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WINTER 2013–2014

Game Changer Tom ’75 and Cathy Ryan Give a Transformational Gift for Neuroscience Research

Mind Reader Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Walter Besio’s patented invention, a bull’s eye electrode, is designed to translate a person’s thoughts into electrical impulses that can be read by a computer. For people who are paralyzed, Besio’s electrode is a miracle device, enabling them to use their thoughts to control phones, televisions, and other devices. Besio, whose brother was paralyzed following a car accident, says, “My goal is to help alleviate pain, disability, disease, and suffering in society.” The electrode has additional uses: it works with current EEG equipment to diagnose and control epilepsy.

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WINTER 2013–2014 | VOLUME 21, NO. 2

Departments 2










35 37

Features 12


News from your classmates


Andrew Gaynor ’98






Marc Archambault ’94 makes his living doing what he loves



More Online


See the whole print issue and so much more! Follow the orange arrow icon to see exclusive online content.


Going boldly where few have gone before, GSO researchers chart new territory in Antarctica as they discover what makes krill tick

Still Crazy (About Rhody Rams) After All These Years

Fit, Fabulous, Fascitelli

A campus landmark is transformed, celebrating a son’s memories of his mother



Going Viral

Professor Alan Rothman is URI’s own 20 Million Dollar Man

Behind Every Great a Great Professor

Bette Erickson’s Instructional Development Program turns out one great professor after another

Share stories with friends and family.

Class Pics


The Thrill of the Krill

Diehard season ticket holders share the agony and the ecstasy of URI Men’s Basketball

Peter Vandall ’03


Brain Power

Tom and Cathy Ryan give URI—and people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases—the gift of a lifetime


A Night to Celebrate URI

The President’s Distinguished Achievement Awards draws a crowd to recognize alumni and friends of the University


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12/20/13 2:17 PM

FEEDBACK Bob Hurley ’51 “Ramnapping” evokes fond memories of a cherished victory.

FEEDBACK Our alumni are important to us, and the URI Alumni Association encourages your participation in everything we do. Visit us online at

We want to hear from you! Please share your news by emailing us at:


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QUADANGLES NAACP Milestone URI students and faculty joined the Providence branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on November 1, 2013 to honor Congressman John Lewis at the organization’s 100th anniversary dinner.

A quarterly publication of the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association, 73 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881. p: 401.874.2242 e: Executive Editor

Guest Editor

Melanie Coon

Art Director

Kim Robertson

Contributing Editors | Writers

Contributing Designers

Photographer Editorial Board

URI Alumni Relations Staff

Alumni Association Executive Board

Alumni Association Councilors-at-Large

Above, at top: URI students Tyrene Jones, Christina Moyet, Isawra Dos Santos, and Gianelle Alba enjoy a moment at the NAACP 100th anniversary gala. Bottom photo, Representative John Lewis of Georgia, an original freedom rider, was honored at the event. Here, he is pictured with Lynne Derbyshire, URI Honors Program director and associate professor of Communications Studies.

Michele A. Nota ’87, M.S. ’06, Executive Director, URI Alumni Relations; Secretary, Alumni Association Executive Board

Barbara Caron Shane Donaldson ’99 Dave LaValle ’79 Todd McLeish Cindy Sabato Johnson Ma Bo Pickard Verna Thurber Nora Lewis Kerrie Bennett M.B.A. ’06, Interim Executive Director, URI Communications and Community Relations Linda A. Acciardo ’77, Director, URI Communications and Marketing Tracey A. Manni, Director of Communications, URI Foundation Kathleen DiPietro, Executive Assistant Chris DiSano, Specialist Robert Ferrell ’07, Specialist Kathleen Gianquitti ’71, M.S. ’82, Assistant Director Shana Greene ’95, M.S.’97, Assistant Director Sarah Lobdell ’96, Associate Director Darthula Mathews ’13, Program Assistant Mary Ann Mazzone, Office Assistant Amy Paulsen, Web/Print Editor Kate Serafini ’08, Specialist Gina Simonelli ’01, M.S.’03, Assistant Director Louise H. Thorson M.B.A.’85, President Joseph M. Confessore ’96, Past President Susan R. Johnson ’82, Vice President Kathleen P. O’Donnell ’90, Vice President Benjamin W. Tuthill ’04, Treasurer Laurel L. Bowerman ’77, M.B.A. ’84 William M. Dolan III ’81 Matthew T. Finan ’11 Colleen Gouveia M.B.A.’98 Tyrene A. Jones ’10 Brina R. Masi ’01 Edwin R. Pacheco ’05 Gregory S. Perry ’88 Darran A. Simon ’98 Christos S. Xenophontos ’84, M.S.’85

Alumni Association Representatives Arts & Sciences Catherine Gagnon ’98, M.M.’03 Business Administration Jordan D. Kanter ’99, M.S.’00 Feinstein Continuing Education Edward Bozzi Jr. ’68 Engineering Daniel G. Lowney ’75 Environment and Life Sciences Catherine Weaver ’82, B.L.A.’96 Human Science & Services Christine S. Pelton ’84 Nursing Denise A. Coppa ’72, Ph.D.’02 Pharmacy Henrique “Henry” Pedro ’76 Graduate School of Oceanography Veronica M. Berounsky Ph.D. ’91 Faculty Senate Andrea L. Yates ’94, Ph.D.’06 Student Senate Matthew Kilduff, Class of ’15 Student Alumni Association Stephen Petrarca, Class of ’14 URI Foundation Thomas J. Silvia ’83 The URI Alumni Association informs and engages current and future alumni as committed partners of the University, its mission and traditions.


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The Anna Fascitelli Fitness & Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art facility, complementing rigorous studies with rigorous workouts.

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PRESIDENT’SVIEW The University of Rhode Island is ushering in the new year from a position of great strength and with enormous optimism. By now you undoubtedly have heard the wonderful news that Tom ’75 and Cathy Ryan presented the University with an extraordinary transformational gift of $15 million to establish the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. You can learn much more about the Institute in these pages. The significance of the Ryans’ gift stretches beyond the study of neuroscience and the possibilities of finding cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS. The Ryans’ gift to URI represents a new kind of philanthropy. Like Bill and Melinda Gates, who have devoted themselves to eradicating diseases like AIDS and malaria in the world’s poorest countries, and to improving high school and postsecondary education in the U.S., Tom and Cathy are in the forefront of a generation of philanthropists who are strategic, focused, results-oriented, and savvy. Their decision to invest in neuroscience came after many conversations not only with faculty and administrative leaders at URI, but also with influential leaders in higher education and health care throughout Rhode Island. This is a gift of the heart, tied closely to the story of Tom’s parents as they faced the ravages of disease and decline. But it is also a gift of the mind: intentional and with clear goals. Another recent gift of the heart and mind is designed to benefit the body. The brand new Anna Fascitelli Fitness & Wellness Center, dedicated on October 8, 2013, was made possible by a gift from Michael Fascitelli ’78 and his wife, Beth, and is named for Michael’s late mother, who will continue to inspire URI students for

Ryan Photo: © 2010 R. Michael Zilz

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generations to come as they enjoy this state-of-the-art facility, complementing their rigorous studies with rigorous workouts. We understand that the tremendous opportunities created by both of these gifts, as well as the previous gift from Richard Harrington to create the Harrington School of Communication and Media, come with great responsibility. We are deeply grateful to the Ryans, the Fascitellis, and Dick Harrington for their unprecedented generosity and vision, and for their belief in URI. Their belief in us—along with yours— drives us to be a better university today than we were yesterday, and to become a better university tomorrow than we are today. With your support and encouragement, we have made significant strides toward reaching the “transformational goals” we set out in our strategic plan. Top-notch faculty like Cheryl Foster, recently named 2013 Professor of the Year for Rhode Island by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and Alan Rothman, URI’s own “20 Million Dollar Man,” are just two examples of this progress. Others abound in this issue of QuadAngles. It is a wonderful time to be associated with this great institution. Lynn and I wish you a 2014 filled with renewed Rhody pride. — David M. Dooley

Top: Tom and Cathy Ryan. Below: Elizabeth and Michael Fascitelli at the Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center, dedicated on October 8, 2013. Left: Students working out at the Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center.


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NEWS&VIEWS Economic Impact Study highlights The University of Rhode Island is the state’s public research university, and its leading provider of four-year undergraduate and graduate education. As a significant enterprise in its own right and through its mission of education, research, outreach, and community engagement, URI is a major contributor to the ongoing development of Rhode Island’s economy. The URI Foundation, on behalf of the University, commissioned Appleseed, Inc. of New York City to produce a report on URI’s economic impact on the State of Rhode Island. For the full report, go to



In FY2012, URI’s revenues totaled nearly $469 million,* more than half of which were derived from sources outside the state. Student tuition and fees accounted for 51 percent of total revenues.

• The study estimates that off-campus spending by out-of-state students totaled about $82.4 million, supporting more than 1,100 FTE jobs in Rhode Island. Using the multiplier effect, this spending directly and indirectly resulted in 1,440 FTE jobs, and $42 million in wages.


• The University directly and indirectly generated $726 million in statewide economic activity, supported 8,200 jobs, and provided $392 million in wages—about 2 percent of all wage and salary employment in Rhode Island.


• URI is the sixth largest employer in the state, employing 3,675 people in FY2012 on all four campuses.

• In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, the URI Research Foundation filed 42 U.S. patent applications, was awarded 22 new patents, entered into 10 agreements for use of the University’s intellectual property, and assisted in the formation of three new companies engaged in the commercialization of University research.

• Every state dollar invested in the University generates nearly $6.70 in statewide economic activity. • The University spent $86 million on construction, $57 million of which was paid to Rhode Island-based contractors, directly supporting 429 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in construction and related industries. • The University spent $98 million on purchases of goods and services (other than construction), 46 percent of which were made from Rhode Island companies and organizations.

• Competitive research grants awarded to the University have increased 64 percent since 2007, with 80 percent of research funding coming from the federal government.

• During the first eight months of Fiscal Year 2013, the pace of technology transfer accelerated even further, with the completion of 21 additional intellectual property agreements and the formation of four new companies. *Source: URI Audited Financial Statement Fiscal 2012

• The University’s purchases of goods and services from Rhode Island companies directly supported 311 FTE jobs at these companies. ALUMNI IMPACT

• As of last summer, more than 48,400 URI graduates lived in the state, and they accounted for about 22 percent of all Rhode Islanders with at least a four-year degree. • The report estimates that in 2011, the knowledge, skills, and experience these 48,400 Rhode Islanders acquired while studying at URI increased Rhode Island’s gross domestic product by $3.5 billion—equal to about seven percent of the state’s $50.1 billion GDP.


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12/19/13 11:05 AM

URI’s newest big thinkers

Dedication of CVS Caremark Teaching/Learning Wing at the College of Pharmacy University of Rhode Island officials, pharmacy faculty and pharmacy students joined CVS Caremark Corp. leaders including CEO Larry Merlo in September to formally celebrate and dedicate new facilities at the College of Pharmacy supported by the Woonsocketbased corporation. Although the $75 million home of URI’s College of Pharmacy opened in fall 2012, the ceremony gave URI leaders a chance to recognize CVS Caremark for its many contributions to the success of the project and its many years of support for the College of Pharmacy and URI overall. Teaching and learning spaces highlighted during the ceremony were the CVS Caremark Professional Practice Laboratory, CVS Caremark Teaching Wing, CVS Caremark Interdisciplinary Health Delivery Simulation Laboratory, and CVS Caremark Multipurpose Teaching Laboratory. The inclusion of such facilities in the building project was made possible in large part to a $2 million pledge made by CVS Caremark in 2009 to support the project and the pharmacy college. This represents the largest single corporate gift to URI’s College of Pharmacy in its 56-year-history. The simulation laboratory is designed for use by URI pharmacy and nursing students. Ultimately, physicians will also be able to participate in training sessions with the equipment from remote locations. One of the learning spaces features a mock CVS pharmacy where students work with faculty on developing their clinical and communication skills. The goal in developing such teaching and learning spaces was to enhance teamwork and communication among pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals to deliver the best possible care to patients. “We celebrate the commitment made by CVS Caremark to our students and faculty of the College of Pharmacy,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “These facilities are tangible examples of the productive and mutually beneficial partnership between our two organizations. Such collaborations only serve to benefit the health of Rhode Islanders, and indeed, people around the world, while also helping to bolster the state’s economy in the burgeoning health care and biomedical science industries.”

