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Beating the Odds

Some 3% of foster children finish college. First Star Academy gives a blueprint for change. | 12

Dream Maker

Stats are only the beginning when you’re a scout for a major league baseball team. | 22

Voice For Veterans

Capturing the experiences of a generation of soldiers, before they’re gone. | 24

Life, Comically One young illustrator has found a way to stay afloat as comics go online. | 26

10 distinguished th

Tenth Annual

achievement awards gala

The tenth annual Distinguished Achievement Awards and Gala will be held at the Newport Marriott in Newport, R.I. on Saturday, October 17, 2015. The event honors alumni and friends of URI who have brought distinction to themselves and the University through their professional achievements, outstanding leadership and community service. Meet this year’s honorees at


FALL 2015 | VOLUME 23, NO. 1

Features 12






Mission: Possible

The chaotic early lives many foster children experience can have far-reaching consequences. A groundbreaking collaboration provides a blueprint for change.

The Breakthrough Network

From cancer to Alzheimer’s to addiction, a glimpse into the state’s latest biomedical research.

A Tradition, Rewritten

The Good 5 Cent Cigar was born at a time of turmoil. The latest student journalists have revived its hardhitting news approach, proving that reports of print’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Dream Maker

Stephen Payne ‘88 logs thousands of miles every summer, living and breathing high school baseball. One nod from him can change lives.

Living History

Tim Gray ‘89 and his World War II Foundation are giving a voice to veterans—before it’s too late to capture their remarkable stories.

Cardines Field ballpark in Newport, R.I. See story page 22.

Breaking Cat News

A young illustrator, mother, and cat lover finds a way to turn normal life into comic gold—and in the process, is drawing her own career path.

Departments 2






6 10

Diabetes, with a spoonful of humor


More Online 30




Meaghan Mooney ‘06

A water quality app from the EPA answers your burning questions



Going RV



Cover: “Flightless No Longer” by Georgia Dunn ’04, watercolor and ink. See story page 26. PHOTOS: JOE GIBLIN; ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

News from your classmates

Steven Gendel ‘92 Fighting hunger after WWII


Is it Safe to Swim Here?

The reality show follows a couple as they upgrade their motor home

Sharks! Volcanos!

No, it’s not Sharknado. Check out this National Geographic video of underwater research in the Solomon Islands


Dear QuadAngles Editor, Lucas Hearn’s work is definitely “unique.” Saying that it is “so unique that it won a major award…” implies that uniqueness can be compared, which, according to its dictionary definition, it cannot. This is a common error, but it is to be hoped that a publication like yours, from a university such as URI, would be careful to avoid errors such as this. It is also to be hoped that you will accept my criticism in the spirit of helpfulness in which it is intended. —Most sincerely, Hazel G. Smith, M.L.S. ’74 Editor’s Note: Our mistake, and thank you, Hazel, we appreciate it.

The Humans of URI

The Online Conversation Check out our website for comments and conversations from our summer issue:

A student interview series opens intimate windows into campus lives.

”A Closer Look at Carbs” For a couple of years I thought it was gluten that was bothering me. I did exactly what your article talked about. Labels were read for what was in the food I was eating. Processed food has been off my diet for years. After careful consideration, gluten and corn products, sugar, and fructose were eliminated one at a time. Corn sugar and high fructose were the cause of my fatigue and sometimes heart palpitations. Cane sugar and gluten were not a problem. —Tom Jenison

“A Life in Words” Dear Sylvia, How beautiful this is…what a grand testimonial to your love of your life….and what wonderful memories you must have… Thank you for sharing! —Chiquita Dear Chiquita, Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Love to you and your family. —Sylvia

“The Perfect Wine for Your Clambake” Great idea! Who distributes your wines? —Lin Patty Hi Lin, Thanks for your comment. We passed your question on to Cassandra Earle, marketing director for Newport Vineyards, who responded, “MS Walker is our distributor and we distribute in R.I. and Mass.”

Further Reading Momentum: Research and Innovation, URI’s research magazine, offers an in-depth look at topics as diverse as medieval studies and the papacy, nanotechnology, helping people with disabilities get equal access to education, and the consequences of environmental change for wetland plants and animals. The next issue comes out in October; find it at

Work in the tourism industry?

We want to hear from you! 2


Inspired by a popular social media series, the Humans of New York, Emma Lamy ’18 and Steven Leone ’18 launched their URIcentric riff on the phenomenon last year. “Here at URI we have a very large campus, but we can make people feel more connected to each other,” the pair explains. “We also feel that everyone has unique stories, and backgrounds, and things about them that they never get a chance to share, so we’re giving them an opportunity to share that with us.” The team photographs people they bump into around campus and post a brief interview, in which people simply talk, or answer questions like “What words do you live by?” and “If you were to die today, would you be happy with your life?” Here’s a sampling from last semester’s posts:

Ian Kanterman ’18

What would force you to not be Ian Kanterman anymore if I took it away? “When I was younger, I had an experience that impacted the rest of my life. I was 5, and I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Ever since then, my life has been much different. I went to this place, Ronald McDonald’s camp. It’s a sleep-away camp where children and their siblings can go for a week and it’s like a retreat to get away from the hospital, and needles, and medicine. I had that experience for 11–12 years as a camper there. It inspired and motivated me to do things differently and not take things for


granted. Without that experience, I think my life would be very different. Yeah, what happened to me was not good. But, the experiences…really taught me about life in general.”

Maura Quigley ’15, M.B.A. ’19

What was your favorite moment, or year, at URI? “My favorite year was probably junior year. As far as classes, it was my hardest. Just because I was taking business law, and I worked my butt off to get a B. I was so proud of that because I’d get up at 5 in the morning, just to read for that class that day. I’ve also never learned more in a year. I also learned a lot about myself that year. Also,I figured out what I wanted to do, and started looking into grad schools.” Are you going to grad school? “I am. I got an assistantship with the College of Business so I’ll be teaching all the URI 101 CSV mentors and I’ll be doing social media for the College of Business and I’ll be expanding that more.” If you were to give any advice for college students, what would you say? “Get involved. Find what makes you happy. I’m a tour guide, and that’s the thing that I tell prospective students and families. My mom always told me to ‘bloom where you’re planted.’”

Jaleel Felton ’18

“I’m adopted. When I was 4, I was adopted by my mother now. She’s white. I never really met my birth father. I could walk past him today and I wouldn’t even know it was him. Before I was adopted, I lived in Newark, New Jersey. It’s the ghetto, I guess. I’m thankful for where I am now. I’m a D1 athlete at a great school. I think if my mom didn’t adopt me, I wouldn’t know where I’d be. I could be dead. My family was involved in gang and drug violence. I’m really lucky to be here. I always have a smile on my face; I don’t take life for granted. I always have a positive outlook on life because you don’t know where you could end up.”

Returning this fall, look for more posts on the Rams Emma and Steven encounter.

QUADANGLES 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

Editor in Chief Art Director Contributing Editors

Contributing Designers

Photographer Digital Media

Michele A. Nota ’87, M.S. ’06, Executive Director, URI Alumni Relations; Secretary, Alumni Association Executive Board Pippa Jack Kim Robertson Barbara Caron Shane Donaldson ’99 Dave Lavallee ’79, M.P.A. ’87 Todd McLeish Johnson Ma Bo Pickard Verna Thurber Nora Lewis Mena Hall

Editorial Board

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

URI Alumni Relations Staff

Angela Cardinal, Executive Assistant Robert Ferrell ’07, Assistant Director Alexis Giordano, Program Assistant Karen LaPointe ’77, M.B.A. ’85, Associate Director Kate Maccarone ’08, Assistant Director Darthula Mathews ’13, Program Assistant Mary Ann Mazzone, Office Assistant Cassandra Meyer-Ogren ’04, Assistant Director Amy Paulsen, Web/Print Editor Samantha Rodrigues ’11, Program Assistant Karen Sechio ’99, Assistant Director Samantha Stevens M.S. '15, Specialist

Alumni Association Executive Board

Alumni Association Councilors-at-Large

Susan R. Johnson ’82, President Louise H. Thorson M.B.A.’82, Past President Daniel G. Lowney ’75, Vice President Thomas F. Shevlin ’68, Vice President Patrick J. Cronin ’91, Treasurer Laurel L. Bowerman ’77, M.B.A. ’84 Matthew T. Finan ’11 Colleen Gouveia M.B.A.’98 Mackenzie Hofman ’12 Brina R. Masi Eades ’01 John J. Palumbo ’76 Gregory S. Perry ’88 Perry A. Raso ’02, M.S. ’06 Karen E. Regine ’81 Christos S. Xenophontos ’84, M.S.’85

Alumni Association Representatives Arts & Sciences Business Administration Feinstein Continuing Education Engineering Environment and Life Sciences Human Science & Services Nursing Graduate School of Oceanography Pharmacy URI Foundation Faculty Senate Student Senate Student Alumni Association

Kathleen O’Donnell-White ’90 Jordan D. Kanter ’99, M.S.’00 Bianca S. Rodriguez-Slater ’10 Anthony J. Rafanelli ’78, M.S.’85, Ph.D. ’95 Catherine Weaver ’82, B.L.A.’96 Christine S. Pelton ’84 Silifat “Laitan” Mustapha ’97 Veronica M. Berounsky Ph.D. ’90 Henrique “Henry” Pedro ’76 Lorne Adrain ’76 Andrea L. Yates ’94, Ph.D.’06 Amanda Rode ’16 Hannah Zawia ’18

The URI Alumni Association informs and engages current and future alumni as committed partners of the University, its mission and traditions.



PRESIDENT’SVIEW URI—like the rest of the world—has become an increasingly 24/7 environment, connected to a global community of scholars. Although commencement is long past, URI’s campuses were far from dormant over the summer. Just as J Term keeps our undergraduates engaged throughout winter break, the summer months find both undergraduates and graduates working alongside faculty mentors in labs, aboard research vessels, in the field, and on archaeological digs. The University never completely sleeps.

Making global connections in Indonesia.



My job keeps me busy throughout the year and across the world, because building a globally engaged university is a key priority. A recent trip to Indonesia is captured in this photo. The first URI delegation to Indonesia, including Deans John Kirby and Paul Larrat, was rewarding on many levels. It’s clear that our University is more of an international hub than it has ever been. In the past six years we have signed 45 new partnerships and agreements with 33 international institutions, from China to Chile, and from Denmark to Spain. We educate students from 15 countries. And they educate us. Our strategic goal of internationalizing and globalizing the University—which broadens our cultural horizons and enriches our campus as well as our home state—is shared by other public research institutions. According to a recent report of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, “Public Research Universities: Why They Matter”:

“In an interconnected and rapidly changing world, the United States requires an educated citizenry to support a constant flow of research and innovation and to sustain its international competitiveness. Public research universities are a foundational piece of the U.S. educational infrastructure that meets this need.” This concise report details how public institutions serve the national interest, contribute to the innovation economy, provide quality educational opportunities at an efficient cost, improve access and affordability for underserved populations, and practice responsible spending. It is timely and engaging reading, replete with concrete examples of the value of public institutions, where nearly 75 percent of college students in the U.S. study. In the coming year, I plan to share thoughts in these pages on how our University can fulfill its roles and responsibilities as an international public research institution. Like other universities, we are faced with the substantial, multiple challenges of declining federal support for research, the need to rebuild state support for higher education, and increasing enrollments. But we also embrace tremendous opportunities to collaborate with local, national, and international partners. This issue’s story on the INBRE network, which has brought $61 million in research dollars to Rhode Island since 2001, is a perfect illustration of just this kind of collaboration. From our recent designation as a top pharmacy school in residency program placements to the cranes across our campus demonstrating our investment in stateof-the-art facilities, we have many reasons to look ahead with pride and optimism. And on that hopeful note, we welcome the Class of 2019. I look forward to our continued conversation. David M. Dooley


ALUMNIWRITE Too Sweet—The Not So Serious Side to Diabetes, by Laura Kronen ‘92, does what few other books about this life-altering and chronic disease even think of: It deals with the emotions that sufferers feel, and it does so with humor.

