiers and developed a real talent for reading aloud,” Doody said.
Caldwell studied at the University of Cardiff and worked in London, where she coached theater and business professionals in voice and movement. She met her husband, the late Roderick Caldwell, professor emeritus of math, and moved to the United States so he could pursue his Ph.D.
“While he was studying for his Ph.D., she had a radio program, reading literature aloud,” Doody said. “Rod joined the URI faculty, and she came to see me and told me about her background. We had an oral interpretation class, and she was fabulous.” Caldwell’s students went to the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston to work with and perform for inmates, as well as to the former Ladd School in Exeter, to libraries and churches, and to contests and festivals across the country. Her students came from many different disciplines, said Winifred Brownell, dean of Arts and Sciences:
“It was really fascinating to see the way she could involve them. She cared very much that they understood the words

on the page, the context, the author, and the themes of the work. It was a 360-degree analysis of literature.”
 In 1972, Caldwell became the first woman to receive the URI Foundation’s Teaching Excellence Award. Despite that, she had to battle to receive tenure:
“When the issue of tenure came up, the administration said she didn’t have the credentials,” Doody said. “I went on a war path.”
Doody won, and Caldwell was granted tenure in 1975. After her retirement in 1982, she spent several years advising students in the Honors Program.
 Contributions in Caldwell’s memory may be made to the URI Honors Program in care of Rebecca Schiff, 257 Chafee Social Science Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881.
 By Liz Boardman Reprinted from the North East Independent, Jan. 19, 2012 Peng Wang, 36, assistant professor of chemical engineering, was killed on Monday, February 6, 2012, when the car he was driving collided with a cement mixer on Route 138. The University community offers its heartfelt

condolences to his wife, Ran Luo, and their 7-month-old daughter, Carolyn. A resident of Hartford, Conn., Wang was a promising young researcher assigned to the College of Engineering and the College of Pharmacy. He worked as part of a research group that focuses on the thermodynamics of mixing mechanisms of polymer drug mixtures. The group’s work, to develop novel methods of controlling drug release, is being funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army, and various industries. “Dr. Wang represented the best of the University,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald H. DeHayes. “He was not only a pioneer in his research, but he was a pioneer in bringing together the disciplines of engineering and pharmaceutical research. His death is a profound loss for URI and for his family.” Professor Wang earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 2004, and he earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Reunite with Your Friends and Classmates

36 

When was the last time you made plans to get together with your URI friends? NOW is the time to start planning for a 2012 class or affinity reunion. For instance, Homecoming in October 2012 would be a great time to have a reunion with your classmates! You will need volunteers from your class or group who are willing to help plan, promote, and attend the reunion. If you are interested in working on an event for your class or affinity group and would like to find out more about getting started, please visit the Alumni Web site at advance.uri.edu/alumni/reunions or call the Alumni Relations Office at 401.874.2242. QUAD ANGLES  SPRING 2012 | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES


Elaine Mack at the Neiman Marcus Group meeting in Dallas.

Elaine Mack ’58

In Style

Elaine Mack is the head personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman. This former URI English major, who loved Professor Warren Smith’s Shakespeare classes, has excelled at Bergdorf for more than 37 years. Elaine, who has been named one of New York City’s Best Salespeople, was trained in sales by Andrew Goodman, son of Bergdorf Goodman’s founder, at the store then located in White Plains, N.Y. She is the go-to person for women who desire up-to-date, beautifully designed clothing. Elaine shops for a coterie of diverse clients, knows their preferences, knows where they have to appear, keeps them advised on trends, and helps them to achieve their style. Elaine works three fully booked 12-hour days a week, starting at 7 a.m. She favors clothing by Akris, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and many of the talented younger designers. She likes fresh takes on classic elegance, quality fabrics, superb tailoring, and meticulous attention to detail. When a designer comes out with something really great, Mack says she just has to select it for her clients. Elaine’s work has been noted in the media. In a 2006 article about high-end retailers differentiating themselves through the work of personal shoppers, Business Week quoted her as saying that “personal shoppers save you time and make you feel like queen for a day.” In an article on Jackie Kennedy Onassis, The New York Daily News quoted Elaine’s anecdote about receiving a request from Jackie to assist one of her friends select the proper clothing for an important appearance. Elaine still treasures Jackie’s note thanking her for her help. In 2010, Harper’s Bazaar sought Elaine’s suggestions for unusual but inexpensive gifts for an article on post-recession gift giving. And in 2011, Elaine’s peers chose her to receive the Best of the Best award from Bergdorf Goodman’s parent company, the Neiman Marcus Group. Ask and some of the most world’s most beautifully dressed women will tell you, “Elaine Mack is my long-time personal shopper.” —Sally Adams ’66, M.A.‘68

