RWU Community Engagement Celebration Set for Wednesday at Tourister Mill Building in Warren

Eighty projects will be on display, illustrating the wide range of ways in which RWU and the RWU School of Law are transforming education and changing local communities

Students presenting posters about their community-engaged work.
By Edward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL, R.I., April 22, 2019 ­­– Nearly 500 people are expected to attend the Roger Williams University Community Engagement Celebration at the Tourister Mill building, in Warren, R.I., on Wednesday, April 24.

Students, faculty and community groups will display 80 projects illustrating the wide range of ways in which RWU and the RWU School of Law are transforming education and changing local communities.

“This Community Engagement Celebration shows the impact that Roger Williams University is having in our backyard and around the world,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said. “Working through the Campaign for Civic Scholars and the Community Partnerships Center, RWU is building the university the world needs now.”

“To be effective today, universities must rely less on classroom teaching and more on project-based and community-based learning,” RWU President-Designate Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis said. “With RWU’s commitment to experiential education, our students graduate ready to go to work and prepared to become leaders in their communities. We are a private university serving the public good.”

Wednesday’s display will range from a clean drinking-water project in Ecuador that involved partnering with Engineers Without Borders, to an athlete-mentoring program in Central Falls, R.I., that involved partnering with Central Falls High School. Also, RWU Professors Maija Benitz and Li-Ling Yang will explain that KidWind project, in which nearly 250 fourth-graders from the Bristol-Warren Regional School District built pint-sized wind turbines and came to RWU to test their turbines in wind tunnels. That project was made possible through the Campaign for Civic Scholars, the Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC and the local sponsorship of TPI Composites, of Warren, R.I.

The Campaign for Civic Scholars provides vital resources to deploy more RWU students into communities – near and far – for experiential learning opportunities that address real-world problems. The Community Partnerships Center undertakes projects that benefit local communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, providing RWU students with experience in real-world projects that deepen their academic experiences.

This year’s Community Engagement Celebration is sponsored by the Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC, in Providence, R.I., and BankFive, headquartered in Fall River, Mass. Wednesday's celebration will be followed by RWU's annual Day of Giving, featuring a $100,000 challenge match from the Donald C. McGraw Foundation, longtime supporters of the Civic Scholars Program.

Wednesday’s Community Engagement Celebration will take place between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Tourister Mill building, 91 Main St., Warren. The event is open to the public, and members of the media are invited to cover the event.