Kronen, who lives with her husband and children just outside Atlanta, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 22 years ago. Finding out that she was “pancreatically challenged,” as she likes to say, was not welcome news to someone “born with a love of sweets and fear of needles.” Some 172,000 injections and finger pricks later, she has authored a chatty, buoyant, and eminently practical guide that ought to be on every endocrinologist’s patient reading list. It’s full of day-to-day tips—power foods, what you can’t leave home without—and jokes that remind readers they’re not alone, like the section on “You know you’re a diabetic when…” (Spoiler: You know you’re a diabetic when people tell you they totally understand what you go through, because they have a diabetic cat.) Elected this year to the board of directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Kronen selfpublished the book, which is available on This excerpt comes from the introduction: Why am I wide awake? I pick up my iPhone, which also conveniently acts as my nightlight, and check the time— 3:12 a.m. I’m feeling very warm, although I know I have the air turned down to the perfect sleeping temperature of sixty-nine degrees. This can only mean one thing. I check my blood. Coincidentally, it reads 312, the same as the time. Although my blood sugar is crazy high, the irony amuses me ever so slightly. Then my symptoms come alive. As I blink, my eyelids make a clicking noise, my heart is racing, and my brain is in a fog. My fingers feel stiff, which in my head I have associated with the high levels of sugar in my blood crystallizing together. Diabetes isn’t funny. Certainly a lot of seriousness goes along with having it. A plethora of somber diabetes-related information is available out there, but you need to balance out all the doom and gloom. Research shows the health advantages of laughter, and a humor filter can protect the mind, promote learning, reduce stress, and allow for a processing of emotions in a healthy way. Insulin keeps us alive and kicking, but humor and a positive attitude can be the best medicine. Either you or someone you know is stuck with this disease, so we might as well make the best of it. •



NEWS&VIEWS URI Named 3rd Most Beautiful Coastal Campus A national website, Best Value Schools, says only Pepperdine University in Malibu and the University of San Diego beat out URI for gorgeous campuses that boast proximity to the ocean. “Reading, writing, studying, and…surfing. For thousands of college students heading off to college this year, a campus close to the beach and water is an absolute must,” says the story.

Each school was evaluated for location, awards and recognition, student enjoyment, notable features such as local beaches and sailing facilities, historical significance and environmental friendliness. The article notes the stellar view of Narragansett Bay’s West Passage from URI’s Bay Campus in Narragansett, home to the Graduate School of Oceanography, which consistently ranks among the top five oceanographic institutions in the country.

Long Sighted Sonar

The Winning Hacks Two engineering students won hackathon awards in May for quickly creating wearable medical devices at the Body Sensor Network Conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The three-day event challenged participants to come up with a working prototype on the fly. A team led by Nick Constant ’15 of West Warwick won the event’s Best Design Award with a design he dreamed up called Big Ears, a headphone-like device with sensors for monitoring a patient’s vital signs and walking gait so doctors and physical therapists can quantify a patient’s progress during rehabilitation. Cody Goldberg ’16 of Amherst, N.H., was attracted to a proposal to create a device to monitor the health of patients waiting to be seen by doctors; that team won the Best Application Award.



URI student Nick Constant ’15 demonstrates his award-winning wearable technology.

“Because the whole event only lasts a short time, the solution doesn’t have to look good or be fancy,” explains Constant, who begins graduate studies at URI this fall. “It just has to work.”

University of Rhode Island Professor James Miller and his former student Matthew Zimmerman ’01 found themselves at the White House in June. Their Warwick, R.I., company, FarSounder, was presented with the 2015 Tibbetts Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration, honoring its innovation in ship safety for their invention of a forward-looking sonar system. The system can detect obstacles in the water— whales, reefs, shipping containers, icebergs and more—as far as a half mile away. With contracts from the Department of Homeland Security, FarSounder also recently developed an underwater threat detection system for protecting ports and ships from approaching divers and underwater vehicles.


Eye in the Sky For the second year in a row, a team of University of Rhode Island engineering students has won first place in the University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs, sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration. Krista Brouwer ’15 of Middletown, R.I., Thomas Cottam ’15 of Scituate, R.I., Catherine LiVolsi ’15 of Peace Dale, R.I., and Stephen Pratt ’15 of Coventry, R.I. invented a drone detection and tracking system to address the problem of drones colliding with aircraft after entering the no-fly zones around airports. Using radio frequency identification tags, the students created a solarpowered system that they call Eye in the Sky. It not only alerts airport officials about approaching drones so pilots can be informed, but it also warns drone operators when their vehicles enter no-fly zones. “Because this is such a very new issue, there really aren’t any other ways that have yet been developed to address this growing problem,” says LiVolsi, who recently started a job at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. “So at the moment our project is one of the only methods to assist the FAA.” The URI students who won the FAA competition last year invented a collision avoidance system for planes on the ground at airports.

Tiger Sharks’ Epic Voyages A new study co-led by URI shark researcher Brad Wetherbee has yielded the first long-term satellite tracking of tiger sharks, revealing previously unknown migration patterns that are more similar to birds, turtles and marine mammals than other fish. Tiger sharks had long been believed to be a mainly coastal species. But the sharks Wetherbee and his colleagues from Nova Southeastern University tracked made 7,500-kilometer, round-trip journeys every year between two vastly different ecosystems: the coral reefs of the Caribbean and the open waters of the North Atlantic. And they returned reliably to the same areas each year, a discovery with significant conservation implications. The team attached tags to sharks near Bermuda that stayed in place for up to three years. The tracking showed that adult male tiger sharks in the Atlantic spend their winters in Caribbean island locales, including the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Anguilla. During summer, they travel into the North Atlantic, often more than 3,500 kilometers and as far north as southern New England, though well offshore in nearly the middle of the ocean.

The only other instance when researchers have found a broadly similar, repeated migration pattern between coastal and distant open water regions is with the warm-bodied, great white and salmon sharks in the Pacific. White sharks migrate in the winter from the California and Baja coasts to a mid-Pacific open water area dubbed the White Shark Café. “We joke that tiger sharks, not being media stars like white sharks, wouldn’t be comfortable in a café and prefer to hang out in their truckstop in the mid-Atlantic,” says Wetherbee.



Sports and Discrimination too long, yet he remains the single most dominant personality in the Olympic movement in the 20th century.

Robert G. Weisbord, a URI professor for 46 years who retired in 2013 and the author of six books including his latest, Racism and the Olympics, talks about how social issues and sports intertwine:

Is there racism in the Olympics today? The kinds of problems the games have today are more likely to be connected to issues such as the role of gay athletes and women participants, especially from the Middle East.

Congratulations on your new book. What inspired you to write it? I’m a huge sports fan. I was a mediocre athlete growing up in Washington Heights in New York City, but as a spectator I’m a fan of baseball, basketball and football. More important, I’m interested in racism, and that includes racism in sports. The black power salute in the 1968 Olympics shocked America. Did you support it? Yes. It was a dignified and brief protest that in no way was disruptive of the games. It was a way of saying that blacks were oppressed in America and that something had to be done about it. Americans’ outrage was hypocritical. After George Foreman won the gold medal he ran around the ring carrying a small American flag, and there were no protests of that demonstration. What happened to the athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos? The controversy had a negative effect on their marriages, and they found it very difficult to get gainful employment. Tommie Smith was reduced to washing cars. Both are still alive. I don’t think the relationship between them is very good.

What criteria should be used to determine whether a country participates in the games? The Olympic community should strive for universal participation, but there should be stringent requirements for hosting the games. In the worst cases, I wouldn’t let a country participate in the Olympics either. That’s why I supported banning South Africa and Rhodesia in the 1960s and 1970s.

Robert G. Weisbord

Could something as horrible as Hitler’s snub of track star Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin happen today? No. There’s more awareness of racial sensitivities. Back then, Hitler made it clear that he didn’t like black athletes winning medals for the United States. In your book you write about the polarizing International Olympic Committee presidency of Avery Brundage. Tell us about him. He was a negative force in the Olympics. He was overly combative and conservative on a number of issues, not just race. He stayed

What do you think of the FIFA scandal tarnishing soccer? Are professional sports too greedy? I think an attempt should be made to eliminate greed as much as possible. Everything has to be transparent. That’s crucial. Are you enjoying your retirement? Sure. I love it, but I miss the teaching to tell you the truth. I miss the students. I had a grand time at URI.

What Norway Can Teach Us About Aging

URI students with other international students during a summer trip to Norway to study aging and health.



Norway is famous for its fjords, midnight sun and Nobel Peace Prize, but it’s also the best country in the world in which to grow old. A very young group of University of Rhode Island students explored that fact during a weeklong summer trip to Norway’s Bergen University College to study aging and health care among the elderly. The trip was the culmination of an online course co-taught by Phillip Clark, a URI gerontology and human development professor who accompanied the students. Here are some of his insights: Successful aging requires a lot of different factors, and Norway seems to do well on all of them. For example, older Norwegians have highincome security through a generous universal pension system. They also benefit from a health care system that supports all Norwegians from the time they are born.


Rachel Bryer named All American

URI Women’s A Division skipper Rachel Bryer ’17, of Jamestown, R.I., was named an Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Women’s All-American Skipper this summer, one of only six women nationwide to win the honor. Bryer has been sailing solo since she was 8 years old. She has a funny story to tell about joining URI’s sailing team under coach Skip Whyte: “I came into college with a pretty good sailing resume from high school, so Skip was kind of talking me up at the beginning of the first practice. But probably two minutes after we got on the water, I capsized. It was really embarrassing.” She adds that sailing has taught her patience, commitment, and how to work in a team, and that she expects to sail all her life.

Hannah Scanlon and Rachel Bryer

The United States ranks 8th in the world for aging, behind some of the other Scandinavian countries, Germany and Canada, but ahead of the UK and France. We score relatively low on two key indicators: Many older Americans try to make ends meet with only their modest Social Security benefits; and because we don’t have adequate health care provided to Americans under age 65, many people get to old age without having a lifetime of access to good health care. Norway’s innovative programs include having sheep and chickens at a nursing home for the residents to interact with, and placing older adults with dementia on small working farms to participate in activities they remember from childhood.

On the Lookout for New Insect Invader

The southern pine beetle, which is native to the southern United States, spread north to New Jersey in 2001, and was discovered in pine forests on Long Island in 2014. This year it has been found in central Connecticut. A team of University of Rhode Island entomologists has set traps at conservation lands throughout western Rhode Island to watch for it—if it’s not here yet, scientists say, it is probably on its way. According to URI entomologist Lisa Tewksbury ’82, Ph.D. ’14, the blackish beetles are just 2 to 4 millimeters in size, and they feed under the bark of pine trees. In their southern range, they infest loblolly and short-leafed pines, but in Connecticut and Long Island they are infesting pitch and red pines. Infected trees respond to


the beetles by trying to push out the eggs and larvae with resin. It looks like popcorn balls of dried resin mixed with sawdust coming out of the trunk. If you see something similar, email a photo to Tewksbury at or call her at 401.874.2750. “Because the beetles are so tiny, they are extremely difficult to see,” said Tewksbury, who is collaborating on the project with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.




Abbey Miklitsch

Reynolds-Dean Returns to Men’s Basketball Program A member of the 2015 URI Athletics Hall of Fame Class, Antonio ReynoldsDean ’99 returned to Rhode Island in May as a member of Dan Hurley’s coaching staff. Reynolds-Dean was part of one of the most successful classes in program history, helping Rhode Island reach the 1998 NCAA Elite Eight. His senior year, the Rams won the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship —the only A-10 tourney title in program history. The Atlanta native is one of the best post players in Rhode Island history. One of just three Rhody players to tally at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, he had 1,576 points (11th best) and 1,028 boards (third best). He also ranks third all-time in blocked shots (235) and career games played (131). Reynolds-Dean was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 1995–96 and earned a spot on the A-10’s AllDefensive team in 1996–97. He was a Third Team All-Conference pick in 1998–99. After a nine-year professional playing career, Reynolds-Dean joined the coaching ranks. He most recently spent time at the College of Charleston and also was on Bill Coen’s staff at Northeastern. He began his coaching career at Fairfield University, serving as the team’s director of basketball operations in 2008–09.

Miklitsch to Represent A-10 on NCAA Board Rower Abbey Miklitsch ’16 was selected in June to represent the Atlantic 10 on the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). It’s the next step for Miklitsch, who is fresh off a junior year in which she won her boat’s flight at the Atlantic 10 Championships, served on an A-10 subcommittee and represented URI athletics at the conference joint meetings in January. “Being appointed to this position has been the most humbling experience for me, as this was not the college experience I imagined I would have. It’s so much better than that,” Miklitsch said. Her two-year term will begin July 1 and

Bose, McCombs Sign Professional Contracts

Andrew Bose


run through June 30, 2017. Miklitsch has been the URI SAAC president and served on the A-10 SAAC in each of the last two years. A Dean’s List student and a member of the Atlantic-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, she is a triple major in criminology, psychology and political science, and has a minor in underwater archeology. “We are so proud that Abbey was chosen by the Atlantic 10 to serve on the NCAA Division I SAAC,” said Rhode Island Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn. “During her time at URI, Abbey has proven to be a leader. I am very confident that she will do a great job representing the University of Rhode Island and the Atlantic 10.”

