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Tour de Force

An unexpected launching pad | 14

Lost Farms

Archaeology’s high-tech boost | 18

vs. Cybercrime

Online special forces | 22

Play the Bay A little bit country, a little bit GSO  |  33

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SUMMER 2014  |  VOLUME 21, NO. 4


6 Class of 2014



14 Guide to Life


News from your classmates


Sunshine Menezes, Ph.D. ’05


Henry Gauthier ’74


A challenge at the North Woods indoor climbing wall.

More Online

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

URI Hosts Tour de Cure Commencement 2014 • 3,114 Bachelor’s degrees • 555 Master’s degrees • 129 Doctorates • Countless customized mortarboards See photo gallery online.


Meet eight of this year’s amazing crop of graduates.

There’s something about those tour guides. Why you’ll be telling the URI student in your life to sign up to give tours, quick.


18 Lost and Found

Kate Johnson ’06 unearths wonky historical gold: evidence of our forgotten farms. The surprise? The media love it.

20 Profiles in Perseverance

We all know a college dropout. How URI is getting them back on track with an innovative program that boasts success stories by the hundreds.


22 Guardians of the Grid

Two engineering professors are taming the online Wild West, and while they’re at it, keeping the lights on and your reputation safe.

28 The Ripple Effect


Leo DiMaio led Talent Development for almost 20 years, worked in it for many more, and lifted thousands of lives.



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Bits and Pieces

Fiercely Keaney

Excellence for All

Kathy Perry Ojeda ’81 sent this photo after seeing Paul Nonnenmacher ’80’s Keaney Blue house in the spring issue. The carved tiki “is proudly displayed on our dock here on the central east coast of Florida,” Ojeda writes. “I love Keaney Blue because it attracts great karma—and manatees.” Kathy adds that her husband surprised her with the tiki, which was created by a tiki-hobbyist coworker at the Kennedy Space Center. “Now,” she adds, “if I could only convince those rocket scientists to launch a Keaney Blue tiki into the wild blue space!”

In early April, Helen M. Plummer passed away. She wasn’t a URI employee or alumna, but the campus mourned anyway. Nonnie, as she was known, was famous for telling everyone who came to the CVS at the Kingston Emporium to “have a excellent.” Excellent what? Customers finished the sentence on a Facebook page started four years ago. See for more. VIDEO | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES

“Have a Excellent” ­—Helen M. Plummer

Star Spangled Moment Christopher Davey ’16 sang the national anthem at Fenway May 4, kicking off a Red Sox-Athletics game as part of Rhode Island Day ceremonies. The vocal performance major sang before his largest audience ever, a crowd of 30,000— although it’s hard to say if it tops his duet with his brother in front of Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. “I hope to focus my adrenaline on making my family, my teachers, and URI proud,” he said before the game. He delivered. Check out to see his performance. VIDEO | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES

“You cannot take your food for granted after you see the film.” —Christina (Estabrook) Allen ’80


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Farm Table Christina (Estabrook) Allen ’80 writes that she and her husband Frank—whom she met at URI—run a sustainable organic homestead and farm in southern Maryland that attracts visitors interested in kitchen gardening and sustainable living. One visitor was so struck that she made a film about a dinner that Christina and Frank served to some friends, documenting how each ingredient was grown, harvested and prepared. See a preview at


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You Tell Us

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

“Ramnapped,” a story on the back page of the Fall ’13 issue, chronicles how Bill Menzi Jr. ’63 retrieved URI’s live ram mascot from UConn and saved a family from a burning house in the process. Bruce Crowell ’53 writes in response to tell how he woke up on a Saturday morning in the football season of 1949: “I was awakened by an unfamiliar scratching and grunting sound. Not at my peak due to pregame celebrations the night before, I rolled over to see the door to the Quonset hut open, a GI cot lodged in the door, and a very large chain stretched tight to something I could not see. Outside was our arch rival’s mascot, the Brown University bear, doing his best to free himself. His claws had dug deep trenches in the dirt road. Fortunately, he never noticed me. “After 64 years, I cannot remember how he was freed, but I do know Brown’s bear was on the correct side of the field at game time. The respective deans of men agreed never to condone such actions in the future—one swipe of that paw could do serious damage. “During this interesting event, did anyone get away with Rhody the Ram? No. ‘Happy,’ my dorm proctor and aggie major, was keeper of the ram and had taught him to get in the ample trunk of a 1939 Plymouth coupe on command. We had taken him to an off-campus farmer’s barn the previous afternoon.”

WRIU is 75!

Art Director

Pippa Jack Kim Robertson

Contributing Editors | Writers

Barbara Caron Melanie Coon Shane Donaldson ’99 Dave Lavallee ’79 Todd McLeish Cindy Sabato

Contributing Designers

Johnson Ma Bo Pickard Verna Thurber

Nora Lewis


URI Alumni Relations Staff Kathleen DiPietro, Executive Assistant Chris DiSano, Specialist Robert Ferrell ’07, Specialist Kathleen Gianquitti ’71, M.S. ’82,   Assistant Director Shana Greene ’95, M.S.’97, Assistant Director Darthula Mathews ’13, Program Assistant Mary Ann Mazzone, Office Assistant Amy Paulsen, Web/Print Editor Kate Serafini Maccarone ’08, Specialist Gina Simonelli ’01, M.S.’03, Assistant Director



o versity i n u / m


Editor in Chief

Editorial Board Kerrie Bennett M.B.A. ’06, Interim Send us your   Executive Director, URI Communications radio memories   and Community Relations Linda A. Acciardo ’77, Director, for an upcoming   URI Communications and Marketing story. Tracey A. Manni, Director of   Communications, URI Foundation

Bruce said he’s always wondered how that bear came to be chained up in the Quonset Hut Village. If anyone knows, or has another great mascot story, please write to to tell us.

Connect to the University

Alumni Association Executive Board

Louise H. Thorson M.B.A.’85, President Joseph M. Confessore ’96, Past President Susan R. Johnson ’82, Vice President Kathleen P. O’Donnell ’90, Vice President Benjamin W. Tuthill ’04, Treasurer

Alumni Association Councilors-at-Large

Laurel L. Bowerman ’77, M.B.A. ’84 Matthew T. Finan ’11 Colleen Gouveia M.B.A.’98 Karen E. Regine ’81 Tyrene A. Jones ’10 Brina R. Masi ’01 Edwin R. Pacheco ’05 Gregory S. Perry ’88 Darran A. Simon ’98 Christos S. Xenophontos ’84, M.S.’85

Alumni Association Representatives Arts & Sciences Catherine Gagnon ’98, M.M.’03 Business Administration Jordan D. Kanter ’99, M.S.’00 Feinstein Continuing Education Edward Bozzi Jr. ’68 Engineering Daniel G. Lowney ’75 Environment and Life Sciences Catherine Weaver ’82, B.L.A.’96 Human Science & Services Christine S. Pelton ’84 Nursing Denise A. Coppa ’72, Ph.D.’02 Pharmacy Henrique “Henry” Pedro ’76 Graduate School of Oceanography Veronica M. Berounsky Ph.D. ’90 Faculty Senate Andrea L. Yates ’94, Ph.D.’06 Student Senate Matthew Kilduff, Class of ’15 Student Alumni Association Stephen Petrarca, Class of ’14 URI Foundation Thomas J. Silvia ’83 The URI Alumni Association informs and engages current and future alumni as committed partners of the University, its mission and traditions.


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encement 28th comm 1 s tional y’ it rs e and inspira the Univ ve t ti a n ff ve -o in d n ’s nco nd se . Richard Bla ed into one f 2014 a gra gural poet bration roll the class o u a le n e in ce iv g d g in n n a st ju ion rd-win is, we have ne: reflect nd in the aking, awa e perfect to As I write th nt at URI, a e th arrier-bre p b t s e ’s s s d te ca a n ri a u e irits grad s. Am ur newest fted our sp ceremonie ite page] li the years o s t o u p o . p b o a e e ts n 014 arrived words [s comme gether. e class of 2 ome brief to th s f d r o e e ff rs ch o e a b to e re mem uman nly fitting ilestones w ped with h time since It seems o the many m oms equip ation in the ro te ra ss rm rden b a a fo cl le g s l r n ce a o a indo edicin atic tr process, to ng not only ne a dram ut also a m o ri b , tu rg s a e e fe through d fe li n ci , u y n e it e s m new ho d emerg f univers mpus ha n o le a ca ib s rk n d n a o e o m st ti cr ll g a a in u al sit 61-million en a h as an Our Kin ences, a $ ty of medic harmacy h that has be e ci P t ri S f h o g va ic u e s a o g n e to th re ll ” o dF itative The Co t “respond hemical an es the med of study. ulators tha enter for C C as it inspir e n ular areas th ve p e n o patient sim o p h d rc st n a o u e s m ro g d ill be re n e a k ce han mier e bro finished, w that will en is spring, w o of our pre ich, when th tw h n st w ts, e ju r, th d te g d n n n u A e es. TQ C our st en er stre the centuri nding LGB not only to t will furth ta t a n -s th e e y e m it ct a fr je rs , st e ro w iv te ed p real n a ne hief D state-bond e ground o tors like C n. That is a k a o ti tr ro der b is ca n y u in u tl d m s e n d r ve of highe sionary a g initiati I also rece n vi R in o it U d ti t n u xc a a it e y th st lt ch d un ns facu can in I am prou contributio ntinue to la supportive any Ameri ell, who co numerable its kind at but also to f ss , in o u n e t e R d p cy rs a ie p n fi n a m e n h ce A e th have ed ctor ake it ging that th enter Dire BTQ people d hard to m acknowled d LGBTQ C iversity. LG n who pushe e D a il vantaged, h d n d n o w a a s is p ct y, d m it fa omi Tho ave been nity, Equ t simple h u a o m th h s m w o te C rs ra f e Officer Na emb celeb ffice o ew center ose of its m es of the O ry; URI’s n it treats th the auspic to w is o h h s y it b r d & dge ntry ove y may be ju telli Fitness to our cou to communit Anna Fasci a ey belong e f h o th T t . ce o n n rs r ie io o n r e s e g th n e ti h and resil a du d. ue nts, w for our gra hall, is a tr d, or ignore le all stude residence uality of life marginalize plex, enab st q e m e o w th e C n ts d n te r e ve u le ll, o Ath stud lso impro y Studentraction of Hillside Ha ties have a Ryan Famil hances inte nd fitness. a n e e s th d ie Other facili h n d it a u w g st g in tand ncing enter, alon ral unders shape, bala Wellness C cross cultu , to stay in s m te o ra core g m ro ro p lso unders y that p an athletics communit campus, a g n o in d f foreign rn e o a iv y e d rr -l g duates a d and stu a ra g ro global livin . b r s a u d l o n f u ve o ts ost in tra e backgro our studen ar before m y increase from divers ed position ith a stead shed the ye lp w li erica, e b d h m a le A st ve p e a u th , h o u s ersity. C , and So llenges, e e Course iv a p g n ch n U ro e e u e e ll E id a th , h w f ia d C to welcom ature o s in As Grand on worl institution e continue rnational n , focusing l w s a te e n d in o n ss g ti A a . in ca cl s w u ry gram h ed the gro rdisciplina degree pro rtnered wit , these inte l new joint we have pa ra r, e ve h e rt s languages u . s F a ns. travels the U.S as well lobal citize xchanges where their om outside e r fr e h y, tt rc lt a a as savvy g e m cu s o fa re that n ished ill, what faculty and as distingu erstanding ope they w d h ll n e e u w w e s s facilitating a th a , , h sit wit ents return to vi more stud , we did so more and ass of 2014 of this class cl rs e e b th m to e ll m hen farewe erge from e at URI. W ade a fond ave a hom ase will em h e While we b is ys d a in lw a ra l b s for pies for , they wil ew therapie res or thera n take them t cu n w ia e ll n ri r b basketball discove . What nd? ur faculty e? Will our s changed o a m will they fi l h il co t w e a b n th o ll o rm How s d J-te mazed at a ly launche roscience? ey will be a ill our new te for Neu u w it ig st I expect th b In w n o s? H st & Anne Rya er problem that are ju the George ? ncer, or oth ortunities p ss ca p e , o s n te e e d s a iz w a e M i e s dis alumn ri March city to infectious ur newest ng its capa l impact in o li a s a n a n o ti ig st a s e n , b n a e tio very teams mak rant institu f 2014 the healthy, vib the class o a s f e o h is rk w a y m it mun the hall re URI com Change is n. The enti zo ri re ready. o a h u e e know yo beyond th W . rs te p a ext ch their own n tions! Congratula ooley

David M. D


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Inaugural poet Richard Blanco told the crowd gathered for URI’s sunlit May 18 Commencement that life is like writing class:

Revise, revise, revise. As a poet, we’re taught to do away with clichés, and you should do the same. Strive to be an original in everything. You don’t have to fit the mold of what your degree says. You need to add to that degree. Never stop asking: Now what? Think of your life as an unfinished poem. It’s true that a good life, like a good poem, answers questions. But I’ll tell you this: A great life, like a great poem, asks questions.


