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Grow Your Own Refugee Dreams


Tips for starting a kitchen garden | 12

Helping the displaced decide what’s next | 16

In a chilly space dome on Mauna Loa, NASA puts six scientists to the test | 20

2nd-Chance Survivor

How to outwit, outplay, outlast on reality TV | 24


12 Garden to Plate

It really does taste better if you grow it yourself. Timely, doable tips from a master gardener for planting your own veggies and herbs.

16 Starting Over

Some 200 refugees arrive in Rhode Island each year, only to find they must reinvent their lives. Gambianborn Omar Bah ’10 knows all too well what that’s like, so he founded Providence’s Refugee Dream Center.

20 The Martians

They’ve boldly gone to a NASA “space hab” for a yearlong simulated Mars mission. If the cold, the claustrophobia and the cumbersome space suits don’t get them, the sourdough starter just might.

24 How to Play the Game

To outwit, outplay, and outlast your opponents on TV’s longest running reality contest, you can play it crazy like a fox. Or you can play it straight, use the camera as therapy, and keep your eye on the $1 million.

28 Turning Back Time

Years of advocacy have undone the work of the Industrial Revolution and restored the epic migration of the common herring to a Connecticut/Rhode Island watershed.


» Rhody locavores » Birthdays in a box for hospitalized kids







ALUMNIWRITE | The power of love






CLASSACTS | News from your classmates


CLOSEUP | Tom McCormick ’03


CLOSEUP | Robinson Fulweiler M.S. ’03, Ph.D. ’07


BACKPAGE | Elixirs, Unguents and Suppositories


Perry Jeffries '51, M.S. '55, sits astride a 1928 Indian motorcycle in a photo taken while he was an undergraduate at URI in 1948. Read Perry's letter to the editor on page 2.


Selling a House? Here's Help. Home sales peak in June in the U.S., which means the best time to list your house is the spring, Realtors agree. And if you don’t want to extend the agony of living with showings and uncertainty any longer than necessary, Shannon Brito ’05 has more advice for you. “It’s important for homeowners to realize that once they put their home on the market, it becomes a product,” says the home stager, who bought her first house while she was still a student at URI, studying textiles, fashion merchandising and design. Brito founded her company, Premiere Home Staging of Warwick, R.I., five years ago, and has built up an inventory of hip furniture she uses to transform interiors—whether the owners are still living there or not. She says her company isn’t just for high-end homes; since her professionally staged homes average only 21 days on the market and sell for almost 98 percent of asking price, her work—consultations start at $300—can pay for itself. —Pippa Jack For more information, see

Before and after: Brito works her magic on an empty house.

Here are her five tips for ripping off the Band-Aid: De-clutter, de-personalize. Yes, it’s already time to start boxing up your things. Tables should be clear, furniture pared to the essentials, personal photos banished, soccer schedules taken off the fridge. Buyers need to envision their lives in the home, not feel like they are intruding on yours. Let there be light. Take down heavy curtains and lightblocking shades. Consider adding simple panels, hung higher and wider than the actual window. Good intentions. Make sure each room is being shown as it was intended—bedrooms for sleeping, dining rooms for eating, not working from home. Children’s toys should be kept to a minimum and confined to their rooms. Go with the furniture flow. Identify the room’s focal point and arrange furniture accordingly—and don't be afraid of floating it. Be sure buyers aren't bumping against stuff as they walk around. Fix it. Address those minor maintenance issues we all ignore. Chipping paint, loose outlets and broken hinges will make buyers wonder what else is wrong.

FEEDBACK Write to us: Read more online: The Fast Break

Basketball three-quarters of a century ago, before URI evolved from Rhode Island State College, remains an important part of the URI’s history worth retelling, especially for recent grads not aware of its significance. My story begins with Marshall Tyler, called “Tip” for a presidential Tyler. He came to Kingston in 1898 from Amherst, and made math so rigorous the school soon became noted for engineering—but there had to be sports, so he coached them all. He saw the forlorn kid in me, whose father died due to strains of the Depression and injuries sustained in WWI. My own grandfathers never had a word for me, but my step grandfather, Professor Tyler, while managing a family of five children, sent me a Christmas present, The Romance of Astronomy, one of the last books I’d ever part with. The coaching became too much, so he brought from a high school in Massachusetts the soon-to-be-legendary basketball coach Frank Keaney. Keaney became impatient with the game’s slow pace, especially the jump ball after every basket. So he all but invented the fast break, not caring if the opposition made 100 points, just so his team scored 102. Faster and still faster Keaney encouraged his players, as their speed and conditioning soon outpaced rivals. Practices were held in the ancient Rodman Hall. One basket was two feet from a wall, the opposite basket at the building’s entrance. Practices in this echo chamber became after-class recreation for students, with Keaney strutting around in baggy gray warm-ups, exhorting his team to go ever faster and “keep your eyes off the coeds in the balcony.” One intrasquad practice I remember most clearly: A guard jumped and grabbed the ball as it fell through the net, twisted in midair, placed a foot on the wall and sprung off, riffling a pass to a teammate racing for all he was worth down court, so fast he missed the pass, went through the entrance and down the steps. Keaney’s classic remark summarizes everything: “Ok, next time faster.” During WWII, when male students numbered about 50, Keaney grabbed anyone over 5-foot-10 and put him in a uniform. Later came the National 2


Invitational Tournament in Madison Square Garden. To get his players acclimated to the smoke-filled Garden, Keaney lit smoke pots in the gym. Always going one better than the opposition, he turned to chemistry again and developed a light blue color for uniforms that proclaimed: here were boys playing against the likes of New Yorkers in their shiny rayon outfits, with their boring mid-court weaves. Those wonderful days of innocence: boys in light blue uniforms, Keaney cavorting—somehow the game lifted my spirits to grow and do something exciting. —Perry Jeffries ’51, M.S. ’55, Professor Emeritus of Oceanography West Kingston, R.I.

Typewriter Tale

At the end of my sophomore year at URI, the Providence Journal hired me as its campus correspondent. I would be paid 10 cents per published inch (minus headlines), which meant I could earn $10 per week, if I hustled. My impending career as a part-time journalist, however, was somewhat in doubt because I couldn’t type. So that summer, I found my aunt’s typewriter, which had been sitting, uncovered, on a shelf for years, collecting dust and grime. I cleaned it up and spent one hour every weekday that summer typing exercises from a high school manual. Before starting my job I visited the Journal’s local news bureau, where I met the manager. He said, “You’re not just a reporter now, you’re also a photographer.” He handed me a manual on how to use the Speed Graphic, an unwieldy, heavy camera. I liked the idea of taking photographs, because they earned me $5 each. Most beloved photographs, I learned, featured dogs, cute children, or lovely young ladies. The campus had its share of the latter, including my wife to be. The camera produced other benefits. As a sometime writer for the campus newspaper, I had access to a campus darkroom.

So I started taking group pictures of fraternity and sorority members. Individual prints went for $1 each. In the fall, after two years as a chemistry major, I had a moment of doubt in the chem lab, while trying to weigh a sample in hundredths of a gram. It was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I changed course and became an English major with minors in political science and history. In the summer between my junior and senior years, the Journal asked me to become a “vacation relief reporter.” So I roamed around Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts in a 1934 Ford, which I bought for $150. I went to a lot of clambakes, where listening to politicians was mandatory. My first stop in my Journal circuit was North Providence, R.I., where my office was in a corner at the back of a drugstore. My desk was an old booth, and I was advised to have a lot of change so I could use the pay phone on the wall. At the end of the summer, the paper had its own clambake for the staff, and I got talking to a man I did not know. He asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated. I said I wanted to get a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. Shortly thereafter I learned that I had been talking to the publisher of the Journal—and that he was on an advisory committee at Columbia. I got in, joining a class of 85, which included a priest, Isaac Asimov’s brother, a former Israeli soldier, and students from across the U.S. and several foreign countries. Money was tight at Columbia. There was no scholarship help and I was dependent upon the money I had earned in the summer and what my mother could come up with. I had a forbidden hot plate in my dorm room so I could make breakfast: coffee and a hard-boiled egg or a donut. But the best meal strategy involved the press card we received as journalism students. I would flash my press card at hotel conventions and ask to sit at the press table. After dinner and before any of the speakers, I would excuse myself to go to the bathroom, and disappear. After Columbia and four years as a Navy destroyer officer in Korea, I went back to the Journal and then on to Northeastern University, as assistant director of public relations.


In 1964, I applied for an opening at URI as a science writer. One of the happiest days in my life was my return to URI’s beautiful campus. My wife, three children and I lived within walking distance to the campus. One day I met John Knauss, the dean of oceanography, who asked me what my job was. I laughingly replied: “I am here to make you famous.” He and I became good friends. He eventually became head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. My marine focus put me in touch with Senator Claiborne Pell, whom I helped with a book, Challenge of the Seven Seas. Senator Pell was chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on higher education and author of the Higher Education Assistance Act. The sea grant program started with a URI national conference and legislation generated by Senator Pell, who with others, modified legislation that was originally designed to federally fund three deep-water research vessels in California, Texas, and Washington State. By changing one word (three to four), URI became the fourth member of the program. Eventually I became URI’s PR director, and then the first CEO of the URI Foundation. At 65, I retired from URI after 32 years in order to care for my wife, Bette, who had Alzheimer’s. She too was a URI grad who earned a master’s degree in remedial reading while teaching full-time and caring for our three young children. Looking back, I wonder how my life might have been different if I had not found my aunt’s old typewriter. —James W. Leslie ’52 Sarasota, Fla.

QuadAngles is a quarterly publication of the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association. The URI Alumni Association informs and engages current and future alumni as committed partners of the University, its mission and traditions. Executive Editor Michele A. Nota ’87, M.S. ’06, Executive Director, URI Alumni Relations; Secretary, Alumni Association Executive Board Editor in Chief Pippa Jack Art Director

Kim Robertson

Contributing Barbara Caron Editors Dina M. Dionizio ’91 Shane Donaldson ’99 Dave Lavallee ’79, M.P.A. ’87 Kate O’Malley Contributing Johnson Ma Designers Bo Pickard Verna Thurber Photographer

Nora Lewis

Digital Media

Janine Squillante ’14

Editorial Board

Tip of the Hat to Tom Dougan

More years than I care to count have passed since I left the halls of the Memorial Union and the University of Rhode Island. My time at URI and my time in leadership roles in the Student Senate prepared me exceptionally well for a career in banking and software. After graduating from URI in 1989, I earned an MBA at the University of New Haven while working for Shawmut National Corporation and Fleet Financial Group. I went on to work for Pegasystems Inc. on Wall Street in New York City and in Cambridge, Mass., serving as the senior director of financial services for North America. In 2007, at age 40, I retired and moved to the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten, where I now own the local classic rock station, Island 92 (91.9) FM, and serve as the local morning radio personality, using my radio persona, Dr. Soc. Feel free to listen in online at I just learned the news of Tom Dougan’s retirement and I wanted to take a brief moment to wish him well. URI prepared me exceptionally well both in the classroom and in the areas of student life. I still remember visiting his office for meetings on whatever the hot topics were at the time, and learning the skills of leadership and compassion, all while learning to never let them see you sweat. Thank you, Tom, for the great lessons in life. —Jeffrey W. Sochrin ’89 St. Maarten

Kelly Mahoney ’03, Executive Director, External Relations and Communications Linda A. Acciardo ’77, Director, Communications and Marketing Tracey A. Manni, Director, Communications, URI Foundation

URI Alumni Angela Brunetti, Executive Assistant Relations Staff Robert Ferrell ’07, Assistant Director Alexis Giordano, Program Assistant Karen LaPointe ’77, M.B.A. ’84, Associate Director Kate Maccarone ’08, Assistant Director Nicole Maranhas, Associate Editor Mary Ann Mazzone, Office Assistant Amy Paulsen, Web/Print Editor Samantha Rodrigues ’11, Program Assistant Karen Sechio ’99, Assistant Director Samantha Stevens M.S. '15, Specialist Alumni Assoc. Susan R. Johnson ’82, President Executive Board Louise H. Thorson M.B.A. ’85, Past President Daniel G. Lowney ’75, Vice President Thomas F. Shevlin ’68, Vice President Patrick J. Cronin ’91, Treasurer Alumni Assoc. Councilorsat-Large

Laurel L. Bowerman ’77, M.B.A. ’84 Matthew T. Finan ’11 Colleen Gouveia Moulton M.B.A. ’98 Mackenzie Hofman ’12 John J. Palumbo ’76 Gregory S. Perry ’88 Perry A. Raso ’02, M.S. ’06 Karen E. Regine ’81 Christos S. Xenophontos ’84, M.S. ’85

Alumni Assoc. Representatives: Arts and Sciences, Kathleen O’Donnell-White ’90 Business Administration, Jordan D. Kanter ’99, M.S. ’00 Feinstein Continuing Education, Bianca S. Rodriguez-Slater ’10 Engineering, Anthony J. Rafanelli ’78, M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’95 Environment and Life Sciences, Catherine Weaver ’82, B.L.A. ’96 Human Science and Services, Christine S. Pelton ’84 Nursing, Silifat “Laitan” Mustapha ’97 Graduate School of Oceanography, Veronica M. Berounsky Ph.D. ’90 Pharmacy, Henrique “Henry” Pedro ’76 URI Foundation, Lorne Adrain ’76 Student Senate, Amanda Rode ’16 Student Alumni Association, Hannah Zawia ’18



Students attending the 2015 Rhode Island Diversifying Individuals Via Education conference (D.I.V.E. RI).