Two Rhode Island players signed professional football contracts this spring. Linebacker Andrew Bose signed with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and running back Lyle McCombs joined the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. It is the first time since 2000 that the Rams have simultaneously had an active player in both the NFL and CFL. In 2000, defensive tackle Frank Ferrara ’99 was with the NFL’s New York Giants, while running back James Jenkins ’99 and center John Bush ’02 were both with the Toronto Argonauts. “I am extremely excited,” Bose said about signing with the Ravens. “Just to get an invitation to the rookie camp was a major accomplishment. To be offered a spot on the 90-man roster and given a chance to make the final roster, that is an incredible opportunity.” A three-time CAA Football All-Conference selection at Rhode Island, Bose earned first-team honors in 2014 after leading the conference in


Wilson, Hess Earn All-American Honor Rhode Island’s Chris Hess ’18 and Tyler Wilson ’18 were named to the 2015 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team, announced June 3 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. It marks the first time in the history of the Rhode Island baseball program that multiple freshmen earned All-America honors in the same season. Hess led Rhode Island in Tyler Wilson hits (59), multiple-hit games (17), triples (6), runs scored (34) and slugging percentage (.481). He also ranked second on the team in on-base percentage (.398) and extra-base hits (16) and was third in stolen bases (10). The North Kingstown, R.I. native also was an Atlantic 10 First-Team All-Conference pick as well as an All-Rookie selection. Wilson adds the Freshman All-America accolades to an already-impressive resume that includes the Atlantic-10’s Pitcher and Rookie of the Year awards, A-10 First-Team All-Conference, All-Rookie honors, and Rookie of the Year distinction from both the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Palmer, Mass. native finished his outstanding freshman campaign leading all A-10 starting pitchers in ERA (2.16), runs allowed (24), opposing average (.184), hits allowed per nine innings (5.87) and WHIP (0.96). He posted a 6-3 record, including a complete-game, one-hit shutout at Richmond. 

tackles with 125. He finished his career seventh in Rhode Island history with 295 career tackles and was eighth in program history with 28.5 tackles for losses. McCombs, who played one season with the Rams as a graduate student, signed with Toronto in mid-May and made his professional debut in a preseason game against Winnipeg. McCombs led Rhode Island with 663 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground in 2014. On Nov. 15 at Stony Brook, McCombs became just the third player in program history to rush for 200 yards in a single game, finishing with 202. “It’s a blessing to get the opportunity to play football professionally in the CFL,” McCombs said. “My experiences playing at the University of Rhode Island played a part in me getting the opportunity, and for that I’m thankful.”

Chris Hess

Rhody Baseball All-Americans 2001  Mike LaBarbera, Third Team 2001  Dan Batz, Freshman Team 2002  Mike Harris, Freshman Team 2006  Steve Holmes, Third Team 2009  Dan Rhault, Honorable Mention 2012  Jeff Roy, Honorable Mention 2015  Chris Hess, Freshman Team 2015  Tyler Wilson, Freshman Team

Lou Distasio

Distasio Drafted by San Diego Padres Rhode Island right-handed pitcher Lou Distasio was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 32nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft on June 10. The Yarmouth, Maine, native became URI’s 14th player drafted since 2003. Identified as one of the Atlantic-10’s top prospects as well as one of the top prospects from New England, Distasio has been a two-year member of Rhode Island’s weekend rotation and tied for the team lead with six wins this year. He recorded a season-high nine strikeouts in URI’s 6-3 upset over 11th-ranked North Carolina, en route to earning A-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on March 2. In three seasons with the Rams, Distasio has recorded 146 strikeouts opposite just 57 walks while averaging 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He boasts a career opposing batting average of .246. Distasio is the second Ram drafted by the Padres in recent years as San Diego selected Nick Greenwood in the 14th round of the 2009 Draft. Greenwood was later traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and went on to make his MLB debut in the summer of 2014.

Lyle McCombs


Mission: Possible The chaotic early lives many foster children experience can have far-reaching consequences, including abysmal college completion rates. A groundbreaking program is setting out to change that, helping abused and neglected children create better todays, and tomorrows. BY DAVE LAVALLEE ’79, M.P.A. ’87


Jenelle is doing two important things this fall: beginning her first year at the Community College of Rhode Island, and defying the odds. Then there’s Rashae, a Coventry High School senior, who has turned from being a lackluster student into one who earns “A”s. Instead of avoiding school and dreading her classes, she now has college in her sights. Ian was already a motivated student, but says he’s more ­comfortable in social settings these days. The key: meeting fellow high school students from many different backgrounds who all shared a fundamental similarity with him. The experience, he says, helped change his perspective on himself, and on the people around him. All three are young people who have come up through Rhode Island’s foster care system (their last names are withheld to protect their privacy). The reason for their recent successes is an innovative program established in 2012 to prepare foster children for success in college: First Star URI Academy. Across the country, fewer than 3 percent of former foster children earn four-year degrees—compared to 30 percent of the general population. And that’s only the beginning of the grim statistics. Half of the young people in foster care don’t even graduate from high school. More than 24 percent of former foster children who leave the system when they reach adulthood report being homeless, and 47 percent report being unemployed one year after leaving the system. Researchers suspect traumatic histories are often to blame, with many foster children having experienced psychological mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or separations from parents and siblings. Jenelle, who graduated from West ­Warwick High School in June, is one of the first from URI’s First Star to enroll in ­college. Once she earns her associate’s degree, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree as part of her goal of becoming a social worker. “I was helped by being around other ­foster youths who have experienced the same things as me,” says Jenelle. A July session making blankets for other foster children, facilitated by Hope Full RI, is also about confidence building and bonding for students Alex, Shakeim, and Elizabeth.


“I was also able to help them express their feelings. It really opened my eyes to the huge challenges faced by students in foster care. I was able to get into a fantastic foster family where I received tremendous support. It really made me see how lucky I was to have that opportunity. Many of the kids don’t have that.” She says she acquired new skills and attitudes during her three summers in the

Jenelle swimming with First Star staff member Anthony Duran ’15, a psychology major, in July 2014.

program: “I think one of the biggest things was confidence building. I didn’t really think I could achieve until I went through First Star.” Rhode Island might, at any time, have some 250 children in the foster care ­system, waiting to be adopted. About half are older than 11. But of the 150 or so kids adopted each year, most are younger, with only 8 percent falling between 14 and 17 years old. Up to 100 might age out of the system each year at 18, having never gained a permanent home. First Star aims to reach out to some of those older teens. So far, 25 young people have participated in the program, with monthly activities year-round, school year mentoring and support, and a four-week residential program at URI each summer during which they participate in high school and college level courses, as well as getting a primer on the process of applying for, and succeeding at, college—from financial aid to cooking lessons. All of the participants are on track to finish high school, and most have improved their grades.

The program is made possible by a ­ rivate-state partnership between URI, p Adoption Rhode Island and the state Department of Children, Youth and ­Families, with founding support from ­Hasbro, Inc., as well as the support of ­Identity Theft 911 (because foster children are more likely to have their identity stolen). The annual four weeks at Kingston—­ this year, 14 foster children stayed at a fraternity building, with First Star staffers on site round the clock—included hearing from guest lecturers, eating in the campus dining hall, learning about animal care and management at Peckham Farm, taking college classes, and enjoying a day at Six Flags New England. Monthly outings include visits to other colleges and to URI sporting events. Each month, the students are also given 15 words likely to show up in the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and they must learn to spell the words, understand their usage and use them in sentences. During the 2013 academy at URI, the students wrote essays and poems for a booklet titled, Peek Into My Pain: Reveal My Strength. “These are college-level words,” said Merry Caswell ’75, director of the program since June 2013. “As an incentive to work hard on this ­exercise, we give the students Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards. We also review the college Common ­Application and have them write essays. We give them flash drives so they can share their writing with their guidance counselors in preparation for their college essays.” Caswell said the goal each year is to enroll ­students who will be high school freshmen or sophomores in the fall, so that they will be able to take advantage of the program for three to four years. “Students must apply, write an essay and participate in a face-to-face interview to be admitted,” Caswell said. “We are interested in students who want to better themselves and who have an interest in pursuing post-secondary education. The college credits they earn are entered into each student’s record so they can be applied to the college of the student’s choice.” But it’s not strictly academics. “This year, we did the URI ropes course through URI’s leadership program, horseback riding and kayaking on Wood River,” Caswell said. “In the past, professors have come in to talk about various majors, and on S ­ aturdays, we involve the students in enrichment activities


A Novel Partnership Karen Davis ’82, senior vice president of global philanthropy and social impact at Hasbro, Inc., said she saw the good work being done by the nation’s inaugural First Star Academy at the University of California Los Angeles, a program backed by Hasbro. “I asked them to give us a chance to pilot a second academy in Rhode Island,” Davis said. “I met with Adoption Rhode Island, and we had a great meeting with (President David M.) Dooley, who embraced the idea and ran with it.” The small team has been working to change the future for foster children in Rhode Island. “If we ever expect them to have better outcomes, we need to provide the supports,” she says. “For us, the most wonderful thing so far is the number of kids in the process of being adopted. We didn’t expect it, but now the way they are presenting themselves, people believe in them.” Now Davis is asking URI alumni to be part of the program, either by supporting it financially, being guest lecturers, or serving as mentors. Darlene Allen, executive director of Adoption Rhode Island, said First Star Academy is one of the most innovative programs in Rhode Island for young people, particularly foster youths. “For many in our program, it was the first time they had stepped on a college campus. They think of themselves as Rams and that the Kingston Campus is their space, their place. They really feel it’s like home,” Allen says. “This program is a tribute to the model we have here in Rhode Island. URI, Hasbro, the Department of Children, Youth and Families and Identity Theft 911 are putting their strengths together to build a successful program.” Thomas R. Dougan, URI vice president for Student Affairs and board member of the First Star Academy, plays a major role in making things happen on campus for the program. “Obviously, the students who are with us for a month benefit from what we provide, but we here at URI benefit from our work with these young people as well,” Dougan says. “They have faced and overcome tremendous challenges in their young lives, and their stories of perseverance inspire us all.” • If you would like to donate to First Star Academy, go to and note that your gift should support First Star Academy. If you’d like to volunteer, please email Director Merry Caswell at


Clockwise from above, Ian with a horse from Sheffield Way Farm, which works with First Star to broaden students’ experiences. At right, top photo, Cassy, Rashae and URI basketball players Jared Terrell ’18 and E.C. Matthews ’17 at a winter game. Bottom right, enjoying an ice-cream break and the company of a goat.

such as cooking, pottery and learning hiphop dance. We take them to the beach, skating at the Boss Arena and swimming at the Tootell pools.” The students say the program is working. “We learned that we can be treated like anyone else,” Jenelle says, “and to never let what happened in our past determine who we are.” She was invited to give a speech during a ­Congressional Listening Tour panel at Rhode Island College, during which she suggested changes to the foster care system. Jenelle has cerebral palsy and was placed in foster care when she was 6 because her grand­parents could no longer care for her. She says she was lucky to be placed with a great foster family, but she wishes she could have seen more of her grandparents as she grew up. She’d like

A National Program

Cassy, Rashae and URI basketball players Jared Terrell ’18 and E. C. Matthews ’17.

the system to allow more frequent visits with siblings and extended family members because they can provide support, too. When it was time for graduation from high school, Jennelle said, “My foster family, my mother and father and grandmother were there. When I walked across the stage to get my diploma, I received a standing ovation from the entire audience.” Rashae, the Coventry High School senior, previously missed classes regularly because she would oversleep. Her absences led to failure in some classes. And when she first entered First Star four years ago, she had trouble handling the early wakeup calls, living with strangers and the expectations of the staff. But she has responded to every challenge and has transformed herself from a high school student with a 2.0 grade point average to one with a 4.0. “I didn’t know what to expect, especially taking classes in the summer,” Rashae says. “No one wants to take classes in the summer, especially college classes. But now I am actually thinking about going to URI.” She said she once struggled with time management, but First Star helped her figure it out: “I learned from the staff. I very PHOTOS: HASBRO; NORA LEWIS; COURTESY FIRST STAR ACADEMY

First Star was founded in 1999 at the University of California Los Angeles by TV and film producer Peter Samuelson. The Rhode Island chapter, started three years ago, was the second. Now there are five more: at the University of Connecticut, George Washington University in D.C., Loyola University in Chicago, the University of Central Florida, and Rowan University in New Jersey. The organization, now a national non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C., just hired a national director, Paige Chan.

much appreciate what they have done for me. They gave me opportunities and they were my role models.” The students had trouble getting along at first. “But the more we talked with each other, the more we learned,” Rashae says, “and the more we wanted to talk with each other. We bonded and now some of my best friends are from First Star. That’s because we understand each other’s lives. Not many people can understand what we have been through.” And she has grown to think of URI as a second home. “I like how organized things are here on the campus, and everything is clean and nice. I want to major in business management and go to work for a major corporation. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started.” Ian just finished his third year at First Star and is beginning his junior year at Cranston High School East. “Because I have actually experienced what being on a college campus is like, it’s much more relatable,” Ian said. “Also, being with a group of teenagers helped me improve my social skills and prepare me

well for college. I know I will have to give oral reports in college, and later on, especially with employers, so this is good practice.” In his first year in the program, the class took a cultural competency course, which “helped us learn about different cultures, that everyone is equal, and how to interact with each other,” he says. “I very much want to go to college. I like history, English is a strong subject for me, and I also like psychology and technology. I would like to go to college somewhere in Rhode Island. I am already pretty familiar with how URI works, and so I feel that would be a great option for me. It’s beautiful and there are lots of nice people who work there. • VIDEO | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND


The Breakthrough Network BY MARY GRADY

A game-changing, statewide collaboration gives researchers the tools to make biomedical breakthroughs.

