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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: Dave Lavallee 401-874-5862

Work, family expert voted Woman of The Year
by URI Association for Professional and Academic Women

Wakefield professor honored for her advocacy, research on equity issues

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 13, 2003 -- The University of Rhode Island Association for Professional and Academic Women has named Management Professor Laura Beauvais its Woman of the Year.

Beauvais, of Wakefield, has been a member of the faculty at URI’s College of Business Administration since 1984. She was honored during a luncheon May 8 at the Memorial Union. Beauvais is the 25th recipient of the annual award, which was first presented in 1979.

"I have known Laura for seven years, but when I began reading her nomination papers, I was blown away by what she has accomplished," said Peg Ferguson, treasurer of the group’s steering committee, chair of the nominating committee and assistant director of Career Services. "She is such a soldier. She has done so much for URI, and has made a major impact on the faculty, staff, students and the general public."

"I was surprised by my nomination because there are other women at URI who’ve done more than I have," Beauvais said. "But I guess people recognize the contributions of people working behind the scenes and how they can integrate their contributions with others. My whole approach is to get involved in the community. It’s better to get involved, and try to solve some of the problems instead of just complaining and then leaving. I like working at the grass roots level."

In nominating Beauvais for the award, Marketing Professor Ruby Dholakia focused on Beauvais’ research on work and family issues, with particular emphasis on gender issues.

She has taught seminars for the National Academy of Management at the Women in Management Division’s pre-conference workshop, and has been a member of the URI Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s Studies Advisory Committee since the late 1980s. She also teaches an undergraduate course on Women in Business and Management in URI’s College of Business Administration.

She was a speaker at the CVS Corp. Diversity Series, "Increasing Opportunities for Women in Management," in March 2000 and was a speaker at Bryant College’s Women’s Summit, "Mothers or Monsters: the Stereotypes of Women Managers," in March 1999.

Beauvais was the facilitator for the Classic Leadership Seminar Series for URI’s Professional Development and Leadership Training Group in March 1998 on women’s leadership. She also presented workshops at the Women’s Leadership Forum at the URI Diversity Week Workshop in 2001. She is an active member of the ad hoc URI Women’s Equity Committee that has been working with President Robert L. Carothers and Provost M. Beverly Swan since 1999 to address gender equity on campus.

"I have known Laura for many years and have had the pleasure of serving on several college committees with her," Dholakia said. "She is a very pleasant person, listening to diverse viewpoints and sharing her own opinions and concerns in a most professional manner.

"I am sure there are many other colleagues on campus who have watched Laura engage in these activities, who will attest to her admirable qualities. I can think of no other person who is more deserving of this award," Dholakia said.

Beauvais earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Charleston and her doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Tennessee.

In addition to her teaching and research work at URI, she has been the coordinator of the full-time master’s in business administration program, acting director of graduate programs at the College of Business Administration and director of the doctoral program for the College.

She has received Merit Awards for her teaching, research and service excellence at URI. She participated in the URI Teaching Fellows Program from 1999 through 2000.

For Further Information: Peggy Ferguson 401-874-2583

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