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Christopher Lionel Calderón of Providence. Civil Engineering. 2010 Valedictorian of Central High School; next up: grad school at URI.

“I have been challenged more than I expected by both my field of study and by the hardships in my life, one of which includes the loss of my parents. Everything is what you make of it. The gift I received from my mother: The importance of preparing for the future.”

Sylvia Bogusz of South Kingstown. Communication Studies. Survivor of near-fatal hit from drunk driver in 2007; advocate for tougher drunk-driving laws.

“I don’t get too excited about graduating because it’s always been my goal to be successful. I’m not scared even when I speak before hundreds, but sometimes I cry because it’s still emotional. I persevere. I don’t want anyone to pity me. There’s more to life.”

THE ANNUAL EXTRAORDINARY: Maria Briones of East Providence. Civil Engineering and Spanish. Built wastewater treatment facility in Guatemala with student group; next up: grad school, Peace Corps.

“Maybe I’ll work for a government agency or maybe I’ll establish my own organization to help people get access to drinking water. I understand the technical side of the issue and the health-related aspect, and I know I can help.”

Dave Powers of Cumberland. Mechanical Engineering and German. Saxophone player, Ultimate Frisbee competitor, grad school candidate for industrial engineering.

“I don’t want to make the motor of a car; I want to make the seats. It’s more interesting to make something that has to account for the human, that works the way you want it to. When the average person uses a product, do they have to read the manual first?” Compiled with the help of Todd McLeish, Dave Lavallee, Elizabeth Rau, Sylvia Bogusz and Janet Kerlin. 6  QUADANGLES SUMMER 2014

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Matt Gusto of Bath, Maine. Master of Oceanography and M.B.A. Boat captain, former lobsterman, will work in maritime-technology and climate-change fields.

“A lot of things are going to be happening in the maritime world, especially with the Arctic opening up. There are so many industries that need people with both a technical and business background, and there aren’t a lot of graduate programs that offer that.”

Nancy Wilson of East Providence. Human Development and Family Studies. Lost son in street shooting; advocate against gun violence; plans master’s in social work.

“People ask, ‘You’re going to a crack house to talk to kids?’ But what’s the worst thing that can happen to me? I’ve already had the worst thing happen. I decided to make something good out of it. URI’s staff and teachers see value in my life. That’s what keeps me going.’’

Stories from the Class of 2014 William Janes Jr. of Newport. Kinesiology. Track and Field star (hammer throw, indoor weight throw, all-academic honors) and team captain; Elks volunteer working with veterans, people with disabilities.

“Some of my favorite times were traveling to meets with my teammates. Team awards are better than individual ones because everyone shares the victory. My dream career is to become a physician’s assistant. I want to help patients with getting better.”

Brianna Blank of Westbrook, Conn. Journalism. Editor of The Cigar; founder of student talk show on healthy eating, fitness; helped her mother lose weight.

“This is my passion now. You only get one body. You should treat it the best you can. I feel so much more comfortable in my skin now. There are times I look in the mirror and say, ‘Wow, I actually did it.’ If I can lose 150 pounds, anything is possible.”

Congrats to the entire class of 2014! Read more about these and other graduates at UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND  7

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URI breaks ground on LGBTQ Center In April, state officials and members of the URI community broke ground for a new LGBTQ Center at 19 Upper College Road, just beyond the main entrance to the Kingston Campus. Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, other state officials, URI President David M. Dooley, Chief Diversity Officer Naomi R. Thompson, LGBTQ Center Director Annie Russell and students participated in the ceremonial launch of construction at the site of the old Ruggles House, a vacant URI building that will be razed. When the $2.1 million, 4,300square-foot building is completed, URI will become the first institution of higher education in the country to design and build a freestanding LGBTQ Center. “It’s a great moment for the University of Rhode Island to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity that’s part of our community now and will be in the future. As we have said in our Transformational Goals, building a community in which every member is welcomed, supported and valued is essential to our identity and mission,” said Dooley. “I personally want to extend my sincere congratulations on the development of an historic structure on campus,” URI alumnus Andrew Dellorfano ’10 wrote in an


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email to President Dooley on the day of the groundbreaking. “Take it from me, as a proud openly gay man from Boston, Mass., I, alongside many others, have seen, heard and at times experienced the stigma of being someone of the LGBTQ community. I want to say thank you for establishing this new Center.” Designed to give URI’s LGBTQ community a strong identity, the single story, stone and clapboard building will have a veranda running along the front, and plans call for its roof to feature ornamental plants and flowers. A multipurpose room will accommodate about 50 people; the center will also feature a conference room for about 20 people, a group counseling room, and a student lounge. There will be offices for the director, three staff members and student staff members. Established in 2011 and currently located in Adams Hall, the Center is part of URI’s Office of Community, Equity, and Diversity. In its first two years, the Center launched more than 75 new programs, services, groups or initiatives. More than 15 institutions nationwide and one in Spain have adopted URI’s LGBTQ programs and services as a model.


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Senior wins national soil championship

URI To Move Forward With Plan To Arm Campus Police The University announced recently that it would begin the comprehensive process to arm its campus police officers. The decision to arm campus police officers comes after a year-long campus discussion with faculty, students, staff and other stakeholders. For more information:

Bianca Peixoto was crowned champion at the National Collegiate Soils Contest in April, beating out students from 18 other universities around the country, while the nine-member URI team placed ninth in the group competition. Together, their combined scores put URI in second place overall at the competition at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. According to Mark Stolt, professor of natural resources science and the advisor to the team, soil judging is a contest to correctly identify, evaluate, classify and describe the profiles of soils from pits dug into the ground. Teams must qualify to compete at the national contest by placing in the top three at one of seven regional competitions. “The competition gives students the chance to test their skills against regional soil experts,” said Stolt. “Just about every environmental firm in the country is looking for people who can evaluate soils. Those who compete are in demand when they graduate.”

URI students have won the individual national contest in three of the last five years, took the team championship in 2011 in Oregon, and consistently place in the top five teams. Peixoto credits her championship win to Stolt, “Who teaches us not only how to judge the individual components of the soil, but also about how the soil forms on the landscape, widening our eyes to the big picture. Soil is the basis of life … where it all starts.” Peixoto will compete at the first World Soil Judging Championships in South Korea in June. The other members of the URI soil judging team are Ian Armitstead of West Greenwich, Michael Badzmierowski of Harrisville, Cory DiFillippo of Cranston, Chelsea Duball of Brentwood, N.H., Victoria Moebus of Norwich, Conn., Joshua Sargent of Wakefield, Ethan Sneesby of Pawtucket, and Chris Zuidema of Long Branch, N.J.


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R.I. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (4th from left, left to right), R.I. Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee joined URI President David M. Dooley with hardhats and shovels to get the dig started.

New Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences In May, the University of Rhode Island held a ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate the early phase of construction on a $68 million Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, a key component in strengthening the University’s leadership position in the health and life sciences and to building the state’s knowledge economy. Funded in large part by a $61 million bond issue approved by Rhode Island voters in the 2010 election, the center will serve more than 7,000 chemistry students. About 40 percent of all URI degree programs require at least one chemistry class. The 135,000-square-foot Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences will replace Pastore Hall, which was built in 1953 to accommodate 800 students. The Center will triple the amount of existing space for teaching labs and nearly double the space for research labs. It will provide state-of-the-art facilities for leading faculty who conduct research in such areas as developing advanced batteries to fuel energy efficient automobiles, improving resolution in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and creating new clinical methods for earlier disease detection. And it will house one of the nation’s key


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resources for research and training in the battle against terrorism, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response. “We express our gratitude to the people of Rhode Island for having the foresight to support a project that is directly related to the kind of economy we are building in the state,” URI President David M. Dooley said. “This facility will be a cornerstone of discovery, innovation and in turn economic vitality.” Chemistry is the foundation of many research and teaching endeavors, as well as future jobs in health sciences, biotechnology, energy, the environment, pharmacy, nursing and high technology. The Center will stand between the Chafee Social Science Center and White Hall, near the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences and the College of Pharmacy Building, completing the Health and Life Science District on the Kingston Campus’s northern sector. The project is expected to create about 1,200 jobs in construction, trades, architecture, engineering, management, teaching and research.


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Nurse residency program launches careers

The state’s first nurse residency program, co-led by the University of Rhode Island, gives unemployed and underemployed licensed registered nurses from Rhode Island’s five nursing programs additional skills and guidance from practicing registered nurses at clinical sites throughout the state. The workforce and skills development program was launched in October 2013 with 17 members, and already, 11 of them have secured full-time jobs. The remaining members say their various rotations have boosted their confidence, given them new skills, and helped them become comfortable with new techniques and technology. Linda Hancock, who earned her nursing degree at Rhode Island College in 2013 after having run a business for 20 years, landed a full-time psychiatric nursing job at Rhode Island Hospital just six weeks into the residency program. “It enabled many in the program to get back into nursing after having been out of work or out of school for a while,” said the Cumberland resident, whose first and only clinical rotation in the nurse residency program was with the Miriam Hospital. “I was able to practice my skills, including providing intravenous medications, antibiotics and the full range of care.” Carolee V.C. Larimar began a full-time job in February in the neuro-intensive care unit of Rhode Island Hospital. “This residency shortened my career path by allowing me to gain experience

as a new grad in critical care,” Larimar said. “Normally, it takes several years to obtain the position that I just started…Like so many other career-driven nurses striving to make a difference and obtain a rewarding position, I was anticipating having to leave Rhode Island. I was packing boxes for New York City when I received the news I’d been accepted. This program allowed me to stay in Rhode Island and obtain a highly rewarding position.” The program is unusual in the United States, as most nurse residency programs are affiliated with specific hospitals or agencies, while this one places its participants in practice settings ranging from nursing homes to community clinics as well as traditional hospital settings. “It is the result of countless hours of development by nurse experts from academia and practice settings,” said Sandra S. Phillips, director of education at Kent Hospital and project director of the Passport to Practice Nurse Residency program. Rhode Island joined Connecticut in 2012 as one of only two New England states and 20 nationally to receive funding from a joint Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/AARP program, with matching funds from Blue Cross and the Rhode Island Foundation.

Carolee V.C. Larimar, of Providence, who began a full-time job in February in the neuro-intensive care unit of Rhode Island Hospital, talks with fellow nurse residents about her experiences with the nurse residency program. A former holistic health practitioner with numerous certifications, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at RIC in 2013.