Christina L. Valentino, Vice President, Administration and Finance Valentino has 20 years of leadership experience at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in administration, finance, human resources, public safety, construction, strategic planning, development, and other areas. Most recently as special assistant to the chancellor, she was a member of the chancellor’s cabinet responsible for strategic planning and advancing philanthropic support for the University’s first fundraising campaign. Previously, she served for more than a decade as vice chancellor and associate vice chancellor for business and administrative services. Valentino served as chief financial officer, chief compliance officer, incident commander for emergency management, and chair of the executive committee on sustainability. She managed a staff of nearly 1,100 and a budget of approximately $180 million. Valentino has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles and a graduate certificate in public affairs through the CORO Foundation Fellowship program. Prior to her employment at UC Santa Cruz, she served in various roles in the public and private sectors in New York and California. Gerald Sonnenfeld, Vice President, Research and Economic Development Sonnenfeld has decades of experience in higher education, both as an administrator and as a scientist. Most recently he was vice president of the Clemson University School of Health Research and chief science officer of the Greenville Health System in Greenville, South Carolina. Sonnenfeld was appointed as Clemson’s vice president for research and professor of biological sciences in 2010. Before working at Clemson, he was vice president for research and professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University, State University of New York, and associate dean for basic sciences and graduate studies at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. At Morehouse, Sonnenfeld chaired the department of microbiology, biochemistry, and immunology, and the Morehouse School of Medicine intellectual property committee. He was a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Sonnenfeld received his B.S. in biology in 1970 from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 1975 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He completed postdoctoral training in infectious diseases and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978. During his career, he has been awarded more than $14 million in federal research grants and holds two U.S. patents and one from Canada. UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 7

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Outreach Center (by the numbers)

It was another busy year for the staff, students and volunteers at the Outreach Center, the home of numerous Cooperative Extension programs, where citizens, communities, government agencies and businesses can access research-based information on horticulture, energy, and other topics.

550,000 television viewers

tuned into the URI Plant Pro broadcasts on WJAR/Channel 10 in 2013.

5,677 tons

of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided through the efforts of the Ocean State Clean Cities initiative.

5,000+ children

were connected to the natural world through field trips, teacher workshops, summer camps, and school garden mentor programs.

4,500 people

attended community events, including the East Farm Spring Festival, Fairy Garden Day, Gardening with the Masters Tour, Fall Fest, and Holidays in the Park.

3,000 pounds

of produce was grown and donated to food pantries by URI Master Gardeners.

2,386 questions

were called or emailed to the gardening hotline from January to September.

661 refrigerators

were recycled in Rhode Island as a result of outreach efforts.

359 soil tests

were conducted for local homeowners between January and September.

250 homeowners

, students, and business owners learned to reduce their energy consumption through the Master Energy Program.

90 students

worked as Energy Fellows or Science & Engineering Fellows since 2008 to solve real-world energy, engineering, and biotechnology problems.

31 garden-based classes

and workshops were held for lifelong learners at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and URI Botanical Gardens.

4 energy

policies were written to help local communities adopt energy-conscious behaviors. To learn more or to join the mailing list for announcements of future programs, visit

Italian IEP Program For some, Italy is synonymous with exquisite food, wine, and shoes, but at URI, Italy’s engineering accomplishments are what come to mind. From the Roman aqueducts to the Venice canals and an array of high-performance cars, Italian engineered items are among the best in the world. That’s why URI’s worldrenowned International Engineering Program has just added an Italian option in partnership with the University of Calabria. “Italy is one of the most highly industrialized countries in the world, where engineers work to design some of the world’s best cars, motorcycles, bicycles, small appliances, and electronics. And the University of Calabria has one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering programs in Italy, with especially strong civil and mechanical engineering programs and a new program in architectural engineering. It is the ideal partner for URI in Italy,” said Michelangelo La Luna, associate professor of Italian and director of the Italian International Engineering Program. URI’s 26-year-old International Engineering Program, the first of its kind in the United States and a national model, is a five-year program in which students earn a B.A. in a language and a B.S. in engineering, and spend one full year abroad, studying at a partner institution in Germany, France, Spain, China, and now, Italy, and working at leading engineering firms overseas. It’s also a program with close to a 100 percent job placement rate within six months after graduation. “The program [in Italy] will provide our students with even greater opportunities to prepare for global engineering careers in Italian-owned companies with global operations, such as Ferrari, Fiat/Chrysler, GTECH, and Barilla,” said International Engineering Program Director Sigrid Berka. The first URI students to participate in the new program will likely travel to Calabria in the 2014-2015 academic year.


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12/19/13 11:06 AM

Ocean technology firm expands to Rhode Island for URI connection One month after the launch of the University’s Business Engagement Center, designed to be a central portal for businesses to connect with URI resources, ocean technology firm Navatek Limited announced the opening of its first East Coast office in South Kingstown. When the Hawaii-based company chose its new location in the Palisades mill complex in Peacedale, proximity to URI was a major factor.

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On YouTube: Pictured with Dean of Engineering Ray Wright are recent graduates working at Navatek, whose CEO, Martin Kao, is standing in rear, far right.

Navatek executives say URI is providing a critical pipeline of engineers to the company. “We’re eager to collaborate with the University to develop a future workforce and a continuing pipeline of new ideas valuable to the defense and alternative energy sectors,” said Navatek Chief Scientist David Kring. By the end of the year, Navatek will employ eight URI engineering graduates and launch a paid internship program for URI engineering students. Graduates and interns alike will do hands-on, high-tech research and development to create software that will enable the U.S. Navy to design ships that are faster, more energy efficient, and can move more efficiently and safely through the waves. “We’re taking the problem-solving skills we learned at URI and applying them to cutting edge research,” said URI alumnus and Navatek engineer Chris O’Reilly ’13. Navatek is a leader in the design of advanced ship hulls for the Navy, as well as wind turbine technologies, wave energy

conversion, and utility-scale energy storage. It’s a place with the feel of a small start-up but with the backing of a 40-year old company that spends $25 million per year on research. Even before Navatek opened its new offices, company executives signed an agreement with the University to launch a paid internship program for engineering students to provide practical, hands-on learning experiences. The company also plans to send its engineers into the classroom to serve as mentors for senior design projects, which pair students with company personnel to solve real-world engineering challenges. These are exactly the kind of partnerships that the Business Engagement Center was designed to facilitate, according to URI President David M. Dooley. “Our partnership with Navatek provides real-world, realistic and challenging learning opportunities for students; innovative research possibilities; and another strong relationship with private industry,” he said.


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12/19/13 11:06 AM

PRESSBOX Caroline Casey Saves a Life Through Marrow Donation On October 17 Rhode Island women’s volleyball player Caroline Casey ’15 became the fifth member of the URI Athletics family to complete a bone marrow donation to save the life of a stranger. She joined football players Matt ’15 and John Greenhalgh ’16, former rower Grace Rignanese ’12, and assistant football coach Ryan Mattison, all of whom have been marrow matches in the last three years. Overall, there have been 10 marrow matches identified in the URI community through the football team’s annual bone marrow drives in the last five years. Of the 39 collegiate teams that hold annual registration drives on behalf of the Be the Match Foundation, only Yale (12) has found more matches than Rhode Island. Casey’s marrow went to a 32-year-old woman from the United States. While she can send the woman anonymous letters, she has to wait a year before possibly meeting the woman, and even then, it will be the recipient’s choice.

“It’s cool to be a part of it,” said Casey, who registered as a potential marrow match in the spring of her freshman year. “The impact of the football team holding this drive is impressive. I think it keeps us going as a community. Now that I have gone through it, if I can be an advocate and help other people who might be struggling with the decision of whether to go through with it, I am excited to do that.” “Sports are obviously our passion, but it is not life,” Casey said. “There is more to life than sports, especially when you are talking about giving someone else the opportunity of life.”

50 Greatest Football Players Named to Rhody Grand Team On October 5 at Brown University, in conjunction with the thousandth football game in program history the URI Athletics Department announced the members of the Fans’ Choice Rhody Grand Team. The squad, chosen by fans in a series of polls on throughout the summer, consists of the 50 greatest players in program history, along with legendary head coach Bob Griffin ’71, M.S. ’72. Running back Pat Abbruzzi ’55—who played from 1951 through 1954—was the top vote getter at his position and remains the school’s all-time leading rusher 59 seasons after his career with the Rams ended. The Fans’ Choice Rhody Grand Team list includes 14 players who earned a combined 37 All-American honors from various organizations. Quarterback Tom Ehrhardt ’86, running back Joe Casey ’09,

Bob Griffin ’71, M.S. ’72

Pat Abbruzzi ’55

tight ends Brian Forster ’87 and Darren Rizzi ’92, wide receiver Cy Butler ’09, and linemen Dustin Bayer ’05, Rich Pelzer ’83, and Bob White ’56 earned All-American honors on the offensive side of the ball. Rizzi—now the special teams coordinator for the Miami Dolphins—earned a combined nine All-American honors from seven


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12/19/13 11:07 AM

Gina Sperry Named to New Agenda Hall of Fame Gina Sperry, an associate athletic director for Rhode Island Athletics, was honored and inducted into the New Agenda: Northeast Hall of Fame at a luncheon at the Woodland Golf Club in Newton, Mass. on November 3, 2013. The New Agenda: Northeast is an organization that promotes the advancement and recognizes the achievements of girls and women in sports throughout New England. Sperry was nominated and selected by the current Hall of Fame members. She was chosen for her outstanding qualifications and significant contributions to girls and women in sports. Sperry serves on several committees: NCAA Division I Track & Field Committee, co-chair of the Atlantic 10 Conference Track & Field Committee, URI President’s Commission on the Status of Women, URI

Tom Ehrhardt ’86

Association for Professional and Academic Women (past president), and Rhode Island Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Since coming to URI in September 2002, Sperry has been an academic advisor/learning specialist for men’s basketball and men’s track & field squads, and has worked with the gymnastics, soccer, swimming, softball, rowing, and women’s basketball teams. In addition to her academic work with student-athletes, Sperry also served as the coordinator for the Rhody Life Skills Program.  During her own athletic career, Sperry was a national-class distance runner. She was a National Amateur Champion at 10-kilometers in 1986. Sperry also qualified for the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the Marathon and finished 18th at the 1986 Boston Marathon.

Dameon Reilly ’86

different organizations, the most for any player in school history. Defensively, linemen Tony DeLuca ’84, Lou D’Agostino ’96, and Frank Ferrara ’99 were recognized as All-Americans during their careers, as were defensive backs Mike Cassidy ’86, Lance Small ’02 and Kevin Smith ’91.

URI Cheerleaders Place Second Nationally The Rhode Island cheerleading team finished second overall at the Division 1 All-Girl Division at the Universal Cheerleaders Association College Cheerleading Camp, held at the University of Scranton in September. The team spent four days at Scranton and the camp consisted of many high-profile competitive and collegiate cheerleading programs from across the country. The Rams’ spirit team earned the UCA Camp’s two most prestigious awards—the most collegiate award and the leadership plaque. The Rhody cheerleading program has captured the most collegiate awards in each of the past four years. The leadership plaque has a special meaning to the squad because it is the only award voted on by the campers, not by the instructional staff. The Rams’ spirit team also won the sideline competition and took third place in the fight song and cheer competitions.