Paula Norton Madriles ‘71

Books are Gems

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, in the south valley of El Paso, is a bookstore that has given away almost half-a-million books since its inception, spreading literacy and a lifelong love of reading to as many children as it can. Paula Norton Madriles founded this 501(c)3 organization in memory of her daughter, Grace Elizabeth Madriles (hence GEM in the store’s name), who died in an automobile accident in 2002 at 16 years of age. Today, Grace’s love of reading and her brilliant smile are surely reflected in the happy smiles of children—proud readers who can select up to five free books a month at BOOKS ARE GEMS. Initially, Paula, then an elementary school teacher in South El Paso, bought the books at yard sales and thrift stores. Eventually thousands of books were donated. GEM’s GEMS became BOOKS ARE GEMS. In 2010 the store moved to its current location where Paula now works part-time. Community volunteers—75 to 100 at any one time—help sort, pack, stock, and transport the books. Books in the Children’s Bookstore are always free. Proceeds from new and used books sold in the General Bookstore (paperbacks for $1, hard covers for $2) are used to purchase more books to give away to children. A teacher may select 25 children’s books for the classroom and take unlimited materials from the Teacher Resource Center that includes professional teaching literature, teacher’s editions, textbooks, and supplemental and “math manipulative” materials. Community schools and agencies frequently distribute BOOKS ARE GEMS books to children at health fairs, parents’ days, teacher-training days, and even at baseball games. In partnership with community institutions, the bookstore runs reading camps in June and July where children can work with well-trained tutors on programs specifically designed for them. There’s also a story hour on Saturdays. Learn more about this inspiring literacy outreach project on the Web at booksaregems.org. —Sally Adams ’66, M.A.‘68

Video  | uri.edu/quadangles

David A. Todd ’74

Engineer by Day, Poet by Night David Todd quips that he is a civil engineer by profession, a genealogist by avocation, an environmentalist by choice, and a writer by passion. He grew up in Rhode Island, attended public schools in Cranston, and majored in engineering at URI. By day, Todd is a corporate trainer at CEI Engineering Associates in Bentonville, Ark., who frequently gives seminars on environmental engineering topics. He has been a corporate trainer for six years and has been with CEI for 20 years. He previously worked for engineering firms in Kansas City, Saudi Arabia, North Carolina, Kuwait, and Boston. In his leisure time, Todd wrote Documenting America: Lessons from the United States’ Historical Documents, a book that blends U.S. history with politics. It’s available from CreateSpace (an Amazon company) and as an e-book from Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. As Todd’s Web site, davidatodd.com, attests, since he began to write creatively about 10 years ago, he has completed one novel, Doctor Luke’s Assistant, a fictional telling of the writing of the Gospel of Luke (available as an Amazon Kindle book) and begun a second, In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People, a baseball thriller. He has also published nine poems and written a newspaper column and feature articles for a local weekly. His work has appeared in nine print publications and two on-line publications. Todd has written about 200 poems. One of his sonnets, with some resonance in Rhode Island, explores his disappointment on learning that the bivalves he happily dug as a boy and called quahogs were actually clams. On a more serious note, another sonnet deals with the painful distance between the overheard chatter of funeral guests and the isolation and sadness of a boy whose mother has just died. Todd has also experimented with cinquains (five line poems) such as the following poem: An Old Man’s Amazement Whirlwinds Tug me along, Distracted and amazed. Do I hear right? Beauty dances With me? — Sally Adams ’66, M.A.‘68 UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 37 


Let’s Talk Skills

For more information about Career Services for URI alumni, please contact:

Karen Rubano Alumni Career Services 228 Roosevelt Hall 90 Lower College Road Kingston, RI 02881 p. 401.874.9404 f. 401.874.5525 e. krubano@uri.edu w. advance.uri.edu/alumni/careerservices/advisor.htm Karen Rubano

Marie Geary Alumni Career Services 228 Roosevelt Hall 90 Lower College Road Kingston, RI 02881 p. 401.874.9404 f. 401.874.5525 e. mrgeary@uri.edu w. advance.uri.edu/alumni/careerservices/advisor.htm Marie Geary

38  QUAD ANGLES  SPRING 2012 | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES

We begin developing job skills as early as our first volunteer or part-time job. But often, when we design our résumé or prepare for an interview, we focus solely on the roles we have filled within a position and ignore many of the skills we have accumulated over time. As job candidates, it’s important to articulate what it took to successfully complete a unique task, project, or other activity. Our résumés often weigh heavily on the technical aspects of a role, including skills that are finite, easy to measure, and tangible. This is all good—but we have more than that to offer a potential employer. The value of all our prior experiences is timeless. Our internships, volunteer positions, part-time jobs, and early- and mid-career roles stay with us throughout our careers, and provide us with a goldmine of transferable skills. Identifying transferable skills is an important step in making sure your résumé, cover letter, and interview talking points represent you in a holistic way. One way to capture your transferable skills is to talk or write about your experiences. When you do, you’ll find your stories are full of energy, details, and description—and that they move well beyond your functional skills. That’s when you start to uncover such skills as the ability to collaborate, to interpret complex data, to communicate to a diverse audience, or to influence others. These are the skills that transfer across industry, organization, and function. These are the skills you carry from job to job and that go far beyond the mechanics of a specific role. These are the skills you often take for granted. Remember to apply these transferable skills to your résumé, cover letter, elevator speeches, LinkedIn profile, interview discussions, and informal meetings. To say you remain exceptionally calm in a fast-paced, chaotic environment is just as important as saying you are able to write code for multiple IT programs. Look for the “Promoting Transferable Skills” presentation on the Alumni Career Services Web site at career.uri.edu/alumni.shtml.