Top, the RI-INBRE Centralized Research Core Facility, at URI’s College of Pharmacy, opened in 2003. Above, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo speaks with undergraduate researcher Amanda Rode ‘18 during the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Kingston on July 31.


When Wei Lu, an assistant professor in URI’s College of Pharmacy, won a $1.3 million federal grant last year to study nanoparticle technology that could help fight cancer, he was just one of many researchers to benefit from a statewide program based at URI—the Idea Network for Biomedical Research (INBRE). The program, administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launched in Rhode Island in 2001. “The idea was to broaden the geographical distribution of NIH funding, which had been concentrated in just a handful of states,” says Zahir Shaikh, the program director and a URI pharmacy professor. “Rhode Island was one of 23 states that had a small amount of grant funding. INBRE was meant to help make the playing field more even.” To achieve its goals, the program helps junior faculty launch their research careers, and also supports and mentors undergraduate students. “Our charge is to create a network,” says Shaikh. URI has partnered with six other institutions in the state: Brown University, Rhode Island College,

Providence College, Roger Williams, Salve Regina, and Bryant University. CCRI is also involved in an outreach capacity. Professors at the start of their careers are provided with mentoring and financial support, usually for about three years, to help them establish their own research programs. Once they have accumulated more experience and preliminary research results, they’re better prepared to tackle the daunting task of finding the financing they need to be independent. “Faculty we’ve supported have brought in about $50 million in their own grants,” says Shaikh. “That’s the whole idea— to build the infrastructure and support so they are more competitive when they apply for funding, and biomedical research in the state will grow.” A key part of that infrastructure development is the Centralized Research Core Facility, which has been established in the pharmacy building on URI’s Kingston campus. Al Bach, the facility coordinator, ensures that the lab has the instrumentation researchers need, and also teaches faculty and students how to use the equipment. “We also





can help researchers to design their experiments,” says Bach. “We help them in any way we can.” The equipment is constantly being updated— early this year, the lab acquired a new high-resolution Nikon inverted confocal microscope, which can do complex work but is simple to operate. A new mass spectrometer was acquired just last year, and the lab also has an RNA/DNA synthesizer, a protein sequencer, and a wide range of other instruments. INBRE has invested more than $4 million so far in the core lab, says Shaikh. “It’s a unique facility in the state,” he said. “No other facility has the concentration of all this instrumentation and staff support in one place. And it’s available not only to the students and faculty at URI, but also to all the member institutions.” Another key program for INBRE is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), which pulls from a number of funding sources to provide a paid, 10-week research experience to promising students. Brenton DeBoef, from URI’s chemistry department, is the SURF director. “I went through programs similar to this as an undergraduate,” says DeBoef. “So I’m a big fan.” During the school year, the program provides additional funding to keep students working on research projects. INBRE also hosts a statewide conference every summer at URI where participating students can share the results of their research. “It’s unbelievable,” says DeBoef, adding that the level of work, and enthusiasm, is high and seems better every year. “It’s top notch. It’s really great.” The program is intensely competitive, DeBoef says, and he hopes it will continue to grow. Every PHOTOS: NORA LEWIS; JOE GIBLIN; MARY GRADY



year, he said, he has applicants from more well-qualified students than the program can accommodate, and the same is true for mentors. Shaikh said the statewide support for undergraduate research already has had a profound impact. “The undergrad institutions now are more interested in encouraging their faculty to do research, not to only concentrate on teaching,” he says. “It’s really changing the culture at the undergraduate universities.” At Rhode Island College, two undergraduates in biology won first place at a 2013 regional conference for their report on research they completed working in the lab with Rhode Island Hospital’s Deborah Britt Ph.D. ’91, funded by SURF. “We were in shock when we heard our names called as firstplace winners,” said student Sabrina Elgar. “It was so exciting to be there. At one of the sessions, they talked about how important it is to fund undergraduate research, and I thought, what if I hadn’t had these opportunities, because the funding wasn’t there? And I realized what a difference it makes.” The majority of students who benefit from INBRE support go on to graduate school and complete their doctorate degrees, says Shaikh. With all of those pieces in place, says Shaikh, INBRE has made progress in its goal of helping biomedical research in the state to grow. And the NIH agrees. “Last year we got funded for five more years, for $18.8 million,” says Shaikh. That newest grant brings the total amount of NIH funding awarded to URI for INBRE since 2001 to $61 million. That’s a massive step toward levelling the playing field for research dollars in Rhode Island—and saving lives. •

1 NIH funding helps URI

Professor Wei Lu research cancer therapies using nanotechnology.

2 Providence College Professor

and priest Nicanor Austriaco’s early INBRE-funded work earned him two NIH grants to support genetic cancer research in his lab.

3 Providence College Professor Marla Tipping is using her INBRE funding to train undergraduates as they research metabolic treatments for brain tumors.

4 Brown Professor Karla

Kaun studies molecular mechanisms of alcohol addiction in fruit flies with INBRE funding.

5 Rhode Island College

Professor Geoff Stilwell, along with Brown University, uses INBRE funding to develop genetically identical mutant fruit flies to find a cure for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS.

6 Providence College

Professor Seann Mulcahy’s INBRE-funded research results helped him win the New Investigator Award from the ACS Petroleum Research Fund.



Jacob Marrocco ’16, Allison Farrelly ’16, Ryan Wichelns ’15, and Carla Aveledo ’15 of the Good 5 Cent Cigar.



Tradition, ARewritten BY PAUL E. KANDARIAN

Think print is dead? Take a look around Kingston, where 19-year-old students are as likely as their professors to be seen poring over the pages of the student newspaper, the Good 5 Cent Cigar. The paper’s dynamic stable of reporters displays all the hunger, urgency, and compulsion to find the truth that has always driven the best journalism— and the future is theirs to write. A few years back, URI’s student newspaper, the Good 5 Cent Cigar, which was founded in 1971 and has waxed and waned ever since, was a flimsy four-page periodical filled with canned copy and little University news. Few would have disputed that its star was waning, and the stacks of free papers distributed around ­campus went virtually untouched. “I would pick it up and it didn’t draw me,” recalls Carla Aveledo ’15, managing editor of the Cigar for the past two years. In fact, she says, its presence was so ineffectual that “it was hardly even there.” That’s changed. During the past two years, thanks to a devoted staff and news-oriented leadership, the Cigar has morphed. It used to come out four times a week; now, it comes out once, but that one issue offers 16 pages. More importantly, it’s once more required reading, full of the kind of news that its campus readership can use. The proof: the stacks disappear in short order the day they’re put out. It’s all the encouragement, Aveledo says, that she and her staff ever wanted. But it’s not all they’ve won: This year, the Cigar broke the campus news barrier, garnering attention from the Providence Journal, which credited it with breaking a story on questionable towing practices at the Kingston Emporium. Jim Romenesko, a national news blogger with an enormous following, mentioned the story on his morning list. A reported controversy about a staffer’s dog ordered from campus made BuzzFeed and was re-tweeted by sports commentator Keith Olbermann.



Carla Aveledo ’15 worked in

Newport for the summer after graduating, and is applying for reporter positions at newspapers. “The future of journalism, I think, lies in multimedia,” she says. “People like watching videos and photos and listening to audio packages. The news will always have to be digested, it’s just the format that is changing, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.”


What happened? “There was a lot of new blood on the paper,” Aveledo explains. “I think we were all really motivated to make it something substantial. We didn’t want to work for a paper that wasn’t being read.” That meant a shift away from “just coverage of events,” she says, and toward “real news.” One of the biggest ­driving forces behind the changes, Aveledo and others say, was the leadership of ­Allison Farrelly ’16, the paper’s editor in chief. NEWS EDITOR “Hard work and Ryan Wichelns ’15 doesn’t luck,” Farrelly insists, see himself as a newsroom when asked what journalist, preferring the idea turned the paper of writing about the outdoors, around. “We worked,” such as hiking and climbing she adds. “I can’t stories for magazines. “Not stress that enough, that I didn’t love everything I did this year,” he says. “But the work we put into I’m not sure I can see doing it it—late nights, meetfull time for a long time.” ings over the summer, meltdowns around the newsroom table. But we got lucky because everyone involved wanted to make a huge difference.” Farrelly, a Jamestown, R.I. native who came aboard as a freshman, held various positions over the years before being voted in as editor in chief. With experience from her North Kingstown High School news­ paper, she already knew she wanted to major in journalism; but she’s been surprised by just how rewarding an experience the Cigar has been. “In recent years, it’s been one of the most underutilized tools for journalism majors,” she says. She’s helped transform it into a launching pad: her work there, and for her professors, helped her win a newsroom internship at Rhode Island Public Radio this summer; she also won an R.I. Press Association scholarship to study international journalism in the Czech Republic in July. “But,” she maintains, “the best thing about it has been the relationships we’ve formed.” The core team includes Ryan Wichelns ’15, who graduates this December, and sports editor Jacob Marrocco ’16. “Allie roped me into it spring of last year,” says Wichelns, who is also a journalism major. “I wish I’d done it sooner. I tell

everyone this was the best thing I could have done for my journalism skills. It really opened me up to a lot more.” A native New Yorker, Wichelns did not have experience working at his high school newspaper. He says his writing then was mostly confined to “rhetorical analyses of 100-year-old novels. I didn’t enjoy that.” But his interest was caught when he took advanced placement English in his senior year. “My first big story came from a tip we got about a new hiring plan URI was working on,” he recalls of his career at the Cigar. “We got in touch with some people, interviewed the provost and the president, and broke the story. We got credit from the Providence Journal on that one.” Wichelns did actually read the Cigar his first couple years at URI. “It’s incredible to see how much it’s changed since then,” he says. “The biggest thing is hearing from faculty and staff and students who say ‘Wow, the Cigar’s really stepped it up.’” Also from Rhode Island, sportswriter Marrocco freelanced for the Warwick ­Beacon when he attended Pilgrim High School, finding a love of journalism but, he says, not the skills he’d need to make a career of it. “I couldn’t write—I was really bad,” he says. “But the Cigar shaped me. The classes helped of course, but all of the repetition from working at the Cigar ­hammered in the basics. The majority of my growth I owe to the Cigar.” Marrocco is proud of the paper’s evolution. “It’s been part of URI for 40-plus years, and it was sad to see the state it was in,” he remembers. “It sucks that the work I did as a freshman was for naught because it was so bad.” He credits Farrelly with “sorting it all out. Actually, I ran against her for editor in chief, but halfway through this year I told her, ‘I’m happy you beat me.’” He has written about virtually every sport at URI. It’s a personal mission for someone born with hemophilia. “I couldn’t play contact sports,” he says. “The next best thing is writing about them.” And no matter what the future holds for him, he says, “I owe everything I am, and everything I will be, to the Cigar.” The newsroom offices are decidedly old school, with 1970s-style desks and raggedy furniture. Bookshelves hold a variety of works, including one on the history of media in America. On a chair is heaped a

well-used New England Patriots blanket, which keeps staffers warm on chilly late nights. There is a half-eaten bag of chips by an old turntable next to classic LPs left by previous generations of staffers: ­Springsteen, Aerosmith, and the Eagles. A Charlie Hebdo poster sticks to the office window, movie posters adorn the walls, and nearby is a printout of a giant pair of black glasses surrounded by the words “Talk Nerdy to Me.” Perhaps most telling is a grease board with a handwritten Tom Stoppard quote: “I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.” That’s the kind of idealism that John ­Pantalone ’71, chair of URI’s journalism department, can relate to. As a student, Pantalone helped lead the campus rebellion against the Beacon, a student newspaper that was seen as a tool of the administration, and co-founded the Cigar. He served as the paper’s advisor this year, at the ­students’ request. “They’ve made some amazing improvements,” he notes. “The fact that they focused on University content made it relevant again.” And, from Pantalone’s point of view, “It’s a better experience for the staff. One thing I told them is not to worry about who’s reading, because you’re learning—and that’s the important experience.” Which doesn’t mean he’s not proud that the paper “is the best it’s been in 10 years.” This summer, the Cigar lost some key staffers, but this fall, it’s gaining others who say they are committed to its hard-news ethic. Emma Gauthier ’18, the paper’s web editor, is one: she aspires to be editor of the Boston Globe, but says that for now, she couldn’t hope for better coworkers. “I don’t believe print is dying,” she says. “It’s changing, to tablets, phones, computers, but people are reading the news—and we need to produce content that’s accurate, concise and ethically sound.” The pages still feature lighter material such as staff-written entertainment reviews, horoscopes and Sudoku puzzles. But the front page displays headlines of substance: “Questionable elevator safety at URI”; “URI releases PCB test findings”; “URI police department reveals confiscated material protocol”; and one about the ­therapy dog booted off campus,