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5/29/14 1:59 PM

PRESSBOX New home for student athletes After years of planning, the Ryan Family Student-Athlete Complex officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, April 11. The ceremony included Tom and Cathy Ryan, lead donors for the project. The Ryans, along with close to 200 donors, contributed more than $2.5 million for the facility. “Cathy and I are very proud of our relationship with the University of Rhode Island and URI Athletics and we are delighted to support this most recent project,” says Tom Ryan. “The Ryan Family Student-Athlete Complex is going to benefit all URI student-athletes for years to come. It will improve and enhance all aspects of the student-athlete experience. The project will also play an instrumental role in recruiting the highest quality student-athletes to URI.” Construction on the project—formerly designated the Student-Athlete Development Center—began in July 2013. Some of the dramatically improved facilities began to open to the University’s 400-plus student-athletes in January. “It is everything I imagined and more,” says sophomore softball player Taylor Archer. “The Rhode Island logo is everywhere. That really boosts us and reminds us what we are playing for. After walking through the complex I couldn’t believe my eyes, but when I saw the weight room, my eyes almost popped out of my head.” The Eleanor Carlson Strength & Conditioning Center transformed the previous Tootell East gymnasium space into a nearly 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center that includes:

• Turf space for speed and conditioning drills • An automated timing system • Functional movement screening kits for injury prevention • Keiser Functional Trainers: multi-functional air pressure resistance machines • Cognitive care for sport psychology assessments and concussion testing • Specialist equipment such as a vertical jump recorder, Drive Sleds, TRX Suspension Trainers, Pit Shark Belt Squat machine and Vertimax V8 machines

examination rooms, and a physical therapy area. A new hydrotherapy room was installed, with hot and cold capabilities to help treat and prevent injuries. The Katie DeCubellis Memorial Foundation Student-Athlete Academic Commons & Advising Center now occupies the entire hallway in Keaney Gymnasium, adjacent to the Tootell building. URI’s new home for academic advising for studentathletes features new and upgraded computer labs, tutorial rooms for one-on-one counseling, high-tech meeting and presentation rooms, and a student-athlete lounge and study area. The Winter Family Foundation & Wicks Family Champions Gallery is located throughout the east corridor of Tootell, stretching from the Ryan Center entry door all the way past the Eleanor Carlson Strength & Conditioning Center. The Champions Gallery features elegant wood paneling, specially designed lighting, and custom wall treatments that recognize and honor each program that makes up the long and storied history of URI Athletics.

There are three other components to the complex: The Anthony J. Rose Athletic Training Room & Sports Medicine Center expanded the previous home of URI’s athletic trainers. The renovated area features new office space, upgrades in technology, space for team physicians, consultation and 12  QUADANGLES SUMMER 2014

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5/27/14 10:02 AM

Former football player donates marrow On March 25, former Rhode Island football player Evan Shields (No. 4, below) became the eleventh person to donate bone marrow and help save the life of a stranger through the football team’s annual marrow registration drive.

Shields, whose senior season was 2011, was in his home state of Maryland when he got the call from the Rhode Island Blood Center that he was a match for a leukemia patient. “Initially I was caught off guard, but other people on my former team had already donated marrow, so that made me feel more comfortable,” Shields says. He researched the impact that donating would have on his own body, but in the end, the deciding factor was learning that statistically, very few minorities ever find a match. Donating was a profound responsibility that he accepted gladly: “I knew it would be

painful, but I thought if I didn’t do it, the person could die,” Shields says. “A little bit of pain I’d be receiving was nothing in comparison to years of pain the patient may have been experiencing. Honestly, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I feel honored.” Shields’ marrow was harvested at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C. He learned more than he ever thought he’d know about what it means to be on the other end of a donation: “You don’t know the entire time until the actual procedure is done whether it’ll work. Along with that, prior to the procedure you aren’t told whether or not the donor agreed to go through with it.” For donors, the process involves general anesthesia, sometimes a night in the hospital, and a few days or weeks of discomfort and occasional fatigue. URI’s football team has led annual registration drives since 2009, successfully matching, six current or former athletes and another five registrants. Would Shields go through it again? “You have to treat others the way you’d want to be treated,” he says. “Imagine if you were in their position—dying. I can’t imagine being in a hospital bed, knowing that the only thing that would help me survive is an exact match from a stranger. Of course I’d do it again.”

Soccer players clean up Hazard Rocks With beach season approaching, the women’s soccer team assisted with cleaning up Hazard Rocks in Narragansett Saturday, April 5. Team members walked along the rocks with gloves and trash bags and picked up everything they could find. “Community service is something that is very important to our soccer program, athletic department and University as a whole,” Head Coach Michael Needham says. “We were happy to spend the morning at Hazard Rocks cleaning up the trash that had accumulated there. I think many times our players forget, in their day-to-day grind, that they have the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States, and I believe it is our responsibility to help keep it that way. “Our athletic department as a whole values the contributions our athletes make in competition, in the classroom, and in the community, and this project was just one example.”

Rhody Reads During April, more than 75 student-athletes representing all 18 varsity teams spent time reading at four local elementary schools. As part of the second annual URI Life Skills community service project, URI athletes visited 56 different classrooms at Melrose, Matunuck, Wakefield and Peace Dale elementary schools, reaching nearly 1,000 children. “It humbled me as a person,” says men’s basketball player T.J. Buchanan. “I appreciate the opportunity to play at this level and give back to the community.” “It showed me how much of a role college athletes actually play in younger children’s lives,” says Tyrone Jenkins, a member of the football team. “We really can have an impact. It felt so good to have those kids looking up to us.”


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Left, Emily Thomesen, swimmer; right, football’s Andrew Bose and Tyrone Jenkins.


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Guide to Life Sure, the tour program offers a vital first glimpse of the campus to thousands of visitors each year. And turns out it’s an enticing glimpse, with a hugely positive impact on families weighing their college options. But what’s in it for the guides? Step this way to find out the many ways the program serves as a launching pad. Top, Jessi Minneci ’16 leads tours of the new Pharmacy building, and, at left, walks backwards through URI’s residence hall complex.


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It is the last Friday in March and the stubborn New England winter of 2014 will not let go. Ominous clouds hang over the Memorial Union as the last tour group of the day prepares to leave the building and venture out for a 90-minute stroll across campus, with a few indoor stops along the way. Enter Jessi Minneci ’16, sporting an official tour guide jacket and bubbling with enthusiasm for all things URI. “Good afternoon and welcome to the University of Rhode Island,” Minneci cheerfully intones. “I’m Jessi, I’m a sophomore double major in journalism and marine affairs, and I can’t wait to take you on a tour!” Minneci, one of 102 tour guides, quickly learns from the high school seniors on the 2 p.m. tour that all have been accepted to the University for the fall of 2014. Most are accompanied by parents. One family pushes a stroller; their accepted student is speaking with cross-country coaches at the athletic complex and they decided to tour campus on their own. The group includes visitors from Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Minneci’s home state of New Jersey. She immediately connects the dots


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for the New Jersey tour participants; they have several family friends in common. Connecting the dots is one of Minneci’s strengths as a tour guide. She keeps up the patter, never missing a beat, even as she walks backwards, sharing the story of when she actually fell—walking forward—on one of her tours. “I have definitely gotten the hang of walking backwards, but clearly I still need to work on my forward walking skills!” When Minneci confides that she wants to be the next Katie Couric, you believe she has a good shot at making her dream come true. Despite having memorized a 50-page manual during her tour guide training, Minneci never sounds rehearsed. A steady drizzle begins as she expertly guides the group past the Quad (“When the weather clears, I will definitely be getting my tan on!”) and details the many activities that take place there: the weekly farmers market, woodgrilled pizzas, visits by therapy dogs during exam periods, and one of her favorite stunts, students “tightroping” between trees. She also points out that the Quad has wifi, and even features 24/7 webcams, “in case you’d like to say hi to mom and dad at home.” She has captured the imaginations of her tour participants. No one seems to mind the rain, the wind, or the cold. Talking up academic excellence is part of Minneci’s job. She deftly transitions from tightroping to technology, leading the group into Ballentine Hall, home to the College of Business Administration, and pointing out the Bruce S. Sherman Trading Room, which provides students with news and stocks coverage so they can analyze financial information as it relates to world and national events. She provides details about a number of popular and competitive URI majors as she moves the group through the academic section of the tour, visiting the impressive new pharmacy building, where she encourages participants to peek at a simulated “robot baby,” and points out the medicinal garden, naming many of the plants as she goes. Smoothly pivoting, Minneci turns to her next subject, residential life. She is clearly proud of the new Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center and its state-of-the-art machinery. A swing by Hope Commons gives her a chance to reassure families that “it’s impossible to get tired of the food here—the variety is endless.” And in Browning Hall, she invites the group to be seated as she thoughtfully explains the housing and dining systems. By the time the tour winds its way back to the Union, students and parents alike are somewhat bedraggled by rain and wind, but thanks to Min-

neci’s infectious high spirits and pride in URI, the weather hasn’t been a factor. She’s wowed the group from start to finish. And it won’t end there. “Every student who comes on tour fills out a prospective student information sheet including home address and intended major,” shares Minneci. “Tour guides follow up with each participant by sending customized postcards. I like to personalize my cards by drawing pictures that reflect their interests, like a microscope for a student interested in biology.” This kind of personal attention makes a difference in yield, says Dean of Admission Cynthia Bonn M.S. ’94, (full disclosure: Bonn led tours as an undergraduate at Boston University). “National research in the field shows that the number one influencer in both the decision to apply and to attend a particular college or university is the campus tour.” Campus Tour Director Erin West Earle ’04, M.S. ’09, who heads up the program from September through May (colleagues Beth Tikoian and Darcy Flaherty ’05, M.S. ’13 handle the summer tours), adds, “We ask every visitor to complete an evaluation. Nearly 88 percent say the tour increased their likelihood of applying or attending.” URI tour guides also receive high marks on the qualitative section of the evaluation, says Earle. “We hear comments like, ‘Tour guide was very intelligent and helpful;’ ‘Great ambassador, very personable and knowledgeable;’ ‘ She was awesome! Clear, funny, entertaining;’ and ‘Fantastic tour! Got a great feel for the campus, student life, and academics. Great guide.’” The guides are good at their jobs in part because of a focus on continuous training. “The philosophy of the tour guide program is that there is always more we can learn about the University and we can always make the tours better,” says Earle, who has been involved with the program for 11 years, including as an undergraduate tour guide. In addition to learning the detailed manual and prescribed tour route inside and out, training includes workshops in public speaking, the art of storytelling, facts and figures about URI, and how to effectively answer questions. Diversity and Safe-Zone trainings are also included, as are visits from guest speakers around the University. “We even give quizzes to be sure the students keep current with their information.” The program also provides tremendous leadership opportunities for students. A student executive board runs the show, with two head program coordinators and five other board members dividing

Tour guides show off campus this spring.