Calvin Whitfield ’83

Steve Furness ’72

Four members of the Fans’ Choice Rhody Grand Team also were selected in 1996 to the Yankee Conference 50th Anniversary Team. Forster, Smith, defensive lineman Steve Furness ’72, and offensive lineman Jeffrey Williams ’77 are all considered among the best players in the history of the Yankee Conference.


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12/19/13 11:07 AM

Brain Power Drawing on the expertise of faculty and researchers from URI’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, the Ryan Institute will serve as the coordinating hub for URI’s neuroscience research and educational activities, and will bring even greater funding and focus to these areas. On the deck of Tom and Cathy Ryan’s Narragansett home in the summer of 2011, URI President Dave Dooley and Tom Ryan ’75 were earnestly discussing Ryan’s vision and plans for his alma mater. Ryan had made clear his strong interest in the discovery of new cures, drugs, therapies and innovative treatments focused on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and traumatic brain injury. Together with Dooley, he was determined to identify an area of scientific study in which URI possessed talent, strength, and potential, and where aggressive progress was not only possible but also probable. “When I retired from CVS Caremark two years ago,” says Ryan, who served as the company’s chairman, president, and CEO, “we had conversations about the family foundation’s focus, and we decided to go with education and health care. I had several discussions with President Dooley because, although I had given back to the University in a number of ways, I wanted to give to something that was more transformational, really more of a lasting, future gift.” On November 14, 2013, Tom and Cathy Ryan, with the support of the entire Ryan family, announced an unprecedented $15 million private donation to establish the George & Anne Ryan Institute of Neuroscience at URI, memorializing Tom’s father who died in 2004 from a stroke and resulting Alzheimer’s disease, and his late mother, whose health declined while caring for his father. This is the largest private charitable gift in the University’s history.

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12/19/13 11:13 AM

“When you look at what’s happening around the world with ALS, autism, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, it’s truly an epidemic,” said Ryan. “As the population ages, not only in the U.S., but globally, it’s going to get worse.” In fact, with more than 600 known types of neurological disorders, the World Health Organization estimates that one in three Americans is likely to suffer from a neurological disorder. Alzheimer’s alone costs the United States as much as $200 billion per year in direct and indirect health care expenses. “On a personal level, my dad retired at a young age, was extremely healthy, rock-solid, kind of a bigger than life guy—and he had a stroke and then subsequent Alzheimer’s. I saw what it did to him, what it did to my mother, and our family. The economic costs are one thing, but the personal, emotional costs are another. It steals memories. It saddles caregivers. I saw my mom’s health go down. I had colleagues at CVS pass away from ALS. So it hit close to home for us and—once we did the due diligence and saw what was going on at URI—it was a natural fit.“ And it was a natural fit. The stars had aligned for Ryan and URI. In 2011, expressing its strong commitment to brain-disease research, the University launched the graduate Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program (INP), with more than 30 faculty in 10 departments and six colleges, including biology, pharmacy, engineering, Photos: Joe Giblin

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psychology, communicative disorders, chemistry, and more. In the meantime, Ryan, a 1975 pharmacy graduate, met with this collection of faculty at URI, with a mission of conducting innovative research to uncover prevention and treatment therapies for neurologically-based and neuropsychiatric disorders, and was fascinated by their work. The toll his father’s disease took on his mother during his father’s declining years was still top of mind. After discussions with Cathy and their family, he decided that a gift to establish an institute of neuroscience could have significant impact in an area important to him and to URI. “I shared with Tom that ‘with a significant investment on your part, you could in essence accelerate the University’s progress in this area dramatically…this one gift could catapult URI to a position of national prominence in neuroscience research and education,’” Dooley said. “I think Tom found that to be an appealing concept, brimming with potential.” The George & Anne Ryan Institute of Neuroscience at URI will focus its research, teaching, and outreach on neurodegenerative diseases. Drawing on the expertise of INP faculty and researchers, the Ryan Institute will serve as the coordinating hub for URI’s neuroscience research and educational activities, and will bring even greater funding and focus to these issues. An additional bonus of this gift: Leveraging URI’s research strengths in pharmacology/drug

Left: Tom and Cathy Ryan. Right: left to right: Provost Donald H. Dehayes; Thomas M. Ryan ’75; Nasser H. Zawia, director of the INP and dean of the Graduate School; Thomas J. Silvia ’83, chair of the URI Foundation executive board; Governor Lincoln D. Chafee; and URI President David M. Dooley (speaking). Facing page: Biomedical Engineering Professor Walt Besio’s cutting-edge electrode shows great promise in controlling seizures.


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Attending the dedication ceremony on November 14, 2013, at left, front row, Cathy Ryan and Lynn Baker Dooley; below from left, Senator Daniel DaPonte and Governor Lincoln D. Chafee.

discovery, neuroengineering, and neuropsychology, the Institute will stimulate cooperation among other institutions in Rhode Island. These include the well-established neuroscience program at Brown University, the basic research programs of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, the newly formed Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at Rhode Island Hospital that focuses on clinical neuroscience, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other regional and national entities working to develop and deliver treatments for central nervous system disorders. The Institute will bring together investigators from various disciplines to create an environment in which those working on molecules or devices, for instance, can partner with those who can test such work in animal or cell culture models and, ultimately, translate such activities into clinical treatments. [See sidebar, next page] “As CEO of CVS Caremark, Tom was acutely aware that neurodegenerative disease or neurological disorders were an increasingly and rapidly expanding health care problem for the United States and globally,” said Dooley. “As people age and as the numbers of patients expand dramatically, the incidence of disorders around neurodegenerative diseases, neurological degeneration for example, become more common and more difficult to treat. We really need some breakthroughs in this area—from the point of therapeutics­—how you treat it, how you diagnose it early enough to actually be effective in your treatments, and how to take steps to minimize the incidence, that is preventive,” he added.

“Neuroscience is one of the last scientific frontiers where fundamental discoveries can still be made,” noted Nasser Zawia, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology, director of the INP and dean of the Graduate School. “This investment could not have come at a more opportune time. Over the last decade or so there have been major advances in our understanding of the brain that have allowed for innovative therapeutic solutions and treatments not possible with our previous limited knowledge.” This year alone, a national strategy to address these disorders was under discussion in Congress; the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy named its first coordinator of neuroscience research; the Obama administration unveiled a $100 million brain mapping initiative; and the Society for Neuroscience described the coming years as “a period of breakthrough discovery in brain science,” in which the field is “poised to make revolutionary advances.” “If we do it right and we work together and we increase research dollars, get more faculty, more money in the state, find some cures, some breakthroughs, the economic development will follow,” said Ryan. “But, we’re not doing this for economic development, we’re doing this to try to solve a major problem in this country. And if we do that and do it better than anybody else, we will become the center of excellence, and I think that’s the ultimate goal. “It’s just the right thing to do, and we think it’s going to make a difference; not only for URI, but for the state, and, ultimately, for society.” —Linda Acciardo ’77

“In addition to helping ease the suffering of millions of people around the globe, the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience will contribute significantly to economic development in Rhode Island by creating a vibrant environment for the expansion of basic biomedical research and clinical practice in neuroscience.” —Governor Lincoln D. Chafee

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Powerful Brains Biomedical engineering Professor Walt Besio’s research will benefit from the establishment of the new Ryan Institute. He has invented an electrode so sensitive that it can translate a person’s thoughts into electrical impulses that can be read by a computer, eventually enabling people who are paralyzed to use their thoughts to control their telephone, television, or other devices in their environment. “The electrode allows me to see things that others haven’t been able to see before,” he said. Besio’s cutting-edge device automatically cancels noise and can detect brain signals that would not be discernible from noise with currently used electroencephalogram equipment, which has also allowed him to make great strides toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Unlike existing electrodes, Besio’s invention can precisely pinpoint where on the brain a seizure originates, helping scientists diagnose disease. The electrode can also be used in a therapeutic manner to administer an electrical stimulus to a precise location in the brain to control seizures.

Above: Nasser Zawia in the lab with Aseel Eid, a doctoral student in the INP. Below: Lisa Weyandt studies neurological therapies for conditions including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


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Lisa Weyandt is also studying neurological therapies, but her focus is on the three to seven percent of the school-age population in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the chronic neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impulsive behavior, restlessness and an inability to sustain attention. It’s a disorder that the psychology professor says causes academic and social challenges for college students.

A leading researcher on the effects of ADHD on young adults, Weyandt is involved in a study of the academic and psychological functioning of college students with ADHD. She also conducted the first clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of the prescription stimulant Vyvanse on college students with ADHD. Unfortunately, many college-age students who have not been diagnosed with ADHD take medications prescribed for the disorder because they think it will improve their academic performance. It’s a dangerous practice that worries Weyandt. “There are known health risks associated with taking these medications,” she said. “Taking these meds decreases appetite and causes difficulty sleeping, and they’re doing it without scientific evidence that it is truly enhancing their cognitive abilities and academic performance.” INP Director Nasser Zawia says that the collaborative, interdisciplinary approach URI scientists are taking to address the wide scope of neurological disorders will serve the global community well. “Figuring out the brain takes a variety of people—engineers, biologists, physicists, chemists. It’s a very complex system, and to understand it, you can’t just study it from the perspective of one discipline,” he said. “Now, with the Ryan Institute, we’re creating an intellectual environment under the umbrella of neuroscience where we can work to solve worldwide problems of health and cognition to better understand the human brain.” —Todd McLeish


12/19/13 11:15 AM

The Thrill of the

Krill GSO’s venture into the icy waters of Antarctica

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On May 13, 2013, 23 scientists set out from the southern tip of Chile, headed to the West Antarctic Peninsula, for a month-long cruise through the fjords of the coldest continent. Their mission, funded through the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, was to learn more about Euphausia superba, or krill, as these tiny creatures are more commonly known.

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Krill Krill are only about three to five centimeters long and vital to the ecosystem of Antarctica.


he expedition was designed and led by four Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) faculty members and Professor Meng Zhou from UMass Boston. From GSO scientists included Principal Investigator (P.I.) Professor Edward “Ted” Durbin along with Co-P.I.’s Professor Chris Roman and Professor Susanne Menden-Deuer, who also participated in the cruise, and Professor Tatiana Rynearson, who provided assistance with the research from land. Professors Bethany Jenkins (College of the Environment and Life Sciences) and Rebecca Robinson (GSO) also participated and provided crucial support. Additionally, nine URI-based graduate students, post-docs, and scientists played active roles in the research, and two URI undergraduate students, Michelle Dennis and Iain McCoy, were able to participate as volunteers. Although krill are only about three to five centimeters long, they are vital to the ecosystem of Antarctica, making up 90 percent of the diet of the continent’s penguins and whales. But large gaps remain in our understanding of how the krill themselves survive, particularly during the winter season. “A lot of scientists have been curious for years about what happens to krill in the wintertime and how they survive,” says Durbin. During the warmer months, krill eat phytoplankton, which are microscopic plants found in the water column. In the winter though, it is too dark for the plants to grow. What then do they eat? “Given the food options on the menu,” explains Rynearson, “we’d like to know what the krill are eating and where they are eating it.” An expert in genetic analysis, she was able to provide crucial assistance in identifying prey present in krill guts VIDEO AND MORE | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES PHOTOS: ALISON CLEARY; MARIA CASAS; DAVE MUNROE

