BRISTOL, R.I. -- Sitting at a corner table in the Lower Commons sipping an iced coffee just ahead of final exams, Clare Harmon ’13 looks at ease – a college senior in her element, confident and comfortable on the campus she has come to call home. A face-splitting smile is awarded anyone who greets her or stops to say hello.
It wasn’t always this way. Harmon is quick to share how shy she was as a freshman – “I was so awkward!” she exclaims with a roll of her eyes and a clipped giggle. Self-admittedly, Harmon would do everything she could to hide herself among hordes of other students, trying her hardest to be unseen. Not an easy feat when you are 5-foot-10 with bright eyes and a cascade of chestnut hair.
BRISTOL, R.I. – Four years ago, Bre’Anna Metts-Nixon ’13 sat next to her mother, Christina, in their Providence home holding a piece of paper that would change her life. As they read aloud the letter of acceptance to Roger Williams University – complete with a combination of financial aid that would cover the cost of her entire college education – the two women were overwhelmed with emotion.
“We just started crying before I even got the word ‘congratulations’ out of my mouth. She was jumping around and screaming. She just couldn’t believe that her only child was going to college and actually was going to make a difference,” recalls Metts-Nixon. “We had never seen this amount of money offered to anyone in our family to succeed and get as close to our dreams as possible.”
This Saturday, she will have in hand another piece of paper to put her another step closer to her dream of becoming a music industry executive – specifically, she wants to become chief operating officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
BRISTOL, R.I. – It’s the question that nearly every undergraduate is asked at least a hundred times before they graduate: “What’s your major?”
Less often are they asked what their passion is. Perhaps because, for many of them, it’s much more challenging to determine what it is they want to dedicate their life to than what they want to study for four years. Such was the case for Emily D’Iorio ’13, who spent the first three years of college searching for a way to join her passion for service with her academic interests in anthropology and sociology. As a member of the Roger Williams University chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and eventually a member of it’s executive board, D’Iorio saw firsthand the impact of inadequate housing on families in low-income communities – still, halfway through her junior year she struggled to find that intersection. It wasn’t until last spring, when she took the Essentials of Public Health course with Associate Professor of Biology Kerri Warren, that D’Iorio found her calling.
BRISTOL, R.I. — When a homesick high school volunteer cries on her shoulder over the difficulty of transitioning to living with a host family in a foreign country, Laura Dushkin knows how to help the youngsters through it and learn to embrace their new surroundings and opportunities. She’s been in their shoes.
Since she was 16, Dushkin has spent many summers volunteering with Amigos de las Americas, a nonprofit organization that sends American high school students to Latin American countries to engage in community development projects, cultural exchange and youth leadership training. Dushkin, who attended high school in San Diego, Calif., has worked at sites in Honduras and Ecuador on both a volunteer and professional basis, eventually serving as a project supervisor. Upon graduation this Saturday, she will be promoted to senior project supervisor in Costa Rica.
As students across the country struggle with rising college costs and a looming deadline to prevent a student loan rate hike is just two months away, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will join Roger Williams University faculty and students to call for action and outline new solutions to the student debt crisis.
The current fixed interest rate on need-based Stafford federal subsidized loans is 3.4 percent, but that rate will double to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2013, unless Congress takes action. That jump could mean an increase of thousands of dollars over a 10-year repayment period for borrowers who rely most on federal student loans. However, Congress is not expected to begin consideration of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the primary law governing federal investment in higher education, until after the “doubling” deadline.
Event open to all students, faculty and staff on campus.
BRISTOL, R.I. – It could be argued that every day at a university is a celebration of academic ardor. With that guiding sentiment, Roger Williams University is set to kick off a weeklong salute to students and their scholastic successes with first annual Student Academic Showcase and Honors (SASH) program.
“SASH is about celebrating student achievement and having their voices heard,” said Dean Peter Deekle, who serves as advisor to the Honors Program at RWU in addition to his duties as head of the University Library.
BRISTOL, R.I. -- Public health is the most interdisciplinary of fields, encompassing everything from biology, anthropology and statistics to environmental science, communications and more. And it’s a field that finds itself at the center of contemporary public discourse as the nation debates how to keep people healthy, how to deliver care when they fall ill and how to cope with costs.
This fall, Roger Williams University launched an interdisciplinary public health minor for students interested in exploring ways to protect and improve the health of individuals and communities. The minor includes a new course titled Public Health Essentials, which touches on such topics as public health assessment, policy development and health promotion education.
The cover story of the Spring 2013 issue of RWU Magazine featured the Rhode Island Oyster Gardening for Restoration and Enhancement program (or RI-OGRE) launched by the Center for Economic and Environmental Development at Roger Williams University in 2006.
Each summer, nearly 100 volunteers babysit juvenile oysters spawned in the Luther H. Blount Shellfish Hatchery until the oysters are hearty enough to take on the wild, unassisted, when they are transferred to one of 10 designated sanctuary sites across the state.
You can read the complete feature article here. This page offers a few more facts, figures and photographs that illustrate the Oyster Gardening program’s impact to date.
Go Figure! Shellfish Aquaculture for Consumption & Restoration
Last January, Chelsea Silva ’14 joined Becky Spritz, associate professor of psychology, and 13 fellow students in a course-based, global service trip focused on mental health issues that teachers face in schools near the rural community of Petersfield, Jamaica. She shares details with Don Farish, who offers his take on how such experiences complement classroom education at Roger Williams.
A year ago, this trip started with a question: How can we create a true international learning experience in Jamaica in which students get more than the tourist treatment and earn course credit for their work rather than doing it as a volunteer activity? The idea was to offer students the opportunity to interact with a society quite different from our own, where people are facing the same kinds of issues we might face here, but having to resolve them in very different ways. So, Chelsea, as one of the early experimenters – our guinea pig, I suppose – how did it work out?
UPDATE: Katie Wilson finished the Boston Marathon at 2:47:59 P.M. with an official race time of 4:00:33. She is safe and accounted for following the blasts in Copley Square.
BOSTON, MASS. -- Running 21 miles would be a huge achievement for most, but for Katie Wilson that’s just a regular part of her preparation for a bigger day. The night before competing in this year’s Boston Marathon she also plans to pack on the carbs with a big bowl of pasta and get a good night’s sleep. She’ll rise early on the morning of the marathon to her traditional pre-race breakfast – an English muffin loaded with peanut butter, and then it’s off to the races.
A two-year resident assistant in Maple, the president of the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter, and a member of the cross-country team, the senior graphic design major has just one more goal to achieve before she completes her RWU career – to finish the Boston Marathon.