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Marine Biology Faculty from RWU among 2015 STAC Grant Awardees

February 27, 2015

Bristol, R.I. -- On Feb. 19, the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC) announced the 2015 Rhode Island Research Alliance Collaborative Research Grants, in which $814,042 was awarded to six multi-disciplinary teams to fund new marine biology research projects. Roger Williams University faculty members Roxanna Smolowitz, Dale Leavitt and David Taylor were among the awardees and will collaborate on two of the six funded projects.

Roxanna Smolowitz, a visiting assistant professor of biology who specializes in aquatic veterinary science, will work with a team of scientists to understand the relationship between physical and chemical changes in the ocean and various health issues affecting coastal fish and shellfish of commercial interest.

Smolowitz’s team will include Kathleen Castro and Marta Gomez-Chiarri from the University of Rhode Island and Lewis Rothstein from URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. The grant totaled $139,952.

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New Research Shows Latino Households Face Challenges in Homebuyer Market

February 27, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I., – The Latino Policy Institute and HousingWorks RI – two policy groups at Roger Williams University – released an infographic today that shows the challenges facing Latino homeowners and some of the conditions preventing Rhode Island’s Latino renters from entering the homebuyer market.

The analysis done by HWRI reviews median renter household incomes and single-family home prices from 2007 to 2013. During that time, the income needed to afford the median priced single-family home outpaced the household incomes of both Latino and non-Latino renters. However, the median renter household income for Latinos declined 16 percent from 2007 to 2013 while the median renter household income for non-Latinos remained the same.

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Her Journey from Student to Writer: A Few Words with Alumna Maria Flook

February 24, 2015

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in “Connections @ The RWU Learning Commons,” the University Library’s e-newsletter. Author Abby DeVeuve, a “Connections” intern, interviewed alumna Maria Flook – a graduate of the creative writing program and author of several novels, nonfiction books, and collections of poetry and short stories – prior to Flook’s visit to RWU on Tuesday, February 24, as guest lecturer in the Talking in the Library Series.

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President's Distinguished Speakers Series: Lawrence Lessig

In a conversation titled "Equal Citizens," preeminent scholar, attorney and activist Lawrence Lessig will explore the issue of political funding and its effect on equality in America.  

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He is an expert on intellectual property and Internet policy, and a watchdog on government corruption. He’s also an acclaimed free thinker and visionary, and one of the more captivating voices in America today.

In this presentation, Professor Lessig will discuss how political campaign funding has fundamentally distorted the commitment to equality instilled by our framers more than two centuries ago.

A book signing will immediately follow the event.

This event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information, call 401-254-3166.

RWU students will receive a 1/3 merit lottery point for attending this event.

Photo credit: Yanai Yechiel

Birss Memorial Library Exhibition: Richard Wright's "Native Son"

The 15th Annual Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lecture Series celebrates the 75th anniversary of Richard Wright's Native Son, one of the first major works of literature by an African-American writer about African-Americans. As part of the lecture series, a special library exhibition, “Richard Wright’s Native Son: Then and Now,” will be open daily during library hours from February 1 through March 31.

Featured in the library exhibition is a first edition of Native Son, photographs of Richard Wright and Wright's controversial unpublished essay “I Chose Paris.” The exhibition also juxtaposes photographs of 1930s South Side Chicago — the novel’s setting — and contemporary photographs of protests in response to recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.

RWU Night at the Providence Bruins

The Roger Williams Alumni Association and the RI Alumni Chapter invite you to join us on Friday, February 6, 2015, in downtown Providence to watch the Providence Bruins take on the Manchester Monarchs. The game time is 7:05 pm and tickets can be picked up in the Dunkin' Donuts Center lobby at the RWU table. Be sure to look for the Roger Williams Alumni Association banner and be sure to wear your RWU gear!

The event is open to all alumni, students, and staff. Tickets cost is $18 per/person. Please register here: 

Information for Game Day: Tickets may be picked up in the Dunkin Donuts Center Lobby at the RWU Alumni Table. Look for the RWU banner! Wear your RWU gear or anything Blue & Gold to show your school spirit! Free RWU Giveaway for all participants! RSVP by Monday, January 19, 2015, as tickets are limited.

CPC Plan to Transform Abandoned Pawtucket / Central Falls Mill Earns APA-RI Award

December 11, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – The Rhode Island chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) will award a group of 30 Roger Williams University students (some now recent alumni) and three faculty members for their success in creating a comprehensive redevelopment plan for an abandoned manufacturing property, the former site of The Conant Thread Company and Coats & Clark Mill Complex located on the border of Pawtucket and Central Falls. Through the Community Partnerships Center, business, architecture and historic preservation students worked together with Commerce RI, the Pawtucket Foundation and the two cities to produce a plan aimed at preserving and revitalizing the mill site, an area that has been vacant since 1964.

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For Elders, Designing for Life and Living

November 21, 2014


PORTLAND, MAINE -- It’s an age-old question that has no easy answer: where should elders live when they can no longer live on their own?

While an array of options from assisted living to nursing homes to retirement communities are available to the aging population in the U.S., elder housing is hardly one-size-fits-all. And Evan Carroll ’06 is dedicating his architecture expertise to the concept of “life-long design” and together with his partner, Sasha Salzberg, launched Bild Architecture – a design firm focused on housing that meets the social needs of community members.

On the Front Lines of the Yogurt Wars: Peter McGuinness '91

November 20, 2014

NORWICH, N.Y. -- Hot company – cool job. That’s pretty much the way it is for Peter McGuinness ’91 these days.

As chief marketing officer at Chobani – the Greek yogurt titan that set the standard for America’s new breakfast staple – McGuinness, formerly an ad executive as profiled in RWU Magazine Issue #5, has made the leap to the client side. And though he helped direct the creative for Chobani’s ad campaigns during his days at Gotham, he quickly learned that it’s a whole new world.

Slideshow: The Wind Detectives at Work at Tweed Airport

November 12, 2013

EAST HAVEN, C.T. – Hunkered down alongside the runway at Tweed New Haven Regional Airport in April, enveloped by the droning whirr of propeller planes and scream of corporate jet engines, a team of engineering students tinkered with final adjustments for the first test of their invention: a wind shear detection device that would warn small-aircraft pilots of a dangerous change in the wind.

A radical shift in wind velocity or direction, wind shear can cause costly accidents and fatal crash landings. And for general aviation airports like Tweed, and the small-aircraft pilots that fly out of them, there was no solution for detecting this under-the-radar meteorological hazard. Until, that is, Roger Williams’ student engineers identified that as a serious aviation problem and arrived at an idea to make safer landings.

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