College of Pharmacy

Save the Dates! Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony September 4, 2012 Open to the Public

One-Day Symposium September 14, 2012

Drug Therapy in the 21st Century: Discovery and Clinical Use Open to the Public

International Conference September 28–30, 2012

Frontiers in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Global Perspectives Registered Guests

Learn more: uri.edu/pharmacy

Nora Lewis

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 39 


BACKPAGE Built From Westerly Granite Wonder what Green Hall, the monolith on the plaza of the Carothers Library, and the base of the URI Ram statue in front of the Memorial Union share in common? All three structures on the Kingston Campus were created with granite quarried in nearby Westerly, R.I. A sundial, a gift from the Class of 1903, serves as a focal point in the brick walkway to the President’s house. Its granite round base, yep you guessed it, comes from ­Westerly as does the stone entrance to the Deiter Hammerschlag Mall that leads to the Carothers Library. Westerly residents John B. Coduri ’69 and Ellen L. Madison, Ph.D. ’86, in collaboration with Brown alumna Linda Smith Chafee, aptly captured the town’s proud granite history in their comprehensive book, BUILT FROM STONE, The Westerly Granite Story (builtfromstone.com). Green Hall was built in 1937. Restored in 2003 thanks to the efforts of Henry ­Nardone ’43 of Westerly (who spearheaded the fundraising campaign), the stately ­Georgian Revival building is located near the center of the Kingston Campus.

40  QUAD ANGLES Spring 2012  |  uri.edu/quadangles

The Narragansett Monolith, a 12-foot granite block dedicated in 1994, is located on the west end of the library plaza. The monument’s inscription, NIPPENOWANTAWEM, NIPPENOWANTAWEM, MEQUANAMIINNEA, MEQUANAMIINNEA (I Am Of Another Language, Remember Me), is carved twice in raised letters of various depths that appear to emerge and then recede into the stone, symbolic of the emergence and decline of Rhode Island’s indigenous people. The iconic Ram statue stands comfortably on a granite base donated by the late Angelo Gencarelli ’22 who was also from Westerly. The statue, a gift from the Class of 1958, often appears in photos surrounded by students. —Jan Wenzel ’87


The University of Rhode Island Alumni Association

Annual Scholarship

Golf Tournament Monday, June 4, 2012

Quidnessett Country Club 950 North Quidnessett Road North Kingstown, RI Your sponsorship helps URI Students! Available Sponsorship Levels for 2012 • Gold Sponsor: $2,500 for one complimentary foursome, sponsorship signage at lunch and dinner, signage in tournament golf carts, custom sponsorship pin flag, and a full page ad in our program. • Silver Sponsor: $1,500 for one complimentary foursome, sponsorship signage at dinner, one premier sponsorship tee sign, custom sponsorship pin flag, and a half page ad in our program. • Bronze Sponsor: $1,000 for one complimentary foursome, sponsorship signage at the luncheon, custom sponsorship pin flag, and a quarter page ad in our program. • Beverage Sponsor: $500 for sponsorship signage at the beverage stops located at either the 6th or the 14th tee and a quarter page ad in our program. • Premier Tee Sign Sponsor: $250 for premier sponsorship signage at one hole and quarter page ad in our program. • Practice Facility Sign Sponsor: $100 for sponsorship signage at the putting green or driving range. • Ad Sponsor: $50 for a quarter page ad, $75 for a half page ad, and $125 for a full page ad in our golf program.

Hit the links with URI President David Dooley and Steve McDonald, voice of the URI Rams.

11:30 a.m. Registration and Lunch Details available at advance.uri.edu/alumni/golftournament

• Raffle/Auction Item Donor: Opportunity to donate items that will be included in our raffle and/or silent auction.

Contact Kathy Gianquitti at 401.874.4853 or email kgianquitti@advance.uri.edu

It’s all about scholarships! Photo by Nora Lewis


Alumni Center 73 Upper College Road Kingston, RI 02881 USA

Nonprofit Org US Postage Paid Permit No. 937 East Greenville, PA

Alumni Association

Come Back to your Alma Mater 50th Class Reunion

Golden Grad Weekend

Members of the Class of 1962 are gathering in Kingston May 19–20, 2012, to celebrate their 50th Reunion. To see the schedule of events, go to advance.uri.edu/alumni/ 50threunion

Golden Grad Weekend, a special celebration for URI graduates who have already marked their 50th reunion, will be held June 1–2, 2012. For further information, go to advance.uri.edu/alumni/ goldengrad

advance.uri.edu/alumni


URI QuadAngles Spring 2012