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December 2014. Whitlock, who TOUR GUIDES BY THE NUMBERS: FALL 2013 grew up in Newport, was drawn to the tour guide program Total number of guides: 102 because, she says, “I was a Tour program applicants: 457 classic case of not wanting to Accepted: 47 stay in Rhode Island, not want Pages in manual: 50 ing to attend URI. Once I arrived, however, I realized that Hourly pay: $8.80–$10.20 it was a great place and a per Tours per day: 3 fect fit for me. I wanted to help Tours per year: 2,000 other students who were Visitors per year: 40,000 unsure about the University to Miles walked per tour: 2.1 see what I saw.” Whitlock believes her experience as a Tour participants who say a tour positively influenced tour guide enabled her to overtheir decision to apply or to attend URI:  88% come shyness and become a confident public speaker. This serves her well in her work as an air traffic con“Some of our best troller, where “my voice is everything. How I project, my speech pattern and my cadence—all of this guides have been contributes to my message. And if I don’t use my self-described voice correctly, my message is not received corAs it turns out, the bonds formed while tour introverts who rectly.” Whitlock prides herself on remaining calm guides are undergraduates continue into their in a crisis, another trait strengthened during her alumni-hood. Just ask Erik DeAngelis, Leslie happened to be stint as a guide. Miller Whitlock, and Mary Earle Larsen (no rela fantastic at Earle points out that the best tour guides are tion to Erin West Earle). translating their not necessarily extroverts. “Being outgoing and Erik DeAngelis ’04, M.S. ’09, from Warwick, R.I., says, “I met my best friends in college through enthusiastic doesn’t hurt, but some of our best experiences.” guides have been self-described introverts who tour guiding. The program is where I found my —Erin West Earle ’04, M.S. ’09 happened to be fantastic at translating niche at URI.” Like Earle, it is their experiences to stories students also where he found his proand families enjoyed.” fessional calling; today he And then there are the tour guide works at Brown University as naturals, like Mary Earle Larsen ’04, an assistant director of admiswho calls herself a “performer by sion. “Being a tour guide nature” and credits the tour guide changed my trajectory. It was program with improving her perforthe catalyst for everything I did mance skills at every level, from following URI.” DeAngelis conlearning lines to speaking clearly and fesses that as a first semester concisely. Larsen, like Whitlock and senior, he experienced some DeAngelis, who is her best friend, is a self-doubt and indecision native Rhode Islander. After a semester about graduate school. “And at URI she began to see the University— then, at the end of a tour, an and the state—in a new light, and accepted student told me that wanted to show them off to prospective the experiences I had shared Above, Mary Earle Larsen ’04 students. Larsen says being a tour guide during the tour sealed the deal hosting The Rhode Show last year. also “exposed me to students I would and he would be attending URI. A light bulb went on for me. This was a job not have met otherwise. Even though I was an that made an impact. I decided then and there this orientation leader and an RA, because of my area was what I wanted to do, and enrolled in URI’s Col- of study I was in Fine Arts most of the time, so lege Student Personnel graduate program.” meeting fellow tour guides opened up my world Another close friend and fellow tour guide and really enhanced my URI experience, right alumna is Leslie Miller Whitlock ’06, an air traffic down to learning what the best dishes were at controller with the Federal Aviation Administration different dining halls!” She also notes, “thanks at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, where she lives to being a tour guide, interacting with a wide with her husband, Jason, who is currently studying range of other students, I became a seasoned sociology at URI and expects to graduate in team player, which is a critical skill in today’s responsibilities for recruiting, group tours, information sessions, and managing 102 guides. Paul Knott ’14 serves as co-head coordinator this year with Kathryn Paulhardt ’14. Knott, the 2014 student commencement speaker, has risen through the tour guide ranks since his freshman year and worked all three of his URI summers as a full-time guide. “The leadership roles I have filled through the tour guide program have given me potential, perspective and passion for working in higher education,” says Knott, who hopes to attend a graduate program in higher education counseling. Knott also says the tour guides are a close-knit group. Minneci concurs: “I can always count on one of the team members to be my study buddy in the library, to grab a bite to eat with me, or to be a shoulder to cry on. And as tour guides, we work with other student groups around campus, so I am always being exposed to new activities and new areas for involvement—and making new friends.”


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workplace.” A musician who plays more than 20 instruments including the baritone saxophone, she has taught at Providence Country Day School and the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School. Her one-year-old son, Rhys, is frequently the subject of Larsen’s blog, which she started while hosting The Rhode Show last year. Her current gig is serving as executive coordinator for Verdi Productions, a local film production company currently preparing to shoot a film with director Martin Scorsese. The limelight is not what Ross Kauffman ’89 was seeking during his undergraduate years. A business major from Mahopac, N.Y., who took “at most” one film course, Kauffman is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with an Oscar to his credit for his first full-length documentary, Born Into Brothels. The soon-to-be released E-Team, for which he traveled to Syria and Libya, earned a Sundance Film Festival prize for best cinematography. The film follows four members of the Emergencies Team—or E-Team—the boots-onthe-ground division of a respected, international human rights group, which gathers crucial evidence to determine if further investigation is warranted into human rights abuses around the world. Members of the team not only investigate, but also document and draw attention to these abuses. Kauffman says his work as a documentarian was a natural outgrowth of his stint as a tour guide, which he describes as “an integral and fascinating part” of his undergraduate experience. Kauffman feels he benefited greatly from exposure to different types of people on the tours. “Talking to new people, getting to know them, creating a space for them to feel comfortable—all of this was excellent preparation for the work I do now, which is basically getting people to tell me their stories.” Kauffman also says he was shy in high school. “At URI, I came out of my shell, and tour guiding was a vehicle for that. Standing up in front of a group of total strangers turned out to be a lot of fun.” Dean of Admission Bonn notes that tour guides gain a distinct advantage in preparing for the workplace. “There are few on-campus jobs that allow students to overcome any fear they may have about presenting to groups, and to practice and hone their public speaking skills,” she says. “For so many jobs, succinct and clear public speaking is seen as an extremely valuable skill.” A tour guide who can’t seem to get away from URI is Chris Barrett ’08, who grew up less than a mile from campus. Barrett, a political science and journalism major who has reported for the Block Island Times and Providence Business News, directs communication for the College of Engineering (see


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his story on two of the college’s cybersecurity experts on page 22) and manages a federal grant for Provost Donald H. DeHayes. His brother is a URI freshman and his mother is director of budget and financial planning. Add to that his double legacy status and it is no wonder that Barrett was an ace tour guide for two years (as editor of the Good Five Cent Cigar his senior year, he became ineligible to continue guiding). Barrett fondly remembers freshmen greeting him with “You were my tour guide!” Like Larsen and DeAngelis, he credits the Ross Kauffman ’89, below, program with shaping his career. “As a tour guide, shooting E-Team. you have to tell a compelling story. As a writer, of course, storytelling is my stock in trade.” And although he graduated six years ago, Barrett still gives the occasional tour. “If I see a family looking lost, wandering campus clutching a map, I am happy to step in and show them around,” he says. That generosity of spirit and desire to be of service is typical of tour guides through the decades. Earle reflects on what happened at “Talking to new people, getting to this year’s first know them, creating a space for accepted-students day, when two thousand visi them to feel comfortable—all of tors descended on the this was excellent preparation for University. “The rain was the work I do now.” so heavy that as I drove to campus I didn’t know —Ross Kauffman ’89 what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried. Not only did all the guides show up early, they were vying to be first to go out on tour.” Despite the flooded campus, despite having to improvise leading bus tours rather than walking tours, the guides were unfazed. “I am so impressed with their love of this University,” says Earle. “Their willingness to show our beautiful campus no matter what the weather, exemplifies their dedication and commitment to URI.” Kauffman muses further on the tour guide mystique. “I really enjoyed the people and they enjoyed me. The tour guide is as much a symbol for what URI is as is the tour itself. If the tour guide is interested in the tour participants, that is a great reflection on the institution, showing that as a community, URI cares about people and embraces their stories.” —Melanie Coon


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Lostand Found Using a 50-year-old technology that’s been reinvented as an archaeological tool, Kate Johnson ’06 digs up the lost farms of New England

Mapping the walls of an early medieval structure in Iceland in 2009.

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Kate Johnson ‘06 has always wondered about forgotten things. As a child growing up in the northern section of Little Compton, R.I., she unearthed treasures long buried in the woods: a rusted wagon wheel, tumbled stone foundations, ancient apple trees. The route from her 1980s subdivision to the school bus stop afforded opportunities to stumble upon the featureless stones of old cemeteries, and the shards of 19th century ceramics glinting in the furrows of a plowed field. “At an early age, I recognized that our neighborhood had a deeper time component,” she says. “Every day I would see artifacts, and wonder where they came from and whose they were.” It’s a quest that time and technology have amplified. Today, Johnson explores woods all over New England by air using a method of remote sensing called Lidar, or light radar. The technique pierces the forest canopy with pulses of laser light fired at the earth’s surface at speeds of up to 150,000 miles a second. The reflected bursts yield gray, three-dimensional images in which the telltale grids of former human habitations are easily discerned. Meshed with land records and historical maps, it’s a way to piece together the stories of New England’s lost agrarian past. In December, Johnson, who double majored in anthropology and art history at URI and is currently a geography Ph.D. student at the University of Connecticut, published a paper with her adviser, Associate Professor William B. Ouimet. Detailing their discoveries about three rural towns, the paper appeared in the Journal of Archaeological Science. That Johnson would see her first scholarly paper accepted by a peer-reviewed professional journal— with first authorship and before she even finished her coursework—seemed miraculous enough. Then the media came calling. In January, National Geographic picked up their story of virtual site excavation. Science

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and Archaeology magazines, National Public Radio and others followed. “I was just floored,” she says.

they were too remote, or on private property. In Tiverton, for instance, Johnson’s work revealed a dam and the walls of a once-buzzing sawmill. In Ashford, a vast network of roads and stone walls lay buried beneath the canopy of the forest that’s been growing there since the late 1800s. And in Westport, what was equally fascinating was what hadn’t changed. The low stone walls,

She then learned how to use computer generated geospatial datasets, more commonly referred to as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), while earning her master’s degree in historical archaeology at the Lidar, invented in the 1960s, shines a small University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her light at a surface and then measures the thesis on the 1690 Wilbor House, home to time it takes to return to its source, creating seven generations of the family and now the complex topographical maps. It’s been used Little Compton Historical Society, kept her by planners, cartographers and geologists sequestered in that town for applications as varied hall’s vault, combing as floodplain mapping, through old deeds. earth sciences studies and She worked for the climate change research. Massachusetts Historical But the data is relatively Commission and the expensive to obtain and Public Archaeology Lab requires written algofor a couple of years, rithms to identify specific refining her digital patterns. Archaeologists mapping and spatial have been employing the analysis skills. But technique only since the Johnson wanted to 2000s, most famously in continue her studies in the jungles of Belize to a geography program detect the ancient Mayan “to truly understand the city Caracol. theory of how humans Johnson and Ouimet and environment were the first to use interact,” she says. Lidar to explore land use Now the professional patterns in New England. journey that began two Much has changed: decades ago in the European colonists Views of an area on the Canterbury/Lisbon border in Connecticut with Lidar data. woods, then moved to brought English-style the classroom, the town farming and the concept of so ubiquitous and picturesque in rural New archives, and up to the skies, is returning private ownership to the northeast territoto the thickets. Johnson and Ouimet will ries, clearing thousands of acres and carving England, and the property lines they mark, had in many cases survived centuries of survey some of the sites they identified to them into parcels bounded by stone walls. land use untouched. validate Lidar’s accuracy in measuring Then industrialization in the late 19th cen“It turned out that all of the stone walls landscape artifacts. tury reshaped New England again, drawing Johnson is also hoping to find the population from the countryside to the cities. matched these 1712 maps,” Johnson says. “It’s pretty incredible when you compare subject of her dissertation somewhere As families gave up farming, the forests them to modern property maps. It shows in these forgotten places. reclaimed their fields, burying the remnants “My heart has always been in New of their homesteads under green briar, pines this remarkable continuity of landscape divisions that have persisted over time.” England,” she says. “It’s not always a and maple trees. simple history. And it can end up being The pair accessed publicly available imbued with mystical and fantastic qualities Lidar data of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Johnson got her start as a historical geographer at URI, where she took that aren’t true. That’s what makes this Massachusetts, collected by the federal her first archaeological methods course research so fascinating. There are so many Natural Resources Conservation Service from Anthropology Professor Emeritus farmsteads out in the middle of the woods. and the U.S. Geological Survey. Their 3-D William Turnbaugh and blossomed as I really want to tell the story of this process maps of land in Tiverton, R.I., Ashford, a scholar under the encouragement of of abandonment.” Conn., and Westport, Mass., revealed Associate Professor Mary Hollinshead, a 300-year-old farmsteads, roads, and other —Ellen Liberman classical archaeologist. sites previously undocumented because JOHN SCHOENFELDER; 2010 USDA NRCS

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Profiles in Perseverance 300 students who had left before completthis time wiser, more focused, and Desiree Nash ’16 was a hard-working and ing their studies. Most had earned 75 determined to see it through. She’s been competent sales associate for a major telecredits toward the 120 required for a taking classes at the Feinstein Campus phone company when an executive was bachelor’s degree. in Providence to earn her bachelor of blunt with her one day. The response was overwhelm“He told me, ‘Desiree, you are ing. This summer, 65 students charming, and you have all this Sometimes life gives you a do-over. will have graduated from the work experience. That will get URI’s Finish What You Started program program, with another 145 coming your foot in the door, but you will up behind them. A further 540 never get a seat at the table helps returning students go after the have been in touch with coordinaunless you get a degree.’ ’’ degrees, and dreams, they’d abandoned. tors. Those are encouraging Nash had attended the numbers in a state where an University of Rhode Island in 1997, estimated 115,000 Rhode Islanders have interdisciplinary studies degree and is set but left after one year to pursue other started college, but never finished. to graduate in 2016. interests in Atlanta. Now she was paying “Finish What You Started is amazing “I have an attainable goal,’’ she says. for her decision to drop out: no diploma, because it works,’’ says coordinator “There’s no stopping me.’’ no promotion. Connie Pritchard ’11. “One of the reasons So she picked up the phone and called it’s so successful is that we establish a The program is the idea of Dean Libutti her alma mater’s new program, Finish relationship with our students to monitor ’95, vice provost for enrollment manageWhat You Started—an innovative and fastprogress and success. We stay in touch— ment and a strong advocate for returning growing effort to give students like Nash students. Two and a half years ago, the Uni- and not just by email. We call, we talk.’’ a second chance. Last September, Nash The staff works closely with students versity reached out to a pilot group: started where she left off 17 years ago, 20  QUADANGLES  SUMMER 2014

