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Feinstein College of Arts & Sciences

Homecoming & Family Weekend to Feature Fun, Friends

October 21, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – Whether you’re a dedicated Hawk who never leaves campus or an alumnus/a seeking to reconnect with old friends, get ready to turn up your blue and gold at Homecoming and Family Weekend! The celebration that conjures RWU pride in students, alumni, families and faculty/staff alike will take place from October 24 to 26. 

Finding something fun to do this weekend won’t be hard – with a jam-packed schedule of lively events, there’s something for everyone. Get in the Hawk frame of mind by supporting winter sports teams at the Midnight Madness pep rally, or by attending any number of games and matches happening on campus. Alumni can revisit their college sports days by playing in the Alumni Softball Game or registering for the Homecoming 5K Race, which is also open to all students, families, and faculty. Families can get to know the area better with tours of campus and of scenic Bristol, and by noshing on candy apples at Autumn Fest on the Commons Quad. Special musical and comedic performances will also be an option for entertainment.

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Campus Presentation Examines Memory and Fact Surrounding Legacy of Slavery

October 20, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – When we as Americans – particularly northerners – contemplate our history of enslaving Africans, we tend to frame it as the nightmare that happened down south approximately 150 years ago. But how many of us know that many northerners were complicit in the profiteering from this nightmare, or recognize that the legacy of slavery did not tidily end with the liberating decree of the Emancipation Proclamation and conclusion of the Civil War?

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Science and the R.I. Gubernatorial Election

On the eve of mid-term elections, a panel of science experts will discuss how political party platforms relate to the health of Rhode Islanders, STEM education, energy policies, and sustainability.

Panelists include:

  • Avelina Espinosa, RWU Biology & NESP (speaking on health, science education)
  • June Speakman, RWU Political Science (speaking on women’s rights)
  • Max Greene, Staff Attorney CLF (speaking on sustainability)
  • Abigail Anthony Director, Rhode Island Office Environment Northeast ENE (speaking on energy alternatives)

Audience Q&A to follow panel presentation. The event is open to the community and free of charge. This event will be live streamed on

This event is sponsored by New England Science Public (NESP), Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and the RWU Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (RWU SPJ).

Gagliardi Distinguished Seminar Series: "The New Biorganometallic Chemistry Found in Nature’s Hydrogen Processors"

Professor Marcetta Y. Darensbourg is a native of Kentucky, with a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Following academic posts at Vassar College and Tulane University, she joined the faculty at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, in 1982. She holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. Trained as an organometallic chemist and with earlier research programs in low valent transition metal hydrides, the possibility of metal hydrides in nature, specifically as intermediates in hydrogenase metalloenzymes, lured her into the new field of bioorganometallic chemistry. She has been a leader in the development of synthetic analogues of the diiron hydrogenase active site and the insight they bring to the catalytic mechanism of these natural fuel cell catalysts.

Transferring Skills and Meeting Needs in Chaos and Insecurity: Life in NGOs in 2014

Jeff Ratcliffe has more than 18 years of experience as a grants manager, country director, and programs manager in post-conflict and international development. He has spent almost his entire career working abroad throughout Africa (including Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and Zambia). He has also worked in the Philippines, Haiti, and Honduras.

Ratcliffe has managed grants for work funded by USAID, USDOL, CDC, and private donations. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger and speaks Hausa and French. He holds a Master of Public Administration (Utah) and a Master of Humanitarian Services Administration (Connecticut).

Ebola, Sacred Rituals, and 75 Cents: What Needs to Change to Stop the Disease

Jeff Ratcliffe has more than 18 years of experience in post-conflict and international development as grants manager, country director and programs manager. Mr. Ratcliffe has worked in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Ratcliffe has managed grants for work funded by USAID, USDOL, CDC and private donations in Haiti, the Philippines, Honduras, Ethiopia, Zambia, Guinea, and the Gambia. Ratcliffe has worked with many organizations including ACDI/VOCA, ChildFund International and the American Refugee Committee. Ratcliffe was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger and speaks Hausa and French. Mr. Ratcliffe holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Humanitarian Services Administration.

Grand Opening of Lincoln and Civil War Exhibition Launches Series of Events

September 26, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – A month-long academic and cultural commemoration of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era kicked off this week with a renowned Lincoln scholar’s dissection of the unprecedented Constitutional issues that emerged during the rebellion, a serenade of traditional and spiritual songs, and public viewing of a national library exhibit.

At the Tuesday grand opening of Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War on display in the University Library through Oct. 31, visitors explored the traveling exhibition examining the difficult decisions President Lincoln made in governing a nation divided by war. One of only 200 libraries to host the exhibit organized by the National Constitution Center and American Library Association, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, executing its installation required a joint effort of library and facilities staff.

Congress to Campus Program Offers Students a Firsthand View of Politics and Public Service

September 25, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – From gaining advice on how to break into politics to discussing social issues and even a shared love of Star Trek, many students capitalized on the chance to have informal chats with two former members of Congress visiting campus this week.

Former Arizona congressmen Sam Coppersmith and James Kolbe made a stop at Roger Williams from Sept. 21 to 23 via Congress to Campus, an initiative of the nonpartisan U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC) that sends a bipartisan pair of former federal legislators to universities across the country with the goals of enhancing an understanding of how Congress works and encouraging young adults to become more actively engaged in civic duties. During their visit, the former members participated in classes, held a moderated discussion on social issues and informal conversations with students from across the academic disciplines.

Study Abroad: Chile

An informational meeting for all students interested in participating in the Winter 2015 Intersession in Chile.

Oysters, Oysters Everywhere

September 22, 2014

BRISTOL, R.I. – It’s been just two years since Hannah Pearson ’13 left the Luther Blount Shellfish Hatchery at RWU, but she has waded into familiar territory just an hour north at the Island Creek Oyster Farm in Duxbury, Mass.

As shellfish hatchery manager, Pearson spends her days in “The Treehouse” – a multi-level aquaculture lab created in a warehouse adjacent to the Duxbury Harbor. (Think your cubicle, but way cooler.) It’s here that Pearson raises her “babies”: 100 million oyster eggs — 12 miilion of which became mature enough this season to go from farm to fork via Island Creek’s wholesale market.

But Pearson’s is not your typical Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 job. For 10 months of the year, she is at the beck and call of the baby oysters, cleaning and feeding them.

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