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and in comparing this to the potential prey items found in the krill’s environment, helping to piece together the puzzle of what the krill have eaten as well as the source of their food. Another aspect of research focused on krill swimming patterns, investigating whether differences in swimming patterns could be seen in relation to the various types of prey, an area of specialization for Menden-Deuer. “Krill movement will tell us about the energy requirements to swim,” she explains, “and whether the krill may be actively eating.” She also studied whether plankton actively grow and are preyed on during the winter. To access information about krill movements and behaviors, the scientists were required to observe krill at the ocean bottom, often 1,000 feet below the surface. Roman, a robotics engineer, built a camera system allowing the scientists to observe in 3-D the swimming behavior of krill in the water column and at the bottom. This provided essential video footage for the scientists. Also aboard the ship was GSO Ph.D. student Alison Cleary, whose work with krill in the Gulf of Maine provided part of the inspiration for this expedition. Her findings suggested that in addition to feeding in the water column, during cold

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months, krill might be able to feed on organisms in the sediment, or mud, on the bottom. It was a possibility that no one had thoroughly explored. The science team is using innovative methods to determine what krill have eaten. They begin by sequencing the DNA of krill prey so they are able to recognize this DNA when they find it in krill guts. Then the researchers examine the contents of krill stomachs and, with the help of a blocking agent that binds to krill DNA and amplifies prey DNA, they are able to identify exactly what has been consumed. “This molecular approach gives us a chance to look at new questions,” says Durbin. Although the scientists are still in the analysis phases, the cruise yielded several promising observations. “We caught krill whose guts were full of sediments,” says Durbin. “We also did a feeding experiment where the krill went down to the sediments and started stirring it up and feeding off of it very quickly.” So far, there is strong evidence that the krill are in fact feeding on the bottom. “This is very new information,” adds Durbin. “All of the ecological models that have been developed for this region will be changed to incorporate this behavior pattern.” The team has a second cruise tentatively planned for December 2014–January 2015. Team members hope to return to the same area of Antarctica, but plan to spend more time offshore in deeper waters. It will be summer in the southern hemisphere, and krill spread out more when there is ample plankton in the water for them to eat. The team will be ready, eager to continue this thrilling journey. —Bethany Vaccaro ’06

GSO BREEDS DEANS A number of GSO alumni have served or continue to serve as deans in top research, academic, and training institutions around the world. Here are some examples of the GSO’s stellar alumni in dean positions today: BRUCE CORLISS, M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’78, Dean, Graduate School

of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, R.I. PAUL JOYCE, Ph.D. ’89, Dean, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, Mass. MARGARET LEINEN, Ph.D., ’80, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Dean of the School of Marine Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. FAUSTINO L. ORACH-MEZA, Ph.D. ’78, Dean, School of

Sciences, Nkumba University, Uganda, Entebbe, Uganda ROBERT THUNELL, M.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’78, Senior Associate Dean

for Natural Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, So. Car. JAMES YODER, M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’79, Vice President for

Academic Programs and Dean, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.

Clockwise from far left: The camera built by GSO’s Professor Chris Roman to observe krill swimming behavior near the bottom; krill sample; Michelle Dennis and Iain McCoy, two URI undergraduate volunteers, celebrating their graduation on the bow of the ship. Below: Science and technical support team members aboard the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer.

12/20/13 2:37 PM

Still Crazy (About Rhody Rams)

after all these years Abu Bakr Those who watch the Rams play on television may recognize Abu Bakr ’73, M.S. ’84, M.B.A.’88 as a member of Cox’s broadcast team, but his involvement goes much deeper than that. A transfer from Duke University in 1970, Bakr’s achievements on the basketball court didn’t end at URI, as he went on to pursue a successful career in Europe as well. After completing his basketball career, Bakr returned to URI, where he earned an M.S. in Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies, and an M.B.A. and was a prominent member of the University’s administration until his recent retirement. Having been a member of URI’s basketball team, Bakr holds close to him certain unique memories from his playing days. He recalls the team’s final game at Keaney, in which players and fans gathered on the court afterwards for a ceremonial photograph, as an official way of saying goodbye. He also remembers fondly URI’s first game at the Ryan Center, a 73–71 overtime upset over USC, back in 2002. Bakr has a special eye for the game and for those with tremendous talent and potential. Lamar Odom, who was part of the historic 1998 team, stands out in Bakr’s mind in particular. He recalls seeing Odom for the first time and simply being “astonished at his talent,” adding that there was “a lot of excitement on campus” that year. Despite working television broadcasts for games, Bakr remains a season ticket holder and considers himself a fan as much as a commentator and former player.


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Joe Graf Joe Graf ’88 is as passionate a URI sports fan as you will come across. A season ticket holder since 1990 (a season he would prefer to forget), he attends all the team’s home games, in addition to as many road games as he can fit into his schedule. He travels from Glocester, R.I. and has braved brutal snowstorms to make it to the arena even when there have been just a few hundred people in attendance. “I do not miss any games,” he proudly stated. As is the case for many fans, the ’98 season is one that has stuck with him throughout the years, though he describes the team’s eventual defeat to Stanford as a “heartbreaking loss.” Graf is a board member of the Fast Break Club, and is optimistic about what lies ahead for the basketball program. “I’m looking forward to what’s in store for the future,” he said. Part of what makes being a season ticket holder in a community like URI so special are the bonds with fellow fans formed while spending time together. “I see a lot of the same people at games over the years, and enjoy talking to them beforehand,” Graf said, adding that he has made many new friends as well. He views the Ryan Center as a symbol of the state’s growing interest and investment in the team, and hopes that commitment continues to grow in the future. “URI basketball is a warm, friendly environment, and a great way to spend the night with the ­family.”

Louise Pearson Louise Pearson is a classic example of true commitment and dedication to the University of Rhode Island. Though she is not an alumna, she is as much a part of the community, both academically and athletically, as anyone who attended the University. Pearson came with her late husband (J. ­Lincoln Pearson, a plant scientist at URI) to Rhode Island nearly 50 years ago in 1965, from Penn State, and has been an integral part of the community ever since. She is a firm believer in public support of state schools. “The state needs to take ownership of its public schools,” she said, adding, “Sports are a perfect way to connect with the community.” Pearson is a season ticket holder for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and is a regular attendee at both. She is a member of URI’s Fast Break Club, and was honored with the 2013 6th Player Award on behalf of the women’s team. She sits across from the bench, but prefers not to listen too closely to some of the verbal banter on the sidelines. One of Pearson’s favorite memories is that of the historic 1998 season, which saw the Rams make it all the way to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament, before suffering a 79–77 loss to Stanford. While the success of that season has certainly stuck with Pearson, it is the personal memories she cherishes most, as she and a group of fellow URI fans made the trip to St. Louis that year to cheer on their Rams. Having been a member of the campus community for such a long time, Pearson is able to recall memories of former players, such as Sly ­Williams, Tommy Garrick, and Kenny Green, and their days playing at Keaney, before the team’s move to the Ryan ­Center in 2002. —Nick Cantor

Photos: Joe Giblin

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Fit, Fabulous, Fascitelli

The Mind Body Connection on Campus University of Rhode Island students are “fitting” in on campus, thanks to the brand new Anna Fascitelli Fitness & Wellness Center, dedicated on October 8, 2013.

Ribbon-cutting, October 8, 2013, left to right: Vice President for Student Affairs Thomas R. Dougan; Paul Knott ’14, URI Student Senate; Rebecca Voccola, Consumer Market Manager, Southeastern R.I. Market, Bank of America; Michael Fascitelli ’78; President Dooley; Rep. Donald Lally ’77, Deputy Speaker, R.I. Gen. Assembly; Peter J. Miniati, III ’85, Treasurer, URI Foundation Executive Board of Directors.


his $11 million state-of-the-art, two-level fitness center—a complete transformation of the Roger Williams Dining Center—was made possible by a $1 million gift from 1978 alumnus Michael Fascitelli, former chief executive officer of Vornado Realty Trust, a commercial real estate firm in New York, and his wife, Beth. The center is named for Fascitelli’s late mother. Bank of America also donated $1 million. “My mother was an extraordinary person,” Fascitelli said at the October 8 event. “She understood the importance of a good education and the foundation for future growth it would afford me. She encouraged me in physical fitness and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.” University students will certainly benefit from the Fascitelli family’s support. The 33,202 square foot, full-service fitness and wellness center includes 8,000 square feet of new construction added to accommodate a street facade and main entrance. The increased space will help alleviate the

functional shortcomings and over-crowding of existing fitness and wellness activity space on campus. Another bonus: 70 new on-campus student employment opportunities for those interested in working in a fun, high energy, wellness orientated environment. URI architects, planners, and engineers worked with a team of architects at KITE Architects in Providence and fitness center experts S3 Design to create a modern facility in the heart of campus, with proximity to academic, residential, and other auxiliary enterprise facilities. They developed a new entrance featuring large glass walls, a welcoming and sheltering roof, and a gleaming concrete plaza. At the same time, the new design retained many of the best and unique exterior features of the original structure, which won a prestigious national architectural award when it opened in 1969 for its innovative design and daring structural systems, including its waffle slab and cantilevered volumes. The transformation of the building involved gutting the interior


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to expose the high ceilings and views to the outside, unifying the spaces around vibrant exercise areas in the center. In addition, the use of sustainable bamboo flooring in two major group-exercise and specialized class areas, rubber flooring that incorporates recycled materials, and hydration stations, which eliminate the need for disposable water bottles, will help the building earn LEED (Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design) Silver certification, reinforcing the pledge made by the University to make sustainability one of the guiding principles at URI. President David M. Dooley noted that the Center marks another major step in URI’s efforts to build a welcoming and vibrant environment for students, faculty, and staff. “We are so grateful to the Fascitellis and Bank of America for their generosity and commitment to make this a reality for our students,” Dooley said. “Facilities like this are central to our efforts to create dynamic neighborhoods that allow our students to grow academically, physically, emotionally,

and socially. We continue to strive to build an inclusive, engaged community, and there is no better benchmark than this modern, full-service center that will promote healthy lifestyles.” URI senior marketing major Paul Knott, director of marketing and recruitment for the student senate, said the center is more than just a gym. “It is a center that provides students with a respite from our studies, allowing us to let off steam while maintaining our health,” Knott said. “The new state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center will help URI students keep their bodies healthy while they exercise their minds in the classroom,” said Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island president, Bank of America. “This renovation will bring worldclass facilities closer to students and staff.” The center is filled with a mind- and body-boggling array of high-tech, userfriendly machines; traditional equipment like punching bags and free weights; open spaces for specialized group exercise and yoga classes; and a central health and well-

ness resource center where experts from URI’s Health Services, nutrition, and kinesiology programs offer expert advice. The bright orange walls serve as way-finding cues for visitors. Sound systems in the group exercise and class areas pump up the energy with pulsing tunes or set a calm tone during mind-body classes. “To give back to URI, honor my mother and underscore our family’s commitment to education is a unique opportunity,” Michael Fascitelli said. “College is a time to develop as a person. With the new wellness center, URI students will be better prepared to build fuller lives for themselves and their communities.” The contractor on the project was Iron Construction Group, LLC, of Warwick, and URI’s project manager was Keough Construction Management of East Providence. —Dave Lavallee ’79, with contributions from Tracey Manni VIDEO | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES


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n i o G i V Like the lead character in the popular television show House, Alan Rothman is a medical sleuth.