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on re-admission, and once they’re enrolled they receive full support to navigate their return after, in some cases, a long absence. Classes are held on the Providence campus and URI’s main campus in Kingston, as well as online. URI also offers courses, at reduced cost, during the winter J-term and summer. Student support services are available on both campuses, and on the Providence campus tutoring and workshops are held every Saturday, complete with free babysitting for students with children. The workshops focus on both academic and life issues, from how to balance work and family to how to write a paper. For students who owe prior balances, there’s a “matching” scholarship up to $500 to help students re-enroll in good standing. Personal accomplishment is not, of course, the only reason to earn a degree. Increasing the number of college graduates—in essence, educating the work force—is crucial to revitalizing the economy. And it’s no secret that college graduates earn more. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the average lifetime earnings of a college graduate is $2.3 million, compared to $1.5 million for those with some college, and $1.3 million for high school graduates. With the number of projected high school graduates on the decline, and a national government push to increase the number of college graduates by seven

about 30 credits short of his bachelor’s degree when he left URI 21 years ago to find a job so he could take care of his young daughter. He found work as a technician at GTECH and as an aide in a group home for adults with mental challenges, but he “Finish What You Started is on to somealways regretted not finishing his studies. thing very big and very necessary,’’ says When his daughter, Rae-Ann Roderick Libutti. “Returning to college is not easy, ’13, graduated from URI last spring, he but having advanced academic credentials knew he had to go back—for Roderick and skill sets are essential in today’s and her younger siblings, ages 5 and 8. economy. Finish What You Started is good “I wanted to show my children that I never quit,’’ he says. He’s shooting for a B.S. in human development and family studies. It hasn’t been easy. “Coming home from an 8- or 10-hour day, making dinner, helping with homework, you don’t even start to study until you’ve put them to bed,” he says. “It wears on you.” He’s been taking two classes a semester and hopes to graduate next summer; he credits his professors and everyone he’s encountered on the Finish team for helping to make it doable. “They know how tough it is for older students. As long as you do your best, —Domingo Varella ’15 they see it.” The end goal is working with at-risk for individuals and their families, but it’s families or teens in the Providence area. also good for employers and the state as a “Somewhere in that field is where my heart whole.’’ lies,” he says. And he’ll have a hard-won Nash, now 34 and living in Providence, message to impart to the kids he works is grateful she’s part of it. “You can’t be a with: “I want to make them understand how sales associate forever,’’ she says. “I got tough it really is, being out there without a burned out. I wanted more from my life.’’ college education.” It’s a sentiment shared by Domingo —Elizabeth Rau Varella ’15, of Cranston, who was only million people by 2020, Libutti says the population of those who started college but never completed is an important yet often overlooked group.

“I wanted to show my children that I never quit.”


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Guardians of the Grid Two engineering professors are at the forefront of solving cyber threats. Safeguard the country’s power grid from terrorist attack? CHECK. Help people protect their online reputations? CHECK AGAIN. Hackers cost the U.S. economy $24 billion to $120 billion annually. That’s not even counting the threat they pose to vital infrastructure like transportation systems, drinking water and the electric grid. As the University of Rhode Island seeks ways to keep hackers at bay, two electrical and computer engineering professors are tackling the problem from power outlet to Amazon purchase.


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Together, Associate Professor Haibo He and Associate Professor Yan “Lindsay” Sun are encouraging students to confront realworld threats while pursuing research to protect our infrastructure and online reputations. “A lot of people hear these scary cyberattack stories on the news,” Sun says. “As professors, the question we ask ourselves is, how do we protect the community from these attacks?” It starts by teaching the next generation of computer engineers to build more secure systems. Both professors make it a point to discuss the latest threats in class. When

researchers unveiled the Heartbleed Bug in April, Sun rearranged her teaching schedule to present the malware that exposed passwords and other private information. “I asked them to discuss, if you’re a decision maker, what policies are you going to make?” she says. Her students proposed keeping the bug’s existence hidden from the public. However, they would fix the ­problem covertly by including a patch in ­inconspicuous software updates. By limiting the updates to U.S. computers, ­American ­consumers would be protected but national security agencies could exploit the flaw against enemies.

“I’m very proud of them,” Sun says. “It shows they learned that you have to think about cybersecurity not only from a consumer’s point of view.” Engineers are increasingly faced with the intersection of policy, implementation and national security. The challenge of balancing those while protecting American consumers is no easy task; today it’s hard to find a device that does not connect to the Internet. Besides computers and smartphones, we’re linking refrigerators, garage doors, drones, traffic cameras, and even eyeglasses to the World Wide Web. Security experts call it the “Internet of Things.” The two professors call it the “Internet of ­Vulnerability.”

Cybersecurity studies in Tyler Hall on URI’s Kingston Campus this spring.


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The computer monitor in front of Yihai Zhu ’14 shows a map of the San Francisco Bay area, home to some of the country’s most prominent companies and 825,000 people. Zhu, a graduate student in electrical engineering, clicks a substation in ­Berkeley, a bustling city on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. Then he waits. The initial substation turns black. A few moments later, the lines emanating from the station start to turn black one by one. Soon other substations go dark as a major power failure drapes the region in d ­ arkness.

“A coordinated attack could devastate the power grid.” —Haibo He “Recently in the news, they said if you took down nine power substations you could take down the nation’s power grid,” Zhu says. “This may sound ridiculous, but to me it sounds very possible.” Professors He and Sun advise a team of students, including Zhu, studying the emerging threats to critical infrastructure systems reliant on computer controls. By pooling their knowledge of computer networks and power engineering, the duo forms a powerful offense against hackers. “People are really excited to see two fields combine to tackle this very important challenge,” Professor He says. The professor says their work has shown that a coordinated attack could devastate the electric grid. The biggest threat stems from an attack that disables multiple substations and transmission lines in a specific order. If done correctly, the problems would initially be small. By the time operators discovered the attack, it would be too late and a cascading failure would occur. To make matters worse, the built-in “fix” of rerouting power around affected areas would overload systems and create additional damage. Blackouts could last for days or weeks. People would quickly find themselves lacking heating and cooling systems, driving on roadways without traffic lights, and facing an economy crippled by the inability to conduct any online trans­ actions, from processing credit cards to ­buying stocks.

Above: Visualization of the key substations, transmission lines, and power plants in the San Francisco Bay area. At left: Yihai Zhu (left) and Jun Yan (right)

“Hackers will not cause random failures,” Sun says. “They will carefully choose substations and transmission lines. That kind of failure was not considered by traditional power engineers.” Their work has garnered national attention and won research funding from the National Science Foundation. “It’s the next wave of cybersecurity research,” explains Victor Fay-Wolfe, head of the University’s Digital Forensics and Cyber ­Security Center (see Cyber Nexus, page 26).

For electrical engineering graduate student Jun Yan M.S. ’13, riding that wave is a thrill. After completing his master’s degree here in 2013, he stayed on for the doctoral program and a chance to continue studying the security of infrastructure systems. “There is something exciting about the research that gets me,” Yan says. “We are working on theory, models, mathematics. It’s new and it’s not just one discipline.”


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Cyber Nexus On TV crime shows it takes just a few minutes for the geeky lab technician to uncover the damning evidence on the suspect’s computer or stop an attack that could bring down the government. Experts at URI’s ­Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center know that’s far from reality. “It’s never that easy,” Director Victor Fay-Wolfe says. “There are always dead ends that can take days to resolve.” Since 2004, the center has sought to outfox increasingly sophisticated hackers by consulting for police, attorneys and corporations, including the Rhode Island Cyber Disruption Team—the state’s first responders in a major hack to critical infrastucture— and the State Police’s Computer Crimes Unit. Fay-Wolfe, a computer science professor, founded the Center. Faculty and staff now number eight, it serves about 75 ­students annually in academic programs, and it has generated $5 million in grants in the last six years. Researchers have been very successful, Fay-Wolfe says, but there’s one problem they just can’t seem to crack. “On TV shows, they always look a lot younger than we are,” he says with a laugh. —Chris Barrett ’08

Private industry is paying attention. Providence-based Utilidata designs ­systems that make the electric grid more efficient. The company wants to ensure that those efficiency controls do not inadvertently open the grid to attacks. Utilidata Chief Information Security Officer S ­ iobhan MacDermott says the work of academic researchers often proves vital. “Our greatest collaborators come out of universities,” she says. “When you’re working in an academic environment, you’re not constrained in your thinking.” MacDermott says Professor He’s research has already produced a powerful tool in its easy-to-understand modeling (right). Such models help companies like Utilidata explain the threat to policymakers and senior executives who may lack engineering backgrounds. For Utilidata, there is also the appeal of having an expert just 45 minutes away. ­MacDermott says in-person meetings can drive faster innovation and keep the good guys ahead of rapidly ­evolving hacks. And hackers can find new targets on the electric grid. As government officials encourage development of renewable energy systems like solar panels and wind turbines around the country, more access points to the grid appear. The system has become the largest network on the planet. Yet, cybersecurity was not a concern when engineers first built the grid a century ago. Thousands of miles of key transmission lines stand unprotected and chain link fences are the only defense for many substations. Grid computer ­systems were designed for monitoring, not protection. There is hope. Media and congressional attention on the issue motivated federal agencies to start crafting more stringent regulations for protecting the electric grid from physical and cyber attacks. At the University of Rhode Island, work is shifting from analyzing the problem to developing defensive strategies. Traditionally, researchers would conduct an ­experiment, but Professor He notes that he ­can’t shut down a substation to see what

happens. Research is ­relegated to computer models. The ­professor hopes one day to outfit a lab with a small power generator and transmission network. “There is always the question of how close your research is to reality,” He says. “If you could show in a lab that if you switch off this switch or cut this line, here’s what happens—that would be great.” For now, the professor meets with fellow researchers and others in his second floor office in Kelley Hall straddling the ­Engineering Quad. Down one story sits ­Professor Sun, who is building much different computer models.

This “risk graph” is a new way of modeling potential black outs. Nodes with different colors and sizes represent the relative importance of real-world structures such as substations and generators, and the network of lines between them shows how disruptions would propagate through the electrical grid.


Many Internet surfers take online reviews and their corresponding star rankings at face value and assume real people provided honest feedback. The truth is murkier. Online merchants or their hired guns sometimes place false reviews in an effort to boost sales. Professionals take liberties with résumés. Yet these online reputations increasingly drive our decisions about where we spend our money.


