BRISTOL, R.I. – On Saturday, May 16, the Roger Williams University Class of 2015 students completed the traditional crossing of the Commencement stage to receive their hard-earned degrees. Joining them was honorary degree recipient and keynote speaker, Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author on New England’s early history, from the Mayflower to the Battle of Bunker Hill. University Trustee and President of Samsung Electronics America Tim Baxter ’83 was also awarded an honorary degree.
A day earlier, the Honorable Roderick L. Ireland, the recently retired Massachusetts Supreme Court chief justice who was the first African-American appointed to the state’s centuries-old bench, addressed the RWU Law graduating class in a separate ceremony on the Bristol campus.
Please see the following stories, slideshows and other coverage related to this year’s exercises:
BRISTOL, R.I. – With his eyes on the prize of a Fulbright award at the culmination of his undergraduate career at Roger Williams University, Anthony Salazar ’15 learned just six days before Commencement that his hard work and dedication have in fact earned him the distinction of Fulbright Scholar.
An international relations and German major, Salazar was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to teach English to primary or secondary schoolchildren in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, a mountainous region in the southwestern part of the country that borders France, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Salazar is the fourth Roger Williams student in the past decade to receive a Fulbright Scholarship. A highly competitive and prestigious honor, the Fulbright Program awarded only 20 percent of nearly 5,000 applicants an English Teaching Assistant grant this year.
“I’ve been working hard with a Fulbright Scholarship in mind for the past four years; it’s been a lot of motivation to perform exceptionally well academically,” says Salazar, who leaves in late August to spend a year in Germany.
BRISTOL, R.I. – Ryan Monahan ’15 is just days away from graduating, but has a lot more on his plate than final exams – and a lot more on his résumé than the average student’s work study job. An English major and educational studies minor, Monahan has already established a professional portfolio of research and literature even before receiving his bachelor’s degree. With his eye on improving the future of the American public school system, he’ll first detour to Japan where he will teach English to Japanese schoolchildren.
“In the education program we talk about how to teach students, as well as the idea that teachers are also learning from their students through their interactions,” says Monahan. “I believe that I’ll learn a lot by teaching in public schools and even more by teaching in a new country – being exposed to a totally new culture and completely new area of the world to me.”
BRISTOL, R.I. – Recognized across campus for years as a welcoming mentor helping new students acclimate to campus, Yusuf Richie Afifi will now salute his fellow graduating seniors with a fond farewell as student speaker during Commencement exercises on May 16.
A biology and chemistry major from Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Afifi – who hopes to attend medical school after graduation – was selected as the student commencement speaker after several rounds of auditions. When he wasn’t elbows-deep in experiments in the chemistry lab, Afifi has worked behind the scenes to create many successful student events as member of the Inter-Class Council (where he worked his way up from class officer to executive council), helped hand-craft the University’s award-winning float for the Bristol Fourth of July Parade, and thrived on the rugby field among teammates he calls “a brotherhood like no other.”
The Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition invites you to the Spring 2015 Celebration of Writing. Students and instructors from all WTNG course levels will be on hand to discuss writing in process and showcase some of their products. We invite everyone to be a part of the celebration of academic, public, and professional writing. Please contact Nancy Nester, Chair of the Celebration of Writing Committee, at email@example.com for more information.
BRISTOL, R.I. – Arriving at the table with widely different experiences in performing their art, two-time RWU slam poetry champ Jared Clough and Tony-nominated spoken-word poet Staceyann Chin sat down together last week for a conversation that explored the universal truths of expressing the human condition through poetry.
In the midst of a day filled with events, all part of a month-long celebration of poetry, diversity and inclusion at RWU, Clough – a sophomore creative writing major and burgeoning slam poet – and Chin shared their approaches to writing and performing poetry in a dialogue for PDQ@RWU.
BRISTOL, R.I. – For her advocacy work to free imprisoned scholars around the world, graduating senior Ashley Barton has been honored as a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow, a prestigious award recognizing a select group of student leaders who create lasting change in communities throughout the country and around the globe.