“University responds to Ivy’s expulsion.” The stories below don’t always read exactly like professional journalism, but the Cigar’s readers might argue that’s a good thing. The writing is punchy, topics reflect real campus concerns, and the stories were constructed, in many cases, after hours of latenight discussion about ethics and responsibility SPORTS EDITOR to the reader. And, of course, they’re ­unedited Jacob Marrocco ’16 says he’d like to be a by URI’s powers that be. sports journalist “anywhere Just ask David but on TV. I did a couple radio ­Lavallee ’79, M.P.A.’ 87, shows at URI, and liked it.” He assistant director of adds, laughing, “I think I have URI’s Department of the perfect face for radio.” Marketing and CommuJokes aside, Marrocco’s serious nications, who facilitates about his career—and landed a summer sports-writing gig back contact between the where he started, at the Warwick paper’s reporters and Beacon. the University’s leadership. The Cigar has kept him busy the last couple of years: “The last weeks before final ­publication for the year, I must have set up a half dozen ­interviews on topics they were ­researching,” says Lavallee. He didn’t mind; a Cigar editor himself before going on to work in newspapers for 15 years, Lavallee says he’s thrilled to see the paper once more play a vital role in campus life. Wichelns’ three-part series on towing from the Kingston Emporium, for instance, was “a great bit of public-service journalism,” Lavallee says. And the student reporters who call him “are pretty darn serious and well prepared. I’m impressed with the questions they ask, and they’re persistent without being obnoxious. My job is to protect the image of the institution, but we also operate on telling the truth. And that’s what the kids are after.” Farrelly did a story on the University’s plan to build a new engineering complex and got an angle no one else did, Lavallee acknowledges: where the additional students would live. “That’s what a student reporter should be doing,” he says. “Asking the questions important to students, that no one else wants to ask.” •


Allison Farrelly ’16 says she is grateful that “I have another year of college to figure things out.” She craves adventure and an active life, and is drawn toward narrative storytelling and travel journalism. “The exciting thing about entering journalism now is no one knows what the future holds, so I think to some extent the playing field is more level than in other professions. There will always be a need for people who can read, write, communicate, and synthesize information.”


he Miami Marlins made a bit of history when they drafted 17-year-old Josh Naylor with the No. 12 overall pick this June, during the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. The selection made the power-hitting first baseman the highest pick ever among Canadian-born position players. The driving force behind the Marlins’ first-round choice was Steve Payne ’88, a longtime scout for Miami. Payne—who played two seasons at West Hills Junior College in California and two seasons at Rhode Island College before finishing his degree at URI—is the team’s scouting supervisor for the Northeast and Canada. “The draft worked out well,” Payne says, describing Naylor as “a young kid out of Mississauga, Ontario, who has a good bat with a lot of power.” How does Payne feel so confident in his assessment of Naylor? “I have watched him for three years,” he says. That’s three years of watching a teenager play ball, taking notes, keeping track, and betting that he’ll develop into a player who can make a significant impact at the major league level. That is Steve Payne’s life.


Top: Steve Payne ’88 uses a speed gun to track pitches. Below: regional games attract high school talent to Newport’s Cardines Field each summer.



He eats, sleeps and breathes the game he loves, constantly searching for the type of talent that can improve an entire organization. Every summer Payne puts about 20,000 miles on the company car as he drives all over the Northeast and Canada to watch some of the best prospects in the game.

He also regularly flies to Miami to check in at team headquarters. There are nightly treks to the Cape to take in Cape Cod Baseball League action, and visits to Newport and Wakefield, R.I., to watch New England Collegiate Baseball League players. Those are the bigger

In a job that’s full of stats and speed guns, Steve Payne ’88 has to figure out something intangible: what lies inside the young players he tracks, and whether it’s enough to take them to the major leagues. BY SHANE DONALDSON ’99

names, but there are plenty more amateur leagues throughout the region and Canada, and for 20 years, Payne has been a regular visitor to them all. “During baseball season, I’m constantly driving and flying,” says Payne, who lives in Barrington, R.I. “It’s a grind, but there’s a level of freedom that comes with the work. I like the travel, and obviously I enjoy the baseball aspect of it.” Anyone involved in baseball in the Northeast understands scheduling can be one of the biggest challenges, thanks to the weather. Payne spends the early weeks of the scouting season in Florida and the Carolinas, watching prospects who have travelled to warmer environments. “When you’re looking at high school kids, it can be a crapshoot,” he explains. “There are weather issues, the field may not be ready. When you see a kid, it could be a decent weather day, but they happen to have a tough day in the field. There are a lot of variables that you take into account.” So he logs thousands of hours at the summer showcases, noting how each player stacks up against the top talent in the region. “You get a good look at athletes against their peers and higher caliber players,” Payne says. “You do a lot of the initial work in the summer, and then as you track a player, you want to make sure you see consistencies as time goes on. Has a kid lost


a step since the summer? Did he gain or lose weight? Does the velocity of his fastball stay the same?” After years of evaluation, Payne was excited to see the Marlins draft Naylor—he says he always feels a sense of personal pride in the picks. But he makes sure to check his emotion at the door each year when draft time rolls around. He knows the organization won’t act on all his recommendations. “Every year it varies. Some years, like this year, we draft a few of the guys I have been watching closely. Other years, it’s a bit lighter,” Payne says. “The key thing to remember is that we are always trying to get the best available player, regardless of where they are from. That’s our organizational goal. Get the best player available.” Payne joined the Marlins in 2000 after previous stops scouting for the Colorado Rockies and Montreal Expos. Before that, he was coaching in the college ranks, including positions with the University of Tampa and Texas Tech. “At Texas Tech, we recruited on a national level, so I was running in a lot of the same circles as scouts,” Payne remembers. “I was down on the Cape watching a game with the scouting director of the Colorado Rockies at the time. He had an opening, and basically I got the job on the spot.” Payne has seen several picks reach the major leagues. While with Colorado, he

scouted Jake Westbrook, whom the Rockies selected with the No. 21 pick of the 1996 draft. Westbrook played 13 seasons in the big leagues and was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2004. Others include outfielder Juan Pierre— who played 14 big league seasons and ranks 18th all-time in stolen bases with 614—and Tom Koehler, a starter for the Miami Marlins for the last three seasons. Koehler was drafted out of Stony Brook in the 18th round of the 2008 draft and has worked his way into being a solid contributor for Miami. Payne’s decisions can have life-changing consequences for the teenagers he watches. And despite all the tools of his trade—the speed guns, the number crunching—he says some of it comes down to instinct. “The hard part is figuring out what a guy is made of on the inside,” Payne says. “Some guys have all the skills, but there is something missing mentally and the talent doesn’t translate. Other guys don’t have the natural ability, but when the lights are on and it’s time to perform, they thrive.” He’s betting the newest name on his list of success stories will be Naylor, the 6-foot 1-inch, 225-pound teen who has been compared to big leaguers Prince Fielder and Pedro Alvarez. Time will tell. But Payne’s work with Naylor is complete. Now, he’s hitting the road again, on the hunt amongst the next crop of talented dreamers. •



Living History

Documentary filmmaker Tim Gray ’89 gives veterans of World War II the opportunity to tell their stories, in their own voices—before it’s too late. His 15 films, with more urgently in the works, convey the friendship and deep respect he feels for his remarkable subjects. BY ELIZABETH RAU

Richard Fazzio, a D-Day survivor, is featured in Tim Gray ‘89’s documentary Navy Heroes of Normandy. At top, sunrise at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.



t’s early afternoon, and Richard Fazzio is in the den of his Woonsocket three-decker visiting with one of his best friends, Tim Gray ’89. They catch up: How’s your health? Pretty good for an old man. Are you eating? Sort of. Any tomatoes this year? Hope so. The two met years ago when Gray interviewed Fazzio for a documentary about veterans of World War II. Fazzio was a Navy coxswain who piloted a landing craft onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, the historic invasion of France that began the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe. Gray still checks up on the 90-year-old at least once a month. As it often does, the conversation turns to those seconds after Fazzio’s boat landed at Omaha Beach in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944. Fazzio begins: It was pitch-black. The sea roiled. German flak whistled by. Soldiers made the sign of the cross. The hull touched the sandy bottom, and the ramp went down. Then Fazzio stops, lowers his head and weeps. He can’t go on. The images are too horrific. All 35 soldiers on his boat died, moments after they stormed the shore. “It’s that one scene,’’ says Fazzio. “I can’t get it out of my mind. How do you talk about guys dying?’’ “It’s OK,’’ says Gray. “You’re allowed to cry after what you went through. No shame in that.’’

In the last decade, Gray has made 15 World War II documentaries about the men and women who risked their lives for freedom. Preserving their memories and recognizing their sacrifice is his life’s work. Along the way, he’s also become their friend. Of the 16 million veterans who fought in the war, only 1.2 million are left, with 800 dying every day. Gray wants to reach the survivors before it’s too late, and he just might—through his nonprofit, The World War II Foundation, the only organization in the country that, with private contributions, makes films about the veterans and donates the movies to American Public Television and its PBS affiliates. “I want to get to all the surviving World War II veterans before they’re gone,’’ says Gray, 48, of South Kingstown. “There’s a short window left. Each of these films is a gut-wrenching struggle to raise money for. Getting donations to make the films is the tough part. That’s what keeps me up at night.’’ The war has been his passion since he picked up a World War II encyclopedia as a kid. On his 10th birthday, he had one request: cassettes of Edward R. Murrow’s broadcasts from the German blitz of London. “The stories were about courage and sacrifice, good versus evil. I was hooked.’’ After cutting his teeth in sports reporting at the

University of Rhode Island, where he studied journalism, he went on to a successful career as a sports anchor, ending up in his dream job at Channel 10 in Providence. But his fascination with the war never wavered. In 2004, he decided it was time for a change. He left sports and took a leap into filmmaking, teaming up with seasoned photojournalist Jim Karpeichik. The first documentary, D-Day: The Price of Freedom, won two Emmys, and the duo was on its way. Today, the films are among the top five most requested programs by PBS affiliates nationally. “This is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,’’ says Gray. “We’re in the look-at-me, selfie generation. The World War II generation was taught to be humble and do its job without complaining. These guys saved the world, and didn’t ask anything in return. I want future generations to know about them.’’

ans; and he walked the beach where he saw men barely out of high school get their faces blown off more than 70 years ago. “Wasn’t the beach beautiful that day, Tim,’’ says Fazzio. “Yes Richard,’’ says Gray. “It was.’’ Gray took Donald McCarthy, of Warwick, back too. McCarthy was a 20-year-old soldier in the 29th Infantry Division on D-Day and almost drowned when his craft tipped over. Clinging to a dead soldier floating in the blood-red water, McCarthy managed to swim to shore, but his joy at being alive was short-lived. German gunners hiding in the bluffs opened fire. Men fell around him. McCarthy froze in fear, then heard the call of his commander: “29, forward! Get off the beach!”