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“In the broadest sense, our research will help you establish your cyber reputation, protect it and prevent others from manipulating it,” Sun says. Sun and her students are tackling reputation protection on a number of fronts. She is building a system that automatically scans product reviews­­in the U.S. online retail industry—expected to reach $370 ­billion by 2017—for sham posts. Sun discovered that if reviews lack a pattern, they are probably genuine. Reviews with similar patterns were likely generated by a computer or bulk technique. Sun’s goal is to create a system in which a Web surfer can copy the address of a page containing reviews into an online form and immediately see the legitimacy of the reviews. By using Sun’s work as a foundation, researchers could also analyze the reputations of individuals. Sun sees a day when voters could search for political candidates and, with the help of an online tool, gauge the accuracy of their online reputations. Sun also wants to protect voters who make campaign donations online or ­purchase a bumper sticker with a digital ­wallet. Stored payment information like credit card numbers serves as an attractive target to criminals. Recently, criminals have ­stolen credit card numbers from several major retailers now scrambling to restore their reputations and placate investors. “Last time the target was Target,” Sun says. “There’s a lot of research showing small businesses may have far more problems.” A locally owned coffee shop or corner gas station might be vulnerable because its owners lack the expertise to protect digital systems. Some may not even realize a theft occurred. And small business owners may only compound their problems if they grouse about their vulnerability on social media. Sun says few users realize how quickly their posts can spread across the Internet and garner thousands of views. Her team is developing a system to rank the probability of social media posts developing a life of their own. The ­algorithm will analyze the user’s privacy settings and those of others connected to the post. It will then return a simple number showing the

probability that people outside of your immediate circle may see the post. The ­system will also display the “weakest link,” or the person most likely to be the conduit for additional people to see the post. The system could help social media users keep their posts private and educate parents and children about the reach of an online post. Sun will highlight the topics of online reputations, privacy and security as she helps organize this year’s Honors Colloquium. (See below.) SPANNING DISCIPLINES

Both Sun and He say that to be effective, researchers must reach across traditional academic disciplines. Cybersecurity requires understanding the physical wires and equipment, the latest software, and— yes—human psychology. The University took a major step toward encouraging cross-disciplinary research by establishing the Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center in 2004. Both Sun and He are members of the Center, along with ­professors from computer science and

staff from the University’s Information ­Technology Services. “Because URI has one identity to represent cybersecurity research, you get a lot of voice,” Sun says. “And inside the center, you have different strengths.” The Center and individual professors are finding willing partners. Professor Sun works with researchers at other ­universities and has run a major hacking competition for students across the country. Professor He says because URI was one of the first institutions to study electric grid security, calls are coming from far and wide. Government officials want to see his models, universities are seeking recent Ph.D. graduates to fill ­faculty positions, and conferences want speakers. Private ­industry is also knocking at the door. ­MacDermott, the chief information security officer at Utilidata, says that’s to be expected. “They get to do all the fun thinking,” she says, “and we get to implement the solution.” —Chris Barrett ’08

Join the Discussion HONORS COLLOQUIUM 2014

In the age of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, many feel it’s time for the country to reevaluate the balance between technology’s convenience and its potential for abuse. This fall, the University of Rhode Island’s annual Honors Colloquium will explore just that topic. Cybersecurity and Privacy in the Digital Age kicks off in September and features a series of public talks by experts in the field. “Most people are unaware of the vast amount of personal data about themselves that is available, and how this information is mined by corporations and government agencies to create an amazingly detailed picture of their lives,” says computer science

Professor Ed Lamagna, who is spearheading the Colloquium. “The Colloquium will raise awareness about this loss of privacy, and explore the delicate balance between individual freedom and the need to protect our national security.” Speakers will include U.S. Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.), who co-chairs the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus; James Bamford, an author who has written about the National Security Agency; and Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and author of the best-seller Spying on Democracy. The colloquium is held on the Kingston campus and is free and open to the public. More information at —Chris Barrett ’08


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The Ripple Effect

Leo DiMaio: A remarkable man who, for two decades, was the face of a program that still fights for social justice, one student at a time


he year was 1968. It was a riotous year marked by colors: black, white and red. It was a time of rallies, civil disobedience, war and death. On April 11, just one week after Martin Luther King Jr., was killed in Memphis, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a historic act, saying: “In the Civil Rights Act of 1968 America does move forward and the bell of freedom rings out a little louder. We have come some of the way, not near all of it. There is much yet to do.” Yes, there was much yet to do. The message was heard in Rhode Island. The University—and much of the society around it—was riven by demonstration and dissent. Social change was happening at an unprecedented pace; students wanted to see a better life, in their lifetime. Expanded access to higher education became a focal point for a vast social movement. And URI’s Talent Development Program (TD) was born.

Harold V. Langlois ’67, then 24 years old, had returned to his alma mater with a big dream. With a budget of only $56,000, he founded a six-week summer program that would open the doors for students who wanted to pursue a college education but were in some way unable to gain admission or attend. That first year, 13 students attended. The program “didn’t have to do with color…it had to do with justice. It was a responsibility to represent the unrepresented,” he said later. Langlois made two key hires: The Rev. Arthur L. Hardge, a noted civil rights leader who served as the first director and is commemorated in a statue on campus; and Leo DiMaio Jr., a former prison educator. Known universally as “Mr. D.,” DiMaio was already an integral part of the program when he took the reins as director in 1980, leading it until his retirement in 1998.

DiMaio died at home on February 20, and URI is in mourning. He was blessed with energy, humor, ease of manners, and a singular, unabashed yet unsentimental warmth for the students he worked with. He helped cement a legacy that program graduates affectionately refer to as “TD Nation.” DiMaio had a talent for lasting relationships and was a loyal well-wisher to an unfathomably large and diverse group of people, from all walks of life and in all corners of the globe. His motto was “A friend is a friend is a friend.” In retirement, he created a program called “College Readiness” to provide educational opportunities to a new generation of marginalized youth. There is much yet to do. —Jhodi Redlich

A celebration of DiMaio’s work is planned for October 18. All are invited; details will be publicized early in the fall. Donations in his honor may be made to the DiMaio/Forleo Endowed Scholarship at the URI Foundation. We want your tributes to Mr. D.! Email us at .


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Facts and Figures

“YOU ARE THE SOUL OF THIS NATION. YOU ARE OUR FUTURE. KEEP GOING BY THE WAY. I NEED MY SOCIAL SECURITY.” —Leo DiMaio, addressing the first class of DiMaio Scholars “If I was in Bangkok, Thailand, and someone heard I was from Rhode Island, the first question asked would be: ‘Do you know Leo DiMaio?’”

— Frank Newman, former URI President (deceased)

At 46, Talent Development continues to aggressively recruit Rhode Island students from a variety of backgrounds who show promise but whose overall academic profiles make them ineligible for admission through regular channels.


Students receive ­academic, individual and social mentoring, beginning with an intensive six-week summer program. Most also receive need-based financial aid.

Remembering Mr. D. “Talent Development was born out of struggle. There are a lot of people, like Mr. D., who made it possible. TD changed my life and I urge the University and alumni to continue support for this valuable program. It is truly transformative.”



About 70 percent of current TD staff are graduates of the program. Leadership is well attuned to the strategies, cultural awareness and personal support needed to help students whose hopes of graduation, without program services, would be fragile.

Domingo M

orel ’98

—Domingo Morel ’98, who just received a doctorate in political science from Brown University


“Talent Development and the coaching that was given to me empowered me to move forward, and everything that I am right now, I owe to them. So that’s a big shout-out to my TD family.” —Sixcia Devine ’99, founder and CEO of SIXCIA Business Inc., an international business consulting firm, and a student under DiMaio’s leadership “I was not doing so well my sophomore year, and I found myself summoned to Mr. D’s office. That conversation changed my life. He energized me to be my best, he gave me the support and encouragement I needed, and in typical Mr. D. style, he put the fear of God in me. I was going to improve, I was going to graduate college and I was going to succeed. TD changed my life and my family’s trajectory.”

Sixcia Devine ’99

Many program graduates participate in the Alumni Association’s Alumni of Color Network, founded in 2007. The network provides professional and personal development, networking, advocacy, and community-building opportunities for members and current students.


This year, a new class of 600 students was accepted, bringing current enrollment to its highest number to date: 1,300.

—Victor Capellan ’92, M.S. ’96, M.Ed. ’02, deputy superintendent of schools for Central Falls, R.I.

Victor Cap

ellan ’92, M

.S. ’96, M.E

d. ’02


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Above: Gregg Friedman ’89 at the Northern California annual lobster bake. Take a peek at some of our upcoming chapter events— the Alumni Association has chapters all over the country, and we’d love to see you when we come to your hometown or city. If you’re interested in finding out more about these events (or in learning how to start a chapter where you live), visit us online, or contact Shana Greene ’95, M.S. ’97 at or 401.874.2218.

July 12, 2014 Houston Chapter Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros 

September 13, 2014 Northern California Alumni Chapter 19th Annual Lobster Bake

Hey, Lone Star alumni, dig this: We’ve reserved a block of seats overlooking the Red Sox dugout! Don’t miss this chance to cheer on your favorite team (whichever team that happens to be…). Please register by June 23.

A veritable crustacean nation will be on hand for the 19th Annual Lobster Bake at Coyote Point Park in San Mateo, where alumni volunteers will cook and serve up a traditional New England style bake. Enjoy a raffle and network with other alumni and their families.

August 30, 2014 LA Rams Chapter Family Day at the Beach Bring the kids to the Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach for a day of sunshine, swimming, splashing, and more. The site, originally built by William Randolph Hearst, was once a playground for Hollywood’s greatest stars, from Greta Garbo to Clark Gable. This summer, we want you to be the stars of this fun-filled, family friendly event!

December 6, 2014 SW Florida URI Chapter Annual Holiday Luncheon Mark your calendars for SW Florida’s party to end all parties (and this chapter knows a thing or two about how to throw a party), the annual Holiday Luncheon, held this year at the Jacaranda West Country Club in Venice.


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Above: Freewheeling in the Netherlands. See class of ’65



Philip D. Ginsburg, CBA, of New York, N.Y., writes: “Still married.”

Louise R. Berman, HS&S, of Berkeley, Calif., writes: “Claude Trottier ‘60, Janice Lawton Trottier ‘63, Bob Laroche ‘61 and Bob Sawyer ‘60 all found themselves in April on the same biking trip in the Netherlands.”

`56 Eugene Terry Edwards, CELS, of New Fairfield, Conn., writes: “I am in remission after a three-year battle with Stage IV cancer. I am looking forward to the coming farming season and just mailed in my seed order. Last season was one of the better years for growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and squash. We have expanded the growing acreage for our stem flowers: red and yellow twig dogwood; red and yellow winterberry holly; flowering quince; and our number-one item, giant pussy willow. As the saying goes, I hope to “keep on truckin’.”

`68 Louis J. Zanella, CELS, of Warwick, R.I., writes: “Patricia ‘67 and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. Our 8 children and their spouses and 18 grandkids were present. Patricia received her BA in 1954 and MA in 1967. I received my MS in 1967.”

`69 Albert D. Charbonneau, A&S, of Fairport, N.Y., a hospital executive with more than 20 years of experience as the CEO/COO of urban teaching and rural hospitals, has been named executive director of

the Rhode Island Business Group on Health. In the early part of his career, Charbonneau was one of the hospital CEOs participating in the Hospital Experimental Payment program, a globally budgeted payment experiment that resulted in health insurance premiums that were one-third lower than the national average. In the latter part of his career, he was the founding CEO of the Rochester Health Commission that called for and led a summit on improving the performance of Rochester’s health care system. Craig S. Stenning, A&S, of West Kingston, R.I., was honored by the Coalition to End Homelessness with the Sen. Jack Reed Advocacy Award. Stenning is Director of the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.


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Hit a Home Run for Your Family: URI Night with the PawSox!

`72 Robert A. Swanson, CBA, of Centerville, Mass., is now USA Administrator for Emoyeni, a mission in the Republic of South Africa, and has published The Bible Reader’s Companion, available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions: 1,375 entries toward an interactive and enjoyable reading of Scripture. He and Heather have three children and ten grandchildren. Gale Schneider Woolley, NUR, of Hialeah, Fla., writes: “I was appointed as associate dean in the College of Nursing, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.”

`74 Thomas J. Yeomans, HS&S, of Garden Grove, Calif., writes: “Retired and now residing in Kihei, on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Contacts: SkinnyKing Videos on YouTube; 714-299-3880.”

`76 Margaret Conaty, HS&S, of Hingham, Mass., was just named Athletic Director of The Year for Massachusetts. Recently, she was recognized in Rhode Island for her accomplishments in high school sports.