URI celebrated Black History Month with keynote speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, an awardwinning investigative reporter who covers civil rights and racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine.



Building a community at URI that values and embraces equity and diversity is one of the four transformational goals we set forth in the 2009–10 academic year. Five years later, we reported on our progress toward these goals—you can explore the report here: Under the leadership of Naomi R. Thompson, our first associate vice president for community, equity and diversity, we have found many ways to demonstrate that diversity is essential to our culture and is a core value of our community. Nowhere is this more evident than in the efforts our students have initiated. One of the most striking of these student-led activities is a conference that started last spring. The Rhode Island Diversifying Individuals Via Education conference (D.I.V.E. RI) promotes intercultural competence and inclusion on Rhode Island campuses through workshops and discussions focused on racial and ethnic identity. By prompting conversations among student leaders, D.I.V.E. RI hopes to create and sustain connections among these students, who can then identify and help to address issues of institutional inequity. Around the same time that this issue of QuadAngles arrives in your mailboxes, the University will be hosting our second annual D.I.V.E. RI conference. Student organizers describe last year’s inaugural event as an opportunity to talk about issues that are not typically spoken about in the classroom. Twenty-one workshops facilitated by students, alumni, staff, URI faculty and community partners included topics like Equity Through Access: Increasing the Potential for Minority Success in Majority Settings and Blacklisted: The Influence of Racial Bias on Higher Education. Participants also heard from keynote speaker Marc Lamont Hill, who challenged them to start

meaningful change through their own our day-to-day interactions. Dr. Hill spoke about “the world that is not yet,” emphasizing that there is still a great deal of work to be done in the diversity arena. At a time when our country has seen an escalation of protests on college and university campuses from the University of Missouri and Yale to the University of Michigan, Colgate and Ithaca College, we recognize and appreciate D.I.V.E. RI and other URI programs that strive to identify and meet the challenges of creating an inclusive and diverse campus culture. For example, our Talent Development Program, nearing its 50th anniversary, has been one of the most successful paths to diversity at URI. From a class of 13 students in 1968, TD has grown to more than 1,300 current students and 1,600 graduates. Overall, students of color and international students represent nearly 21 percent of all students. And faculty diversity has increased from 10.6 percent to 15 percent during the past five years. But, to echo Dr. Hill, there is still work to be done. In the fall of 2015, after convening campus leaders to discuss ways to create more supportive campus environments, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan noted that “Cultural competency is a core message that colleges and universities should be teaching (and learning) as a foundational component of what it means to be an educated American.” He also pointed out, “Students can serve as experts on their lived experiences, helping to make colleges and universities safe spaces. But the campus and broader community must own the work.” At URI we are proud to own the work of D.I.V.E. RI, an initiative our students will undoubtedly take to new heights in 2016.

David M. Dooley President, University of Rhode Island


ALUMNIWRITE Maid for Love is available for free download at


The Power of She was working in corporate communications when she wrote Maid For Love, a love story set on a fictional Rhode Island island that was rejected by every publisher in the romance business. But Marie Force ’88 is as resilient as her heroines, so the Middletown, R.I., native and journalism major kept writing. By 2011, she’d completed the first three books in the “Gansett Island” series, and she decided to try a new avenue: self publishing. Six months later, she quit her day job, and now—just four years after going solo—she has sold close to 4.5 million books. She continues to self-publish the “Gansett” series, along with her “Treading Water” and “Quantum” series, while her “Fatal” and “Green Mountain” series found homes at traditional publishers, Penguin Random House and Harlequin. Her legion of fans has placed her on the New York Times Best Sellers list 21 times in the last three years. It’s an astounding record, even in the rarely acknowledged leader of genre fiction, romance—which outperforms mystery, the second highest category, at a rate of almost two to one. The romance


industry brought in $1.1 billion in 2013 (the most recent year for which the Romance Writers of America has figures). “Despite the fact that romance novels are blockbuster business, romance authors are constantly defending the genre,” Force acknowledges. “But I have loyal readers who love my books, and tell me that they have helped them through a difficult time—an illness, the death of a loved one, a divorce. It’s rewarding.” What follows is a readerfavorite excerpt from Meant for Love, book 10 of the “Gansett Island” series (the fictional island is loosely based on Block Island, R.I.). In this scene, the protagonists first meet. How does Force know it’s a fave scene? She and her four-person team are social media and event aces, with more than 100,000 Facebook followers, reader events held coast to coast, and daily online conversations. • —Pippa Jack Read our full Q&A with Marie Force, including advice for aspiring writers, at

A roar of noise startled her out of a sound sleep. An engine, close by… In a cold sweat despite the oppressive heat, she launched out of bed and ran for the window to find a shirtless man standing on the back of the biggest lawn mower she’d ever seen. At—she glanced at the clock on her bedside table—5:45 a.m.! Was he serious? Next to the clock was a framed picture of Toby that brought back the interrupted dream in startling, vibrant detail that made her eyes swim with tears and sparked fury that had her running for the lighthouse’s spiral staircase. Down she went to the first floor and then one more level below to the mudroom and out into the pearly predawn, where the air was thick with heat and humidity. She burst into the yard, screaming as she went, “Hey! Hello! Do you know what time it is?” The dark-haired man wore a bulky headset over his ears and couldn’t possibly hear her over the roar of that… thing…he was driving. It was massive—and very, very loud. His skin glistened with sweat as day three of the heat wave from hell began on Gansett Island. Jenny looked around for something, anything she could use to get his attention and zeroed in on the bumper crop of tomatoes that had begun to ripen on the vines she’d planted earlier in the summer. Without giving a single thought to what she was about to do, she grabbed a handful of pulpy tomatoes and began flinging them at the man’s bare back. The first two went wide, missing the target, but the third one hit him square between the shoulder blades, splattering on contact. Excellent.



A Tale of Sunken Treasure URI historian and underwater explorer Bridget Buxton is trained to search for knowedge, not sunken treasure—but her most recent expedition to Israel dug up plenty of both. In February 2015, scuba divers in Israel’s eastern Mediterranean found 2,580 gold coins on the ocean floor inside the ancient Roman port of Caesarea. It was the biggest hoard of gold coins ever discovered in Israel, and made headlines last year. This year, Buxton and her colleague John Hale from the University of Louisville revealed how the underwater dig unfolded. Hundreds of coins were hidden under rocks and sand, but couldn’t be moved until researchers made a detailed map of the area. “The excavation of a site destroys it,’’ Buxton explains, “so we need to record all possible clues.’’ Buxton and the other archaeologists created a map

with the Pladypos robot, brought over by the team’s Croatian partners. After mapping the site and removing a layer of rocks from the sea floor, Buxton and her colleagues discovered a second pocket of coins, bringing the total hoard to about 3,000. The most important discovery, however, was a 10-centimeter iron spike with coins cemented to either end, proof that the gold came from a wooden shipwreck that sank sometime around 1036 A.D. “We guess that the ship was coming in to Caesarea and struck one of the semisubmerged ruins of the old Roman breakwater,’’ Buxton said. “What we don’t understand is how such a large amount of gold was never recovered, since the ship sank so close to shore in very shallow water.’’ Robert Kool of the Israel Antiquities Authority

identified the coins as dinars minted by the Islamic Shia dynasty called the Fatimids. The dynasty ruled most of North Africa and the Holy Land on the eve of the First Crusade, which captured Jerusalem from the Fatimids in 1099. Caesarea Maritima was a strategic city for the Fatimids throughout the 11th century,

Bridget Buxton, associate professor of archaeology, holds gold coins she retrieved during an underwater archaeological expedition in Israel.

and the gold might have been intended as pay for a local garrison, Buxton said. Many of the coins are from the reign of a controversial Caliph, al-Hakim, a revered figure in the Druze branch of Shia Islam, she said. Buxton and her Croatian and Israeli colleagues plan to continue their underwater research this May.

Clearance Required

From left, Jennifer Nash, DSS Counterintelligence Specialist; Areece Peak, DSS Boston Field Office Chief; URI President David M. Dooley; Cheryl Matthew, DSS Regional Director, Northern Region; Sally Marinelli, URI Facility Security Officer; Deborah Belsinger, DSS Senior Industrial Security Representative.



URI is one of only two educational institutions in the country to win a prestigious federal prize for industrial security. The Defense Security Service, an agency of the Department of Defense, awarded URI the James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award last year. Forty-one facilities out of 13,300 nationwide were selected for the highly competitive award, which honors outstanding achievement in matters related exclusively to a facility’s security program.

The award, established in 1966, is named in honor of the late Air Force Col. James S. Cogswell, the first chief of industrial security within the Department of Defense. Cogswell was responsible for developing the basic principles of the Industrial Security Program, which include an emphasis on the partnership between private industry and government to ensure the greatest protection for the nation’s classified information. We can’t tell you much more because, well, it’s classified. Texas A&M University, College Station, was the other educational recipient.


New Bomb-Sniffing Sensors

Dogs have been used for decades to sniff out explosives, but now Otto J. Gregory ’75, M.S. ’77, professor of chemical engineering and co-director of URI’s Sensors and Surface Technology Partnership, has developed a sensor that can detect explosives commonly used by terrorists.

One of these explosives— triacetone triperoxide, or TATP—is used by terrorists worldwide, from the 2001 “shoe bomber” Richard Reid to the suicide bombers who attacked Paris last November. The explosive is relatively easy to make with chemicals that can be bought at pharmacies and hardware stores. Gregory’s work focuses on creating a sensor that continuously detects vapors emitted by the explosive. What makes his research so significant is that his sensor could be used roundthe-clock in public places like airports, subways, and ports of entry for cargo containers.

“If someone carrying TATP were to walk by in a relatively confined space, the sensor could detect it,’’ he says. The sensor can also determine if ammonium nitrate, TNT and other explosives are present. Dogs can still be trained to track down explosives at very low levels, but sensors are a better long-term solution, Gregory says. “Dogs need to rest,” he points out. “Our sensors sniff continuously.

Rhody Gets His Own Children’s Book

Rhody the Ram has gone to mascot school, where he’s determined to show his friends that sometimes the best things, like the best states, come in small packages. This sweet tale is from Kerri E. (Kaletski) Lanzieri ’97, an elementary school social worker, who started writing children’s stories for her own children. Rhody’s tale is her first published work.

Rhody Ram’s Rhode Island Adventure, published by Mascot Books, will be available April 5 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and, of course, the URI bookstore. For more information, email authorkerrilanzieri@

Breastfed Babies and Weight Loss How much weight loss is too much? Nursing researcher Diane Thulier is conducting a study that could result in new guidelines for breastfed infants. Wrapping up this September, the year-long study is investigating whether existing standards—which now direct health care providers to recommend supplementing breast milk with formula if babies lose too much weight—could be too stringent. All breastfed babies are expected to lose some weight, usually between 5 and 7 percent of birthweight in the first week. If that number can safely be higher— Thulier suspects up to 10 percent—then doctors can delay intervening. That’s important because supplementing with

formula often triggers an early end to breastfeeding and the life-long protections it offers. “Right now, we lack good information about what is normal,” says Thulier. “I want to arm parents, doctors, and other healthcare workers with updated information so that parents can relax a bit, mothers can continue to nurse their babies, and providers can have accurate guidelines.” Previous studies have focused on the first few days of a baby’s life, and primarily tracked formula-fed infants. Thulier’s work is following the first weeks in the lives of 180 babies, drinking breast milk, formula, and a combination, at South County Hospital, Wakefield, R.I.


URI students raising guide dogs are (back row, left to right) Caitlyn Landry with dog Katie and Katie LaBlue with Pogo; (front row) Jenna Beauchemin, Kaitlin Kohut with Tessi, and Sarah Appleton with Romeo.

Students Train Guide Dogs Caitlyn Landry ’20 and Kaitlin Kohut ’20, freshman roommates, formed the Puppy Raisers Club at URI last year, becoming certified through the nonprofit Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Four yellow Labrador retrievers spend all day every day training with the students and the growing numbers of their club. After about 18 months they will complete a test that determines their future careers: Some will become guide dogs, others will work with police to be drug detectors or serve in a “healing autism” program. “It’s not going to be easy to give up the dogs,” says Kohut, “but you know they have a bigger purpose in life.”