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Above, caption with list of names and description of event. At left, Alan Rothman in a URI(?) lab, and a Dengue virus magnified.

the quest to find a vaccine for dengue? And how The mystery Rothman is trying to crack involves dengue fever, and the National Institutes of Health did he land at iCubed (the Institute for Immunology and Informatics) at URI? (NIH) is betting heavily on his research, to the tune Infectious diseases (ID) was an area Rothman of more than $21 million in two separate grants studied first during his training at the Medical of $10 million and $11.4 million awarded College of Virginia, where in 2013 alone—an all-time high for he did his residency after URI research. graduating from Boston Dengue fever, a mosquitoIMMUNOLOGY & INFORMATICS University Medical School. borne viral hemorrhagic disease, To improve human and An ID fellowship at the is a cousin to West Nile VIDEO | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES University of MassachuVirus and is found largely animal health by applying setts Medical School in in Thailand, the Philippines, the power of immunomics Worcester followed. JoinVietnam, Central and South ing one of the only labs in America, and the Caribbean. to the design of better the country at that time Cases have been reported in vaccines, diagnostics, working on the immune Florida and the Gulf Coast and therapeutics. system’s response to denof the United States, and there gue, Rothman was hooked. was famously an outbreak as “ID is the most interestfar north as Philadelphia. Rothman ing area of medicine,” Rothman states emphatilikens dengue, also known as breakbone fever, cally. “New infectious diseases are developing to a horrible flu—“You feel absolutely miserable, like you are going to die, but you don’t.” Rothman’s all the time. The human body stays the same, but research focuses on virological and immunological microbes continue to evolve and develop resistance to antiretroviral drugs.” When he started events in acute dengue infection and their relahis research in 1987, Rothman notes, only a tionship to the development of viral hemorrhagic handful of labs were studying the immunology fever syndrome. of dengue; now, dozens of labs are immersed So how did a promising young medical student in this work. from Brooklyn, N.Y., become a lead researcher in

Above: Professor Rothman in his lab with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, and U.S. Rep. James Langevin, at the August 5, 2013, announcement of his $11.4 million grant from the NIH.


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“I have come to respect the thing we are fighting against.” treatment. He emphasizes that he sees himself as an immunologist who facilitates vaccine development rather than as a vaccine developer per se. “Dengue is perfectly evolved for infiltrating the population,” notes Rothman. “The sobering reality is that cases are increasing every year and we are losing the battle against dengue. There are hundreds of millions of new infections per year and it’s estimated around 20,000 deaths. But the good news is that we have a much better ability to detect and diagnose the disease, and promising technologies are available to an increasing number of labs.” Additional progress, according to Rothman, includes the development of a simple liver function test that can predict the likelihood of severe dengue. Rothman says the greatest challenge is in simplifying the immunological system’s response to dengue as much as posProfessor Rothman is interviewed by Channel 6 Reporter Mark Curtis. sible in order to study it. “It is a complex pathogen,” of iCubed) and Rothman were both program direche says. “I have come to respect the thing we are fighting against.” tors for similar grants within NIH’s Collaborating Centers of Human Immunology program. So once he decided to make a change, “It made sense to Rothman continues to make his home in reach out to Annie.” Framingham, Mass. His wife, Lori Bornstein, an Part of the appeal of iCubed for Rothman is its electrical engineer, has had a successful career collaborative nature; on the $11.4 million grant, in computer chip design. Their older son, Marc, URI is working with Lifespan’s Center for Internais a freshman at Harvard; their younger son, tional Health Research. Other partners are Eric, is in 10th grade. Not surprisingly, the boys are strong math and science students, but University of Massachusetts Medical School, University at Buffalo and Upstate Medical UniverRothman stresses that there is no pressure on them to follow in their parents’ footsteps. sity, the United States Army’s Walter Reed Army And what does this medical sleuth do to relax? Institute of Research, the Armed Forces Research Rothman laughs at the question, claiming his work Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, and a is so engaging he doesn’t find the need to unwind. Massachusetts-based biotechnology company. He does, however, enjoy crossword puzzles, Rothman is also pleased that the grant involves Sudoku, and KenKen—the kind of puzzles that in mentoring junior researchers in the field. his words, “inevitably proceed toward a solution.” The professor hopes his work on dengue will On the other hand, he concludes, “Science doesn’t inform research on other viral hemorrhagic fevers have an answer key.” and possibly the development of a vaccine or other — Melanie Coon Part of the reason for this burgeoning interest, Rothman says, was the post-9/11 anthrax scare. The emergence of HIV in the 1980s also provided tremendous impetus for the study of immunology and virology. Rothman made the leap from Worcester to Providence in 2011. Annie De Groot (a co-founder

Above: A “reporter plasmid” developed using recombinant DNA is used for live cell imaging of infected cells. The pattern of green fluorescence in the nucleus of the cell in this image identifies it as a virus-infected cell. The red and blue fluorescence allows the visualization of cell structures (lysosomes and mitochondria, respectively).


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“Bette convenes communities of inquiry around the question of teaching and pedagogy, where we can call on each other for ideas and tools.”

Behind every great professor is…

A Great Professor How do URI professors continually improve their craft? Most turn to Bette Erickson in the Instructional Development Program to explore the ins and outs of good teaching. The New Yorker journalist Malcolm Gladwell has observed that the problem with teaching is that you don’t know if you are any good at it until you are actually doing it. Most professors have spent decades immersed in their scholarship— but how do they learn to teach it? They turn to the teacher’s teacher. At URI, that role is filled by the Instructional Development Program (IDP) and its director, Bette Erickson. Since 1975, the IDP has served URI as a multifaceted resource, providing all instructors— from graduate teaching assistants to full-time professors—with the opportunity to develop and hone the craft of teaching.

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“All of the work we do in the IDP is research-based,” explains Erickson. “There’s a lot of research now on college teaching, on what works well and what doesn’t.” The IDP uses a variety of formats to share this research with the faculty. There are the Course Planning Workshops that run every August before the start of the academic year. There is an intensive Teaching Fellows program, which brings together 12 to 15 faculty to meet regularly over the course of an academic year to explore various topics related to teaching and learning. And there is the opportunity to work one-on-one with Erickson. “Individual consultations are really the heart of the IDP,” she says. “That’s where improvement happens.” She first meets with faculty members and then observes them in the classroom, often videotaping them so they can see themselves teaching. “I also get student feedback, and then

Photos: Joe Giblin

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the instructor and I sit down and talk about what’s working well and what could improve. And then the process continues,” Erickson explains. The consultations often continue over several semesters as the instructor works out issues or experiments with alternative ways of doing things. Erickson estimates that the IDP has worked with about half of the faculty at URI. Most are brimming with praise for the amount of pedagogical improvement that resulted, and point to the support they found through the IDP as crucial to their scholastic journeys. Professor Libby Miles, a writing and rhetoric professor and 2010 URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award winner, describes the Teaching Fellows Program as transformational. “The program catapulted my teaching to another dimension. It really guides us to practice collaborative learning, to imagine different ways of getting students to learn from one another and interact meaningfully and deeply with each other.” The Teaching Fellows Program itself models the types of collaborative interactions that a good teacher learns how to foster. “I made the best connections with colleagues from all over the university through IDP,” says Miles. As a result of her time with the IDP, she teamed up with Professor Jose Amador, a soil scientist, to teach an interdisciplinary course on communicating science to the public. “During the Teaching Fellows program,” she says, “we became interested in how our disciplines could talk to each other. And the students loved it!” After all, the great end of pedagogy lies with the student. Erickson affirms this as well. “Good teaching matters to students,” she emphasizes. “When you care about students, this work is a way of helping. I care about faculty too. No one wants to be ineffective. If I can support them in becoming more effective, that’s how I like to spend my time.” Excellence in pedagogy is something that the IDP ensures will always remain at the heart of the URI experience. “There is a timeless quality to good teaching,” says award-winning professor Cheryl Foster [see sidebar]. “Yes, we now have new technologies and new techniques, and the IDP helps faculty keep pace with the classroom changes emerging from that. But the IDP experience also reaffirms the timelessness of the teacher-student relationship, helping faculty to re-channel our passion for our subject matter and to imbue our students with equal excitement.” — Bethany Vaccaro ’06

Professor Cheryl Foster, a philosophy professor and associate director of the honors program, is one of URI’s most decorated faculty members. She was recently named Rhode Island Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation/CASE’s US Professors of the Year Awards Program. In 2012, she was named a Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher, and in 1996, she was a URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award winner. Foster recalls coming to URI in 1992, with four years of college teaching already under her belt. “Even though I had been teaching for years, I had not had a moment of formal teaching training until I went to Bette’s workshops. They made me realize I had no self-awareness about what I had been doing. They introduced tools and techniques that would never have occurred to me. Over Labor Day weekend of my first semester at URI, I destroyed the syllabi I had planned to use that semester and literally re-wrote everything as a result of that one week with Bette.”


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eighth annual

distinguished achievement awards gala 2013 PRESIDENT’S AWARDS Karina Montilla Edmonds ’92, Ph.D., Executive Director for Institute Corporate Relations, California Institute of Technology Eric T. Ryan ’96, Co-Founder, Method Products Alan R. Spachman,’69, M.B.A. ’71, Founder, Director, Former CEO and Chairman, National Interstate Corporation M. Beverly Swan ’63, M.A. ’66, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Emerita, University of Rhode Island Toray Plastics (America), Inc. Richard R. Schloesser, President and CEO Award recipients with President Dooley, pictured left to right: Alan R. Spachman; Beverly Swan; Karina Montilla Edmonds; Richard Schloesser; and Eric T. Ryan.


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12/19/13 11:26 AM

October 25, 2013, was URI’s night to shine in Newport as the University honored its most distinguished alumni and rising stars at the Eighth Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards and Gala. 2013 DEANS’ AWARDS COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES John S. Struck ’74, Managing Director, Wand Partners, Inc. Bruce A. Wolpert, Esq. ’75, President, Wolpert & Associates, Inc. COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION S. Kent Fannon ’74, Client Partner, D’Antoni Partners Wendy P. Field ’74, Managing Director, Corporate Lending, UBS Investment Bank (retired) ALAN SHAWN FEINSTEIN COLLEGE OF CONTINUING EDUCATION Munir Mohammed, Adjunct Professor, University of Rhode Island; and Artistic Director, International Gallery for Heritage and Culture

COLLEGE OF NURSING Elaine Bridge ’78, RN, D.N.P., Senior Vice President for Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer, Newton-Wellesley Hospital Tracy S. Weintraub ’77, RN, M.S.N. ’81, Chief Operating Officer,; and Hospital Surveyor, The Joint Commission COLLEGE OF PHARMACY Dea Belazi, Pharm.D. ’01, M.P.H., Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, AscellaHealth, LLC Diana I. Brixner ’82, RPh, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of Utah College of Pharmacy; and Executive Director, Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center, University of Utah, L.S. Skaggs Health Services Institute GRADUATE SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY

Victor F. Capellan ’92, M.S. ’96, M.Ed. ’02, Deputy Superintendent for Transformation, Central Falls School District

Robert C. Thunell, M.S. ’75, Ph.D. ’78, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences, and Senior Associate Dean for Natural Sciences, University of South Carolina



James P. Clappin ’80, President, Corning Glass Technologies

The University of Rhode Island Distinguished Achievement Awards proudly introduces a new award: The Rising Star Award. This award recognizes an outstanding young alumnus/alumna with at least 10 years of experience in his/her career field who is already making significant contributions to his/her profession and community at-large by demonstrating innovative, responsible professional leadership, potential for future distinction, and a commitment to serving others.

Major General Kevin R. McBride ’80, Adjutant General, State of Rhode Island; and Commanding General, Rhode Island National Guard COLLEGE OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND LIFE SCIENCES Gellwynn D. H. Jusuf, M.S. ’89, Ph.D. ’97, Director General of Capture Fisheries, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia Bruce R. Zetter, Ph.D. ’75, Charles Nowiszewski Professor of Cancer Biology, Vascular Biology Program, Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School COLLEGE OF HUMAN SCIENCE AND SERVICES Karen Gautney, M.S. ’91, Diversity Trainer and Human Rights Advocate, Karen Gautney Consulting, LLC Maria L. Urso ’97, M.S. ’00, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Research, Arteriocyte Medical Systems

Mohammed Al-Sultan, Ph.D. ’03, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Director of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

VIDEO AND MORE | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES Pictured from left to right below: Karen Gautney and Dean Lori Ciocomascolo, College of Human Science and Services; Robert Thunell with GSO Dean Bruce Corliss; Mohammed Al-Sultan and Graduate School Dean Nasser Zawia; Linda D’Vant-Deishinni, Munir Mohammed, Bob Dilworth, and Cynthia Scott; Dean Mark Higgins, College of Business Administration, Wendy Field, and Kent Fannon.


