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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 College of the Environment honors staff, faculty Long-time volunteer inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 28, 2002 -- The University of Rhode Island College of the Environment and Life Sciences and its dean, Jeffrey Seemann, honored five faculty and staff members with excellence awards at a recent ceremony and inducted a long-time volunteer into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Honored as the College’s Teacher of the Year was Robert Johnston of Newport, assistant research professor in the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. He consistently receives excellent comments from students about his teaching, both for the high standards he sets as well as for his sensitivity and sense of humor.

Receiving the award for Research Scientist of the Year was Paul Cohen of Narragansett, professor of cell and molecular biology. He studies microbial genetics and is currently researching how to make effective bacterial vaccines for E. coli and other bacteria. He also is working on developing bacterial strains that can be released and used safely in the environment.

The Outreach Educator of the Year award was presented to Linda Sebelia of Barrington, nutrition specialist in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. She 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.

Carol Trocki of Jamestown, coordinator of the URI Coastal Fellows Program, was recognized with the Research Staff Excellence Award. She helps undergraduate students obtain research experience by matching them with faculty members and other scientists. She is also conducting research on wading birds in Rhode Island for her master’s degree.

The Staff Excellence Award was presented to Katherine Favreau of Wakefield, the principal clerk in the Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science. She was cited for her excellence in handling the department’s fiscal matters and her cheery and professional manner when dealing with the public.

Also during the awards ceremony, Whitney Bancroft of Wakefield was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame. A long-time 4-H volunteer, Bancroft served as the Rhode Island state 4-H program leader from 1974 to 2000 and previously was a county 4-H agent in New York for 10 years. He also served as president of South County Habitat for Humanity.

The National 4-H Hall of Fame was created for the 2002 celebration of the 100th anniversary of 4-H, a national organization that offers hands-on learning activities for young people so they might become productive citizens. Based at URI, the Rhode Island 4-H program supports 98 clubs with 1,000 youth members and 300 adult volunteers. Bancroft is one of 100 volunteers and supporters inducted into the founding class of the hall of fame.

For Information: Todd McLeish 874-7892

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