A Vaccine for Nicotine

URI pharmacy researcher Xinyuan “Shawn” Chen is working on a vaccine that would inoculate people against nicotine’s addictive properties, coupled with a novel skin delivery system that could revolutionize the way all vaccines are delivered. Right now, there are nicotine patches aimed at people trying to give up smoking, but they simply deliver a low dose of the potent drug to ease cravings. Chen is working on something very different: a vaccine that would trigger a user’s own immune system to block nicotine’s entry into the brain. There are no approved nicotine vaccines on the market at present, partly because to be effective, the vaccine requires powerful adjuvants, substances that would be toxic if injected. That’s where the patch comes in. In a painless process, skin is pierced by a laser to form an 8  QUADANGLES  SPRING 2016

array of micro-channels, then a small square of contact lens material filled with tiny dots of powder is placed on top. The clear patch, which is about the size of a thumbnail, can deliver 810 micrograms of medicine— as opposed to the 45 micrograms contained in a typical flu shot—and do it without triggering a painful reaction. The patches would also travel and store well. “Generally, vaccines are liquid, but powdered vaccines are more convenient and they have a longer shelf life,” Chen says. The assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences has a lab in URI’s three-year-old, $75-million College of Pharmacy building. He came here last year from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, bringing with him a $1.08-million career development grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and a

Xinyuan Chen, assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, holds the patch next to a traditional hypodermic needle.

$432,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The technology will need several years before it’s ready for clinical tests and FDA approval, but Chen is already imagining a different world, with fewer smokers, and one with children who don’t fear the doctor’s office because the 30 or 40 vaccine injections the typical baby receives will be a thing of the past. “We want to help those who are already addicted to nicotine, to help them quit smoking,” he says. “We also believe for other vaccines, that we could put multiple vaccines in one patch, thereby eliminating the need for multiple injections.”

Sociology professor Judy Van Wyk, of West Greenwich, who with Lawrence Grebstein, professor emeritus of psychology at URI and a South Kingstown resident, recently published a book about a residential school for boys in Narragansett.

Ocean Tides: Roadmap to Rehabilitation Sociology professor Judy Van Wyk has been helping troubled teenagers get on the right path for years. Her conclusion: Some teens do better in a residential facility. She explores that finding and more in a new book, Turning the Tide of Male Juvenile Delinquency: The Ocean Tides Approach, co-written with Lawrence Grebstein, professor emeritus of psychology at URI. The book is an exhaustive study of Ocean Tides, a residential facility for boys in Narragansett, R.I. The professors collected information from teens who lived at the school from its opening in 1975 through 2006. Most of the teens are on probation or have been at the Rhode Island Training School, a state prison for juveniles. The book is available at and

Why is a place like Ocean Tides important? Ocean Tides provides a systems approach to care and rehabilitation—targeting the boy’s needs and the family’s needs, while keeping society safe through that transition. Prison or inhome care cannot do all that. What is our responsibility to help these young people? This is a good question because rehabilitating juvenile offenders is not just about the boys. It’s about creating a safer, more stable and productive society. It’s also not just about the costs that untreated juvenile offenders transmit to society as they age through the criminal justice and mental health systems. These boys are not useless; they have good things to contribute to society. What leads to violent behavior among teens? Violence is one way to relieve strain. Most of us don’t act violently because we have the social skills and resources to relieve strain in other, more


legitimate ways. For some people, violence is a more viable option. How important is family life in raising a healthy adult? Family is the most important influence on a young child’s life. Once they hit adolescence, they are more strongly influenced by peers, but a boy who suffers from a weak family life is only going to have friends who have also suffered from the same problem. It’s a snowball. Is R.I. doing enough to help troubled teens? The state is following national trends. For decades, the prevailing philosophy in juvenile justice was to lock them all up. That didn’t work. Now the federal government wants to keep them at home and provide mental health care and counseling to families instead. That’s not a bad plan, since we know that prison actually increases criminality. The problem is that for about half of the boys in the criminal justice system, their families are a worse

influence on their behavior than prison is. Is it expensive to send youths to the Training School? It is about one third the price to send a boy to a program like Ocean Tides for a year than it is to incarcerate him in a youth prison. Tell us about your upcoming research. The first project produced a database of information on the boys who entered the Ocean Tides program from 1975 through 2006. That year, R.I. implemented massive changes in the allocation of funding that affected residential programs. Ocean Tides had to close all but one of its extension houses, and boys no longer spend a full year, only three months. Under a new federal grant, I will collect data on the boys who have entered the program since 2006 (541 new cases added to the existing database of 1,585 cases) to track changes in outcome under the new policy. UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  9 


Danielle Gariglio ’17 is a member of the Rhode Island softball team. The following is an excerpt from the blog she writes for, Covering the Gaps.


n 2015, there were 371,891 girls playing high school softball. Of that number, 30,874 went on to play college softball, but only 6,025 made it to the Division I level. I am extremely proud and grateful to be part of the 1.6 percent of softball players nationwide who essentially made it to one of the highest levels of competition in this sport. How did I get to be so lucky? Every few weeks in the fall, we had individual meetings with our coaching staff. During our meetings, each of us was asked, “Why? Why do you play? Why do you do what you do?” For me it was easy. “Because I love softball,” I said. I added how I believe there are moments in your career that help everything make sense for you as to just why you do what you do. When you hit an RBI double and look back to the bench and see your teammates screaming for you. That’s why. When you make a diving play to end an inning and you stand up with your teammates who are right there waiting to highfive you and shake you around. That’s why. But maybe sometimes loving the game you play is not enough; maybe sometimes those moments of greatness are not enough. Why do you play when you are 0-for-10? Why do you play when you are in a slump so big you feel like you couldn’t hit a beach ball thrown down the pipe? Why





THE GAME do you play a game that is surrounded by I play softball because of my teammates, failure, and can sometimes be emotionally all of the teammates that I have ever had. and mentally draining? Because one way or another, at some point, Nearly every day since that meeting I they helped me excel and grow, whether it have thought about all of the reasons why be as a person or a player. But especially my I play the game of softball; why I play a current teammates, because we have been game that if you succeed just three out through so much together and I love each of every 10 times in the batter’s box, it’s one of them like they are my own blood. considered success. Here are some of the whys that I My Biggest Why have come up with: Despite all of the reasons as I play softball because of to why I play softball, my my mom. If it wasn’t for biggest “why” came to light her, this game would have just this week. Last fall I never meant what it means began to follow the story of to me now. And if you’re a girl from upstate New wondering what softball York who had been battling means to me, the answer is stage four brain cancer since everything. She pushed me 2011. Her name was to be the athlete I am today, Courtney Wagner. and without her, none of She had a passion for Courtney Wagner what I am doing now soccer, and in her senior would have been possible. Both of my year she had committed to Hobart and parents have invested so much into batting William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y. to lessons, trainers, travel teams and play Division III soccer. Though the cancer equipment. For that I am forever grateful. did not allow her to play soccer during her I play softball because of my two senior year of high school or her freshman brothers, because they sacrificed so much year of college, which she had just begun for me and my softball career growing up. this past September, she never lost her Every weekend of every summer and fall, incredible spirit and character. She was a from when I was 9 until I was 18, my mom true fighter. was driving me up and down the East I followed her mother’s Facebook Coast to tournaments and showcases, more page—called Courtney Kicking Cancer— often than not leaving the boys behind. for the last year, and found myself checking


Drennan Makes Golf Hall of Fame Former Rhode Island golf head coach Tom Drennan M.A. ’80 was inducted into the Rhode Island Golf Association Hall of Fame on December 1, 2015, at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I. In 22 years as the Rams’ head coach, Drennan guided URI to five Atlantic 10 titles, 10 New England Intercollegiate Championships, and seven New England Division I crowns. Also under his guidance, Rhode Island competed in 13 NCAA Regional Tournaments and one NCAA Championship. On three occasions,

E the site daily to see how my friend Courtney was doing. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Courtney, her faith and will to survive inspired me every day. Courtney passed away on Monday, October 26, 2015. The reason I shared the story of my friend Courtney is because I play for those who can’t. I play for those who would give anything to be in my shoes but couldn’t quite make it there; I play for those who would give anything to be able to walk, or run, or kick a ball or swing a bat. On Thursdays, my teammates might have to drag me to our conditioning workout kicking and screaming, but once I get there all I can ever think about is how lucky I am to be where I am; how lucky I am to be able to run a 300-yard sprint; how lucky I am to be able to breathe. I’m lucky to play this game that I love, and that is why I do what I do. To be a Division I athlete is indeed a privilege, but I believe it is a privilege that somewhere along the line has been well earned. I love this game of softball, and when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, then yes, that is why I play, because I love it. But there is so much more behind it than just love. There are so many people who every single day continue to instill that love in me. Softball is my outlet, and I have no idea where I would be without it.

URI golfers earned individual entries into the NCAA Regionals. Drennan was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year twice, New England Coach of the Year eight times, and Rhode Island Men’s Sports Coach of the Year twice. In 2007, he was honored by his peers with induction into the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Joining Drennan as members of the RIGA Hall of Fame Class of 2015 are: C. Charles Blanchard, Helen Waterhouse Palmer, Michael Bobel, Joseph Prisco and James ‘J. T.’ Tanner.

Gift of New Thrower’s Cage During his time at URI, Pete Sherman ’97 was a standout for the men’s track and field team. He served as captain, was the 1997 Atlantic 10 champion in the hammer throw, and won the 1997 URI LeBoeuf Award, which is given to the school’s outstanding senior athlete. Sherman also was an NCAA provisional qualifier for the hammer throw his senior year. His career best throw was 199'6". Through his family’s company, Newport Propane, Sherman and his wife Jocelyn Sherman ’00 (formerly Jocelyn Tracey)—a former thrower herself for the women’s track and field team—donated a new indoor thrower’s cage to the men’s and women’s teams. The cage will allow the throwers to practice in Mackal Field House. “I would like to thank Peter and Jocelyn for their incredibly generous gift that will benefit two programs, both of which played a huge part in their URI experience,” says Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn. “There are no bigger URI fans than the entire Sherman family, and we are

grateful to have them as part of the URI athletics family.” “This was a way to give back to a program that gave my wife and me so much back when we were competing,” said Pete. “The old cage, which we threw out of, was too confined. You didn’t have the space you needed to practice efficiently. The newer cage is bigger, better and much more safe for the student-athletes using it.” Jocelyn was an Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient, and graduated with a major in dietetics. Today she works as a clinical nutrition manager for Sodexo at Butler Hospital. The Shermans are often seen with their daughters Ellen and Audrey at Rhody football and basketball games. Pete attributes a lot of his success in life to Rhode Island head coach John Copeland, who taught life lessons that go way beyond the track. “His impact on my life is one that I don’t think I can put into words,” Pete said. “He’s just a real good guy who cares about his athletes.” UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 11

Garden to Plate

A master gardener’s primer on growing herbs and vegetables for your table— no green thumb or huge yard required. BY KATHRYN SHANLEY




t’s true that Sejal Lanterman ’05 has a garden that’s been years in the making, but don’t let that put you off. The master gardener, who gives classes on everything from composting to food preservation, has one overriding message: Growing your own green stuff is easier than you think. Yes, it will take a little planning, and a willingness to perform some mild physical labor. But, if you desire truly fresh food, there’s good news: It will basically grow itself. You just have to help it along the way. “Start small,” advises Lanterman, “be patient—and plant what you like to eat.” Lanterman, whose father grew up in India, was brought up as a vegetarian in upstate New York. She came to Rhode Island for a degree in animal science, but after graduating, found her way to plant science instead. For the past eight years, she has been on the staff of the URI Extension Outreach Center, where she is the community engagement and outreach coordinator. In her current position she works with farmers and farmer-market managers, as well as teaches the public. Rhode Islanders know her as the Plant Pro host on NBC10 News, where she shares her knowledge and interviews URI Extension and local experts on gardening, composting and related topics (check out past episodes at At home, she practices what she preaches, although she’s no zealot. “We try to have something we grew in every meal, but sometimes it’s as simple as a frozen

herb,” she says of preparing food with her husband, who works at a nursery, and their two young sons. “Is growing everything the dream? Sure. But you know, it’s much better to just do what you know you can handle.” She notes that seeing their parents working in the garden sets a good example of “purposeful” work for her boys, but at the same time, “Having young kids, sometimes it’s all about how fast I can get this done.”

Getting started

The first step for the new gardener is deciding where to locate the garden. Select a level spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day and is close enough to the house for you to make quick trips to pick what you need. Stay away from trees or large shrubs because of their roots and the shade they cast. “Make sure you are near a water source,” notes Lanterman. “If you have to lug a hose too far you may become discouraged. I have my garden near where my children tend to play so that I can keep an eye on them while I’m working.” Once you have selected a site, remove any grass, weeds and stones, and turn over the soil to an ideal depth of 10 to 12 inches. If the soil is hard and rocky, or the area is prone to standing water, you may want to consider a raised bed with sides at least a foot above the ground. You can get material to build a raised bed at most hardware stores. In the spring, fill the bed with good quality garden soil from your local garden center.

Sejal Lanterman ’05 at the URI Cooperative Extension Gardens.