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12/19/13 11:27 AM

CLASSACTS `58 Dale Gilbert Harrington, ENG, of Wickford, R.I., writes: “I was honored to be recently elected as president of the Sigma Chi URI Alumni Corporation. Construction of our new chapter house started fall 2013 at 13 Fraternity Circle.”

`64 Mark A. Ross, A&S, of Warwick, R.I., was elected to the board of directors for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank at its annual meeting. Mark, a retired vice president of Ross-Simons Jewelers, is an active member of many organizations within the community. In addition to his new position with the Food Bank, he is also a board member at Trudeau Center, Dorcas International Institute, and Hillel URI, and he serves on the board of trustees for St. Andrews School.

`65 Gregory Samuel Daniels, CBA, of Newtown, Conn., vice chairman and chief business development officer for Bartlett Tree Experts in Stamford, Conn., is this year’s recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Award of Merit. The Award of Merit acknowledges Daniels’ service in advancing the principles, ideas, and practices of arboriculture. Joyce Kiefl Gunter, CBA, of Orland Park, Ill., writes: "After 17 years I have 'retired' from the alumni admissions rep program. My husband, Robert, and I have really enjoyed attending more than 120 college fairs in Illinois. Each year the students ask some of the same questions but also many new ones. We enjoyed the many trips back to URI and want to thank the Admissions Office for all of its support."

`68 Roberta Mudge Humble, A&S, of Warwick, R.I., became Commander of the Rhode Island Commandery, Military Order of Foreign Wars. She is a member by heredity, having joined the Order in 1998. She will be the first woman, by heredity, to take command.

`72 Edward L. Cronan, HS&S, of East Providence, R.I., writes: “The Cronan ‘clan’ has a new addition! Julia Elise was born on July 20, 2013, to Patrick ‘01 and Kristy (Faiola) ‘01. Big sisters Ava and Grace are very excited to have a ‘little’ sister. Mary Ellen and I are blessed to have four beautiful

granddaughters, as Jarrett ‘02 and his wife, Vanessa, just celebrated Teigan Ellen’s first birthday in April, 2013.” Susan P. Luz, NUR, of North Scituate, R.I., writes: “I am working full time as a clinical nurse specialist for Gateway Healthcare and teaching part time at URI, a clinical course for 4th year Nursing students in Community Health Nursing. I wrote a book called The Nightingale of Mostul about my life in the Peace Corps, Ship Hope & Military service. I’m retired from the Army Nurse Corps and as a veteran of Iraq, I do a lot of public speaking to bring awareness to the women veterans for ‘She served too’ and the Wounded Warrior Project. If you love what you do as I have, you’ll never work a day in your life, as I tell my URI Nursing students now.”

`73 Linda Crotta Brennan, HS&S, of Coventry, R.I., has won a 2013 Moonbeam Children's Book Award gold medal for her nonfiction book When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story. The book also won a 2013 Green Book Festival Award in history. Geared toward teenage readers, the book chronicles the beginning of the environmental movement,focusing on the work of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and the college student he hired, Denis Hayes, to stage the first Earth Day. The event became the largest demonstration in U.S. history and led to many of today's environmental protections. The book was illustrated by award-winning New Hampshire illustrator Lisa Greenleaf. Brennan has published more than 20 books for young readers including The Black Regiment of the American Revolution and Flannel Kisses. She also writes articles and stories for magazines including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Smithsonian's Click Magazine, and Ranger Rick. Alan G. DeValerio, A&S, of Frederick, Md., writes: “I recently retired and am currently doing a presentation called White House Memories, about my experience in the ‘80s as a contract butler at the White House. I am also writing a book titled The History of White House Entertainment, which I hope to publish later this year.”

`75 Raymond A. Miro, HS&S, of Shaftsbury, Vt., was inducted into the Massachusetts chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Miro, a legendary coach, was recognized for his lifetime service to wrestling. Miro is a teacher and coach at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Mass. He has made significant contributions to high school programs as well as the entire Massachusetts wrestling community.

`76 Daryl A. Breese, CBA, of Brooklyn, Conn., writes: “In 2012, I finished the simple metaphysical art translation for 37,000-year-old UNESCO Chauvet Cave. The book I co-authored with Canadian Gerald D’Aoust, God’s Steed–Key to World Peace (2011), was the primary reference. I used repeating shamanic art to connect human migration from the dawn of civilization in southern France to the current American Indian. Black Elk’s Tree of Life is Blooming! recounts this on YouTube. Currently, I have a patent pending for a drilling fluid system that I employed two years ago, which should replace controversial hydrofracking. Go Rams!” Robert J. Hawkins, A&S, of Fairfield, Calif., writes: “After 38 years as a print and online news writer and editor, four of those early years as editor of The Narragansett Times, it’s time for a change. Early in 2014 my wife, Rose Alcantara, and I will be moving to Belize after California’s best yard sale ever. Our mantra: ‘ S i m p l i f y, s i m p l i f y, s i m p l i f y. ’ I have been writing about our journey on the blog Bound for Belize ( and will continue to update as we move ahead. I also plan to continue freelance writing from abroad.” Patricia Padula Morgan, NUR, of Scarborough, Maine, has been appointed associate dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences and chair of the department of Nursing at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) in West Harford. Patricia will also serve as associate professor (tenured) of Nursing at USJ.

Mary Ellen H. Mac Dowell, HS&S, of `77 Robbinsville, N.J., writes: “I retired in January, after spending 40 years in retailing. My husband, Dave, and I bought a beach house on Cape Cod, so I enjoyed a long summer at the beach with family and friends”.

George S. La Cross, A&S, of Barrington, R.I., a Providence Journal employee since 1980 and editor of the Laff In The Dark website ( since 1999, wrote a feature story chronicling the incredible restoration of Coney

Island’s iconic Spook-A-Rama dark ride after it suffered massive flood damage by Superstorm Sandy. You can read his story at laffinthedark. com/articles/spook3/spook3_1.htm.

`78 Mary M. Flynn, CELS, of Narragansett, R.I., was elected to the board of directors for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank at its annual meeting. Flynn currently serves as associate professor of medicine and clinical and research dietician at The Miriam Hospital.

`79 Walter B. Moskwa, CELS, of Poolesville, Md., has participated in Rhode Island’s “Save the Bay” swim for 35 years. At the July 2013 swim, Moskwa received special recognition from the event organizers for the longevity of his involvement.

`81 Steven J. Lacroix, A&S, of Seattle, Wash., has been certified as a registrant of the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM). The NRCM, founded in 1958, certifies professional microbiologists in food, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and biological safety microbiology at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The organization has certified microbiologists in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and on six continents.

`82 Raymond H. Verno, of Ocala, Fla., writes: “I am a widower since 1998. I retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2005 as manager, transportation and networks in southeast New England. I relocated to Ocala, Florida, in June 2012 with my son, Eric.”

`83 Teresa Ritter, CBA, of Jamestown, R.I., writes: “On August 10, 2013, my husband Charles Ritter and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. During this same summer, our son Paul got married and our daughter Amy became engaged—so this has been a very joyous year for our family.”

`84 Patricia P. Riley, A&S, of Ardmore, Pa., is a search consultant with Salveson Stetson Group, a retained executive search firm working with clients to identify talent for seniorlevel positions. Riley brings more than 25 years of experience in the retained executive search and legal regulatory industries to the firm.

32  QUADANGLES  WINTER 2013–2014

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12/19/13 11:29 AM

A touch football pass at Rhodyville

The night sky aglow at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

Big Rhody Spirit at the bonfire

Getting revved up at the Rhody Rally

A serenade at Belle Mer

HOMECOMING 2013 Photo Album It was the windiest of times…

And everyone will agree that a great time was had by all!

It was the best of times…

Thanks to our Rhodyville sponsor:

SAVE THE DATE FOR HOMECOMING 2014: OCTOBER 25 It's not too early to start planning next year’s Homecoming, so reach out to your friends, sign up to be a class ambassador, or help plan a reunion today! Just contact Chris DiSano in Alumni Relations and let him know how you’d like to be involved. Call Chris at 401.874.4536 or email him at

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12/19/13 11:29 AM

Not a member of the Alumni Association?

How puzzling! Membership has so many rewards—here is just a small sampling of what you’re missing: INVITATIONS TO SPECIAL MEMBERS-ONLY EVENTS

Come to one of our backstage theater experiences or catch up with fellow alumni at a major league sports pregame party. HUNDREDS OF EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS

Enjoy discounts to alumni event registrations like Big Chill Weekend, as well as on car rentals, hotels, and much more. PARTNERSHIP PERKS Our partnership with Working

Advantage provides members with discounts on gift certificates, movie tickets, and entertainment and sporting events nationwide. NEW THIS YEAR Discounts at Brooks Brothers, Alpine Ski & Snowboard, W. Alton Jones Campus Summer Camps, and Whispering Pines Conference Center.

Now do you see why we’re puzzled? You are the missing piece! Don’t go another day without benefiting from all these great perks. Your contribution helps us to support over 65 programs and services for alumni, students, and the University itself.

Join today!

Now it’s our turn to puzzle you! Solve the puzzle to find the hidden message.


Robin J. Weber, HS&S, of Medway, Mass., writes: “Earlier this year I launched WeberWineStax as a solution to my customers’ (I own a wine import company) problems of no storage and limited floor space. WeberWineStax is a wine display & storage solution. There is a three-tier tower perfect for home, wine shop, and restaurant, and an end table perfect for home. Wine Enthusiast magazine will be selling these products online this year and they will feature them in their magazine in 2014 "(”

Linda M. Pearson, CBA, of East Greenwich, R.I., was promoted to senior manager at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP. Pearson has more than 13 years of experience in public accounting, including providing auditing, accounting, and consulting services to Sansiveri’s for-profit and non-profit clients. She offers consulting services in areas such as the evaluation of internal control policies, accounting procedures, and accounting software. Pearson is also responsible for training the firm’s auditing and accounting staff with respect to the implementation of professional auditing, and accounting standards. In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, Pearson is a Certified Fraud Examiner, having met a rigorous set of criteria, including strict character, experience, and educational requirements. She works with firm clients of all sizes to assist them in detecting and preventing fraud. Pearson serves as a board member for both Access Point RI and the Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island.



Christine L. Bernardo, A&S, of Wakefield, R.I., has been an educator in the Jamestown school system for 12 years. This year her efforts as a history teacher have been recognized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Institute named Bernardo the Rhode Island winner in its annual search for the history teacher of the year.


Christina M. Reilly, HS&S, of Exeter, R.I., has been working with Habitat for Humanity in South County for several years now, helping build houses in the area. She is currently building a house around the corner from the URI campus; the entire house is being built by only women.



SCRAMBLE Rearrange the letters to form words: 1. HYDOR _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 2. OODLEY _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 3. UDNESTT _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 4. ADUQ _____ _____ _____ _____ 5. STGONNIK _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ 6. DINWLE _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Put the circled letters here: HINTS: 1. URI’s four-legged mascot 2. Current president of URI 3. A person who attends classes 4. Best place on campus to hang out on a sunny day 5. Historic village in Rhode Island 6. Freshman residence hall


_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Now rearrange the letters to complete the sentence: “Please _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ your Alumni Association membership _____ _____ _____ _____ _____!”

Did you solve the puzzle? For the solution, go to advance.uriedu/alumni/membership

Holly A. Palermo, A&S, of Warwick, R.I., was recently promoted to the position of senior gift officer at The Miriam Hospital Foundation. Her primary responsibilities include annual giving, event planning, and donor relations. The Miriam Hospital is an academic teaching affiliate of Lifespan, Inc.