August 22, 2014 McCoy Stadium Don’t miss our annual family night with the PawSox! There’ll be plenty of pregame fun, boatloads of BBQ, and a raffle for great Rhody prizes. Afterwards, watch the PawSox take on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Presented by the URI Alumni Association. For more information, please contact Chris DiSano at 401.874.4536 or 32  QUADANGLES  SUMMER 2014

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Thomas E. Bigford, A&S, of Silver Spring, Md., writes: “I had to chuckle at the “You Tell Us” on page 3 of the latest QuadAngles. I also went to Michigan State University for my undergraduate degree before arriving in Kingston for my masters in Zoology and Marine Affairs. I would have loved it if my rentals had been MSU green and white or Rhody blue instead of off-season gray. Now my Maryland home is brick, which few people paint down this way. We do fly our MSU and URI flags depending on the occasion!”

`79 William J. Garrick, HS&S, of Palm Springs, Calif., has been promoted to vice president and chief learning officer of learning services at OptumRX, a United HealthCare Company. OptumRx is part of Optum, a leading health services business.

`81 Frederick J. Stielow, A&S, vice president and dean of libraries, electronic course materials and APUS ePress at the American Public University System, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award. This annual award, sponsored by Routledge/ Taylor & Francis Group, and administrated by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Distance Learning Section, honors an ACRL member working in the field

of, or contributing to, the success of distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education.

`84 Michael D. Sullivan, A&S, of Middletown, R.I., Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) computer scientist, was awarded the Tamandaré Medal during a ceremony at the Brazilian Naval Commission in Washington, D.C. Sullivan was one of four NUWC employees presented with the award. Comparable to the U.S. Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Brazilian Tamandaré Medal is awarded to Brazilian military personnel, civilians, or foreign authorities, institutions, and civilian and military dignitaries who have rendered distinguished service to the Brazilian Navy.

`86 Robin J. Weber, HS&S, of Medway, Mass., writes: “I started a local wine import company (Dos Familias Wine Imports, Inc.) in Medway, Mass., in 2009. Each customer I approached had the same response: “I would love to bring your wines into my store—but I just don’t have the room.” So I designed WeberWineStax. First came the tower, a sturdy freestanding unit that holds/displays up to 72 bottles of wine in a little more than one square foot of precious floor space. Next came the swivel-based end table that holds 24 bottles. Wine Enthusiast Magazine features and sells my end table. I use local business (wood/manufacturing from AList in Whitensville and glass tops from Franklin Glass). My products are proudly designed & made in Massachusetts.”

`87 Andrew E. Nota, CBA, of Narragansett, R.I., was appointed the new town administrator in Jamestown in March. Previously, he was director of administrative services in South Kingstown from 2009, and served as that town’s director of leisure services for five years prior to that. He also has served on numerous town boards and committees. “Jamestown is a community rich in history,” he said, “and one that I feel is a good fit for me and my collaborative approach to municipal management.”

`88 Robert J. Alvine, CBA, of Shelton, Conn., writes: “Expanded the Premier Auto Group, located in Branford, Conn., by acquiring a Subaru and Volvo dealership in Watertown, Conn. Now the Premier Auto Group owns two Subaru dealerships, a Kia dealership, and a Volvo dealership in both Branford and Watertown.”


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CLOSEUP Sunshine Menezes Ph.D. ’05 Day Job / Night Job Two years ago, Sunshine Menezes— executive director of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography’s Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting—attended a Texas conference and suddenly found a new dream: becoming a Western swing singer and songwriter. She knew little about the genre, but no matter; it was love. She juggled lessons in singing, songwriting and guitar with her day job improving national environmental news coverage, and this spring traveled to Dallas to record a five-song album with local musicians at a cattle ranch. Her band’s name? Shiner and her Lucky Pennies. “There’s a great deal that can be accomplished,” she says, “if you give yourself the time and space to develop a skill.” More: —Courtney Coelho PHOTOS | URI.EDU/QUADANGLES


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Daniel J. Mitchell, A&S, of Scarborough, Maine, attorney, was recently named one of the top influencers for 2014 by BankInfoSecurity for his representation of PATCO construction before a federal appeals court case against People’s United Bank. As a leading legal expert, Dan helped transform the ways that courts evaluate banking institutions’ security measures. The list was based not only on the impact of each individual and organization in 2013, but also on their anticipated impact in 2014.


Managing Your Career June 26, 2014 7–8 p.m. A Free Career Services Webinar for URI Alumni

“Managing Your Career” will introduce you to a simple model that will enable you to conduct crucial maintenance to protect, nurture, and further your career. Whether you’re new to the workforce or have been in the same job for 15 years, the tangible tools and tips that you’ll receive at this webinar will help you keep your goals in focus and your career on track. Throughout the webinar, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a Question and Answer dialogue with the session’s hosts.

Register at Future Webinars: Ideas and Experts Wanted If you have a particular topic that you would like to see addressed in future alumni webinars, or if you’re interested in presenting a career-related webinar, we’d love to hear from you! Find out more at careerservices or by contacting Marie R. Geary at mrgeary@et


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About Alumni Career Services Confidential career counseling is available, at no cost, to all URI alumni. You have the option of making an appointment to see us on the URI Kingston Campus or setting up a telephone consultation during evenings and weekends. Your Alumni Career Advisors: 401.874.9404 Marie R. Geary, Karen Rubano,

Attention Recent Graduates! If you graduated within the last year, you may make an appointment with a career advisor by using your RhodyNet account.

Eileen E. Slovak, A&S, writes: I am a proud R.I. native, currently living in Maryland. I am a former account executive and stay-at-home mom turned writer. I just published my first novel on, Secret Agent of God, which is available in print and as an e-book. As an English major at URI, I looked forward to fulfilling my publishing goal ever since hearing alumna guest speaker Ann Hood ‘78. Sitting in the audience, listening to Ms. Hood tell her story was an inspiration I will always remember. No matter where my future journey leads, URI gave me my beginning.”

`95 Amy B. Hood, CELS, of Charlestown, R.I., publishes Art Together, an e-zine of artistic inspiration for children and adults, available at amyhoodarts. com/art-together. She is also the art columnist for Home/School/Life Magazine, premiering in spring 2014. Noreen M. Inglesi, A&S, of Cranston, R.I., elementary school music teacher nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2008 for her work in North Providence, composed two of the five ballets, Dance of the Firefly and Heghnar & Buck, in a program directed by Herci Marsden on March 22 at Rhode Island College. Inglesi was also an artist-in-residence for Notable Works Publication and Distribution Co. Inc. Dance of the Firefly was voted “Best Dance Production of 2013” by Motif Magazine after its premiere in May 2013 at the R.I. State Ballet’s 10th annual Partner with the Arts event in Lincoln. At URI, where Inglesi received both a bachelor of fine arts and a master’s in music education and composition, she was voted All American Scholar and earned membership into the Phi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and the Golden Key National Honor Society.

`97 James G. Marini, CBA, of Lincoln, R.I., writes: “I was promoted to director of sales for the United States and Canada with Amtrak Vacations. My brother Frank ’94 and I are both now working together at one of the


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ally and overseas. One international project took Berger to Christchurch, New Zealand, following the devastating 2011 earthquake. After an interview on Skype, Berger and his team flew to South Island, where they developed preliminary designs, including plans for new parks where buildings were so badly damaged they couldn’t be rebuilt. Berger’s company also gives back: A portion of every project is donated to The Happiness Assembly, a women-led NGO dedicated to prioritizing happiness for everybody across the globe. The nonprofit is partially funded by the United Nations Foundation. By researching happiness, it curates campaigns to inspire people to strive for a more joyful world.

most recognizable brands in the world. Frank is currently president of Amtrak Vacations and I joined the company this past fall from Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean to take over as director of sales. I was previously the New England manager where I was ranked #1 on the President’s Club Report for the U.S. My brother and I have accomplished something very special from our days at URI. We both are in very high level roles, working for a multi-million dollar company, have traveled the world, are from the little state of Rhode Island and, most importantly—we are both URI graduates!”

`99 Jennifer R. De Oliveira, CBA, of East Providence, R.I., was promoted to supervisor at BlumShapiro, the largest regional accounting, tax and business consulting firm based in New England with offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

`01 Gianfranco Chicarella, ENG, of North Providence, R.I., was named national sales manager at Toray. He joined Toray in 2000 as an engineering intern and signed on full-time in 2001 as a process engineer in the Lumirror Division. In 2010, he shifted back to the Torayfan Division as a product manager and then as a business manager.

`06 Seth A. Finkle, A&S, of Providence, R.I., writes: “I work with another URI Theatre graduate, Josh Short ‘08. Josh started a small theatre company a few years ago called The Wilbury Group. I came on board last year as his education director and production manager. Our home is in the South Side Cultural Center on Broad Street in Providence. Several other URI grads are also working here!”

WEDDINGS Jonathan E. Mitchell ‘87 to Pauline A. Villarico, on March 12, 2014. Alisha ’05 and Kyle ’06 Hicks welcomed their daughter, Avery Adair Hicks, on March 17, 2014.

`10 Mary-Kate Curtis, CBA, of North Attleboro, Mass., Senior Accountant, earned her CPA in February of 2014, and was recognized for this achievement on Tuesday, April 22, at the Rhode Island Society’s (RISCPA) 2014 Recognition Reception. MaryKate provides audit and consulting services to a wide variety of her firm’s clients in private industry. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Providence College, and is expected to graduate summer, 2014. Gail Stokes, A&S, of Jamestown, R.I., has been appointed the new youth services librarian at the Auburn branch of the Cranston Public Library.

Gail had been youth services librarian at the Mount Pleasant branch of Providence Community Library since 2010. In her new role, Gail will oversee programming and collections for children and teens. She takes over from Stefanie Blankenship ’08, who was recently appointed branch librarian at the library’s Oaklawn branch.

`13 Matthew R. Berger, CELS, is a principal of Jamestown Gardens in Jamestown, R.I., founded last summer, While studying landscape design at URI, Berger interned for architects. Since graduating, the Jamestown resident has designed gardens locally, region-

John M. Counts ‘00 to Jillian C. Kingsley, on September 1, 2013. Jennifer M. Wendell ‘04 to Stanley Kosek, on March 8, 2014. Amber E. Eaton ‘07 to Cliff Smith, on August 24, 2013. Mario L. Grande ‘07 to Elizabeth J. Durant, on August 17, 2013. Dianna Schoder ‘07 to Andrew Finan ‘07, on March 1, 2014. Brooke M. Konkle ‘11 to Admed Sdiri, on February 14, 2014.

BIRTHS Kevin O’Connor ‘03 and Michelle Stone ‘04, a son, Ryan Dylan, on June 23, 2013. Christopher and Pamela Harley ‘05, a daughter, Samantha Grace, on September 7, 2013.

`07 Giovanni J. Marin, A&S, of North Providence, R.I., has been named to Verizon Wireless’s prestigious President’s Cabinet, an honor reserved for those performing in the top 1 percent nationally in sales during 2013. As one of the company’s top performers among its more than 28,500 salespeople nationwide, Marin earned this distinction by demonstrating exceptional sales leadership and delivering an outstanding customer experience.

`08 Shannon P. Campbell, A&S, of Cranston, R.I., joined the Fund for UCAP as director of development last spring. Previously, she worked in fundraising at Brown University and had been a legal assistant at Barton Gilman LLP.

A GIFT THAT LASTS A LIFETIME! To order a brick or for more information:  or  401.874.2218

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


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A Special Message to the Class of 2014 Dear Class of 2014, We are positively thrilled to congratulate you on your new status as URI alumni! It seems like just yesterday you were adorably confused freshmen… We’re really going to miss seeing you on campus next fall, but we hope you know that you will always be an important part of the URI community. You’ve probably heard us mention this a few times in the past couple of months, but the best way to stay connected with URI is by joining the Alumni Association. Your first year’s membership is free (you knew that, right?), and the benefits of membership are countless—you’ll get amazing discounts on all sorts of great stuff and invitations to parties and networking events. All you have to do now is register so we can send you your free membership card. Just go to and click the Class of 2014 link. So, hurry up and register. The year ahead is going to be a great one, and we want you to be part of it! — Your friends at URI Alumni Association


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.

