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Feinstein College of Arts & Sciences

American Red Cross Partners with RWU Students for 100 Years of Service Campaign

April 22, 2016

PROVIDENCE, RI., — The American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter is celebrating 100 years of service to the Rhode Island community. As part of the celebration, the Red Cross has partnered with Roger Williams University to create the signature piece of the Centennial celebration.

Led by RWU Faculty Member John Farmer, graphic design students from the University created the “Century of Service” Traveling Exhibit as part of a Community Partnerships Center project. To build the exhibit – which includes 12 large poster panels – RWU students met with leaders from the American Red Cross Rhode Island chapter to research its history and identify historical objects, articles and photos that formed the exhibit’s historical timeline which depicts significant milestones and achievements of the organization over the last century. Some milestones featured include the USS Bennington disaster, the Hurricanes of 1938 and 1944 and the Red Cross Water Safety Program which started with native Rhode Islander Commodore W.E. Longfellow.

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RWU’s Writing Program Earns National Award for Excellence

April 7, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – The Roger Williams University Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition has earned the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication Writing Program Certificate of Excellence Award from the National Council of Teachers of English.

One of only two universities in the nation to capture this year’s award, RWU’s writing studies program received this national distinction for programming that imaginatively addresses the needs and opportunities of students and instructors, and offers exemplary ongoing professional development for faculty members. The other recipient is Oakland University’s major in writing and rhetoric program.

Marine Biology Faculty Member Contributes Veterinary Expertise

April 1, 2016

Bristol, R.I. -- If there is an EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) research project in Rhode Island investigating the health or disease of marine animals, there is a good chance Roxanna Smolowitz is involved.

With deep expertise in aquatic veterinary science, Smolowitz regularly teams up with her colleagues at EPSCoR partner institutions, from developing tools to combat aquaculture disease to seeking answers to a mysterious and prolonged sea star die off.

In her first RI Science and Technolocy Council (STAC) grant, in 2012, Smolowitz collaborated with URI professors David Rowley, David Nelson, and Marta Gomez-Chiarri on using marine bacteria as a protective agent against disease.

“The idea was, are there different kinds of bacteria we could add to larval cultures of bivalves specific to oysters to increase healthiness and get more animals through the metamorphosis stage,” explains Smolowitz, noting that one Vibrio bacterial disease, in particular, is responsible for high rates of larval death.

So You Want to Start an Oyster Farm?

December 14, 2015

BRISTOL, R.I., – The Roger Williams University Center for Economic and Environmental Development is now enrolling students for Applied Shellfish Farming, a non-credit course offered during the winter/spring semester that teaches both aspiring shellfish farmers and aquaculture professionals the ins and outs of growing oysters, quahogs and other shellfish species commercially.

The 14-week program, led by Dale Leavitt, aquaculture extension specialist and associate professor of biology at Roger Williams University, is designed to aid new and experienced shellfish farmers in growing shellfish farming enterprises in Rhode Island and Southeast New England.

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Remembering the Holocaust with Rosalie Franks

December 15, 2015

BRISTOL, R.I. – Seventy years have passed since the Holocaust ended with liberation of the concentration camps, but people like Rosalie Franks work to ensure its legacy is never forgotten.

In the 1990s, she devoted five years to interviewing 92 Holocaust survivors for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (now the USC Shoah Foundation), a web archive of 51,000 video testimonials from survivors around the world.  Since that experience, Franks – a longtime adjunct professor of critical writing, literature and philosophy at Roger Williams – has brought back lessons on human rights and social justice to her classroom.

What preparation did the Shoah Foundation give you?

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Student Research Shines at SASH [Video]

April 25, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. -- Nearly 650 students turned out over two days to present their research at the 2016 Student Academic Showcase and Honors (SASH) at Roger Williams University. Topics ranged from Intelligent Ground Vehicles -- designing an autonomous robot that navigates an obstacle course -- to Haitian Refugees and even the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Bed-In. A weeklong exhibit of student work bookended the two-day SASH programming, including a keynote speech, "Face Values: The Illusions of First Impressions," by Princeton University Professor of Psychology Alexander Todorov

Video by: Justin Wilder 

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Fourth Annual GospelFest

Join the Prism of Praise Community Gospel Choir, directed by Michael Évora, and the Roger Williams University Choir, directed by Jonathan Richter, for a concert filled with excitement, energy, and inspiration drawing on selections from traditional and contemporary Gospel music. Since its inception, the concerts have drawn large crowds for a spirited evening of singing. The event is a collaboration between the Office of Spiritual Life, Music Department, and Law School.

The Gospel tradition of singing originates from spirituals sung during the era of American slavery. Spirituals, sung by African and African American slaves, were a unique combination of Christian biblical and theological themes and African musical culture. Gospel emerges from this in the early 20th century. Although distinctly Christian, the themes represented in the music, lyrics, and style of Gospel are universal to the human condition. In short, Gospel is about our profound shared humanness.

For more information, contact Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup at Free and open to the public. RWU students receive merit points.

Danielle Lavoie ’18 Named an NOAA 2016 Hollings Scholar

April 13, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – Marine biology student Danielle Lavoie is riding a wave of success as she concludes her sophomore year. Lavoie has been named a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Scholar – a highly selective national award that provides her an opportunity to conduct research alongside the nation’s top marine scientists and a significant academic scholarship.

Lavoie, who hails from Willington, Conn., is among only 125 undergraduates across the U.S. to be named a 2016 Hollings Scholar; she joins a pipeline of dozens of Roger Williams University students to receive this prestigious award and NOAA internship in recent years.

In addition to $19,000 in tuition aid, Lavoie will complete a 10-week, paid internship at her choice of a NOAA facility in the United States or U.S. territories during summer 2017, along with funding to present her research at two professional conferences.

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University to Host Roving Eye Film Festival from April 10 to 17

April 8, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival and Roger Williams University are collaborating to present the 11th Annual Roving Eye International Film Festival from April 10 to April 17. The festival will feature more than 80 international films and documentaries, including numerous world and United States premieres, as well as workshops with visiting filmmakers and student film and arts showcases.

All films will be free and open to the public. Festival screenings will be held in Global Heritage Hall, Room G01. International films will be screened with English subtitles.

The full schedule of film screenings is available here:

Award-Winning Creator of WaterFire Barnaby Evans to Deliver Commencement Address

April 7, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – Award-winning multimedia artist Barnaby Evans – whose stunning, immersive sculpture WaterFire has been recognized as an important contribution to the cultural renaissance of downtown Providence and has been re-created in cities around the world – will address the Roger Williams University Class of 2016 and receive an honorary doctorate at the University’s Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on theUniversity’s main athletic field on the Bristol Campus at One Old Ferry Road.

The University will also award an honorary doctorate to Umberto Crenca, founding artistic director of AS220, the vibrantnonprofit community arts center based in Providence. Visionary architect and planner William D. Warner, who died in 2012, and is credited with reimagining the reshaping of downtown Providence, will receive a posthumous honorary doctorate.

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