`94 Christopher R. Labonte, A&S, of Philadelphia, Pa., was recently elected co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors. The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. Labonte has been on the board of directors since 2010.

`97 Kimberly Kowal Arcand, A&S, of Greenville, R.I., writes: “As a recently published non-fiction author of Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos (with Megan Watzke), I was asked to participate in the first annual RI Authors Expo at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingston, R.I., held in November 2013.”

J. Andrew Gaynor, ENG, of Barrington, R.I., was on the design team for Oracle Team USA, winners of the America’s Cup on September 25, 2013. Andrew primarily worked on the wing [See page 35]. Jessica Simmons, A&S, of Brooklyn, N.Y., writes: “This is the fifth year of the middle school that I founded, Brownsville Collegiate Charter School. Part of the Uncommon Schools network, a charter management organization in the Northeast that starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close achievement gaps and prepare low-income students to graduate from college, Brownsville Collegiate was ranked the #10 school in New York City in 2012, based on City Progress Report data. Brownsville continues to outperform schools in the city in math and ELA. In 2013, 98% of our 8th graders passed high school level Regents exams in living environments and algebra. I am excited to represent URI to my staff and students as they prepare to attend their own colleges in four–eight years!”

`99 Jaclyn M. Martinelli, HS&S, of Northford, Conn., writes: “My sister, Tracey Couto ‘92, and I, recently designed and developed a new product for babies. We envisioned working together at some point in our lives because we are simply a perfect pair! Together we developed My Baby’s Keeper by Happy Baby, LLC, a bodysuit product that is cute


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Andrew Gaynor ’98 Engineering a win for America’s Cup Andrew Gaynor ’98 remembers watching the 1983 America’s Cup on television; his heart sank when Australia took the cup from American hands for the first time in 132 years.   As an engineering undergraduate, Gaynor joined a competition to design, construct, and race a solar-powered boat, which took second in the national competition and still hangs in the machine shop.   He served on design teams for the 2010 America’s Cup winning BMW Oracle USA team and the 2007 semi-finalist Italian team, designed masts for competitors in the 2008 and 2011 around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, and in 2008 launched JAG Composites in Barrington, R.I.   Fast forward to September 25, 2013. Thanks in no small part to Gaynor, who helped design its cutting-edge AC72 catamaran, Oracle Team USA completed one of the greatest comebacks ever to clinch the America’s Cup, winning by a mere 39 seconds. Gaynor hopes Team USA calls him back into service for the next race so he can design an even faster, better boat.   “That’s the fun part of engineering: having the opportunity to design something, build it, and then go back and apply what you’ve learned to the next job.” — Chris Barrett, ‘08

photo: © ORACLE TEAM USA | Guilain GRENIER

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and fashionable, but most important, practical! Parents and caregivers find themselves repeatedly bending, picking up and washing off babies' belongings that have accidentally fallen on the floor or that have been intentionally thrown by the baby. My Baby’s Keeper allows for the attachment of toys, pacifiers, and teethers directly to a baby’s clothing, enabling the baby to play with his/her belongings without parents worrying about sanitizing them when they have fallen to the ground. A baby’s mouth is no place for dirt, germs, or animal hair, for that matter! Additionally, My Baby’s Keeper can help a baby develop hand-eye coordination when the baby sees belongings attached to his/her clothing and attempts to reach for them over and over again. My Baby’s Keeper also can assist a baby with learning how to grasp objects, which, in turn, enables the baby to play. Tracey is the mother of three children and although they are past the diaper stage, she is the innovator of My Baby’s Keeper. I brought the vision to life with my creative sewing and design skills. Please visit our website,"

`02 Jason E. Abate, HS&S, of Pawcatuck, Conn., was hired by Woodmansee Insurance, Inc. in Wyoming, R.I .as a licensed agent. He will be handling sales and service of all types of insurance. Abate is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. as a producer of property and casualty insurance. Kirk Amaral Snow, A&S, of Boston, Mass., exhibited works as part of “War Against Magic,” curated by Stephanie Dvarekas, in August at Gallery Kayafas in Boston. “War Against Magic” featured four of Snow’s sculptures alongside the works of Jenna Westra, Unum Babar, Carlos Jimenez Cahua, Zachary Herrmann, and Jack Wesley Schneider. Michael L. Garcia, CBA, of Hope Valley, R.I., was promoted to senior manager at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP. For more than 10 years, Garcia has provided auditing, accounting, and consulting services to the firm’s clients in a number of industries such as manufacturing, distribution, service and consulting. Garcia oversees the implementation of new technology in the audit and accounting group to improve the efficiency of the services provided to Sansiveri’s clients and is responsible for providing training on audit and accounting issues. Garcia also oversees the auditing of the firms’ employee benefit plans and the execution of internal controls to ensure that all pension audits meet regulatory requirements. He is a member of Sansiveri’s strategic marketing committee.

Evangelos Giovanis, A&S, of Bradenton, Fla., writes: “My brother and I have made several feature films that have received awards at various festivals around the world. I studied under Sheri Wills and took some film classes while at URI. I was not accepted to film schools for graduate studies, but that never deterred me. Years later, we are now gearing up to shoot a feature film starring Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, The Artist), Neve Campbell (Scream, Wild Things), and J.J. Field (Captain America, Centurion). We are trying to raise $100K and are launching on Kickstarter.”

`05 Daniel R. Mercer, CBA, of Lincoln, R.I., is the vice president of operations at Seven Swords Media, a fullservice advertising and marketing agency ranked by Inc. magazine as the 386th fastest growing, privately held company in the country. Seven Swords Media also ranked 45th among advertising and marketing companies nationally, and third among Rhode Island companies in terms of revenue growth over the past three years. Seven Swords Media received its award at the Inc. 500|5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony that took place in Washington, D.C., in October 2013.

`06 Michael P. Shawver, A&S, of North Providence, R.I., was listed as one of 25 up-and-coming filmmakers in Variety.

`07 Jonathan R. Samolis, CBA, of Providence, R.I., is a 2013 Providence Business New s 4 0 Under Forty winner. Samolis is a VMS manager at Bridge Technical Talent in Warwick, R.I.

`08 Jason M. Da Ponte, CBA, of Hope Valley, R.I., has attained the designation of Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP). The CCIFP designation raises the standards for construction financial professionals by giving special recognition to those individuals who demonstrate skill and proficiency in their field, verified through advanced education, professional experience, and rigorous examination. Da Ponte is one of only four individuals in Rhode Island to have attained this certification. Ashley L. DeBiasio, CBA, of Greenville, R.I., has been promoted to supervisor at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP. DeBiasio has provided auditing and consulting services since 2008 to a variety of the firm's clients in private industry, including manu-

facturing, distribution, healthcare, hospitality, and professional services. She evaluates internal control policies, accounting procedures, and accounting software. She also performs attest services for the firm's employee benefit plans. DeBiasio is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of SKNOW, a joint collaboration of SK Wealth Management, LLC and Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP, dedicated to enhancing communications in order to develop strategies for professional advancement and personal growth. She is also a member of the RISCPA RI Young Accounting Networking task force. In addition to her URI bachelor’s degree, DeBiasio holds a Master of Professional Accountancy degree with a concentration in personal financial planning from Rhode Island College.


Tara M. Perry ‘03 to Matthew Bauerlein, on August 24, 2013. Michaela Maynard ‘07 to Zachary Flynn ‘06, on August 10, 2013. David J. Mack ‘06 to Salua V. Baida, on May 17, 2013. Alexander R. Salisbury ‘07 to Michelle Hetu ‘08, on September 8, 2013. Emily Frederick ‘10 to Jeremy Stephens, on October 5, 2013.

Births Patrick M. ‘01 and Kristy Faiola Cronan ‘01, a daughter, Julia Elise, on July 20, 2013. Sherri L. (Cardarelli) Poirier ‘04 and Kenneth M. Poirier ‘02, a son, Aiden Michael, on September 12, 2013.

Frank Marinaccio, ENG, o f Narragansett, R.I., is Newport’s p u b l i c s e r v i ce a ss i sta n t c i t y engineer. He was recently selected for the American Public Works Association (APWA) Emerging Leaders Academy, a competitive national program offered by APWA to provide leadership and management training within the context of public works.

Sean and Patricia L. McCarthy ‘03, a son, Chase McCarthy, on June 16, 2013.


Erik M. Wilcox ‘07 and Bethany Therrien ‘06, a son, Jackson Dean Wilcox, on June 22, 2012.

Jillian M. Banta, HS&S, of Burlington, Conn., is a designer and was a participant in StyleWeek's inaugural student design competition in January of 2012. Prior to graduation, Banta accepted a position designing fashion jewelry under the T Tahari label for Elie Tahari. Banta debuted a full women's collection this past winter with StyleWeek Northeast. Amanda R. Nico, A&S, of Cumberland, R.I., completed a year of AmeriCorps service at Providence Children’s Museum from September 2012-August 2013. As an AmeriCorps museum educator, she was part of a team that designed and implemented engaging hands-on activities about the value of diversity to help improve school readiness for more than 1,000 low-income Head Start preschoolers, and welcomed these children on fun-filled Museum explorations. Nico also facilitated open-ended play to encourage children and their families to explore the Museum’s interactive exhibits and programs, make discoveries, and learn together in an informal setting.

Diana R. ‘04 and Gary W. Comtois ‘05, a son, Evan George Comtois, on September 20, 2013. Charles W. Angeloro, Jr. and Jessica L. Corbeil-Angeloro ‘06, a son, Charles W. Angeloro, IV, on August 12, 2013.

Paul Savoie and Julie (Ferguson) Savoie ‘08, a son, Connor Paul Savoie, on June 29, 2013.

In Memoriam Dorothy Crandall Bliss '36 of Lynchburg, Va., on October 14, 2013. Vahey Pahigian '39 of Providence, R.I., on October 17, 2013. Eugene Kayatta '41 of Arlington, Vt., on September 23, 2013. Carl Larson '42 of Narragansett, R.I., on August 5, 2013. A. William Bloom '43 of Palo Alto, Calif., on October 7, 2013. M. Eleanor McLaughlin '43 of Osterville, Mass., on April 27, 2013. Normand Andrews '44 of South Burlington, Vt., on September 10, 2013. Estelle Dale '44 of Saint Louis, Mo., on April 23, 2013.


Felice Petrarca '45 of Little Compton, R.I., on August 30, 2013.

Peg Chandler ‘83 to Christopher Hensey, on May 18, 2013.

Elinor Lucier Beall '47 of Cumberland, Md., on September 14, 2013.

Heather Duby ‘93 to Christopher Jarvis ‘92, on May 4, 2012.

Doris Geils Penny '47 of Hauppauge LI, N.Y., on September 14, 2013.

Allison S. Carley ‘96 to Adi Mandel, on September 21, 2013.

Daniel Greenfield '48 of Delray Beach, Fla., on February 13, 2013.

36  QUADANGLES  WINTER 2013–2014

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Pete Vandall ’03 Film Producer As the creator and co-executive producer of the History Channel show Chasing Tail, Pete Vandall ‘03 didn’t have to look far for his material, which focuses on his own extended family members, working-class cousins who hunt deer in the wealthy suburbs of Connecticut, where deer abound and the hunting season extends for five months. While staying with his grandparents, Vandall came home one evening to find seven dead deer hanging from an apple tree near the house. His bow-hunting cousins had descended and when he realized that their hobby was not only intriguing but also hilarious, it seemed made for TV. Vandall spent seven days a week for six months tagging along with the hunters to get the footage he needed for Chasing Tail, which was originally developed as a thesis film for his graduate work at The School for Visual Arts. They were up at 4 a.m., climbing trees, waiting for deer, and looking for new locations, which on occasion required his cousins in full camouflage to knock on the door of an ornate mansion to ask permission to hunt on private land. “They are just blue-collar guys, doing what they love in a white-collar world,” says Vandall. — Bethany Vaccaro, ‘06

Editor’s note/correction: This story ran in the fall 2013 issue of QuadAngles, erroneously accompanied by a photograph of Matthew Jacobs ’77.