IN MEMORIAM Ruth Briggs Walker ‘41 of South Orleans, Mass., on April 18, 2014. Dexter Picozzi ‘42 of Redding, Conn., on March 8, 2014. Louise Mason Heckman ‘43 of Merritt Island, Fla., on February 26, 2014. Douglas Hunter ‘43 of East Greenwich, R.I., on March 28, 2014. Betty Martin Lees ‘43 of Manville, R.I., on March 18, 2014.

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.

George Rice ‘46 of Williamsburg, Va., on February 15, 2014.

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.

Charlotte Nock Morpeth ‘48 of Pompano Beach, Fla., on April 3, 2014.

For more information about becoming an Alumni Admission Representative, contact Ray Kung at 401.874.4903.


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Richard Cole ‘48 of Springfield, Pa., on April 20, 2014. E. James Hrubes ‘48 of Woodstown, N.J., on April 12, 2014.

Doris Catanio Roderick ‘48 of East Greenwich, R.I., on April 8, 2014. Jean Bestel ‘49 of Wrentham, Mass., on October 4, 2013. Robert Lentilhon ‘49 of Palm Coast, Fla., on April 19, 2014.

Warren Newall ‘49 of Santa Ana, Calif., on November 27, 2012. John Dudenhoefer ‘50 of Naples, Fla., on November 12, 2013. Herbert Kuhl ‘50 of Spring Lake, N.J., on March 23, 2014. Charles Stearns ‘50 of East Longmeadow, Mass., on April 24, 2014. Gerald Sherlock ‘51 of South Berwick, Maine, on December 2, 2013. Robert Shevlin ‘51 of La Mesa, Calif., on February 19, 2014. Alexander Stowe ‘51 of Prudence Island, R.I., on April 2, 2014. John Hird ‘52 of Sykesville, Md., on May 1, 2013. Morris Levin ‘52 of Narragansett, R.I., on March 28, 2014. Edward Fuller ‘53 of Reading, Mass., on October 18, 2013. Saul Strauch ‘53 of Bethesda, Md., on May 11, 2012. Robert Caswell ‘54 of Laconia, N.H., on March 5, 2014. Elmer Lightbourne ‘54 of Columbus, Ohio, on March 5, 2014. PHOTOS: ISTOCK.COM, NORA LEWIS, PIPPA JACK

5/27/14 10:11 AM

CLOSEUP Henry Gauthier ’74 Wind in His Sails Henry Gauthier’s passions have tacked and swelled through the years, carrying him from Bullocks Cove, Riverside, through a business degree and a career in architectural woodwork, and most recently washing ashore at the Providence Art Club. There, the Wickford, R.I., resident won a prestigious national sculpture prize this spring. Retirement was supposed to be about flipping houses. But two years ago he set out to carve his wife a gift, and set a new course. Now a scrap of figured mahogany, a spray of white coral or an old ice skate whisper to him of a different, more nautical life. His sculptures move, should they ever need to take the wind; found objects become base and boat, while Gauthier’s chisel finds the sail hidden in beech or yellow pine. “URI,” he reflects, “tuned me up to make creative connections.” Studio 460 Gallery, 460 Tower Hill Road, Wickford, R.I., 401.640.9435,

—Pippa Jack


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2014 Legacy Family Brunch The generation gap was nowhere to be seen at our annual Legacy Brunch, which honors families that include two or more generations of URI students. The brunch was held at the Alumni Center during Commencement Weekend, and our graduating legacy seniors received their legacy pins and picture frames, along with plenty of face time with Rhody (and their proud families)!

Barbara Dubey Bergen ‘68 of Manalapan, N.J., on December 31, 2013.

Barbara Bellows Rigney ‘72 of Narragansett, R.I., on April 7, 2014.

Bernard Casey ‘55 of Jamestown, R.I., on March 30, 2014.

Richard Gleason ‘61 of North Kingstown, R.I., on April 12, 2014.

Marguerite Gilchrist ‘55 of Suffield, Conn., on February 13, 2014.

Susan Leighton Collom ‘62 of Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 3, 2014.

Savino Salerno ‘55 of Providence, R.I., on April 26, 2014.

Roger Dederer ‘62 of Hyde Park, N.Y., on December 10, 2013.

Joel Schnitzer ‘55 of Lakewood, N.J., on April 1, 2014.

Barbara DelSesto Remor ‘62 of Swansea, Mass., on April 3, 2014.

Joseph Bourrand ‘57 of Oklahoma City, Okla., on December 24, 2013.

Stephan Selig ‘62 of Boca Raton, Fla., on May 13, 2013.

June Tate Griffin ‘57 of Wake Forest, N.C., on March 12, 2014.

Charles Goyette ‘63 of Atlantic Beach, Fla., on April 4, 2014.

William Dooley ‘58 of Titusville, Fla., on March 5, 2014.

Barbara Cohen Helmbrecht ‘63 of Middletown, R.I., on April 7, 2014.

Donna Costigan Triangolo ‘70 of Cumberland, R.I., on February 27, 2014.

Donald Gowdy ‘58 of Wilmington, N.C., on April 27, 2012.

Carole Levine Rogers ‘63 of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on March 3, 2014.

Howard Brown ‘71 of East Greenwich, R.I., on March 6, 2014.

Phyllis Carlson Hevenor ‘79 of Warwick, R.I., on March 18, 2014.

Pearl Landry Scagos ‘71 of Barrington, R.I., on March 17, 2014.

William Safranek ‘79 of Cocoa, Fla., on February 17, 2014.

Ernest Silva ‘71 of San Diego, Calif., on February 24, 2014.

John Dando ‘80 of Memphis, Tenn., on March 7, 2014.

Thomas Alquist ‘72 of Oakdale, Conn., on March 10, 2014.

Tom Loutit ‘81 of Austrailia, , on October 10, 2013.

Brian Crete ‘72 of Fairhaven, Mass., on March 16, 2014.

Gail Fisher ‘82 of Coventry, R.I., on February 26, 2014.

Joseph Fitzpatrick ‘72 of Dorchester, Mass., on March 12, 2014.

Gary Anderson ‘84 of North Kingstown, R.I., on February 24, 2014.

James Munro ‘58 of Wakefield, R.I., on April 6, 2014. Robert Peltier ‘59 of Coventry, R.I., on March 6, 2014. Daniel Pendergast ‘59 of Warwick, R.I., on April 27, 2014. Edward Saddow ‘60 of Englewood, Fla., on February 28, 2014. Wallace Walker ‘60 of Cana, Va., on February 14, 2014.


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Paul Hansen ‘64 of Burnt Hills, N.Y., on February 15, 2012. Celestino Medeiros ‘64 of West Warwick, R.I., on March 8, 2014. Catherine Allen Bartsch ‘65 of Petersburg, Va., on March 10, 2014. Eileen Grundy Conboy ‘66 o f Riverside, R.I., on April 8, 2014. David Carreau ‘67 of Hyland Heights, Ky., on March 7, 2014.

Frank Delloiacono ‘68 of Vernon Rockville, Conn., on February 20, 2014. Richard Brownell ‘69 of Portsmouth, R.I., on November 30, 2013. O Muriel Labrie ‘69 of Keene, N.H., on September 6, 2013. Maurice Nadeau ‘69 of Portsmouth, R.I., on September 9, 2013.

Kou Chang ‘73 of Gainesville, Fla., on January 16, 2014. Barbara Duffy Fay ‘73 of Narragansett, R.I., on April 22, 2014. Ilene Browne Tobey ‘73 of Oakdale, Conn., on July 11, 2012. Joseph Wisniewski ‘75 of Westport, Mass., on March 23, 2014. Paula Salvo ‘78 of Providence, R.I., on April 19, 2014. Christine Bonci ‘79 of Austin, Texas, on March 7, 2014.


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ALUMNISCENE March 27, 2014 Alumni of Color Network Event: Spring 2014 Alumni Panel “The mentoring I received at URI’s Talent Development program ultimately transformed my life for the better. Every one of us has a wealth of knowledge, expertise and wisdom that, when passed on, makes everyone’s life journey significantly better. I am grateful to be able to give back.” —Sixcia Devine ’99, ACN event panelist and CEO, Sixcia Business Consulting

April 12, 2014 Young Alumni Service Day: Earth Day Cleanup at Save the Bay

Marie Tinsley Barylick ‘86 of Providence, R.I., on April 23, 2014. John Davis ‘86 of Swansea, Mass., on March 24, 2014. Edna Graham Anness ‘87 of Rumford, R.I., on March 11, 2014. Lorraine Gladu Roberts ‘89 of North Smithfield, R.I., on March 5, 2014. Frederick Decesaris ‘91 of Stuart, Fla., on March 8, 2014. Nancy Randall Harnett ‘93 of Jefferson, Maine, on April 5, 2014. Julie Swistak Maloney ‘93 of Saunderstown, R.I., on March 17, 2014. Deborah Audette Finnegan ‘01 of Cranston, R.I., on February 25, 2014.

IN MEMORIAM FACULTY AND STAFF Professor Emeritus of Economics Elton Rayack, of South Kingstown, R.I., on March 26, 2014.

“Participating in the Earth Day Cleanup event with members of our alumni group was really rewarding. We collaborated with students and alumni from other Rhode Island schools, as well as community members, to improve the state of our state. We were glad to represent URI, and we had a lot of fun while making a difference!” —Bobby Randall ’10 (right)

April 24, 2014 Business After Hours: How You Can Benefit from LinkedIn “The event was a huge success. The alumni that came to our LinkedIn office in NYC represented a nice range of professional fields. It was a great opportunity to network with fellow alumni, while showing them how to use the most powerful networking tool available. I was honored to be a part of this event with my LinkedIn colleagues Chris Thomas ’96 and Bryan Anthony ’06.” —Chris Keneally ’95, LinkedIn account executive

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 alumni@ Find out about upcoming alumni events: UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND 39 

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New Heights Forget living close to the edge. Seek out the edge itself—and see how you, and your team, handle it “The wall crushes a lot of egos,” says Alison Jackson Frasier ‘04 cheerfully. She’s a coordinator in the Center for Student Leadership Development, a small, upbeat woman with a casually confident manner who tears herself away from her leadership minor students to show off the new indoor climbing wall on North Road. “We’ve had 5-year-olds make it to the top, and college athletes struggle,” she adds, as she surveys the 38-foot-tall wall. “It’s always surprising.” Ego-crushing, she is quick to explain, is not what the climbing wall is about—it’s about building things, like self-confidence, community, and the ability to ask for and accept help. Sure, with five belay stations assigned to climbs of varying difficulty—from a gentle incline to a steep overhang—and other elements like rope ladders, moments of stress are to be expected. But that’s how adventure-based learning works. Funded by the Student Senate and occupying an oddly shaped building that looks like half a gambrel barn, the facility is the latest addition to the center’s North Woods Challenge Course. Besides student groups, it attracts corporate team-builders, high-wire scout troops and middle schoolers working the zip line. They’re assisted by rigorously trained student and staff facilitators. “Balancing appropriate encouragement and challenge to people who are out of their comfort zone takes skill,” says Frasier. “Everyone learns a lot about themselves and how they interact with the world in here. And now we can do it year round. It’s a phenomenal opportunity that few campuses offer.” The only group that hasn’t used the climbing wall yet? Alumni. “I’d love to see them here,” she says. —Pippa Jack

The URI North Woods Challenge Course has been growing since 2002 and includes a zipline and outdoor climbing challenges.

For more information on programs and fees, go to


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BECOME A WEAPON IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER. Eily Cournoyer ’13 has had the same big idea since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 8: to be a pediatric oncologist. The Portsmouth, R.I., native started working toward that goal in URI’s chemical

engineering and biology programs, where she got all the hands-on cancer-treatment research and internship experience she needed to win several highly selective national awards. Now, she’s in London on a Fulbright award, studying how to improve stem cell transplants for blood cancers—another big step closer to her goal.

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

Nonprofit PRST STD US Postage PAID Permit No. 915 Lebanon Junction, KY

G N I M O C E M HO 4 1 0 2

Plan a g min Homeco ffinity rA Class o his year! t Reunion ssociation ni A URI Alum .2242 401.874

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October 24–26 5/27/14 10:27 AM

URI QuadAngles Summer 2014  

The University of Rhode Island Alumni Magazine Summer 2014

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