After turning the soil, you’ll want to determine what type of soil you have. Take about a cup in total from different spots in the bed, seal it in a plastic sandwich bag and send it to a university extension program that offers soil testing (in New England, UMass and UConn are good options). For a fee, you will get a complete soil analysis and recommendations for what you need to do to improve it. Ideally, amend your soil in the fall so that the lime, fertilizer, compost or other materials have time to work in, and test again in the early spring. One important caution for vegetable gardeners is that manure (including dehydrated manure) should not be added in the spring for food safety reasons; add it only in the fall once harvesting period is over.

Planting season

Decide what you want to plant. “It sounds basic, but choose vegetables that you like to eat and herbs that you routinely use,” Lanterman recommends. “Kale is an easy and attractive vegetable for a first-time gardener—but if you know you won’t eat it, don’t plant it.” To save space, plant bush or dwarf varieties. “For first time gardeners, I suggest buying seedlings from a local garden center to get you off to a quick start,” she says. If planting seeds directly into the soil, wait until early June or when nighttime temperatures are 50° or higher. This is important for most summer crops including green beans, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and summer squash. Lettuce, radishes, beets, carrots and kale are coolerweather crops and can be planted earlier. Check your state’s planting guide for a plant-by-plant guide for your area.


“There is no right or wrong way to design your garden,” says Lanterman. Rows are most common but many people plant in clusters or randomly. What is important is to keep height and width in mind, so read the tags or seed packages for guidance on plant size and spacing.



Taller plants (including tomato and corn) will cast a shadow over lower plants, which can work to your advantage. For example, plant lettuce, a cool-weather crop that can tolerate some shade, near the tall tomato plants. But, regardless of how you lay out your garden, make sure you have space to get in to weed and water. To help control weeds, put straw or woodchips in pathways or open spaces in your garden.

Insects, pests and disease

Just like vegetables, when it comes to herbs, grow what you actually like. And while most vegetables are annual, growing and dying in a single season, herbs can be perennials, which live for years. “Perennial herbs tend to spread, so you might want to put them in a separate area or use containers,” suggests Lanterman. If your garden is far from your kitchen door, that’s another reason to plant herbs in containers, which you can place close to the house for easy snipping.

Depending on where you live, animals can be your garden’s most frequent visitors— rabbits, deer and woodchucks are all part of the experience. If you are new to an area, check with your neighbors to see what to expect. The best way to keep animals out is to install some type of fencing: a do-ityourself approach using chicken wire or deer fencing can do the job. When it comes to insects, don’t be too quick to use chemicals; many insects are good for your garden because they are pollinators or they eat the “bad” insects. For example, parasitic wasps attack tomato hornworms. If you think a plant has a disease, first identify what the disease is so that you can apply a plant-specific solution. Solving your problem can be as easy as consulting another experienced gardener or taking advantage of the services offered by the URI Extension Outreach Center to diagnose and safely treat plant disease.


Final words of wisdom

Spice it up

In addition to sunlight and healthy soil, your garden will need 1 to 2 inches of water per week. “Don’t guess,” advises Lanterman. “Every gardener should have a rain gauge.” You can find gauges at any hardware store, or make your own. If nature is not providing an inch of water in any given week, you will need to make up the difference. But bear in mind that overwatering is just as bad as underwatering, and is a common mistake made by new gardeners. Be sure to water early in the morning, and water the base of the plant, not the leaves. Deep watering every few days is better for your plants than a light watering every day, and it’s easier on the person doing the watering. Lanterman notes that as your garden grows larger, a drip irrigation system (using soaker hoses snaked around the plants) is a timesaving solution for watering. FUN FACT:: Two handfuls of finished compost contain as many microbes as there are people on the planet. That’s why it’s a good way to breathe life back into depleted soil, says Lanterman.

“Just get out there and do it,” says Lanterman. “Be patient and expect to make mistakes—that’s how you learn. Ask other gardeners for advice; we love to share our knowledge and experience. Gardening is work, but the payoff is the satisfaction of eating food that you grew yourself—and discovering how much better it tastes.” •

Right: Lanterman’s home garden; below, her son, Jayce, with a harvest in summer 2014.

Gardening Tips Got a Question? Snap a photo with your smartphone and send it to Trained URI master gardeners will help diagnose the problem and offer solutions. Call the URI Gardening and Environmental Hotline during growing season, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1-800-448-1011. Walk in to the Outreach Center for free pH soil testing and in-person consultation at 3 East Alumni Avenue, Kingston, R.I. 02881, or use the same address to mail plants or insects for diagnosis and identification at the URI Plant Protection Clinic (cost is $10 per sample). A planting calendar and other resources are available at


• Take periodic photos of your garden and make notes. This will help you as you plan for the following year. • Weed a little every day or so to keep ahead. Every time you walk past your garden, step in to pull some weeds and inspect the plants for any early signs of distress. • The best time to plant is on a cloudy day or in the early evening, when the sun is lower in the sky. It’s less stressful for the plant, and more comfortable for the gardener. • Clean out your garden at season’s end. • Keep pets out of the garden. • Wash your hands before and after gardening. • Keep your tools clean. • Try composting; your plants will love it. Get technical with tumblers and the right balance of green to brown; or, simply add worms, found at summertime farmers markets. • Row covers are a great next step for many gardeners. No need to invest in fancy equipment, a roll of thin floating cover will extend your season from early spring to late fall.



Josephine Ndimugwonko (Revokata Nzinahora’s mother) sees her daughter, Jennifer, off to school in South Providence.


After a terrifying flight from danger and oppression, some 200 political refugees settle in Rhode Island each year, only to face the exhausting task of starting from scratch in an unfamiliar culture. Omar Bah ’10 gives them the space, and courage, to restart their dreams.


onday morning, on a rainy day in Providence, Omar Bah is making his rounds. First, he visits Florence Gaye, a native of Liberia, to check up on her and gab about Christmas. Santa, he says, will drop by later in the week with presents. Then he drives a couple of blocks to see Burundi-born Revokata Nzinahora. Part cheerleader, part father figure, he gently nudges her about a career. “You’re doing a great job,’’ says Bah, hugging her toddler, still in pink pajamas. “I really want to be a nurse,’’ says Nzinahora. “You will,’’ Bah says. Nothing is impossible for Bah and the hundreds of refugees he’s helped as founder and director of the Refugee Dream Center in Providence—quickly becoming the go-to place for recent arrivals seeking guidance, or just someone to talk to. Bah is the perfect listener. Their story is his. “I’ve passed through the same journey,’’ he says. Not only does he know what they’ve experienced—political oppression, for one—he knows what they can do, given support and resources. He happily puts himself out there as a role model, a shining example of what can be accomplished with persistence, hard work and a heavy dose of compassion.


Revokata Nzinahora—carrying her daughter, Hervin Nadia Dominque—talks with Omar Bah at her apartment in South Providence.


A mere decade ago, he was left for dead, curled up in a mosquito-infested prison cell in Gambia, lying in a pool of his own blood. The butt of the soldier’s AK-47 had come down hard, crushing his skull. The bayonet had sliced his back. He thought he was dying. It all seemed so unreal—beaten and jailed for writing

But, at only 36, he’s doing so much more. Besides leading the refugee center, he lectures throughout the country about the challenges refugees and immigrants face. He’s met with Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and represents Rhode Island and the Northeast at the United Nations High Commission for

At the Dorcas International Institute, Ahmad Osman (left) shakes hands with Omar Bah while Ahmed Mohamud Abdullahi looks on.

newspaper stories criticizing the West African country’s brutal dictator. Just when he thought it was over, the door opened, giving him a second chance at life—and reporting the truth. He was relentless because “Good governments don’t beat you.’’ For the next few years, he continued to expose murders, torture and anti-gay killings, making a name for himself as a journalist in one of the most repressive countries in the world. Then the henchmen came again. This time, he had no choice. He had to flee. Today, he’s a U.S. citizen, a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, a man with a country. Considering what he’s been through, he could’ve been content to live out a picket-fence life in his adopted state.



Refugees. A Muslim, he is also defending his faith against the backlash from events in San Bernardino and Paris. And he still finds time to write, most recently a memoir, Africa’s Hell on Earth: The Ordeal of an African Journalist. Growing up in a small village of 800 without electricity or running water, Bah knew early on that he didn’t want to herd cattle like the other men in his tribe. He studied law in Serrekunda, Gambia’s largest city, then switched to journalism after shadowing lawyers in the courts and

realizing that cases about political corruption were not making their way into the newspapers. Being a reporter, he figured, would be the best way to make public the cruelty of Gambia’s dictator, Yahya Jammeh. When government censors cracked down, despite the punishment he’d taken, Bah secretly fed reports to an American-based website called the Freedom Newspaper. But in 2006 the government hacked the site, revealing Bah as the top writer. A friend tipped him off with the frantic phone call that started his flight: “They are coming for you. Run.’’ His knees buckled. Hours later he boarded a bus to nearby Senegal, leaving behind his wife of two months, Teddi Jallow. He almost didn’t make it. At the border, a soldier pointed a gun to his head. “I raised my hands to surrender,’’ says Bah. Then, the unexpected. The soldier was a friend from childhood. Their eyes locked in horror, and the soldier let him go—a “bold and brave’’ decision, says Bah. “He could’ve been killed for sparing me.’’ In hiding in Senegal, Bah watched television reports of Gambian soldiers declaring him a wanted man. The stress took its toll. The sickly man in the mirror with bulging red eyes and hollow cheeks looked near death. Word got out that Gambian thugs in Senegal were hunting him down, so he fled to Ghana, where he lived for nearly a year with the Media Foundation for West Africa looking after him as it lobbied to get him to the United States. His plane landed at T.F. Green on May 24, 2007. The Dorcas International Institute scooped him up and guided him over the next few months with everything from finding an apartment to grocery shopping. Home was a three-bedroom apartment on Federal Hill in Providence with refugees from Liberia and Burundi. Bah was alive, but lost. The loneliness hurt. He missed his wife, his mother, his friends. He had no idea how to use a gas stove or turn on the shower. Why do people walk so fast? How does the bus pass go in the slot? But he had two things that set him apart: his mastery of English and his spirit.


Within a few months, he landed a job as an escrow representative at Rhode Island Housing, and started taking evening classes at About 200 refugees from countries as the Congo and Somalia—all countries URI’s Providence Feinstein different as Nepal and Rwanda arrive in terrorized by decades of war. Campus—a “wonderful Rhode Island every year to start a new life. The next group to arrive: Syrians. Sadr says learning’’ institution. In And their journey is usually sparked by Rhode Island has a thriving Syrian community that would be happy to support and guide the same thing: war. 2010, he graduated with a Ten years ago, Liberians fleeing a Syrian refugees as they find their way. degree in communication bloody civil war topped the list, followed “Refugees are especially driven,’’ says Sadr. studies and went on to get by refugees from Burundi, Eritrea and “They’re like Omar. When they come here they his master’s in public Rwanda, says Baha Sadr, refugee want to be useful and give back to their administration from Roger resettlement services director for the community. Helping refugees resettle is a Williams University in Dorcas International Institute. Today, huge investment we make in humanity. Bristol, R.I. the highest numbers are from Iraq, We’re all in this together.’’ But refugees were always on his mind. Over the years, he had helped new arrivals from throughout the REFUGEES BY COUNTRY A breakdown of the 195 refugees who resettled in R.I. world—Iraq, Myanmar, over the 12 months leading up to October 2015. Rwanda, the Congo and Somalia, among others— find cleaner ­apartments, fill out job applications, apply to schools. What he discovered is that most refugees need years of guidance, beyond the initial first months. “It’s a total shock,’’ says Bah. “They’re free and safe, but it’s so difficult to come to a new country and start over. I see myself as an expert through my own experience.’’ The Refugee Dream Center, founded last year and funded, in part, by the Rhode Island Foundation, educates refugees about health care and job opportunities, offers English language classes for adults, organizes afterschool and mentoring ­fleeing civil war in Liberia, celebrated “Thank you,’’ says Bah. “No problem,’’ she programs for children and even makes Thanksgiving at the center with Bah, along says. Their next collaboration: a clothing house calls. Trauma counseling is with 70 other refugees, including Jallow, drive for children in Burundi, one of the available—a must for many who have been who came over in 2009, and the couple’s poorest and most dangerous countries on tortured, even raped. “I want to be an American-born sons, Barry, 5, and the planet. Bah’s eyes light up. He says, example for other refugees,’’ says Bah. Samba, 3. Nzinahora went to the dinner “We can do it.’’ He’s come so far. A half“Despite all the challenges, opportunities too. She’s grateful for Bah’s support. moon scar from the bayonet wound still are here. Refugees can do it.’’ She lived in a refugee camp in Tanzania marks his back, but he is looking ahead. • Face-to-face visits are one of the most for a decade before coming to Providence. important parts of his job, he says. Gaye, “He’s like a brother to me,’’ says Nzinahora. living in Providence for a decade after

Different Countries, Same Story


What would life on the Red Planet be like? A crew of six is halfway through a yearlong mission to find out how the technical and physical demands, limited resources, and sheer claustrophobia of living in a space habitat would affect human beings. Luckily, they’re better at this than you or I. BY NICOLE MARANHAS

