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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

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.

Staff/Administrative Excellence:

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.

Faculty Excellence:

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 organization.

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.

Department/Program Excellence:

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 Week.


For Information: Melvin Wade, 874-2851, Jan Sawyer, 874-2116


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