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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Student finds URI's Feinstein-CCE perfect in any language

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- May 18, 2000 -- English is Linda Prout's second language, but when she speaks, you can hardly hear a trace of her native Swedish.

"I don't know why. English just kinda came to me," says the modest 27-year-old University of Rhode Island honor student who graduates this month. This fall, she will enter URI's graduate program in marriage and family therapy.

Prout's abilities extend beyond her communication skills. Impressing her professors at URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education in Providence, Prout is this year's recipient of the President's Excellence Award in Psychology.

Prout, then Linda Anderzon, came to Rhode Island from Värnamo, Swedenwhen she was 18 to work at a subsidiary of a Swedish company. She intended to stay for six months. That was before she met Patrick Prout of East Providence. Instead she stayed for a year and when she returned to Sweden, Patrick followed her. They were engaged in Spain and married in her hometown. Their daughter Tanja was born in 1994.

The Prouts moved back to Rumford in 1995. Linda attended classes at the Community College of Rhode Island for a year. She switched to URI's Feinstein-CCE, because of it's psychology program and the Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center located on the premises. Thanks to the generosity of Cranston philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein, both mother and daughter received scholarships to attend school.

Prout maintained a stellar 3.98 grade point average (out of 4.0) and credits much of her success to the love and support of her husband.

While earning her degree, Prout volunteered at the East Providence Community Center teaching adults and children to read. She also made visits to elderly residents of the Waterview Villas with Tanja. She and Patrick have also been foster parents to two children and expect to parent more soon. "We looked around and saw there were so many children who neededhelp," Prout explains. "We are able, willing, and have plenty of love to give."

Prout enjoyed her days at Feinstein-CCE. "I love the school. It's so personable. There's a banner that hangs in the building that says 'You'reHome.' At first, I wondered what that meant but then I got involved in the Office of Student Services as a peer counselor, running workshops and specialevents. Now I feel at home. I feel I belong. The Office of Student Services really reaches out to students andoffers them various events to encourage a sense of community, that sense of belonging.

"It's such an advantage having a child development center right at the college," adds the soon-to-be graduate who volunteers at the Center. "I can walk in any time and have lunch with Tanja. There's such a nice diversity of children, with different nationalities. The Center encourages the celebration of those differences. I even baked some Swedish pastries with Tanja and her classmates."

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For Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116, sawyer@advance.uri.edu

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