To venture outside, they must wear spacesuits. The red-rock volcanic landscape isn’t Mars, but for one year, Sheyna Gifford M.S. ’06 is living as if it is. She is one of six scientists on the NASA-funded HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) IV, a yearlong simulated Mars mission. Since last August, Gifford and her crewmates have been living in a solar-powered dome on the northern slope of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii to research how a crew in Mars conditions performs over time. Can they stay healthy, sane, happy? Can they remain a productive and cohesive unit on a remote desert that demands 20


24-7 peak performance, cohabitating month after month (and ultimately year after year) in less than 1,200 square feet of usable space? Gifford and her crewmates have brought research projects— building a greenhouse, telemedicine—but here, they are mainly the experiments, wired with sensors that monitor everything from heart rate to how close they stand to each other. Every day, they complete questionnaires and surveys to measure their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As Gifford writes on the blog she keeps about her time on simulated Mars, “people—not plants,

Science officer Christiane Heinicke outside the solarpowered dome on the northern slope of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. Bottom left, a NASA photo of the planet Mars.

propulsion or planetary weather—are the big X factor in space travel. In the known universe, people are the unknown.” The crew is six self-described “space nerds” at the top of their fields, each selected for their unique set of skills. Along with Gifford, there is soil scientist Carmel Johnson, commander; astrobiologist Cyprien Verseux, crew biologist; physicist Christiane Heinicke, chief scientific officer; space architecture student Tristan Bassingthweighte, crew architect; and aerospace engineer and interplanetary flight controller Andrzej Steward, chief engineering officer. Gifford is chief medical officer and crew journalist, the culmination of nearly two PHOTOS: SHEYNA GIFFORD, HI-SEAS; NASA

decades of study: In addition to a master’s in biotechnology from URI, she has a doctor of medicine, a master’s in journalism, and is completing a master’s in business administration. In April 2015, she participated in the HERA (Human Exploration Research Analog) space simulation at Johnson Space Center before being selected for the HI-SEAS IV crew. On her blog, Gifford writes of the moment she broke the news of her simulated Mars mission to her family, which includes a husband and two cats at home in St. Louis, Missouri. Friends weighed in on the prospect of her being stranded on a volcano for a year as a simulated astronaut: “That is so you.”

Home is now a two-story, white-vinyl dome. The main living

space—work stations, kitchen and dining and fitness areas— is overlooked by a 400-squarefoot loft with six compartments (i.e., bedrooms) that afford a sliver of privacy if you wear headphones. Every sound echoes: footsteps, cooking, and always the buzzing and breathing of machines. There are two small bathrooms with composting toilets and a biology lab that also serves as a medical bay, where several members of the crew cultivate plants and vegetables beneath LED lights. Food and tools are stored in the Sea Can, a 20-foot

steel shipping container near the airlock, one of the few spaces that fills with sunlight in the middle of the day. Down to each detail, they simulate the life of a future crew on Mars as closely as possible. They spend much of their days in cold and darkness. Their only connection to the outside is email, which operates on a 20-minute delay as it would on actual Mars. There is no Internet, although one of the crew downloaded the entire contents of Wikipedia onto a hard drive before his departure. For all that they miss (the feeling of rain and sunlight and wind on their faces, loved ones back home) there are light moments to hab life. Verseux plays the UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  21 

Hab life: Medical officer Sheyna Gifford, far left, approaches the purple glow of the aquaponic plant growing system in which commander Carmel Johnson grows kale and chard. The lights under the stairs are focused on more plants. A power generating bicycle, or pedel-ator, in front of the stairs charges batteries and runs small electronics. Space architecture student Tristan Bassingthwaighte cooks, while aerospace engineer Andrzej Stewart works at the kitchen table and science officer Christiane Heinicke walks on the treadmill.

ukulele. Heinicke teaches the others salsa dancing. Gifford has made it her goal to learn Russian over the course of the year, partly in homage to her Russian-born grandfather, the great physicist Benjamin Bauer.

Every few weeks, a robot treks 8,000 feet up the volcano to deliver

a resupply of dehydrated foods: beans, vegetables, fruit, flour, powdered milk, freeze-dried cheese. Gifford nurtures their sourdough starter (nicknamed Bob) and yogurt culture (Haans), keeping them watered and thriving, conserving energy by bringing Bob up to their bunks at night so that he may rise from body heat into a breakfast-ready loaf. “Even the most mundane tasks take a long time,” writes Gifford in an email. “If you want toast and yogurt for breakfast tomorrow, 22  QUADANGLES  SPRING 2016

you need to start working on it right now. Up here, where it’s cold and we don’t have spare power for heat, the yogurt needs to be wrapped and put in a warm place. The next day, you can squeeze it through a cheesecloth and have breakfast. That’s the amount of thought and effort that the smallest meal of the day takes.” Without space to refrigerate or bake in bulk, everything is produced in small batches. “Just getting by is a big investment of time up here.” To get by, they also rely on the water supply from two tanks on the volcano, which carry approximately 1,000 gallons of water and are resupplied every five to six weeks. At five gallons per day each, Gifford and crew live on a fraction of the average American’s daily water use, limiting themselves to one-and-a-half minute showers and reusing everything.

Shower water is collected for washing clothes and mopping the floors; boiled water for rehydrating food gets a second life as soup broth. So far, shipping or generating even this amount of water for a crew of six living just one year on Mars would cost somewhere between $200-and-900 million. Other challenges have been easier to overcome. For all earthly fears of powdered astronaut food, cooking in the dome has proven inventive and tasty. The crew makes crepes, tacos, quiches, chicken Marsala. For crewmate Heinicke’s birthday, they baked a chocolate chip cookie the size of a pizza. Daily accomplishments bring perspective on how a Mars civilization might view life on Earth. “On simulated Mars, we dedicate an intense amount of time and energy to conserving water and power, to cultivating and growing food,” Gifford continues in email. “After living in a culture focused on those activities, it will likely be very challenging to live in a world that revolves around consumption. Imagine a person accustomed to checking the solar panel output

before they so much as make coffee or flip a light switch being dropped into Times Square. That person isn’t going to see beauty. She or he is going to see excess, or at least, flagrant misdirection of resources.”

Suiting up takes practice. They begin

prepping their spacesuits an hour before extravehicular activities (EVAs). Excursions are planned days in advance by the crew or assigned by mission control. The white EVA suits, which weigh nearly 50 pounds, are outfitted with cooling corsets to keep the crew members from overheating. Vision inside the helmets is limited, so they rely on radios to keep track of each other. Gifford brings with her a medical bag in case of slips or falls, one of the biggest dangers on the Mars-like desert. Before returning to the habitat, they wait out a five-minute recompression cycle in the airlock (on Mars, air pressure would be about 100 times thinner). In the early afternoon, when the power supply is at its strongest—generated from 36 solar panels and stored in battery

banks in the Sea Can—the crew makes use of the electricity for tasks such as washing clothes, cooking, or running on the treadmill beneath a porthole that looks out over the barren landscape. They keep healthy with yoga, P90X workouts, stationary bikes. There is a bar positioned across the doorway of the biology lab, by the bathroom; house rule is that you must do as many pull-ups as possible after using the toilet. As chief medical officer (callsign Dr. Mom), Gifford keeps a watchful eye on the crew’s well-being, monitoring their nutrition and exercise, imploring them to see her “early and often” with problems. On simulated Mars, the hospital is an hour helicopter ride away. On Mars, it will be a hundred million miles. Prevention is critical. Gifford is reminded of this in December, when she performs her first medical procedure of the mission. Fortunately, it is a minor one— removing a wart on the foot of a crewmate. Still, it makes an impression. “When you have only a little bit of anesthetic, a limited number of PHOTO: CARMEL JOHNSTON, HI-SEAS

needles…and your surgical site is the 7-by-8-foot biology lab, avoiding surgery is high on your list,” Gifford writes. It is part of her work on the mission to help future crews prepare for the worst. She runs safety drills with her crewmates, but the wart is a reminder that there are limits to what could be done on Mars. The emergency drills reveal challenges: lifting a coworker in a spacesuit onto a stretcher, for example. Dangers lurk both big—holes that open unexpectedly in the rocky ground—and not so small: warts, as Gifford points out in her blog, are actually benign tumors. The procedure is successful, but its lesson is dire. She writes on her blog: “Since stepping into the role of Dr. Mars nearly four months ago, I’ve had a very sobering realization. In the future, out there in space, if the injury is serious, that person is probably not going to make it. Technology won’t be to blame, I wager. The availability of necessary supplies might be a limiting factor, but it won’t be as insurmountable as the availability of crew to care for that injured person. These

missions are small. Each person is so vital that losing two individuals—the injured and the caregiver—would effectively paralyze many crews. Space— deep space—is for the healthy people to boldly go.”

We are a long way from Mars. In November,

the crew reached their first quarter mark. Three months on simulated Mars brings a sense of gratitude, optimism about the research accomplished thus far, and anticipation of the remaining work to be done: the greenhouses, using robots to explore the subterraneous landscape. It also brings uncertainty, awareness that past simulated Mars crews on shorter missions have experienced bouts of depression and listlessness by the halfway point. And it brings, for those of us watching from afar, a dose of reality. Asked by a blog reader if she hopes to apply to the first manned mission to Mars, Gifford replies with humor: “If we surmount the mind-boggling number of barriers standing between us and a Mars mission—the

human factors, the mechanical mysteries, the plant-based conundrums, the software gaps, the confounding fuel issues— if we weave evidence, trial-anderror and the fundamental laws of physics into a cloth that successfully covers the giant pile of nearly complete guesswork that is every first endeavor, and do this so successfully that we can have a Mars mission, I will rouse myself from my state of awe at the capaciousness of the human intellect and spirit long enough to sign up to go.” Whether or not these 365 days lead to a Mars mission in their lifetime, Gifford and her crewmates will be part of that history. Their boldest adventure has been to live by their crew motto: Make your life a story worth telling. • You can read more about Gifford’s work and the HI-SEAS IV mission at and on her blog,


How to Play

THE GAME Be a hero, or be a villain. Those are pretty much the choices on Survivor, the country’s longest running reality competition, which still pulls a good 10 million viewers to its spectacles of tropical hardship and Machiavellian strategizing. (Remember Rhode Island’s Richard Hatch? Here’s the other way.) BY SHANE DONALDSON ’99


eremy Collins is used to a fast-paced life. As an eight-time Atlantic 10 champion during his URI track and field career, he is one of the school’s all-time great ­performers. At one point, he held six different program records for the Rams, and even now, the 47.5 seconds he clocked in the 400-meter sprint at the 1999 A-10 Championship remains both a conference and Mackal Field House record. He left URI before graduating, enticed by an opportunity to begin his dream career as a firefighter. Even then, Collins found time to play semi-pro football—despite not having played in college. He can handle a lot. But even for him, life has been a whirlwind lately. In December, he won CBS’s Survivor. The same week, he and his family were guests of honor for New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft at the team’s December 20 home game against the Tennessee Titans. Kraft ­presented jerseys to Collins’ daughters Jordyn and Camryn, with their names and the number 31 on the jerseys, in commemoration of their father’s victory in the 31st season of the enormously ­successful reality show.


The day after the game, Collins’ wife, Val, gave birth to their first son, Remy Bodhi. Add in personal appearances, People magazine interviews and all the other adjustments that come with being the latest $1-million winner of Survivor, and it’s fair to say life went a little crazy. “My wife has been going into the same Target every day for years to get her cup of coffee,” says Collins, who works for the fire department in his hometown of Cambridge, Mass. “Before the show finale, she went in and nobody said a thing to her. The next day, she had four different people stop her. The day after that, I had five people stop me and ask about the show. That’s when you start to understand the reach of Survivor. People notice us now.” Collins has noticed the show’s reach for years. When he outlasted 19 other competitors over a brutal 39-day stretch in Cambodia, it wasn’t his first stint on the show. He and his wife Val competed together in season 29, Survivor: San Juan del Sur, before Collins was brought back for the Cambodia show, which was subtitled Second Chance. In fact, Collins had been in contact with show officials for more than a decade trying to get a chance to compete.


Jeremy Collins during a lighter moment, early in the taping of Survivor: Cambodia. On the show, as when he was at URI, his clothing shows he’s a hometown guy.


Top, during a challenge in Cambodia. Inset, on the podium during an Atlantic 10 Conference while he was at URI, combining his Ram colors with a pair of Cambridge Athletics sweat pants.