At left, Richard Fazzio, Donald McCarthy, and Ernie Corvese. Below, Jim Karpeichik, left, and Tim Gray filming in Luxembourg.

Many do, thanks to Gray. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, actor Tom Hanks, director Steven Spielberg, FedEx Chairman Fred Smith and Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whose father fought in World War II, are among the contributors. Gray even sends his films to Belichick to be screened before donating them to PBS. The actor Dan Aykroyd narrated one of the films, and filmmaker Ken Burns sent Gray a note praising his work. What distinguishes Gray is his respect and compassion for the veterans. He takes them back to their former battlefields, in Europe and the Pacific, interviewing them while they walk the Normandy beaches or sit in an old French church with pews still stained with soldiers’ blood. The trips are both painful and uplifting—and always heart wrenching. Fazzio had to be coaxed to return. After the war, he never talked about his experience, even though he was wounded and the recipient of a Purple Heart. Returning to Normandy, he says, “cleared his mind.’’ French schoolchildren hugged and kissed him. He signed his name on the bar at Le Roosevelt, a restaurant that hosts visiting veter-

Dodging bullets, he crawled for hours on his belly to a hilltop church, where he prayed with the rosary beads in his pocket. He’s 91 now and walks with a cane. He still has the helmet he wore in battle, and touches it every day, his lucky charm. At Normandy last year, with Gray by his side, McCarthy stood in the exact spot where he landed years ago and watched a golden sun rise above the English Channel. This time, the sand was soft, and the water was calm, glistening. “I had to put my feet on the beach again,’’ he says. “One last time.’’ •





BREAKING CAT NEWS A comic strip rewrites the rules and moves from web to print, along the way propelling three cats, and their people, to the cusp of success. BY PIPPA JACK It’s not like Georgia Dunn ‘04 is only about cats. She has lots of other loves. For one, her husband, Ryan Faillace. For two and three, her toddler Luke and newborn Gwen. Her small attic apartment in rural western Rhode Island also reveals a fondness for antique mirrors and family photos Photoshopped to include robots (Dunn’s a sci-fi fan who grew up on reruns of Red Dwarf, and still watches it when she craves ­comfort TV). But then, yes, there are the cats. Lupin is a confident, friendly white kitty who lost his hearing after he was abandoned in an empty apartment and got sick. He’s a rescue, like Puck, a shy but charming mischief-maker who is almost completely black and is missing a rear leg. And then there’s the Siamese, Elvis. Dunn’s first cat, he is described by Faillace thus: “We have three cats with special needs. For Elvis, it’s his crippling personality.”

Dunn puts it more gently: “Elvis is a great cat, if you’re me.” Elvis simply doesn’t care for anyone else. Or at least, he didn’t—until Gwen came along. But we’re getting ahead of ­ourselves. Both Rhode Islanders, Dunn and Faillace were friends for years, decades actually, before they ever thought of each other romantically. But then things happened fast: five days after their first date, he asked her to move to the West Coast. Dunn was working as a banker during the day, illustrating for her Etsy shop at night—art for nursery walls, and her ever-popular penguin in aviator goggles, drawn in whatever predicament her customers requested— and found there was not so much keeping her here.

Faillace’s Institute of Art degree in ­ eattle had turned into a good videographer S job, and he was happy to support them both. He’d always told her she should concentrate on her art, and he put his salary where his mouth was. It was the first time Dunn had left Rhode Island, and she loved Seattle, everything about it. They were married a year later, just the two of them at an off-season amusement park on the beach, an obscure comic actor they both loved as their officiant. A year after that, with their first child due soon, they bought a house. Two weeks after the closing, Faillace’s company folded. In the middle of the ensuing chaos, as they frantically tried to stay current on the mortgage with whatever freelance income they could cobble together and parsed the ills of selling versus endangering their credit, Breaking Cat News was born. The title of the first strip, dated March 12, 2014: “Everything is Broken and We Don’t Know Who Did It.” To read it is to love it. It sets up the TVnewsroom riff that Breaking Cat News has explored since, with the cats often the unspoken and unrepentant perpetrators of whatever outrage they’re reporting on. It ends with anchor Lupin teasing the next segment: “What are all those birds doing and why is there glass in the way?” That’s fun. But to know what was going on when Dunn wrote “Everything Is ­Broken”—that’s something else, an insight into a person of rare gifts, someone who can pick up the broken shards of her ­security and dreams, and turn them into comic gold.

Georgia Dunn ‘04, a fine arts graduate, gave up a banking career to follow her passion for illustration. Here, her children Gwen and Luke and cats Elvis and Lupin cluster around her at the desk where she draws each strip by hand. She fits in her work during kiddie nap time and after her husband gets home at night. PHOTO: NORA LEWIS; ILLUSTRATIONS: GEORGIA DUNN


The POWER of HUM R Honors Colloquium Above, Dunn’s desk where she draws each strip by hand; left, “Bacon Strip” from Breaking Cat News.

So is Dunn’s life memorialized—sometimes directly, more often indirectly—in Breaking Cat News. And people have been taking notice. From the start, Dunn wanted the strip to appeal to all ages—no risqué jokes as in her earlier web comics. She didn’t expect much. It was a way to blow off steam as the couple sold their dream home, packed up their 1-year-old and moved back to Rhode Island in pursuit of elusive financial stability. “I didn’t examine it too much, and I still don’t,” she says. “It just flows. The more I write, the more material comes to me— their personalities are so distinct.” There’s the way Elvis wakes them up on weekend mornings, at the same time their weekday alarm goes off, however hard they try to sleep in; and the way he’s offended by blankets that try to supplant him as Gwen’s crib warmer. Lupin, meanwhile, likes to eat non-food items. But no more spoilers—you should read the strip, it’s worth your time. And soon, you won’t have to go online to do so. Its first home, on, was set up by Dunn, and each new strip— she posts two a week—currently attracts about 12,000 views from all over the world within a few hours. “Cats and the internet,” Dunn says wryly. “Go figure!” But even before her site took off, Dunn got an email from an editor at GoComics, the largest online home of comic strips and the owner of the online rights to Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Dilbert, and 250 more properties. The site cracked a billion page views last year, and it wanted her. PHOTO: NORA LEWIS; POWER OF HUMOR ILLUSTRATION: BO PICKARD ILLUSTRATION AT LEFT: GEORGIA DUNN

More importantly, it could offer ad revenue for traffic—nothing too crazy, but enough to make the strip “like a very exciting parttime job,” Dunn says. And that, it turns out, was only the beginning. Next, in 2016, will come a book, something loyal online readers have been requesting almost since the strip’s inception. And at some point, if things go well, Dunn will also enter into that most oldfashioned of comic strip markets: newspapers. She has a development deal with Universal Uclick, GoComics’ parent company. “We do development deals for print very rarely,” says Shena Wolf, Universal Uclick’s acquisitions editor. “It’s more difficult than it used to be, plus it’s a really intense process and career. But it’s still a viable market, and potentially lucrative. We have high hopes for Breaking Cat News. The quality of her work is wonderful.” And, she adds, Dunn is unusually versatile: “It’s great to find a creator who works well with different facets of the company. It’s an interesting time for comics right now.” And an interesting time for Dunn and her young family. Her one wish: a home office that’s not also a living room, toddler snack room, cat exercise room and baby changing room. But then again, where would Breaking Cat News be without the mayhem of her vibrant household? Witness Wolf’s favorite comic: an eightpart series that came out last Christmas and chronicles Elvis’s adventure on a rare trip outside the house—a time of panic and fear for his people—and his encounter with another lost housecat. “I get oddly choked up whenever I read it,” Wolf says. “Elvis is trying to be better. Anybody with cats has cat stories, but this is universally relatable.” •

Come to Kingston for the Fall 2015 Honors Colloquium, which will focus on humor—ever present in our daily lives, and a source of entertainment, delight, shock and sometimes offense. This series will raise as many questions as it answers, but promises to be nothing if not funny. Speakers are expected to include: • Robert Mankoff, cartoon editor for the New Yorker, on humor and cartooning • Patch Adams, physician and co-founder of the Gesundheit Institute, on humor in medicine • John Fugelsang, host of Tell Me Everything on Sirius Radio, on humor in politics • Sophie Scott, neuroscientist at University College London, on the science of laughter Other events will include performances of: • In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, by Sarah Rule • Steve Martin and Martin Short in a Very Stupid Conversation

Learn more at




With Homecoming right around the corner and the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular hot on its heels (not to mention a heaping helping of upcoming chapter events), you really need a wellorganized calendar to keep track of all the great alumni events we have planned for you.

September 18, 2015

Of course, that’s just what you’ll find if you go to the Alumni Association website. Just click on the event that interests you to find out more information or to register. If you want to add the event to your personal calendar, just click on the calendar icon next to the event’s name and the date will be saved.

October 25, 2015

So take a look at the Alumni Calendar of Events now, and start planning good times with your URI friends!

See More | 30


2015 LTC (R) Paul F. Helweg Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament URI ROTC invites alumni, friends, and family to play in their annual golf tournament at Green Valley Country Club. This year the goal is to increase tee sponsorship and raise funds to support cadet activities for the Cramer’s Sabers ROTC program.

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Don’t miss this special (and slightly spooky) evening! Alums and their families feast on a harvest buffet and take a guided tour through a trail studded with intricately carved and illuminated pumpkins.

November 14–15, 2015 Student Alumni Association 30th Reunion SAA turns 30 this year, which means a huge celebration is in order! If you’re an SAA alum, save the date for a festive gathering where we’ll reminisce about SAA traditions, learn what’s happening with SAA today, and reunite with all our favorite Rams.


Keep us up to date on your news! Submit your class note at

’41 Gloria Carter Winslow, wife of Eugene C. Winslow ’41, writes: “Gene Winslow taught at the college for 24-25 years in the chemistry department, teaching a well regarded chemistry 101. He had a strong interest in the development of his students. His extra curricular activities were colorful and persistent, in particular his quest for faculty salaries and benefits. Dr. Winslow left URI in 1964 at the suggestion of Dr. Horn. The suggestion was that he would be a good candidate for presidency of an ailing college in Vermont.”

’43 Paul C. Mangan of Ventura, Cal., writes: “I graduated from Rhode Island State in 1943 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Dean Wales was in charge at the time. I was a member of SAE and I worked in the cafeteria. I also was manager of the varsity basketball team coached by Frank Keaney. I had a strong professional career in the jet engine and naval nuclear programs.”

’56 Richard F. Kane of San Francisco, Cal., writes: “2015 marks my 55th year as an investment advisor. I arrive at my office in the city by 6:30 a.m. each business day and maintain a full schedule. My practice is with Wells Fargo Advisors, where I am a first vice president - investment officer. I still enjoy my long-term relationships with clients and the challenges of the financial markets. I exercise daily and am fortunate to have excellent health. My leisure time is spent with family and friends as well as visiting Europe each year.”

’65 Patricia P. Panciera of Westerly, R.I., writes: “I was elected to the school committee in Westerly, edited a novel for a local Westerly resident, knitted shawls being sold in a Watch Hill boutique, and retired from teaching after 28 years. I have seven grandchildren, one a senior at Boston College, another a junior at Northeastern.”

’69 Frank J. Feraco of South Barrington, Ill., writes: “Hard to believe it has been 46 years since I graduated Rhody. Several children and grandchildren later, life is good. Chairman of Isleworth Capital Partners based in Chicago, private equity practice. Hope to see you at the 50th reunion.”


Robert Rocchio Jr. ’91, 2015 Autism Educator of theYear.

’70 Morrie W. “Bill” Seiple of Middletown, R.I., writes: “I recently retired from the education field after 40-plus years that included time in both public and private schools. Writing has filled the void and I recently published my first book, The Battle for Classroom 6-M. The book is about a group of sixth grade boys that plan on ruling the school, only to run into a substitute that is far tougher than anyone can believe. It is available in both electronic and print versions on”

’73 Dr. David A. Jordan of Worcester, Mass., has been appointed as Becker College’s first professor of practice in social innovation, in keeping with the college’s focused initiative on global citizenship education and agile mindset perspective for all students. Dr. Jordan is the president and CEO of the Seven Hills Foundation. He is a highly accomplished social entrepreneur and innovator who has brought about significant and remarkable change in communities locally and globally. John Ewart of Lewes, Del., was featured in an article in the Cape Gazette highlighting his career. “For the love of oysters” discusses how John, a local aquaculturist, jazzes up the Cape region. Ewart is known as a knowledgeable aquaculture expert with more than three decades’ experience at the University of Delaware

Katie Bolan P.M.D ’09 and Bill Lehault P.M.D ’09 will tie the knot.

