RWU Magazine - Fall 2013 / Issue #9 - page 11

9
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help others keep their
nose to the grindstone
DO
Charles Donahue doesn’t need to look far for inspiration
to cheer on the students cramming late into the night in
the halls of Global Heritage Hall: “I think of my girls away
at college and how I’d want them to be treated.” A stirring
motivational speaker, the third-shift custodian is beloved
for refreshing students whose spirits are flagging in the wee
hours. Two students even started a Facebook fan page that’s
netted over 100 likes.
miss the signs of
escalating tension
DON’T
Whether it’s rowdy fans or quarreling drivers, locksmith-by-
day Bill Dallaire casts a watchful eye for conflict that could
provoke fights on race nights at the Seekonk Speedway. The
reserve police officer has patrolled the track since 1987.
Back then he would make several arrests a night, once
taking a shot to the ribs. Downside to the job: the cleaning
bill for his uniform. “You’re eating dirt,” he says.
sculpt with
whimsy
DO
When maintenance specialist Richard Lancaster learned
copper sculpting on the job, he didn’t know a weathervane
from a finial. After 16 years perfecting his craft, he shapes
complex, lifelike pieces – a pouncing cat perched for a day
last year in the common area of Stonewall #4 delighted
students. Several of his weathervanes top area houses,
businesses and a Bristol fire station.
Sometimes,
Misfortune Brings
with it a Teaching
Moment…
L
ast
spring
, a dead harbor seal
washed ashore near the Roger
Williams waterfront. While nobody
reveled in that news, it did provide
a rare opportunity for faculty
members Paul Webb and Roxanna
Smolowitz to lead 20 marine
bio students in an elbows-deep
anatomical exploration of a federally
protected marine mammal. To
conduct the necropsy, the professors
secured permission from the Mystic
Aquarium. Here’s how the classroom
lesson came to life.
Lesson
The hands-on experience
enabled the faculty and
students to discuss the animal as
an interconnected whole, Webb
says. In class, they talk about one
system at a time.
Examination
Smolowitz, a marine
veterinarian, dissected the
seal with assistance from gloved
students. But opening the skull
required more strength than
Smolowitz had – a student
stepped in with the right tools
so the group could study
the brain.
Surprise
In case the discovery of the
seal wasn’t surprise enough,
everyone – professors
included – gasped in wonder at
the unexpected discovery of a
nearly full-term pup inside the
pregnant seal’s uterus.
Preservation
Students prepared the seal’s
skeleton and pelt for display in
the Marine and Natural Sciences
building on campus. For future
class discussions, they preserved
the pup as well.
Healthy
Attitudes
of residents surveyed
in Providence’s Silver
Lake neighborhood
believe fruits and
vegetables are too
expensive to incorporate
into their diet – even
though all participants
agreed that increasing
intake would improve
their health. That’s
according to a Rhode
Island Public Health
Institute report by RWU
alumna Emily D’Iorio ’13,
senior Jessica Reade and
Associate Professor of
Biology Kerri Warren.
Visit
to view the full report,
a survey of attitudes
toward food availability
and Farmers Markets
in the state’s urban
neighborhoods.
8
percent
Skating Through Life
Astoria, N.Y., may be best known as home to the largest
population of Greeks outside of Athens (or as Christopher
Walken’s hometown), but RWU alumnus Raffie Gordon ’09 has
been making a name for himself in the Queens neighborhood
with his skate shop and clothing boutique, Belief – a lifestyle
brand that engages the community to create a positive and
productive culture by supporting skaters and musicians,
sponsoring community events and offering skate lessons. With
his eye on expanding the business to wholesale, Gordon is living
Belief’s team motto (and New York State slogan) “Ever Upward.”
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