“Back in the day when I was running track at Rhode Island, I would throw up during the team workouts. It would happen every day,” Collins says. “So I stopped eating before our practices, because who wants to throw up all the food they have eaten? I found I could still do the workouts and then binge a bit, eating food at night. When I started watching Survivor, in my mind I thought, ‘I could do that.’ I figured my approach to not eating during the day and still being able to train and compete was something that could help give me an edge if I ever got on Survivor.” As a former college ­athlete and professional firefighter, Collins knew he had the kind of compelling back story that Survivor ­producers like, but he couldn’t sell them. “I would send in videos and say, ‘Listen, I will ­dominate the physical challenges,’” Collins said. “They would call me and tell me, ‘You are not ready for Survivor.’ It took 10 years of trying before I got it. I had to change my approach, because the game is about much more than the physical challenges.” Collins learned all too well the ­emotional impact Survivor can have on contestants during the San Juan del Sur ­season. That season featured pairs of loved ones who were placed in different tribes to compete against one another. “When you are playing with a loved one, you can’t just play for yourself,” Collins said. “When the

game started, Val was all I was thinking about. It was too much emotion.” In that season, Val Collins lasted six days before being the second person voted off. Jeremy Collins lasted 24 days before the competitors he had formed an alliance with decided he was a threat and took him out. The performance was strong enough to land him on the final jury, but Collins had unfinished business. For Cambodia: Second Chance, Collins was on his own against 19 other people, all of whom had competed on previous ­seasons. Show producers picked 32 former contestants to be part of an online vote in which 20 people—10 men and 10 women— were chosen by show fans. “The second time on the show, it was all about focus,” Collins said. “I didn’t care about anyone else in the game. I was there to bring it home for the people I loved.” Paranoia runs deep for contestants in Survivor, causing strategies to change, sometimes on an hourly basis. For Collins, the key to his game was treating people with respect and ­building sincere ­relationships. At one point, he used an immunity idol to spare fellow contestant Stephen Fishbach from elimination—a move that paid off when Fishbach ended up on the final jury. During deliberations, Fishbach said Collins brought “trust, honor and integrity” to the show. “I think people respected me because I spoke with everyone in the right way,” Collins said. “Even in the times I got into it with someone else, I went at them the right way. A lot of people were playing against each other, and that’s part of the game. I tried to be straightforward and honest with everyone.” Honest, but not entirely forthcoming. Collins made sure not to let his fellow contestants know that Val was pregnant with the couple’s third child. Val was early in her first trimester when he left to start filming. “Every day on the show, each contestant ‘goes on the walk,’ which is when you film the segments talking to the camera,” Collins said. “At the beginning, I wouldn’t talk about what was going on with my family, but it was taking a toll emotionally and I

could see after a few days that my game was falling apart. So I used that time in those interviews to talk about my family. It was like therapy. I would cry a bit and be human, feel those emotions. Doing that let me open up my game and focus on what I was there to do.” His ability to keep his personal news to himself was tested late in the game when loved ones were brought to Cambodia for a visit. Val revealed to Jeremy that their third child would be their first son. “Even though we are competing in this game, we’re all becoming friends out there,” Collins said. “That is the kind of news you want to share with your friends, but if I tell anyone, they may use the information against me.” A firefighter with a third child on the way would be a formidable opponent heading to the final tribal council. With this in mind, Collins saved his news until he earned one of three spots in the finals, then made his big reveal. In the live finale aired on Dec. 16, Collins learned he had won in a rare unanimous vote. It took a few weeks after being home Jeff Probst awards Collins with the show’s “immunity necklace” during the from the show for Collins to recover from two-hour season finale of Survivor: Cambodia, which aired in mid-December. the mental drain. “The game is wild,” Collins reflects, in America witnessed, he carries himself laughing. “When I first got home and went He’s been getting some ribbing at the with grace and dignity. He is focused on the back to work, I would think people were ­station house over his newfound celebrity. task at hand and that’s what we are used to lying to me about wanting to go eat dinner “If you get too big for your britches, these seeing in the fire department. All of us in together. You spend so much time on the guys will bring you right back down,” the Cambridge Fire Department couldn’t be show trying to figure people out and Collins said with a laugh. “More imporhappier for Jeremy, his wife Val and their ­determine their angle, and it takes a while tantly though, if you get too low, these are to get out of that mindset.” the first people to bring you back up. We all ­beautiful family.” Still, Collins and his wife have made Collins took a couple weeks off keep each other right in that money zone, sure Survivor will be a part of their lives ­following the which keeps us all birth of his grounded. You need moving forward. They named their son “When I got home, I would Remy Bodhi. The name Remy gives Collins’ son, but then in this line think people were lying about that son his own identity while still keeping a returned to of work.” piece of Jeremy with him. The middle name work with the In a post on the wanting to get dinner.” Bodhi stems from the Cambodian word for Cambridge Cambridge Fire enlightenment. Fire Department. He grew up just a half Department website the day after Collins “The time in Cambodia obviously had a mile from his station. was revealed as the Survivor winner, Chief huge impact on our family, and we wanted “A bunch of my family members are Gerald Reardon praised the manner in something that would signify that,” Collins firefighters,” Collins said. “When I first which Collins conducted himself. said. “Our time with Survivor has come full got to school, I thought I might want to “All of us are very proud of Firefighter circle. This season showed me how much I be a gym teacher or a coach. Over time, Collins and the way he represented the love my family.” • I realized I loved being a firefighter, and department throughout his Survivor I knew it was what I wanted to do.” experience,” Chief Reardon said. “As many



Turning Back Time Herring, unlike the rest of us, actually like to swim upstream. For centuries, however, their path up the Pawcatuck River was blocked. Now, a restoration effort means their epic migration is once more returning to the river. BY PAUL KANDARIAN

Fox clears brush in preparation for a state-of-the-art fish ladder at Horseshoe Falls. Below, an American eel.



Herring, a staple fish for Native Americans and colonial farmers, were once a familiar sight wriggling their way up the Pawcatuck River to spawn. But then the Industrial Revolution came to Connecticut and Rhode Island, through which the Pawcatuck flows. Dams were built to power 18th Century mills. The herring, unable to make their way, disappeared. They’re back. Beginning in 2010, three fish passages were established along the Pawcatuck’s length. With the seeding of Worden Pond in South Kingstown, where the fish begin life, young herring begin their mysterious 32-mile journey to the ocean near Watch Hill in Westerly. They will reach sexual maturity after three to four years in the ocean, and return to the pond every April to spawn. It’s a cycle of life that was interrupted for centuries, and its restoration owes much to Chris Fox ’96. Fox, an environmental sci-

ences major who is now executive director of the WoodPawcatuck Watershed Association, spearheaded an effort that included removing a dam at Lower Shannock Falls; creating a state-of-the-art fish ladder for herring and eels at Horseshoe Falls; and diverting the river at Kenyon Industries to install a series of rock ramps for easier fish navigation. “Three fish ladders now exist on a 32-mile stretch of river from here to Westerly,” Fox says, standing on a strategically located boulder in the rushing waters at Lower Shannock Falls. “At a cost of $4.2 million. Or, way less than Taylor Swift paid for her mansion in Watch Hill.” Fox, a rural Cumberland native who, as a kid, dug trenches to drain storm puddles in the road, is quick with a joke. But it’s no joke that his efforts led to undoing an environmental wrong committed centuries ago. “The Industrial Revolution needed dams. There was need and necessity when those dams were built,” he says. “But when

there’s not, there’s an obligation to set things right.” Engineering started in 2008 and the dam at Lower Shannock Falls was removed in 2010, the first permitted dam removal in Rhode Island—a state that Fox says has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the country. Fox’s main job, besides finding funding for the project—it largely came from federal stimulus money—was corralling the efforts of some 14 federal, state and local agencies. He got help from two key Watershed Association board members, URI environmental science professor Peter August and Alan Desbonnet, assistant director of URI’s Sea Grant Program. Fox also played diplomat, working with river abutters to assure them the project was for the best, going as far as to drill a new well for a homeowner whose existing well would likely dry up when the river flow was altered. The dam at Lower Shannock was removed in stages, and tons of sediment scraped out.

Boulders were placed in key points to create a natural fish passageway with small resting pools for the fish, a very precise operation that involved gauging the speed and flow of the water from decades-old data. “We put compact-car sized boulders in place to within a quarter-inch tolerance,” Fox says. “An added benefit is the eels and brook trout can get through now, too, and it’s a far easier portage around for kayakers and canoeists.” The second phase was at picturesque Horseshoe Falls in Shannock Village, where a high-tech fish ladder was installed, including a separate passageway for eels, which are also making a comeback. Part of the work was creating a one-of-a-kind gravity-fed device for eels to pass through, with bristles on one side for small eels, and thimble-shaped versions on the other for larger eels to wiggle through. “This was the most technical part,” Fox says of the intricate project. “We had to build a concrete static structure in an ever-


changing environment, which lies between a scenic highway and an iconic old dam.” At Kenyon Industries, work involved diverting the river to create a gently sloping series of ramps, then moving the water back. An added benefit: Kenyon got a brand new dam at no cost, vital to supplying water to its fire-suppression system, and a series of hydrants were built on the river for local fire departments. Phil Edwards is a fish biologist for the state Department of Environmental Management, which now owns and maintains the innovative structures. The DEM has been stocking Worden Pond since 2012 in anticipation of what Edwards found this spring: herring, returning to their place in the river’s ecosystem as an important food for larger fish, herons, cormorants and osprey. “We saw fish—some counts were about 100 an hour,” Edwards says. “We’re very excited, and grateful.” For Fox, it’s the culmination of years of tireless advocacy—

and, he hopes, a good sign for the future. The national attention that the project has won could help the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association realize its ultimate goal, and the reason it was first created in the 1980s: winning a Wild and Scenic Rivers designation. The federal program helps protect rivers that generate tourism and recreation revenue, and could support further environmental revitalization efforts, from migratory fish passages to flood mitigation plans. Fox says he’s only playing a role in the river’s natural transformation. “I feel extremely fortunate,” he says, “to have a hand in facilitating the river’s transformation from primarily serving industry, to evenly serving the people and the wildlife that rely on it.” •

Top, the completed fish ladder at Horseshoe Falls, Shannock, R.I.; above, Fox documenting the work from an excavator bucket.


CLASSACTS Third Floor Girls, 30 years! Class of 1985 at URI Homecoming, October 17, 2015. From back, left to right: Monica (Scimone) Ward, Cheryl Driscoll, Fern (Shamis) Vona, Heidi (Langslet) Hall, Chrissy (Holmes) Garvey, Liz (O’Shea) Lema Bottom, left to right: Amy Blume, Dawn (Elliott) Dorn, Kerstin (Heine) Augur, Joyce Klar, Beth (Bacchiocchi) Hannafin, Michelle (Lauer) Waugh

Adam C. Jones ’96 and Rita M. Anderson wed on July 12, 2014 Cooper Jeffrey Korn, son of Jeffrey S. Korn ‘08 and Marissa C. (Salvo) Korn ‘09, born October 2, 2015

Carolyn Kopcha ’11 and David Pancarowicz ’10 wed on August 29, 2015

Nicole Mingoia ’12 and Ryan Finnerty ’14 wed on September 12, 2015


URI Alumni Association @URIAlumniAssoc | #URIAlum Mason Alexander Christopher Jones, son of Adam C. Jones ‘96 and Rita M. Jones, born February 25, 2015 30


Liam O’Brien, son of Eric O’Brien ‘13 and Hilary O’Brien, born January 22, 2015

KEEP US UP TO DATE ON YOUR NEWS! Submit your class note at


Paul Mangan of Ventura, Cali., noticed that no one from the Class of 1943 had contributed a note in the winter issue, so “in an attempt to stay connected,” he writes, “I would like to report that I am still enjoying life— with some expectation and hope that members of my class are in a situation that is better, or no worse, than mine. I am still located in Ventura, or La La Land, at a Holiday facility named Bonaventura—my eleventh year here. See you down the road.”

GIVE THE GIFT OF A LIFETIME To order a brick or for more information: or 401.874.2242.

Century Walk bricks are placed on the Quad—the heart of campus—as permanent tributes to graduates and friends of URI. Personalize your gift to include name, class year, sorority, fraternity, club, athletic affiliation, or anything meaningful to you.


Bruce Zimmerman of Tampa, Fla., writes: “Let’s all that can attend the Golden Grads reunion for 2016 - our 65th year. Contact your fraternities, sororities, and Quonset bunk-mates and meet and greet for a final election of the mayor of Kingston.”


Claude Trottier and Les Conklin write to say: “The Biking Sig/Road Scholars, which meets regularly in Rhode Island for bicycle rides and lunch, is composed of retired URI alumni who were active in Sigma Chi during their college years. We honored two fellow members of our fraternity, Dale G. Harrington ’58 and Donald P Wilkinson ’64, at the group’s December luncheon for their support of the construction and opening of a new Sigma Chi fraternity house at URI. The luncheon, which was held at Arturo Joe’s restaurant in Narragansett, was a festive affair. Those who were unable to attend showed their appreciation by sending congratulatory messages from all over the U.S. and Europe. Sigma Chi had not had a home at URI since its building closed in 1995 and the organization sold the building to URI a year later (the present-day Alumni Center sits on the site now). The project broke ground in October 2013 and the building was finished in January 2015. Harrington helped raise the $780,000 needed, and provided management, equipment selection and furnishing, and hired the live-in house director. He met a variety of challenges, such as the contractor falling behind schedule on construction, meaning students might not have a place to live as promised. Wilkinson served as a subcontractor to the architect for

all the mechanical and electrical design. Wilkinson is active in both the URI chapter of Sigma Chi and the national organization, and in 2011, won the Order of Constantine for his 25 years of service.”


