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Scenes from the College of Arts and Sciences

Fall 2012 Honors Colloquium

Tuesday evenings, 7:30 p.m.
September – December 2012
Edwards Auditorium, URI Kingston Campus

Local, national, and international speakers will address foundational changes in the political and economic forces shaping personal, state, national and international health. What are the facts of the Affordable Care Act? How can we provide equitable care and access to preventive services in Rhode Island and throughout the country and the world? How can we combat obesity through education and advocacy? And how are such organizations as Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders fighting to address the medical needs of the world’s poor?

Join us! The public is invited to attend this series of free events in person or online. Follow us:

September 11, Tracy Kidder, MA, Pulitzer Prize winning author, discusses his book Mountains Beyond Mountains about Paul Farmer, a physician, single-mindedly bent on improving the health of some of the poorest people on the planet affected by the twin global pandemics of tuberculosis and HIV.  Co-sponsored by URI Common Reading.

September 18, Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, is the Administrator of the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) the national agency responsible for filling in the health care gaps for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and was elected to the Institute of Medicine. The title of her talk will be “The Affordable Care Act and The Future of U.S. Health Care."
  Trailer for Mary Wakefield lecture Video of Mary Wakefield's presentation

September 25, Robert Tosatto, RPh, MPH, MBA, Captain, United States Public Health Service and Director of the Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (OCVMRC) at Office of the Surgeon General, discusses how health, politics, and money affect participation in public health initiatives and emergency preparedness/response activities, particularly in building and maintaining community resilience.
  Trailer for Robert Tosatto lecture Video of Robert Tosatto's presentation

October 2, Joia Mukherjee, MD, MPH, serves as Medical Director of Partners In Health, an international medical charity with clinical programs in Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Mexico, Russia, and inner-city Boston. Dr. Mukherjee has been involved in health care access and human rights issues since 1989 in the United States, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Dr. Mukherjee will address Partners In Health’s mission to deliver hope for the poorest of the poor. Co-sponsored by the URI Multicultural Center.
  Trailer for Joia Mukherjee lecture Video of Dr. Mukherjee's presentation

October 9, Gregory Poland, MD, MACP, FIDSA, DHL (hon) Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and editor-in-chief of the professional journal, Vaccine, discusses the impact of economics and public perception on vaccine acceptance and use in the US and globally. Dr. Poland's lecture is entitled, "Vaccines in the 21st Century: Innumeracy, Cognitive Biases, the Power of Story, and Other Survival Lessons."
  Video of Dr. Poland's presentation

Marvin's Room, URI Theatre Production, October 11-21

Marvin's Room is "one of the funniest plays of the year as well as one of the wisest and most moving", said the New York Times when the play opened Off Broadway in 1991. The words are as true today. How can a play about family, illness and death be so incredibly funny and so extraordinarily moving? It simply is. Because the playwright has an uncanny empathy and a fierce sense of humor, human frailty is revealed in an hilarious light. Marvin's Room is being presented as part of the 2012 URI Colloquium on healthcare. Co-sponsored by the URI College of Arts and Science.

Location: Robert E. Will Theatre

October 11-13 & 18-20, 2012 at 7:30pm
October 14 & 21, 2012 at 3:00pm

$20 General, $15 Seniors, URI Faculty/Staff, $12 Students

On October 14th following the matinee performance, a panel discussion will be held discussing issues highlighted in the play including economics, family and individual issues involving serious illness dying and mental health.  The panelists will be: Ric McIntrye PhD, Director of the Honors Program, Carolyn Hames MS R.N College of Nursing, Valerie Joseph RN of Clinica Esperanza, and James Willsey, chaplain at Roger Williams Hospital.

October 16, Alumni Panel, moderated by Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts

Joline Macfarlan, MD, is a family physician with special interests in women’s health, preventive health care, nutrition and integrative medicine, geriatrics and the various issues that affect underserved populations. She will discuss how these issues have shaped her professional career from her studies at URI through her medical doctorate from Boston University to her current practice.

Keith P. Lewis, RPh, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology, Boston Medical Center, has over 30 years experience in health care both as pharmacist and a physician. Dr. Lewis will address his journey from his time as a student at URI to his current practice and discuss the challenges and rewards that health care professionals experience.

Marie Ghazal, MS, RN, is the CEO of the Rhode Island Free Clinic with over 30 years of experience in nursing. As a gubernatorial appointee to the RI Healthcare Reform Commission, Ms. Ghazal will discuss her journey from a student at the URI to a health care provider in the State of Rhode Island focusing on inequality in health care.

  Trailer for Alumni Panel Video of the Panel Discussion

October 23, Roberta Friedman, ScM, is the Director of Public Policy at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Prior to her work at Rudd, Ms. Friedman was the Program Director at the Massachusetts Public Health Association, where she coordinated efforts to pass legislation to improve school nutrition. Ms. Friedman discusses how to educate policy makers on the science supporting the food and nutrition policies that have the potential to create real change.
  Trailer for Roberta Friedman lecture Video of Roberta Friedman's presentation

October 30, Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, discusses the political and economic impact of health care reform and the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.
  Trailer for Jonathan Gruber lecture Video for Jonathan Gruber presentation

November 13, First Lady Stephanie Chafee MBA, RN, DHL (Hon) is the Co-Founder and President Emerita of the Rhode Island Free Clinic. She was one of the first nurses in Rhode Island to work exclusively with HIV/AIDS patients. As a community health care leader, she advocates for health care among the less fortunate. She will speak on the changing health care needs that impact communities in the State of Rhode Island.
  Trailer for Stephanie Chafee lecture Video for Stephanie Chafee's presentation

November 19, Paul Farmer M.D., PhD is a founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that since 1987 has provided direct health care services and undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. He will speak on Haiti since the earthquake of 2010.
  Video for Paul Farmer lecture  

November 27, Michael Fine, MD is the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. With over 25 years of experience as a primary care physician, and a council member of the Planning and Accountability Advisory Counsel, Dr. Fine focuses on addressing Rhode Island’s health care needs based on its changing demographics. Dr. Fine will address these issues and the financial challenges associated with providing equitable health care in the State of Rhode Island.
  Trailer for Michael Fine lecture Video of Michael Fine's presentation

December 4, Damaged Care is a musical comedy about health care in America that focuses on issues of concern to health professionals and patients, including the erosion of the clinician-patient relationship, de-personalization of medical services, and inadequate emphasis on prevention. Written and performed by Greg LaGana, MD, and Barry Levy, MD, with accompaniment by Brad Ross.
  Video of URI Performance  

(RESCHEDULED) April 23 (Tues.), Unni Karunakara, MBBS, MPH, Dr.PH is the International President of Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Dr. Karanukara will highlight the mission of the organization in addressing the gap in access to health care that affects people in low- and middle-income countries globally.

  Trailer for Unni Karunakara's lecture  


Jef Bratberg, Mary Cloud, Roger LeBrun, Shahla Yekta

Major Sponsors:
URI Honors Program.

Sustaining Sponsors:
URI Office of the President; URI Office of the Provost; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment.

Leadership Sponsors:
URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, URI College of Pharmacy, URI College of Arts and Sciences, URI Multicultural Center, URI Department of Communications and Marketing.

University Sponsors:
Cox Communications.

URI College of Business Administration, URI Department of Publications and Creative Services, URI College of Engineering, URI College of Nursing, URI College of Human Sciences and Services, URI Division of Administration and Finance, URI Division of Student Life, URI Department of Communications Studies of the Harrington School of Communication & Media.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401.874.2381 or

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact McIntyre at 401.874.4126 or

If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401.874.2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call the R.I. Relay Service at 800.745.5555.