01-0925.htmlTEXTGoMk:lʷmBIN URI Foundation Excellence Awards winners recognized at URI Convocation 2001
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News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Foundation Excellence Awards winners recognized
at URI Convocation 2001

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 25, 2001 -- Each year at the University of Rhode Island’s Convocation, the URI Foundation recognizes four outstanding members of the URI community for their excellence. This year’s excellence award winners were presented with a citation and a check for $1,000 during convocation exercises on September 12.


The recipients were also invited to march in URI’s commencement ceremony next May, walking with officials and dignitaries representing excellence within the URI community.


Recipients of the 2001 URI Foundation Excellence Award winners are:


Staff Excellence Award. This year’s recipient is Alice Bristol of Warwick:


Whether assisting a homeowner with a sick plant, helping a volunteer look for masking tape, or giving the correct telephone number to the umpteenth person who has called the Cooperative Extension Center looking for the College of Continuing Education, Alice Bristol remains the calm in the storm of requests.


As receptionist and office manager to faculty, staff, volunteers, and homeowners, Alice is truly the "center" of Cooperative Extension. During her three decades of service, Alice has acquired a wide range of knowledge in horticulture, entomology, turf management, and plant pathology. She can identify a bug without batting an eye, but will call in the "experts" to make the determination and then silently nod in agreement.


This mother of five and grandmother of 11 doesn’t work by the clock but can be found toiling 12-hour days and weekends until the job gets done, whether it be preparing for GreenShare Field Day, training for master gardeners or preparing for food safety education conferences. As one of her many supporters said: "She makes the rest of us look good."


For her loyal and dedicated service for making the entire University look efficient, we are honored to present Alice Bristol with the 2001 URI Foundation Staff Excellence Award.


Teaching Excellence Award. This year’s recipient is Jerry L. Cohen of Wakefield: While most professors are experts in their fields, only a few have the ability to get across that often-complex information so that students can easily comprehend it. Dr. Jerry L. Cohen is one of those rare educators who has the knack of presenting difficult material so that light bulbs go on and eyebrows become unknit.


Take the fundamentals of statistics. Many students would rather not. But Jerry keeps the lessons flowing, injecting interesting research examples to actively engage students in the learning experience. His classes aren’t a breeze but they are a breath of fresh air.


Jerry encourages classroom discussions, allowing students to voice their own interpretations and opinions and often challenging their points of view to allow them to expand their critical thinking. This works particularly well in social psychology courses where there are different theories to explain different processes.


He is also a committed mentor, willing to sit with students to discuss the directions of their careers.

For his effective teaching style and two decades of commitment to URI students, we are proud to present Jerry L. Cohen with the 2001 URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award.


Scholarly Excellence Award. Arthur J. Gold of North Kingstown is this year’s recipient: Art Gold’s scholarship is as solid as his last name. The results of all his research and scholarly activities are programs that are creative, scientifically valid, interdisciplinary, involve numerous researchers, provide learning for students, and solve real world problems.


He is an expert on non-point pollution and a leader in water protection initiatives. Fortunately, his ideas never dry up. Nationally and internationally respected, Art is often asked to weigh in on environmental issues at the highest level of government. He was the principal author of an Environmental Protection Agency white paper that reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of current state-of-the-art methods in understanding how pollutants move through watersheds.


Since coming to URI in 1983, Art has always been involved with experiential learning, long before the term became popular. The Coastal Fellows Program he helped initiate continues to make a big splash with students and faculty across the campus and with agencies and organizations around the state.

For his impressive record of complete integration of research, teaching, and outreach, we are delighted to present Art Gold with the 2001 URI Foundation Scholarly Excellence Award.


Administrative Excellence Award. Marjorie McMahon of Providence is this year’s recipient. She is the daughter of Mrs. Thomas McMahon of Charlestown: Contrary to popular belief, Marjorie McMahon, known affectionately by all as Midge, does not pack a magic wand. Although it does seem that only an act of wizardry could account for the fact that when Chafee was suddenly closed, Midge found acceptable space for all courses scheduled to run in that building. If that’s not enchanting enough, she also saw to it that none of the times had to be changed. Midge, our popular interim registrar, has a history of creating calm out of chaos. After working for URI as an assistant registrar years earlier, Midge was rehired in 1997, to unravel multiple scheduling knots. Within a short period of time, Midge transformed the way things had been done into an efficient process that left everyone satisfied. Undaunted by demolitions, construction, closings, and even URI faculty members, Midge applies common sense, intelligence and grace to everything she does.


For magically making classroom scheduling problems disappear, we are pleased to present the 2001 URI Foundation Administrative Excellence Award to Midge McMahon.
For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

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