Sea Grant Program, where he’s now working closely with hopeful shellfish farmers as the state’s aquaculture program moves forward. Although the thought of retirement has passed through his mind, he reports that for someone as active as he is, both in work and play, he’s just not sure when that day will come. “I didn’t get to be Jacques Cousteau,” he says, “but I’ve been all over the world. If you can do something you love and get paid to do it… well, it’s all worked out.”

’76 Joan Kuklinski, executive director of the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing library network based in Worcester, Mass., retired in January 2015 after 42 years in the field. Joan has planned lots of travel and hopes to become a life master at duplicate bridge soon. She would love to hear from other classmates at



’82 Stephen Fontes of Portsmouth, R.I., has been promoted to vice president of operations for Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions. Stephen is responsible for all manufacturing, supply chain, quality, continuous improvement, and facilities in Exeter, N.H., Lowell, Mass., Baltimore, Md., and Lansdale, Pa.


Thank you to our

GOLF TOURNAMENT SPONSORS SERIES Liberty Mutual Insurance Alumni Cup PRESENTING Liberty Mutual Insurance MARKETING All American Classics Exsite Golf Golf Digest Sports Vision Eyewear TaylorMade Adidas Golf GOLD Carousel Industries SILVER Two Ten Oyster Bar & Grill BRONZE COSCO, Inc. Gilbane Building Company Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage URI Foundation Wells Fargo Advisors & Ben Tuthill HOLE-IN-ONE Bald Hill Dodge TEE Batchelor, Frechette, McCrory, Michael & Company Coastway Community Bank (2 sponsorships) Pinnacle Payroll South County Orthopedics URI Bookstore URI Dining Services URI Health Services Woodward & Curran GIFT BAG ITEMS Liberty Mutual Insurance Exsite Golf Golf Digest TaylorMade PUTTING PRIZE Steve Lombardi ’74 DONATION BEER DONATION Labonachip, LLC Patrick Croft ’09 BEVERAGES Coca Cola DONATION CONTRIBUTORS Chris Franklin ’88 Local 528 Council 94 AFSCME Navigant Credit Union Peter Kohlsaat ’57 Russell Morin Fine Catering



Peter Duchesneau of Los Angeles, Cal., a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, has been elected to the board of trustees for Southwestern Law School.

’87 Liz Labonte ’87, M.S. ’89, of Northwood N.H., has been welcomed as a distinguished new member of the board of directors for One Sky Community Services in Portsmouth, N.H. Liz is the human resources director/ administrator for the Pease Development Authority. She previously served at the New Hampshire Department of Public Safety and Odyssey House in Hampton. Angelo Liberti III of Providence R.I., is the recipient of Save The Bay’s Environmental Achievement Award. Liberti is the chief of surface water protection in the Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Water Resources. He also oversees programs dealing with wastewater treatment facilities, including operation and maintenance, design and construction, and wastewater discharge permitting.

’91 Robert Rocchio Jr. of Cranston, R.I., has been named the 2015 Autism Educator of the Year by the URI Certificate of Graduate Studies and the Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College. Rocchio has been a clinical school social worker in Johnston for 17 years and is currently working at both Sarah Dyer Barnes and Brown Avenue elementary schools.

’92 Steve Santaniello of Milford, N.H., writes: “In 2013 I joined the Corflex team as director of product development to create a line of technical postoperative medical braces. Over the next several years many innovative products and patents have been brought to market in this newly developed department.”

’92 Victor Capellan ’92, M.S. ’96, of Central Falls, R.I., has been named the superintendent of schools in Central Falls. He played a vital role in helping Angel Taveras become the

first Dominican-American mayor of Providence in 2010 and then briefly ran for mayor himself before backing out to endorse Democrat Jorge Elorza’98 last year.

’95 Jennifer Morrow ’95, Ph.D. ’01, of Knoxville, Tenn., an associate professor of evaluation, statistics, and measurement at the University of Tennessee, was awarded the University of Tennessee’s 2015 Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award.

’01 Keith Marshall of Cumberland R.I., has been promoted to vice president/ account supervisor and director of digital performance at RDW Group. His focus will be on the higher-education market as well as RDW’s digital and customer relationship management services. Marshall joined RDW in 2010 as a senior account executive.

’02 Kasey Vivenzio of Cranston, R.I., has been appointed to BankRI branch manager of the North Kingstown office on Ten Rod Road. A five-year BankRI veteran, Vivenzio comes to the North Kingstown branch from a successful tenure managing the bank’s East Side office.

’03 Thomas McCormick of Warwick, R.I., writes: “My company’s 10 year anniversary is in August. We are a software company that streamlined the process for moving military families to obtain housing at their next base, allowing the applicant to be put on the housing list in a matter of seconds rather than weeks. We are currently being used by 43 military bases nationwide.”

’05 Peter DiSalvo of San Diego, Cal., is co-founder of DataCapable, a San Diego-based technology start up. DataCapable has entered into a strategic cooperation and development agreement with OMNETRIC Group, a joint venture between Siemens and Accenture, to strengthen the company’s outage management planning and response technology. Dan Sirois of San Diego, Cal., is a partner at DataCapable (see above).

’06 Zac Canders, of San Diego, Cal., is co-founder and COO of DataCapable.

’07 Destiny Woodbury of Houston, Tex., was named a finalist for the 2015 Fishman Prize, an award given to four educators across the country who have been exceptionally effec-



Meaghan Mooney ’06 Rise and Shine Meaghan Mooney never imagined her work would bring her to this moment: broadcasting her own blind date to the viewers of the Everyday morning show in Denver. But this February, there she was. Five years after graduating URI with a degree in textile marketing, Mooney had a thriving career in brand development at Allure magazine in New York, but she found herself uninspired. “I realized I didn’t want to work at a desk anymore,” she says. Never one to wait around for opportunity to knock, she began freelancing as a stylist and brand consultant to build her experience, while taking classes in improv and on-camera skills. When The Rhode Show held its annual contest for a morning co-host in 2012, Mooney’s initiative and hard work paid off—and paved

the way to her post in 2014 as a fill-in host and lifestyle reporter for FOX31. Which brings us back to the blind date. In just one year, Mooney found a niche creating fun, informative segments on everything from unique boutiques and eateries to fashion trends and the local dating scene, drawing on the business background and style expertise—plus go-getter spirit—that set her apart. This summer, her work caught the attention of producers in D.C., who brought her on board for their new Great Day Washington morning show, premiering this month. Her secret to success is simple: “Work your butt off, be hungry, help everybody, stay late,” she says. “There is always a later happy hour.” —Nicole Maranhas UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND



SHARE YOUR RHODY PRIDE WITH THE NEXT GENERATION! Would you like your child or grandchild to receive information from the URI Admission Office? Simply visit and click on the Request Information link. As soon as the prospective student completes the form, we’ll send information about the University, the admission process, and any areas of study that he or she expresses interest in. We also invite you to spread the word about URI to prospective students who live in your community. Please contact us if you are interested in helping us by covering college fairs in your area. For more information about becoming an Alumni Admission Representative, contact Ray Kung at 401.874.4903 or

tive in high-poverty schools. Destiny reached the final stages thanks to her unwavering commitment to her students and belief in their potential. Destiny is currently a teacher at KIPP Liberation College Preparatory in Houston, Texas.

’08 Jason M. DaPonte, M.S., of Hope Valley, R.I., was voted to serve on the board of directors for the National Utility Contractors Association of Rhode Island. His appointment became effective during the group’s board meeting on June 9, 2015. Jason is the team leader of Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP’s construction and related services industry specialty group. He has been with the firm since 2008.


Sean M. Connolly and Lisa A. Wrenn ’99

Kenji Greenberg of North Kingstown R.I., has successfully completed the certification process with the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts to earn the Certified Valuation Analyst credential. He is currently working for the accounting firm of Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP. Ryan Zaczynski, of San Diego, Cal., is a partner of DataCapable (see ’05 listing).


Ashley Schneck, of Wakefield, R.I., writes, “A healthy body can help lessen the impact of injury, and my new business, CrossFit Gansett in Narragansett’s Pier Marketplace, takes that seriously. With staff trained in physical education, it’s a great place for anyone with prior injuries or limitations, and features warm ups, stretching, physical therapy, and before-and-after core strength and conditioning classes, to prevent future injury—inside and out of the gym.”

’14 Maria Briones, of Providence, R.I., was accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Panama June 16, 2015, to begin training as an environment volunteer. Briones will live and work in a community to improve its natural resources for hygiene and nutrition; and participate in a secondary project to help meet community development needs. While she has visited Latin America in the past, specifically Guatemala and Ecuador, Briones expects her two years of service in Panama to be an even greater journey.

WEDDINGS Lisa A. Wrenn ’99 to Sean M. Connolly, on October 4, 2014. Alicia Germani ’06 to Anthony Sperazzo on April 18, 2015. Marissa Montalban ’12 to Christopher J. McGill on October 12, 2013.

ENGAGEMENTS Dr. Katie Bolan P.M.D ’09 and LCDR Bill Lehault P.M.D ’09 have set a wedding date for October 18, 2015.

BIRTHS David B. Kaletski ’01 and Hannah M. Kaletski, a son, David B. Kaletski Jr., on April 9, 2015. Allison J. (Greenberg) Donovan ’03 and Sean Donovan, a daughter, Emma Hope Donovan.

IN MEMORIAM Erland A. Tillman ’32 of Lutherville, Md., on September 6, 2013. John L. Sullivan, Jr. ’39 of Westerly, R.I., on May 7, 2015. Eugene C. Winslow ’41 of Holderness, N.H., on January 27, 2015. Thaddeus A. Pietraszek ’43 of Barrington, R.I., on May 21, 2015.



Steven Gendel ’92 Special Agent It would have been easy to predict Steven Gendel’s future success while he was at URI—the speech communication major ran four profitable businesses as a student, from bagel delivery to resume writing. His path to success was less predictable. Sixteen years ago, his son Josh was born weighing less than 1.5 pounds, with multiple medical disabilities—including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and dystonia—for which he has endured 40 brain surgeries, most by the age of 10. In 2002, Josh was on life support when Gendel lost his job in the tech industry and spent the next four months at his son’s bedside, worried about his family’s future. Knowing he needed a career with flexibility, he pursued his real estate license and opened a Keller Williams franchise in Livingston, New Jersey, where he found more than a thriving business—he found a calling. Last year, Gendel founded Josh Homes, working with his wife Erica ’94 to find homes for families with special needs and connect them with local resources. “If we can help them to feel part of their community, a lot of the other problems go away,” says Gendel. “It’s the right thing to do, to make communities stronger and more inclusive. I’m just a parent trying to do right by my kid.” As for Josh, the teen attended his prom last year. “You know his body is working really hard to do it, but he always has the biggest smile on his face,” says Gendel. “He owns every room that he’s in.” —Nicole Maranhas





Hey there, Recent Grad, why did you become a dues-paying member of the Alumni Association?




Membership pays! Last year I saved about $200 on a Lenovo laptop computer, thanks to the partnership with Working Advantage. Being a dues-paying member can be a win-win. – Bobby Randall ’10

After graduating in 2011, I became a member of the URI Alumni Association not only to give back to my alma mater but also for the fun benefits, like my favorite: a discount at the Mews Tavern! – Samantha Rodrigues ’11



I’m a member because URI gave me so much. Friends, life lessons, and new experiences that I never would’ve gotten the opportunity to have otherwise. I am a member because I am proud to be an alum of URI! – Kenneth Velez ’11


Wow—those are all great answers! That’s why we have a special offer for recent grads: URI alums who graduated between the years of 2011 and 2014 now get a HUGE price break on membership to the Alumni Association. Want great discounts, invitations to special events, and the satisfaction of giving back to your alma mater? Join now!

New Annual Membership Rates for Recent Grads Individual: $25 | Couple: $40 Three-Year Membership: Individual: $60 | Couple: $100

Join today! |



John L. Shortley ’43 of Providence, R.I., on January 19, 2014.

Peter B. Flint ’58 of Little Deer Isle, Maine, on June 19, 2015.

Kenneth G. Taylor ’43 of Atlanta, Ga., on May 19, 2015.

Victor J. Grasso ’58, MOS ’67 of Westerly, R.I., on July 6, 2015.

