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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 faculty, staff, students honored
for outstanding research, outreach, inventions

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 20, 2002 -- Nineteen faculty and staff members and two graduate students were honored by the University of Rhode Island this month for their outstanding research, outreach, inventions, and graduate studies. The recipients were selected by URI’s Council for Research, Council for Outreach, Intellectual Property Committee and/or Graduate Council.

The honorees for outstanding research are:

1. Richard Brown of Wakefield, professor of chemical engineering and department chair, whose internationally recognized research on the corrosion and degradation of materials is critical to transportation systems and the U.S. military.
2. Deborah Grossman-Garber of Kingston, director of undergraduate programs and academic outreach in the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, who led development of the Coastal Fellows Program and other experiential learning initiatives, and who served as co-coordinator of last fall’s Honors Colloquium.
3. Angelo Lucia of Narragansett, the Chester H. Kirk Professor of Chemical Engineering and chair of the Chemical Engineering Department’s Graduate Committee, whose research in chemical process modeling, simulation, optimization and computational thermodynamics has been applied in a variety of industrial settings.
4. Scott McWilliams of Kingston, assistant professor of natural resources science, whose research focuses on the interplay between the physiology and ecology of birds, including songbirds in Wisconsin, geese in the Arctic, ducks in India, and horned screamers in Colombia
5. Zahir Shaikh of Kingston, professor of biomedical sciences and department chair, who studies biochemical mechanisms of chemical toxicity in the liver and kidney, as well as the biological roles of a metal-binding protein. He also serves as director of the statewide Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network and director of the URI Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Toxicology.

The honorees for outstanding outreach are:

1. Ann Danis of Cranston, associate professor of music and director of orchestral activities, is the founder and music director of the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra and the Ocean State Youth Orchestra Symphony, and she has performed or conducted at hundreds of musical events to raise money for charities and scholarships.
2. Dennis Hilliard of Wakefield, director of the Rhode Island State Crime Lab and director of the URI Forensic Science Partnership, plays a key role in communicating to the general public about the role that URI scientists play in fighting crime in the state. He has addressed hundreds of groups and been interviewed by major media across the country.
3. Diane Horm-Wingered of Peace Dale, department chair and professor of human development and family studies, is a leader in early childhood education in the state, directs URI’s two child development centers, and created the Rhode Island Early Childhood Summer Institute.
4. Donna Hughes of Kingston, the Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, is an international expert on violence against women and sexual exploitation who is often called upon by governments around the world to consult and testify. She also manages an outreach effort to assist exploited women.
5. Linda Sebelia of Barrington, nutrition specialist in the URI Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, developed and supervises a federally funded nutrition education program for Rhode Island families with limited resources and for 22 years has written a weekly column on healthy eating for the Providence Journal.
6. Roland Duhaime of Kingston, Charles Labash of East Greenwich, Aimee Mandeville of Harrisville, and Alyson McCann of West Greenwich, who operate the URI Environmental Data Center and provide technical training in the use of Geographic Information Systems and data distribution programs to the natural resource management community in southern New England. Labash is the Center’s director, Duhaime designed and operates the Center’s website, and McCann and Mandeville provide training through the URI Cooperative Extension.

The honorees for outstanding intellectual property inventions are:

1. Brett Lucht of South Kingstown, assistant professor of chemistry, for his invention of thermal stabilizing additives for lithium ion batteries, which he developed for the U.S. Air Force.
2. Ying Sun of Wakefield, professor of electrical and computer engineering and coordinator of the URI biomedical engineering program, for four new inventions developed to help people with disabilities control their environment.

The honorees for outstanding graduate studies are:

1. Michael Cornelius of Kingston, who earned his Ph.D. in British literature this year and has served on over a dozen university and department committees. He is the author of two novels, Creating Man and Wanderings.
2. Michael DeMaria of Narragansett, a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department who served as president of the Graduate Student Association and organized the Graduate Assistants Union. He also authored the Teacher’s Resource Manual, published two short stories, and organizes an annual Conference on Popular Culture.
3. Paul DeMesquita of Kingston, associate professor of psychology and director of his department’s graduate programs, a sought-after mentor to graduate students whose research has led to improved school-based psychological services for young children.
4. John Merrill of North Kingstown, associate dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography, who has had great success at fostering the transformation of selected students into young scientists with great capabilities and limitless potential.
5. Donna Schwartz-Barcott of West Greenwich, professor of nursing, a well-respected scholar and an expert in qualitative methodology who spends hours mentoring doctoral students through their dissertation work.

For Information: Melissa McCarthy 874-2599, Todd McLeish 874-7892

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