Michael Hoffer writes to say: “My wife Donna and I lived in Narragansett, and in 2011 we relocated to Vero Beach, Fla. We have four children and eight grandchildren, and it was a difficult decision to move to Florida, but one we have not regretted. We love the weather and we are both very physically active, biking, racing,

training, doing zumba, swimming, playing softball and golf. I am a competitive race walker, as is my wife, and I still compete in half marathon events. Last October, in Vero Beach, I completed my 100th marathon event (45 full marathons and 55 half marathons). We stay in touch with some classmates and come north for two and a half months each summer.”

’66 Richard Garofalo of Bristol, R.I., writes: “I have retired and sold my home in Bristol, R.I. I am currently touring and have no permanent mailing address.”


Donna Russo Morin of Saunderstown, R.I., writes “The first book in my Da Vinci’s Disciples trilogy, Portrait of a Conspiracy (Diversion Books), will release on May 10, 2016. The trilogy is the story of a secret society of women artists, under the tutelage of the great Leonardo da Vinci, who must navigate the treacherous life of 15th century Florence while trying to bring their artistry to the world. In the first book, one murder ignites a powder keg that threatens to consume the city. Amidst the

Harrison Anthony Hyde, son of Jennifer (Corvese) Hyde ‘06 and Tyler Hyde ‘15, born August 16, 2015


chaos, five women and one legendary artist weave together a plot that could bring peace, or get them all killed.” Morin is the author of four previous award-winning historical novels, including The King’s Agent, recipient of a Starred Review in Publishers Weekly.


ge a g En ct e n Con t c a Imp Join our community of dues-paying alumni and reap the benefits of Rhody pride. Alumni Association members receive: • Invitations to exclusive members-only events • Discounts on select Alumni Association programs like Big Chill Weekend and the annual Alumni Golf Tournament • 20% off at the URI Bookstore • Great event discounts at the Ryan Center and Boss Ice Arena • Savings on hotels, car rentals, entertainment, and sporting events—also, discounts at merchants including Brooks Brothers, Mews Tavern, Alpine Ski and Snowboard, and more! NEW! Special discounts for three-year and recentgrad memberships! Your dues help fund more than 65 programs and services for alumni and students. Join now! |



Mary Moulton M.S. ’91, of Herndon, Va., writes: “I am currently employed as a digital librarian at the National Transportation Library (NTL) in Washington, D.C. Established in 1998, NTL’s mission is to maintain and facilitate public access to statistical resources, research reports and data, and other information needed for transportation decision-making at the federal, state, and local levels. As one of our primary programs, NTL maintains a digital repository of transportation information, with an emphasis on U.S. Department of Transportation information and results of sponsored research. My responsibilities include leading the development and enhancement of digital repository services, information organization, digital curation, and identifying applications that facilitate discovery and use of NTL resources. I also serve as co-chair for the Alliance. Recently, I was presented with the Secretary’s Award for Excellence. The citation reads: ‘For excellence in leadership and contribution to the multi-agency tool; a resource within for federal science and technology information.’ The award was presented by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.”


John Finn of Middletown, R.I., from Finn Wealth Management was recently recognized as a Five Star Wealth Manager, a distinction awarded to less than 7 percent of wealth managers in Rhode Island. Finn was evaluated on 10 factors, including client retention rates, client assets administered and favorable regulatory and complaint histories.“I have focused on providing personal service, innovative strategies and unbiased guidance for the past 30 years, and it is an honor to be recognized for those efforts,” says Finn. The Five Star Wealth Manager award program is the largest and most widely published award program in the financial services industry, based on a rigorous, multifaceted research methodology. Finn Wealth

Management is a financial services advisory firm located in Newport County, Rhode Island.


Peter E. Dahl of Alexandria, Va., writes: “I was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps in November. I’m currently assigned at the Pentagon with Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, working strategic planning and programming for the service.”


David M. Ascher of Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., married to Allison K. (Turner) Ascher ’98, writes: “I was elected as Town Justice in the Town of Clarkstown, N.Y., on November 3 of 2015, after having been appointed as Justice that January.” Judge Ascher’s term is four years.


Edward A. Garcia Jr. M.L.S. ’08, of Cranston, R.I., was appointed to the Cranston Historical Society Board of Directors.


Katie Kloss, of Lincoln, R.I., was named in the National Academy of Public Accounting Professionals (NAPAP) 2015 list of “TOP 10 Public Accounting Professional Rising Stars for Rhode Island.” Kloss joined Sansiveri’s audit and accounting practice group in 2005 and moved to the tax practice group in 2006, where she works with closely held businesses, non-profits and individuals, providing income tax planning and tax compliance services, including the review of “C” corporations, “S” corporations and partnership income tax returns. She is the point person for most of the professional staff who seek her out for assistance, due to her experience and staff development skills. Samuel D. Snead of Silver Spring, Md., was recently awarded the Award of Excellence from the Secretary of Transportation for his successful management of the Bus and Bus Facilities Ladders of Opportunity Initiative in 2015.


Dr. Sheyna Gifford M.S. of Columbia, Mo., joined five NASA crew members to live in a dome atop Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii for a yearlong simulated mission to Mars. Gifford is serving as the crew’s chief medical officer (plus, crew safety officer and journalist).



military mover Tom McCormick ’03

If you’re in the armed forces, chances are you move. A lot. Military families average two years between orders for domestic relocation, covering some 1500 miles each time. “It’s a huge strain on service people,” says Tom McCormick. McCormick isn’t an Army brat himself—it was a family connection that brought him to the business he now runs,, which helps military families streamline moving logistics and paperwork. His uncle had seen a study that referenced the impact moving has on military retention, and suggested McCormick develop a program that could assist. That was in 2005. Now, some 2,000 families a month use the site—it’s free, and McCormick, a math major who minored in computer science, has developed proprietary software that connects a family directly with the base they are transferring to. Applicants apply for housing, upload documents, and check the status of their application, all through one platform. This spring, McCormick is launching new software, which will allow users to sign leases electronically and receive their new address prior to departure, further easing the burden. Next up will be social networking for each base, allowing this tightly knit community to share tips about daycares and other local amenities. Meanwhile his business partners—cable companies, movers and more—offer steep discounts. So when a 21-yearold mom whose husband is on the front lines in Afghanistan calls, the company can really help. “Our mission is to serve those who serve us,” says McCormick. “It’s an easy thing to say, but we really feel it here.” BY PIPPA JACK


ort p p u S URI ts! n e d Stu

URI Alumni Association Liberty Mutual Alumni Cup Scholarship

GOLF TOURNAMENT Monday, June 13, 2016

Quidnessett Country Club, North Kingstown, RI SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Product Donor: Beer, soda, and/or sports-drink beverage donation for signage at lunch and dinner, and a listing in our program Ad Sponsor: $50 for a quarter-page ad, $75 for a half-page ad, and $100 for a full-page ad in our program

Beverage Location Sponsor: $650 for tee signage at either the 6th or 14th hole, 100 custom beverage napkins at the bar, signage at lunch and dinner, and a quarter-page ad in our program

Contributor: $100 for signage at lunch and dinner, and a listing in our program

Bronze Sponsor: $1,000 for complimentary foursome, signage at lunch and dinner, custom pin flag, quarter-page ad in our program, and logo listing on URI alumni golf tournament website

Tee Sign Sponsor: $250 for Contributor-level benefits, plus tee signage at one hole

Silver Sponsor: $1,500 for Bronze-level benefits, plus tee sign and upgrade to half-page ad in our program

Practice Hole/Putting Contest Location Sponsor: $500 for tee signage at premier location, signage at lunch and dinner, and a listing in our program

Gold Sponsor: $2,500 for Silver-level benefits, plus upgrade to premier tee sign and full-page ad in our program

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Bob Ferrell ‘07 at 401.874.7402 or




Christopher Cilfone of Maui, Hawaii, writes that on November 9, he was awarded Best Short Film Under 15 Minutes at the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monaco, for his film One Voice. He was also a finalist in the Emerging Filmmaker category. “This film documents the success of the Save the Whale campaign,” he writes. It also supports Cilfone’s movement, Be Blue, which encourages ocean conservation. Cilfone works as a marine naturalist for the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui, where he inspires others to “Continue to Go Green, but Remember to Be Blue.” You can join the movement by liking Be Blue on Facebook and following @bluerevolocean on Instagram and Twitter.


November 7, 2015 URI Army ROTC Hall of Fame “It was an eye-opening experience hearing of the contributions of the inductees whose memories you honored. Being in the room with their families and descendants 60 to 100 years later in a free country and a free world gave evidence of why they made those sacrifices.” —Douglas Wilson ’75


Leah M. Cooper of North Kingstown, R.I., recently had her photography featured in a CNN article “Ghosts in my own space: Artist connects with lost relatives.”

Weddings Adam C. Jones ’96 and Rita M. Anderson, on July 12, 2014; and vow renewal on July 11, 2015. Amy Barth ’06 and Michael Mormak, on June 7, 2013. Carlton R. Bradshaw ’06, M.A. ’13, and Amanda Bradshaw, on July 26, 2015. Matthew D. Cipolla ’09 and Anna Holzman, on June 13, 2015.

November 21, 2015 Habitat for Humanity Build Day “I’ve always wanted to do Habitat for Humanity, so I was overjoyed when there was a sign-up with the URI Alumni Association. It was great to connect with other alumni as well as current URI students. It was a fantastic experience to see what goes into building a house and how every little bit helps.” —Brittany Pond ’10

Carolyn Kopcha ’11 and David Pancarowicz ’10, on August 29, 2015. Nicole Mingoia ’12 and Ryan Finnerty ’14, on September 12, 2015.

Births Adam C. Jones ’96 and Rita M. Jones, a son, Mason Alexander Christopher Jones, on February 25, 2015 Jennifer (Corvese) Hyde ’06 and Tyler Hyde ’15, a son, Harrison Anthony, on August 16, 2015. Jeffrey S. Korn ’08 and Marissa C. (Salvo) Korn ’09, a son, Cooper Jeffrey Korn, on October 2, 2015

January 10, 2016 URI vs. SJU Pregame Rally “It’s great to see the Philadelphia Alumni Chapter growing; at every event there are new faces. Even though we all graduated different years, it’s nice to reminisce about our time spent at URI. It’s a little Rhody in Philly.” —Kate Bielunas ’13

Eric O’Brien ’13 and Hilary O’Brien, a son, Liam O’Brien, on Jan. 22, 2015.

In Memoriam Elizabeth F. Newton ’33 of Providence, R.I., on October 22, 2015. Nathaniel B. Gouse ’40 of Cranston, R.I, on December 5, 2015. Mary K. Bond ’43 of Cumberland, R.I., on December 12, 2015.

If you attended a URI alumni event and would like to share a photo and a reminiscence, we’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at


Who Will Be at Your Mini Reunion? When you think back on your years at URI, who are the people you think about most? Maybe it’s the crazy freshmen who lived across the hall or the friends you met for coffee every Saturday. Maybe you’ve lost track of old teammates or the classmates who always walked with you to Butterfield.

Homecoming Weekend is October 21-23, 2016.

LEGACY Celebrate Your URI Legacy with Us! Legacy Family Brunch • May 21, 2016

leg•a•cy noun \ıle-gə-sē\: a student or alumnus/a who has

Visit Silvestro Goneconti ’43 of Jupiter, Fla., on May 4, 2014.

Victor A. Signorelli ’50 of Redondo Beach, Cali., on December 15, 2015.

Claire E. Healy ’45 of Warwick, R.I., on December 25, 2015.

Andre P. Desaulniers ’51 of Bristol, R.I., on October 28, 2015.

Madonna F. Sheehan ’46 of Kankakee, Ill., on October 23, 2015.

Herbert L. Emers ’51 of Providence, R.I., on August 14, 2015.

Mary Alice Bird ’47 of Farmington, Conn., on June 28, 2015.

Thomas J. Jursa ’51 of Lower Macungie Township, Pa., on November 29, 2015.

Vincent A. DiOrio ’48 of Charlotte, N.C., on February 28, 2015. Eugene F. McSweeny Jr. ’48 of Sarasota, Fla., on October 8, 2015. Warren L. Salter ’48 of Warwick, R.I., on November 25, 2015. Dr. Ralph H. Aden ’49 Newton Center, Mass., on October 23, 2015. John P. Broderick ’49 of Deland, Fla., on October 27, 2015.

a parent, grandparent, or sibling who graduated from URI.

Robert C. Pitman ’49 of Madera, Cali., on May 4, 2013.

By definition, legacies are extraordinary families who have given continued support to URI for generations. Each year, we invite graduating legacy seniors and their families to our Legacy Family Brunch during Commencement Weekend. Are you part of a URI Legacy? Join us at this family celebration— it’s a tradition that you helped build!

Jane F. Rose ’49 of Titusville, Fla., on November 13, 2015.