Janice Wheelan ’43, of Wakefield, R.I., on April 7, 2015.

Arthur R. Matthews ’58 of Tulsa Okla., on June 28, 2015.

Richard D. Gale ’45 of Hebron, Conn., on February 27, 2015.

Richard J. Berry M.S. ’59, Ph.D. ’68, of Gilbert, Ariz., on May 11, 2015.

Carl H. Beckman ’48 of Wakefield, R.I., on April 15, 2015.

Richard H. Jackson ’59 of Orange, Cal., on May 4, 2015.

Dorothy Crossley ’48 of Warwick, R.I., on May 23, 2015.

Norma C. Smith ’59 of Houston, Texas., on December 12, 2014.

Edward Mojkowski ’48 of Braintree, Mass., on May 5, 2015.

Lloyd D. Uphold ’59 of Meyersdale, Pa., on June 15, 2015.

William A. Brown Jr ’49 of Warwick, R.I., on June 12, 2015. .

Richard Carpenter ’60 of North Kingstown, R.I., on May 18, 2015.

Harold W. Browning Jr. ’49 of Matunuck, R.I., on September 1, 2012.

Sandra L. (Carpenter) Roberts ’60 of Narragansett, R.I., on January 26, 2015.

Robert M. Hagan ’49 of Warwick, R.I., on April 20, 2015. Barbara D. Brosofsky ’50, of Bristol, R.I., on June 30, 2015. Mike J. Crowell, Jr. ’50 of Barrington, R.I., on April 4, 2015. John H. Hawke ’50 of Westerly, R.I., on June 27, 2015. Walter E. Little ’50 of Providence, R.I., on April 19, 2015.

Beverly J. Schreiner ’60 of Wareham, Mass., on March 10, 2015. Willaim J. DiMuccio ’61 of Warwick, R.I., on March 8, 2015. John Hallal ’61 of Andover, Mass., on April 1, 2015. Russell A. Lenihan Jr. ’61 of Westerly, R.I., on May 5, 2015.

David B. Kaletski Jr.

Alfred H. Smith ’50 of Warwick, R.I., on May 23, 2015. Clifford S. Chater ’51 of Bath, Maine, on Feb. 24, 2015. Beverly Nadeau ’51 of Lakeville, Mass., on June 13, 2015. Thomas E. DeSimone ’52 of Leisure World, Va., on January 14, 2012. Lucille C. Dey ’52 of Pensacola, Fla., on May 9, 2015. Martha M. Hanson ’52 of Schenectady, N.Y., on May 28, 2015. Ann L. Conroy ’53 of Bethesda, Md., on May 2, 2015. Harold F. “Cap” Smith ’53 of Providence, R.I., on June 4, 2015. Harold E. Schmidt ’54 of Fayetteville, N.C., on July 12, 2014. Gerri J. Wainwright ’54 of Flagstaff, Ariz., on April 24, 2014. Arthur Bernardo ’56 of Cumberland, R.I., on April 29, 2015. Rosen Burton ’56 of Scottsdale, Ariz., on September 19, 2014. Philip Joseph Beichert Jr. ’57 of Bronxville, N.Y., on July 7, 2015.

The Cramer’s Sabers Battalion ROTC Alumni Chapter Operation Connect The Cramer’s Sabers Battalion ROTC Alumni Chapter at URI is attempting to reconnect with all ROTC alumni. To that end, the chapter has begun Operation Connect, reaching out to as many alumni as possible to verify their contact information. Although several hundred have already been contacted, the chapter believes many are still missing. If you have not been contacted yet, please notify Col. (Ret) John Petrella Jr. at or call him at 401.829.1115.

Charles T. Brownell ’58 of Winter Park, Fla., on September 24, 2013.



John Rollins ’61 of Providence, R.I., on May 8, 2015.

Apostolos “Paul” Cotsoridis M.A. ’76 of Newport, R.I., on April 25, 2015.

Susan Duncan ’62 of East Greenwich, R.I., on April 24, 2015.

Paul M. DeAngelis ’76 of West Warwick, R.I., on April 7, 2015.

George E. Kelley ’62 of Greenville, R.I., on June 27, 2015.

James M. Balestrieri ’78 of Narragansett, R.I., on June 4, 2015.

Robert H. Schaller, Sr. ’62 of Hudson, N.H., on May 3, 2015.

James E. Coady ’79 of North Kingstown, R.I., on June 16, 2015.

Ronald L. Stenhouse ’62 of Westerly, R.I., on March 29, 2015.

Eileen Gannon ’80 of Tampa, Fla., on June 11, 2015.

Harold Hitchen Jr. ’63, M.B.A. ’66, of East Greenwich, R.I., on May 25, 2015.

Charles N. Hirst ’80 of East Providence, R.I., on May 27, 2015.

Sudha C. Shroff ’65 of Marietta, Ga., on March 31, 2015.

David T. Galloway ’81 of North Scituate, R.I., on October 10, 2014.

Rev. Vincent R. Siciliano ’65 of Bloomsburg, Pa., on April 4, 2015.

Eileen Meltzer Gannon ’81 of Tampa, Fla. on June 11, 2015.

John G. Romanoff Jr. ’66 of St. Petersburg, Fla., on January 20, 2012.

Fred W. French Ph.D. ’82 of Tucson, Ariz., on June 9, 2015.

John Richard Hodgson ’67, Ph.D. ’71 of Boonton, N.J., on June 27, 2015.

James Brannigan ’83 of North Kingstown, R.I. on June 29, 2015.

Ronald F. Robinson ’67 of Killingly, Conn., on June 5, 2015.

Sally-Ann Johnson ’85 of Boston, Mass., on June 8, 2015.

Mildred A. Chandler ’69 of Harvard, Mass., on May 22, 2015.

Damon F. Hewlette ’86 of Deer Park, N.Y., on June 14, 2015.

Donald E. Dyer Jr. M.S. ’70 of Bar Harbor, Maine, on June 26, 2015.

Kristina L. Conti ’88 of North Barnstead, N.H., on May 16, 2015.

• Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the industry, company, and the role for which you have interest

Robert A. Famiglietti ’70 of Bristol, R.I., on June 19, 2015.

Josephine D. Polizzi ’88, of Voluntown, Conn., on April 3, 2015.

John J. Gager ’71, M.B.A. ’73, of Plainsboro, N.J., on August 7, 2014.

Patricia V. Russell ’91, M.A. ’95, of Cranston, R.I., on June 17, 2015.

• Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) when responding to interview questions

Dennis Breen ’72 of Milford, Mass., on June 8, 2014.

Reva J. Ford ’03 of Providence, R.I., on February 3, 2015.

Thomas A. Mickunas ’72 of Cantonment, Fla., on January 31, 2015.

Charles H. Gavitt Jr. ’05 of West Kingston, R.I., on May 3, 2015.

Karen L. Nelson ’72 of Providence, R.I. on June 7, 2015.

Darla J. Scharlacken M.S. ’06 of Franklin, Mass., on June 5, 2015.

Carolyn Simmons ’73 of Warwick, R.I., on March 31, 2015.

Richard J. Jean-Georges ’08 of West Greenwich, R.I., on June 6, 2015.

Richard J. Talarico ’73 of New York City, N.Y., on June 1, 2015.

Kaitlyn R. Carroll ’09 of Littleton, Mass., on June 1, 2015.

Susan Anderson ’74, M.S. ’91, of West Kingston, R.I., on March 21, 2015.



Be a STAR at Your Next Interview

How can you show a potential employer that you are the perfect person for the job? • Let your positive attitude shine through

The URI Alumni Association provides all URI alumni with assistance from our two career advisors. In partnership with URI’s Center for Career and Experiential Education, the advisors are dedicated to working with alumni who are conducting a job search or considering a career change. Alumni may call Alumni Career Services at 401.874.9404 or email our Alumni Career Advisors: Karen Rubano: Lisa Kuosmanen: Read More |


Deacon Robert Devine ’74 of Shrewsbury, Maine, on May 23, 2015. Robert Farmer M.A. ’74 of Novato, Cal., on February 12, 2015. Stephen Kelleher ’74 of Rumford, R.I., on May 15, 2015.

Mark D. Wood of North Kingstown, R.I., on April 30, 2015. Conception “Connie” Castro of North Kingstown, R.I., on June 17, 2015. Phyllis Brown, of Providence, R.I., on July 8.

Donna Jean Cook Heffernan ’74 of Greenville, Tenn., on October 1, 2014. Darlene Hill, M.S. ’75, Ph.D. ’89, of Canterbury, N.H., on April 15, 2015. Kathleen Ashley ’76 of Narragansett, R.I., on June 30, 2015.


ALUMNISCENE May 15–17, 2015 Class of 1965 50th Reunion “It was great to reunite with old friends and enjoy the unparalleled enthusiasm for the University of Rhode Island and its educational mission. It does not seem possible that we left the University 50 years ago. We are all grateful for the education we received and the wonderful people we met—many of whom are still our friends today.” —Cynthia (Davis) Sculco ’65

May 16, 2015 Legacy Family Brunch “It was indeed a pleasure to attend the URI 2015 Legacy Family Brunch and to see so many URI legacy families supporting their graduating students. We are all so proud of our URI family!” —Patricia (Smith) Westbrook ’70 (grandmother of Nicholas DiCecco ’15 and Christian DiCecco ’19, mother of Kim DiCecco ’88, and mother-in-law of Raymond DiCecco ’90)

June 25, 2015 Rush Hour Meet-up in Philly “What a well-organized, wonderful gathering! I truly enjoyed sharing and learning about the progress at our beautiful University. The City Tap House was so “right on” and the food was perfect. I can’t wait for the next one.” —Fior Veras-Sukenick ’83

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



A Remarkable Life

Jane Cotton Ebbs around 1960.



Jane Cotton Ebbs ’35, M.S. ’37, was studying to become a physician at the University of Rhode Island when an exciting new field enticed her to switch direction. She didn’t know it at the time, but that decision would help save millions of lives. Ebbs, who grew up in Newport, R.I., discovered her calling in human nutrition. She became a professor at the University of Chicago, but left that life to embark on a 33-year civil service career in the office of the Quartermaster General. She was appointed the dietary consultant to Gen. Lucius Clay, military governor of the U.S. Occupied Zone of Germany, and helped feed people in liberated Europe, occupied Germany and Austria during and immediately after World War II. “She helped the inventor of C-rations and K-rations,” explains Alex Quarles, president and chief executive officer of the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation in Sarasota, Fla. “She knew what people needed to survive.” Later, Ebbs would travel the world on missions to feed the starving. She worked for the State Department to develop a ration plan for the Chinese Nationalist Army. In the 1950s, she helped develop special feeding and nutrition plans for troops on the ground and prisoners of war in Korea. In 1965, she transferred to a United Nations assignment in Rome, and in 1975, she retired and became an author. Her most enduring work is The Hidden War, about her efforts in Europe. “She was a pioneer, but she didn’t view herself as a pioneer,” says her friend John Berteau, who also served as her lawyer for three decades. “She viewed herself as someone who had a job to do. It wasn’t terribly interesting (to her) that she was a female. Her skills were so desperately needed.” Quarles recalls sitting on Ebbs’ balcony overlooking Sarasota Bay, sometimes sipping Famous Grouse scotch, and listening to Ebbs describe what it was like to be a civilian hired by the military at such a momentous time—and how, whenever she didn’t understand anything, she would immediately look it up in a giant encyclopedia. Ebbs passed away on Christmas Eve, 2014, at the age of 102, leaving a $750,000 legacy to URI’s Department of Philosophy, a lasting memorial to her lifelong quest for knowledge. •


get WHEN YOU give TO URI

Support the University’s mission and receive income for life by establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity or a Charitable Remainder Trust with the URI Foundation.

The benefits of establishing one of these “Life Income Gifts” include: • Lifetime income stream for you and/or a loved one • Current income tax deduction • Reducing or eliminating capital gains on appreciated assets Contact us at 401.874.7900 or at to learn more about these gift strategies and which one may be right for you. UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND


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


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2015 is the Year of the Mini Reunion Think about the people who made your URI experience so special. Maybe they were your teammates. Or the students you sat with in Butterfield every night. Or those crazy freshmen from your first residence hall. They’re the people you really want to see at Homecoming. The way to make it happen is by planning a Mini Reunion. Call Bob Ferrell ’07 in Alumni Relations at 401.874.7402 and he’ll help you get your URI crew together for the best Homecoming ever!

URI QuadAngles Fall 2015  

The University of Rhode Island Alumni Magazine Fall 2015