URI announces its 2000 Diversity Awards
KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 17, 2000 -- Many students, staff, faculty, and
administrators at the University of Rhode Island work tirelessly to develop
an inclusive campus community where human difference is perceived as an
asset rather than a liability.
The purpose of the Diversity Awards is to acknowledge and celebrate those
who work with diverse and underrepresented populations in the interests
of building a more diverse, just, and equitable community at URI.
During a recent ceremony held at URI's Multicultural Center, the following
diversity awards were presented:
Undergraduate Student Excellence In Academics and Service: Angelica Gomes
of Pawtucket for her academic diligence and commitment to the Psychology
Department. In 1999, she became the first student at URI to receive three
URI Foundation Grants for her research. Additionally, Angelica has been
selected to be a Ronald E. McNair Fellow.
Undergraduate Student Excellence In Multicultural Leadership and Service:
Belinda Bracey of Norwalk, Conn. for her inspiring attitude and actions,
and for being a mentor for students of color in the College of Nursing.
Belinda participates in many service activities and leadership programs,
including being a McNair Fellow and presenting her research at Eastern Nursing
Research Society's Annual Convention.
Jonathan Lewis of Manville, R.I. for his persistence in pursuit of social
justice on the URI campus. Jonathan has held leadership roles in a variety
of campus organizations, Uhuru SaSa, Brothers United for Action, Talent
Development Volunteer Leadership Group, Diversity Task Force, and SOUL.
This year's Rainville Award winner for Student Leadership, Jonathan is currently
working on convening the Multicultural Center Student Involvement Council.
Sara Bendoraitis of Lebanon, Conn. and Laura Tanner of Warwick awarded
jointly for their leadership in advocating improved quality of life for
women on campus. Both members of the URI Women's group, POWER, Laura served
as vice president and Sara served as secretary. Under the direction of the
late Dr. Dana Shugar, they established a commission on the status of women
at URI. These young women will serve as members of the steering committee
charged with implementing the commission by fall, 2000.
Undergraduate Student Excellence In Arts and Culture: Ammala Douanqsavanh
of Providence for her outstanding talent as a poet and performance artist.
Ammala's artistic talents include not only the spoken word, but
also a variety of dance styles, from traditional Asian dance to
hip-hop forms. She is a member of the Asian Student Association Executive
Board, the Diversity Task Force, and the Rainville Awards Nominating Committee.
Graduate Student Excellence: Cristiana Delossantos of Providence for
her leadership qualities and use of the expanding professional knowledge
to provide comprehensive health care to persons who, because of language
barriers, do not receive the care they need. Cristiana is currently involved
in a variety of community service programs, and is in the process of organizing
a Rhode Island Chapter of the Hispanic Nurses Association.
1. Andrew Winters of URI's Kingston Campus was recognized for his involvement
and continuous contributions to Affirmative Action and social justice issues
on the campus. He is a true advocate, in the most pleasant and diplomatic
terms, and a valued asset to this institution. Andrew exists on this earth
to promote diversity and social justice issues in general.
2. Christine Wilson of Wakefield for her leadership in program development
for student growth. Under her guidance, the Leadership Program has become
a venue for students to exercise their interests in social change and social
justice. Christine currently advises Bridges, and URI Students for Social
Change, and is a member of the Ocean State Leadership Consortium.
1. C. Breck Peters of Kingston for his leadership excellence as the driving
force behind the URI Multicultural Faculty Fellows Program. Breck has brought
the program to a new level, along with his wife, Bette Erickson. He has
developed cases for discussion, developed/located multicultural/diverse
readings and materials.
2. Faye Boudreaux-Bartels of West Kingston for her assistance in promoting
programs that benefit women and students of color. She is a founder of
a summer camp for women engineering students, and serves as an advisor to
the National Society of Women Engineers. A Professor of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, Faye Boudreaux-Bartels recently was named a Fellow
of the prestigious International Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Student Organization Excellence
1. Uhuru SaSa for its contributions towards improving the campus climate
for all students. Their programming efforts, including the Black Inventors
Exhibit, guest lecturer Officer Brother DeLacey Davis, Culture Fest 2000,
and the SaSa Basketball Tournament, have educated and included students
from all cultures here at URI. They are a model diverse, global student
2. Gay, Lesbian and Straight Society (GLASS) for it leadership and collaboration
with campus groups to work towards an improved, open, accepting campus climate.
GLASS has worked diligently with the Women's Center, the Multicultural
Faculty Fellows, the Unitarian Universalist Church, and Intervarsity Christian
Fellowship to educate the mass community on issues of sexual orientation.
The Department of Psychology for the quality and continuity of its Diversity
Initiative, striving to create a departmental culture of scholarly, multicultural
learning. Among the department's innovations is the establishment of the
Multicultural Task Force, incorporation of multiculturalism into the curriculum,
and their collaboration with the Multicultural Center in creating Diversity
For Information: Melvin Wade, 874-2851, Jan Sawyer, 874-2116