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Lloyd Schofield '48 of Greenville, S.C., on January 26, 2012.

A Walter Gardner '51 of Bradford, R.I., on October 29, 2013.

Mary McKenna Baker '53 of Rye, N.H., on September 17, 2013.

Vivian Fauver Ericson '49 of East Greenwich, R.I., on January 2, 2013.

Douglas Rosie '51 of Narragansett, R.I., on August 2, 2013.

Sumner Bornstein '54 of Atlanta, Ga., on July 30, 2013.

Kenneth Goodwin '49 of Dunedin, Fla., on October 8, 2013.

Selma Silverman Silverstein '51 of Providence, R.I., on August 12, 2013.

Albert Nelson '54 of Matthews, N.C., on September 13, 2013.

William Heffernan '49 of Gulfport, Fla., on January 2, 2013.

Robert Hiller '52 of Cary, N.C., on September 20, 2013.

Harold Smith '54 of East Brookfield, Mass., on August 19, 2013.

Leonard Francis '50 of North Falmouth, Mass., on October 22, 2013.

Thomas McCraw '52 of Madison Heights, Va., on September 10, 2013.

Alexander Baird '55 of Wakefield, R.I., on May 5, 2013.

John Wilber '50 of Jacksonville, Fla., on September 24, 2013.

Roselyn Mulholland Vredenburgh '52 of Narragansett, R.I., on September 2, 2013.

Henry Collins '55 of Pawtucket, R.I., on September 10, 2013.

ALUMNICHAPTERS URI alumni stay connected across the globe Whether you live in New York, California, or Germany, chapters are a wonderful way to stay connected with URI. We have alumni chapters all over the map—more than 50, in fact. If you aren’t a member of a chapter yet, it’s easy to become one: all you have to do is join an existing chapter or start a new one. Chapters are organized by geographic location or affinity interest (current affinities include ROTC, fraternities, writers, and musicians). If you choose to start a new chapter, it can relate to your region or to any affinity you like—it’s up to you! If you live outside of the United States, you can also opt to become an international ambassador; our ambassadors serve as vital contacts for members of the URI community who may be traveling or living in their region. You’ll find information about current chapters and international ambassadors at

Clarice Saumuri Csizmesia '55 of Woonsocket, R.I., on October 21, 2013. John Lawton '55 of Bellingham, Mass., on August 24, 2013. Charles Sheehan '55 of Barrington, R.I., on September 21, 2013. Eugene Karol '56 of Newport, R.I., on June 27, 2013. John Mathews '56 of Middletown, R.I., on September 11, 2013. Richard Smith '57 of Tyler, Texas, on August 11, 2013. Anne Chase '58 of Natick, Mass., on October 31, 2013. Richard Yeaw '58 of Burlington, Vt., on July 21, 2013. Dorothy Hyde Baxa '60 of Issaquah, Wash., on August 29, 2013. Neil Corry '60 of Spotsylvania, Va., on August 18, 2013. Robert Glovier '60 of Sylvania, Ohio, on September 25, 2013. David Rogers '60 of Warwick, R.I., on July 27, 2013. Donald Staley '60 of Exeter, R.I., on October 24, 2013. Robert Pazienza '61 of North Kingstown, R.I., on September 27, 2013. Frances Winiarski Plourde '61 of Allentown, Pa., on April 16, 2013. Roberta Gederman Croce '62 of Middletown, R.I., on October 2, 2013.

URI alumni chapters are known for throwing fun, memorable events, like happy hour parties, professional networking get-togethers, pregame gatherings, theater outings, and cutting-edge speaker series. If you’d like to join a chapter—or start a new one— the Alumni Relations Office will be happy to help you. Just contact Shana Greene at or 401.874.2218.

Janice Edson '62 of Middletown, Conn., on September 22, 2013.

URI Alumni Association: U.S. Chapters

Patricia Lombardi '63 of West Warwick, R.I., on October 31, 2013.

David Kevorkian '62 of Keeseville, N.Y., on September 3, 2012. William Lacey '63 of Alexandria, Va., on October 1, 2013.

Fridrik Orcutt '65 of Warwick, R.I., on October 3, 2013. Richard Anderson '66 of East Greenwich, R.I., on September 1, 2013. John Brennan '66 of East Greenwich, R.I., on August 3, 2013. Ahmad Nawab '66 of Saint Petersburg, Fla., on November 15, 2012. William Pimental '66 of Winter Haven, Fla., on October 5, 2013. Evangeline Leone Doran '67 of Narragansett, R.I., on September 19, 2013. Albert Domenico '68 of Smithfield, R.I., on October 1, 2013.

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George Landry '68 of Thompson, Conn., on September 22, 2013.

Michelle Ouimet Bowman '82 of Mainville, Ohio, on April 9, 2013.

Bonnie Gibson Mccarthy '68 of Warwick, R.I., on August 12, 2013.

Lee Ann Landy '83 of Columbus, Ohio, on August 23, 2013.

Frederick Rowley '68 of Greenville, R.I., on August 16, 2013.

Kathleen Tatro '83 of Killingworth, Conn., on July 8, 2013.

Ronald Rosen '69 of Brooklyn, N.Y., on August 30, 2013.

Carol Kennedy Malloy '84 of Cranston, R.I., on October 21, 2013.

Harry Bentley '70 of Juno Beach, Fla., on August 5, 2013.

Susan Zampaglione '85 of Windsor, Conn., on October 24, 2013.

Dorothy Kaplan Berstein '70 of Boynton Beach, Fla., on September 6, 2013.

Joseph Devine '87 of Groton, Conn., on July 28, 2013.

Mary Dolan Desmond '70 of Warwick, R.I., on August 18, 2013. Arthur Kechijian '70 of Charlotte, N.C., on September 11, 2013. Deborah Maynard Lucid '70 of Pennellville, N.Y., on August 5, 2013. Cyril Ryding '70 of East Providence, R.I., on September 12, 2013. Lawrence Caswell '71 of South Kingstown, R.I., on July 25, 2013. Dale Jansen '71 of Franklin, Mass., on July 31, 2013.

Martha Enos Whitaker '87 of Johnston, R.I., on September 24, 2013. Klaus Baernthaler '89 of Middletown, R.I., on October 23, 2013. William Coughlin '91 of North Attleboro, Mass., on October 9, 2013. Kelly Finch Borders '92 of Powder Springs, Ga., on August 21, 2013. Brian Cormier '92 of Milford, Mass., on September 24, 2013. Denise Coleman '93 of Upper Darby, Pa., on October 24, 2013.

Constance Lucas Ohl '71 of Topsham, Maine, on August 16, 2013.

Janet DeAngelis Murray '93 of North Providence, R.I., on October 16, 2013.

Barbara Carville '72 of Estero, Fla., on September 17, 2013.

Kathleen Frink '96 of Coventry, R.I., on August 17, 2013.

Richard Evans '72 of Westerly, R.I., on November 2, 2013.

Laura Gershman Levin '96 of Mesa, Ariz., on September 2, 2013.

Robert Guindon '72 of Central Falls, R.I., on August 15, 2013.

Catherine Finni Ryan '98 of Providence, R.I., on September 17, 2013.

Barbara D'Arezzo McGinn '73 of Bristol, R.I., on August 28, 2013.

Samuel Holtzman '99 of Warwick, R.I., on August 17, 2013.

Virginia Herchen '74 of North Kingstown, R.I., on October 14, 2013.

Diane Wellins Moul '99 of Providence, R.I., on October 4, 2013.

Fred Kenney '74 of Riverside, R.I., on September 17, 2013.

Teresa Denham '01 of Westerly, R.I., on October 15, 2013.

Margaret Lormand '75 of Manlius, N.Y., on July 23, 2013.

Laurie Murray Luzzi '09 of Westerly, R.I., on July 24, 2013.

Ada Sciotti Mogayzel '75 of Edgewater, Md., on July 24, 2013.


Muriel Cohen Comiskey '76 of Wakefield, R.I., on October 21, 2013.

Professor of Political Science Stephen B. Wood, of Kingston, on November 14, 2013.

Edward Hill '76 of North Providence, R.I., on April 11, 2013. Karen Marti '76 of Annapolis, Md., on July 18, 2013. W Jean Shaw '76 of Louisville, Ky., on October 19, 2012. Oliver Edstrom '77 of Egg Harbor City, N.J., on July 25, 2013. Lesley Doonan '78 of Warwick, R.I., on September 2, 2013. Laurie Records Muddiman '78 of North Kingstown, R.I., on August 15, 2013.


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Professor of Mathematics, Chair of the Mathematics Department, and former Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences John Montgomery, of South Kingstown, on December 4, 2013. Professor Emeritus Philip H. Wilson o f K i n g sto n , R . I , o n December 8, 2013. Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering Robert S. Haas, of Kingston, R.I, on December 7, 2013.

Now is the time to take note of your career! URI Alumni Career Services wants to help you keep your career on track. In their new article, “The Career Notebook,” alumni advisors give you the tools you need to create and organize your own one-stop job resource, a place where you will inventory your skills, grow your contact list, and outline your career trajectory. Whether you love your job or are searching for something new, you can absolutely benefit from maintaining a Career Notebook. Read “The Career Notebook” and learn more at

For more information please visit


12/19/13 11:32 AM


Romancing the Stone In the eyes of Marc Archambault ’94, “every stone has its own personality.” Archambault describes his work as a creative, joyous outlet. The sounds of freight trains passing by the stone yard in Asheville, N.C., punctuate his serious commentary on the craft of stonemasonry and his life choices. A psychology major and philosophy minor, Archambault, an Exeter, R.I. native, first visited Asheville when he “chased a girl” there. Happily, the chase panned out; he and Kristin Cozzolino, originally from Westerly, R.I., have been happily married for 12 years. “We’re still crazy about each other,” Archambault enthuses. They have two young sons, Abe and Allie, who are into “pebble relocation. “Abe is more of a project manager, Allie more of a laborer.” Archambault did not graduate intending to practice stonemasonry. Having worked with developmentally disabled adults for several years while an undergraduate, he pursued a career in human services.

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He taught English in Korea and, with Kristin, in Thailand. They lived for several years in Portland, Ore. And then, Archambault had an epiphany. “I wanted my kids to see that you could do something you loved, that was cool, and you could make a living that way.” Archambault started Hammerhead Stoneworks in 2009. And while he misses the beauty of Rhode Island, he loves the rhythms of his new home. Favorite projects include an “old school” style stone cabin with three-foot-thick walls near Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the region, and his only work of public art, a “Nautilus patio” that stands in a Gainesville, Fla. public utilities compound. Today, Hammerhead is thriving. And Archambault makes his living doing what he loves. —Melanie Coon See more of Marc’s stonework at:

Photos: Courtesy Marc Archambault

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Every Gift Matters Every donation to the FUND FOR URI, no matter what size, matters.

Annual giving provides scholarships and enhances learning opportunities. It bolsters academic programming and enrichment opportunities for students, supports faculty development, and funds essential alumni relations activities. Most of all, it enriches the overall academic experience at URI. Support URI today by making a gift to the Fund for URI. Either unrestricted for use where it’s needed most, or restricted to the college or area you wish to support, your gift will make a meaningful impact. Visit to make a gift, or contact the URI Foundation at 401.874.7900 or

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Alumni Center 73 Upper College Road Kingston, RI 02881 USA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

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

Big Chill Weekend 2014 Febr uary 28–March 2

Visit for a list of the weekend’s events. IT’S ALL ABOUT SCHOLARSHIPS.

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URI QuadAngles Winter 2013-2014