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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

* Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116


URI Excellence Award winners recognized at Convocation

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 18, 2002 -- 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 Sept. 12. The recipients are also invited to march in URI's commencement ceremony next May, walking with officials and dignitaries representing excellence within the URI community.

M. Beverly Swan, provost and academic vice president of academic affairs read the following citations during convocation:

Staff Excellence Award. Kim Bissonnette. "In the world of ice packs, tape, and whirlpools, Kim is in a league of his own. As head athletic trainer at the University of Rhode Island since 1991, Kim coordinates sports medicine services for all 22 intercollegiate sports. That means he is responsible for the daily prevention, evaluation, and care of injuries for more than 600 varsity athletes each year. No matter what the injury – whether turf toe or a broken finger, a tennis elbow or swimmer's ear, Kim makes the Herculean task of ensuring all URI athletes get the best possible medical attention look easy. Beyond his athletic role, Kim happily shares his expertise and enthusiasm inside and outside of the classroom setting. More than 150 professional athletic trainers currently working at professional, college, high school, industrial and clinical settings throughout the country owe a debt of gratitude to Kim's internship program and his tireless support."

Administrative Excellence Award. Eileen Tierney. "Eileen deserves our academy's award for her supporting role as curator of the library's Media Resource Center. Since 1985, she has overseen the ordering, receiving, and distributing of films, videos, and audiotapes used in classrooms across the campus. And she even tracks down hard-to-find material without making it seem like a major production. Faculty and students looking for help have to only stop at her desk. Eileen's wealth of knowledge makes the center one of the richest resources on campus and certainly one of the most user-friendly. Combining imagination with efficiency, the media center offers an extensive collection of material, including 6,000 video titles. Although technology is forever changing her job description, it never alters Eileen's cheerful disposition."


Teaching Excellence: Alain-Philippe Durand, assistant professor of French. "Students cite his exuberance and passion for teaching the French language and culture as the reason they enjoy class. One student was so impressed with Alain-Philppe's classroom presentations, she made her mother take a day out of work and sister skip school so that they could sit in on one of his classesÉsort of a reverse show-and-tell. In the three years he has taught at URI, Alain-Philippe has generated a great deal of excitement about the French major. He's also creative, establishing an exchange program in Marseilles and designing an innovative program so that his students are able to chat electronically with French authors."


Scholarly Excellence Award. Judith Swift. "As a professor and director of theatre for the past 30 years, Judith has dazzled her students and her audiences everywhere with her unique brand of pixie dust by bringing originality and insights to all her productions. But it isn't magic that transforms any play she directs or pens, it's Judith's scholarly bank of knowledge, not only of the theater but also of literature, history, science, and more. She remains a student with an insatiable curiosity of all things human. A great communicator, she serves as a role model for her communication studies students. Judith has the unique ability to grasp the core of an issue and translate it into understandable terms whether in a classroom, a community presentation, or boardroom discussion."

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