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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 Providence Campus student named to Board of Governors

DePetrilloPROVIDENCE, R.I. -- February 22, 2002 -- Gov. Lincoln Almond has appointed Alison DiPetrillo of Coventry the student representative to the Board of Governors for Higher Education. Every two years, the selection of a student representative alternates among Rhode Island’s three public schools: URI, the Community College of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. This year was URI President Robert L. Carothers’ turn to make a recommendation to the governor. The appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

"We went through a process of recruiting candidates and evaluating the perspective and experience each brought to this important role," said URI President Robert L. Carothers. "Allison impressed me with the breadth of her understanding of issues in higher education today and the experience she had as a student, a parent of students and a community leader. I'm very pleased that she is willing to serve and that the Governor has appointed her."

DiPetrillo, a 44-year-old student at the University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education in Providence and mother of three sons, smiles at being called a non-traditional student. "I believe there are issues that all students share in common…parking and education costs for example," she says. "My 20-year-old son, Derek, is a student at the University’s Kingston campus. My niece is enrolled at RIC. My nephew and my son’s girlfriend plan to attend CCRI in the fall.

"Being a representative to the board is a great opportunity to build bridges with students at all three schools, to listen to their concerns, and to advocate for them." the URI student said.

DiPetrillo plans to set up appointments as soon as possible with student leaders at all three schools. She will also set up a special website and e-mail address so that all students will have quick and easy access to her. She also will make her direct campus telephone number available.

DiPetrillo was given "two telephone books" of information about the BOG and its guidelines and admits she has a lot to learn. "I’m sure I’ll be listening in the beginning," she says.

A graduate of the former culinary certificate program at Rhode Island School of Design, DiPetrillo operated the Golden Bakeries in Coventry with her husband, Gary, for four years until large retail grocers flattened the homemade business.

Community involvement is as natural to DiPetrillo as baking a cake. She’s a past president, vice president, treasurer and corresponding secretary of the Blackrock PTA, a cub scout leader for Pack 17 Blackrock for eight years, a math tutor, and a parent library assistant for six years, all in Coventry. She also served on a town-wide "Technology R&D for the Future of Coventry Schools" committee.

DiPetrillo returned to school, realizing that without educational credentials she was constantly being pigeonholed solely as a baker. She chose URI’s Providence campus on the advice of her next -door neighbor, Vince Petronio who manages the Information and Instructional Technology Services at the college and also teaches communications.

"I jumped right into college life," says the full-time student who majors in communications studies and minors in anthropology. She became active in the college’s Student Government Board, becoming its president last spring. The 12-member student organization has been active, pushing for deferred book payments, buses, and raising $1,000 in a raffle for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

She became a computer tutor in the college’s Academic Skills Center and recently began working with students with disabilities. Soon she was advocating for their needs and acting as liaison with URI professors whom she found ready to listen and willing to help. The new BOG student representative has found the work so rewarding that she’s thinking of a career that centers on disability advocacy.

For Information:Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

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