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Wouldn’t you love to see them at this year’s Homecoming? Now is the time to plan a Mini Reunion with your URI friends and classmates. Start by contacting Bob Ferrell in Alumni Relations at 401.874.7402 to help you track down your URI crew, and get ready for the best Homecoming ever!


Russell R. Hunt ’50 of Wakefield, R.I., on December 14, 2015. Robert W. Jordan ’50 of Washington, Pa., on December 12, 2015. James R. McCall ’50 of Spring Hill, Fla., on December 7, 2015.

Peter J. Ruisi ’51 of Westerly, R.I., on December 25, 2015. Bamby L. Soscia ’51 of Cranston, R.I., on November 9, 2015. Robert W. Staats ’51 of Lagrangeville, N.C., on November 16, 2015. Ida Dunbar ’52 of Foster, R.I., on October 5, 2015. Kenneth H. Neal ’53 of Palm City, Fla., on November 10, 2015. Lawrence L. Voelker ’52 of Lenox, Mass., on September 29, 2015. Edward Ciesla ’53, M.S. ’55, of Naugatuck, Conn., on August 9, 2015. Robert G. DiSpirito Sr. ’53 of Slippery Rock, Pa., on December 21, 2015. Joan R. Larsen ’53 of Warwick, R.I., on December 17, 2015.



Sea Star

Robinson Fulweiler M.S. ’03, Ph.D. ’07 Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler can tell you about double-edged swords. “About 50 percent of us are alive because of the nitrogen in fertilizer that helps grow our food,” she says. “But this also means that we’ve introduced large amounts of nitrogen into our coastal waters. Like anything, too much causes a series of negative consequences.” Fulweiler has devoted much of the past 15 years to studying those consequences, specifically how our use of nitrogen—in fertilizers, for example—can cause harmful conditions, such as toxic algal blooms or ocean dead zones. “Our coastal ecosystems are important because they provide services we care about, such as filtering nutrients or providing habitats for fish,” she says. “When we disturb those ecosystems, we lessen their ability to provide all the services we rely on for economic, nutritional, and recreational benefits.” Fulweiler, an associate professor at Boston University and current Bullard Fellow at Harvard Forest, was honored as a “Rising Star” at the URI Distinguished Achievement Awards in October in recognition of her work, which has played a vital role in better understanding human impact on oceans—and how we can protect against further damage. “I’m an optimist,” she says. “I absolutely think our everyday actions make a real-world difference. If we demand alternate energy sources or consume less meat, we will help drive the economy toward those options.” She adds, “I think we forget how powerful each of us can be. It’s like that quote from the Dalai Lama XIV: ‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.’” BY NICOLE MARANHAS


Career Service 1/2 vertical page

Do It Yourself Onboarding Tips Starting a new role? Your colleagues will help you get oriented, but there are critical things you can do in order to make the most of your transition: • Create a relationship map to track relationships and resources. • Start a task list immediately to capture responsibilities, opportunities, and important deadlines. • Develop organizational awareness to establish engagement and motivation from the start. The URI Alumni Association provides all URI alumni with assistance from our two career advisors. In partnership with URI’s Center for Career and Experiential Education, the advisors are dedicated to working with alumni who are conducting a job search or considering a career change. Alumni may call Alumni Career Services at 401.874.9404 or email our Alumni Career Advisors: Karen Rubano: Lisa Kuosmanen:

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Joseph S. Troll ’54, M.S. ’57, of Summerfield, Fla., on June 14, 2015.

Kenneth Girard M.A. ’69, of Chesterfield, Va., on August 16, 2015.

Joseph M. Nacci ’56 of Sarasota, Fla., on June 5, 2015.

Robert W. Dormer ’71 of Flowery Branch, Ga., on October 6, 2015.

Robert Anderson ’57 of Wakefield, R.I., on October 16, 2015.

Sheila W. Mooney ’72 of Lincoln, R.I., on March 10, 2015.

Duane B. Heineck ’57 of Beverly Hills, Fla., on May 4, 2015.

Albert A. Sherman ’72 of Lady Lake, Fla., on September 21, 2015.

William M. Campbell ’58, M.A. ’67, of Warwick, R.I., on November 15, 2015.

Marjorie J. Stenberg M.A. ’72, M.S. ’77, of Singer Island, Fla., on November 23, 2015

James J. Murray ’58 of Portsmouth, R.I., on November 27, 2015.

Ardemis L. Fargnoli ’73 of Stamford, Conn., on November 21, 2014.

John J. Swoboda ’58 of West Warwick, R.I., on October 24, 2015.

Dilliard D. Hicks Jr. ’73 of Gainesville, Fla., on November 2, 2015.

Gerald J. Doiron M.A. ’59, of Harpswell, Maine, on November 5, 2015. Stephen O. Coldwell ’61 of Southborough, Mass., on March 13, 2015. Charles P. Gilmore ’61 of Marshfield, Mass., on October 27, 2015. John E. Harding ’61 of South Haven, Mich., on December 9, 2015. David K. Welch ’61, M.B.A. ’73, of East Greenwich, R.I., on October 30, 2015. Alan C. Bailey ’62 of Exeter, R.I., on November 25, 2015. Beverly J. Lavallee ’62 of Providence, R.I., on November 7, 2015. Philip D. Chiaravalle ’63 of Morrisville, Va., on June 6, 2015. Ronald H. Kirby ’63 of Franconia, N.H., on October 1, 2015. Charles W. Ouellette ’63 of Portsmouth, R.I., on August 8, 2015. Thomas A. Galib Giddee ’64 of Somerset, Mass., on December 8, 2015. Jeremiah W. Mahoney ’64 of Providence, R.I., on October 12, 2015. John Roderick West ’64 of Middleburg, Va., on May 11, 2015. David A. Forsythe Jr. ’66 of Cohasset, N.J., on September 8, 2015. James E. Riley ’66 of East Greenwich, R.I., on November 12, 2015. Chan Jong Yeh M.S. ’67, Ph.D. ’70, of Santa Clara, Cali., on April 26, 2006. Gary J. Bowen ’68 of Boston, Mass., on November 26, 2015. Kenneth B. Carlson ’69 of Allen, Tx., on August 27, 2015.

Carole F. Goldman ’74 of Cranston, R.I., on October 2, 2015. William Holmes ’77 of Wethersfield, Conn., on March 5, 2015. Henry C. Osborn IV ’77 of Westerly, R.I., on December 4, 2015. Donald P. Rowan ’77 of Albuquerque, N.M., on September 18, 2015. Sena H. Zane M.S. ’77, of Draper, Utah, on October 13, 2015. Anthony Longo ’78 of Marina Del Ray, Cali., on June 20, 2015. Judith Ovrebo M.S. ’78, of Ocala, Fla., on December 20, 2015. Rogene Poffenberger ’78 of Franconia Twp., Pa., on January 22, 2015. James E. Buco ’79 of Cranston, R.I., on January 2, 2016. Lena M. Thomas ’79, M.S. ’82, of Manassas, Va., on December 5, 2015 Robert H. Diamond III ’80 of Johnston, Mass., on November 29, 2015. Denise M. Choiniere ’81 of Port St Lucie, Fla., on October 19, 2009. Leslie D. Ryan ’81 of Narragansett, R.I., on October 12, 2015. Lana S. Watson ’81 of New Hampton, N.H., on October 29, 2015. Harris K. Frausel ’82 Vero Beach, Fla., on October 27, 2015. Paul H. Anderson ’83 of Greenville, S.C., on June 26, 2015. Paul J. Valacer ’83 of South Windsor, Conn., on December 4, 2015. Kathy A. Marciarille ’84 of Rome, Maine., on December 27, 2015. John O. Surmeian ’84 of Pawtucket, R.I., on December 7, 2015.

Susan L. Dunley ’85 of North Kingstown, R.I., on December 3, 2015. Lisa W. Sarsalari ’85 of Glens Falls, N.Y., on December 13, 2015. Michael J. Lehnertz ’86 of Saunderstown, R.I., on October 4, 2015.


Josephine A. Risica ’86 of Pawcatuck, Conn., on November 2, 2015. David J. Erickson III ’87 of Knoxville, Tenn., on November 16, 2015. Helen M. Leeming ’87 of North Kingstown, R.I., on October 7, 2015. Benjamin L. Spector ’88 of Seattle, Wash., on November 26, 2015. Michael J. Brennan M.A. ’92, of Newport, R.I., on November 29, 2014. Joyce L. Carvell M.A. ’92, of Warwick, R.I., on October 24, 2015. Barbara Meek, Hon ’98, of Providence, R.I., on October 3, 2015. Timothy P. Hughes ’01 of Cazenovia, N.Y., on December 6, 2015. Judith M. Jones ’01, M.S. ’04, of Kingston, R.I., on October 21, 2015. Kerry L. Rock ’06 of Cranston, R.I., on October 18, 2015. James R. Urban ’10 of Bristol. R.I., on November 22, 2015. Timothy J. Martinez ’13 of Londonderry, N.H., on September 28, 2015.

Faculty and Staff In Memoriam Professor Emeritus of Human Development & Family Studies Stewart Cohen of West Kingston, R.I., on November 22, 2015. Professor Emeritus of Education Howard W. Bond of Georgetown, Tx., on November 25, 2013.

May 20–22, 2016

Class of 1966 • 50th Reunion If you graduated in 1966, don’t miss your 50th Reunion, which takes place during Commencement Weekend! Event details:

John A. Knauss, Dean Emeritus of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography, of Narragansett, R.I., on Nov. 19, 2015.

For more information, contact Kate Maccarone ‘08, 401.874.4679 or

Sona Aronian, Professor Emerita of Russian, Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies, of Kingston, R.I., on Nov. 17, 2015.

June 3–4, 2016

Golden Grad Weekend

Alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago are invited to this very special annual celebration. Event details: For more information, contact Karen Sechio ‘99, 401.874.4854 or UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 39


s t n e u g n U , s t n e m i n i L , s r i x i l E s e i r o t i s o p p u S and Want to feel better? We’ve always sought out cures for what ails us, from village herbalists, shamans, apothecarists and doctors. A big spoonful of progress came during the Industrial Revolution, when New England emerged as a center for the burgeoning pharmacy trade, which was then extricating itself from medicine and becoming a science in its own right. The small druggists that anchored every community are mostly gone now. But scattered among the modern lines and 3D printed molecules that grace URI’s new $75-million pharmacy building, their artifacts linger, reminders of this most intimate thread of our history. “They’re the link between old and new,” observes Norman Campbell ’56, a former URI pharmacy professor and dean, as he admires the displays he helped create. Many remedies are small monuments to inventive marketing. Of the many flavors of Humphreys Pills, for instance, huge numbers branded each use: #77 was for the common cold, #31 for painful menstruation, and #27 for disorders of urine. In other cabinets, the mysterious Sanitube for Masculine Hygiene sits alongside molds for making pills and suppositories. “Rhode Island was a hotbed for patent medicine manufacturers,” says Anthony Palmieri ’71, a retired pharmacy



professor and director of the University of Florida’s pharmacy museum, who with many other alumni has contributed to the URI collection. “They typically contained an awful lot of alcohol, which was pretty good for patients because while it might not help you, at least you didn’t mind having the disease.” The collection contains larger monuments, too. The lavish door surround that now guards the dean’s office displays the elaborate carving, rich hues, and shelves of glowing liquids that once telegraphed the well-heeled importance of the druggist’s workshop. The family artifact was donated by Peter DiCristofaro ’75, a pharmacist at Rhode Island Hospital.

Since that door was built, crusading pharmacist politicians pushed for the sweeping drug regulations that put many medicines behind a prescription wall, family-owned pharmacies were swallowed by mega-chains, and we’ve developed access to a dizzying number of precisely manufactured medications, with more constantly under development. “Medicine from plants is still expanding,” says pharmacy professor David Rowley. “More than half of modern drugs are inspired by molecules in nature. It’s a rich history for which URI has been well known for decades.” • — Pippa Jack


Give the

World Christiana Guertin ’16 of Woonsocket, R.I., is the first in her family to attend college. She entered through the URI Talent Development Program and has never looked back. Private scholarships and other support have enabled Christiana not only to attend college, but to embrace amazing opportunities, including global studies last year in Brazil—something she had only dreamed of being able to do.


Your support makes a real difference to real students, like Christiana. Consider supporting student scholarships or making a gift to the program or area of your choice. Give online at or call 401.874.4221 to explore giving options. UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 41

Alumni Center 73 Upper College Road Kingston, RI 02881 USA

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Alumni Association University of Rhode Island


an evening of grapes grain


June 11, 2016, 5–8 p.m. President’s House Lawn URI Kingston Campus

Seventh Annual Benefit for URI Women’s Athletics Enjoy a wide selection of fine wines, specialty beers, and select foods provided by area businesses.

Honorary Chair Ellie Lemaire Hosted by Lynn Baker-Dooley and Friends of Women’s Athletics with generous support from

URI QuadAngles Spring 2016  

The University of Rhode Island Alumni Magazine

URI QuadAngles Spring 2016  

The University of Rhode Island Alumni Magazine