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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 announces honors and appointments

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 8, 2004 -- The University of Rhode Island announces recent honors and appointments.

o Alain-Philippe Durand of South Kingstown, assistant professor of languages, has been invited to speak next fall in Berlin, Germany by the House of World Cultures. The professor of French has been asked to discuss "Hip-Hop in Europe—where has it gone to, to whom does it belong?" at an interdisciplinary project entitled "Black Atlantic: Traveling cultures, counter-memories, networked identities." The project addresses aspects of contemporary art and culture that have recently become major themes in cultural debates: processes of trans-nationality and trans-culturality.

o Catherine Sama of Pawtucket, associate professor of Italian, has edited and translated writings by Elisabetta Caminer Turra. The result is the book Selected Writings of an Eighteenth-Century Venetian Woman of Letters, which was published this month by the University of Chicago Press. Turra was one of the most prominent women in 18th century Italy and a central figure in the international republic of letters.

o Saunderstown resident Charles T. "Ted" Schmidt, director and professor emeritus of industrial relations at URI’s Schmidt Labor Research Center, was the recipient of the Rev. Charles B. Quirk, O.P. Award. Schmidt was honored for his "many exemplary contributions to furthering the cause of industrial peace." The award was presented at the John H. Fanning Conference run by the Quirk Institute of Industrial Relations at Providence College. Schmidt was the 1983 founder of URI’s Labor Research Center, an independent, multidisciplinary unit devoted to the study and teaching of all aspects of work and employment, including the practice of labor relations and human resources. Schmidt’s teaching career at URI spanned 35 years.

o Ann Danis of Cranston, associate professor of music and conductor of the Fall River Symphony Orchestra, conducted the North Carolina Honors Orchestra at its request. She has also been invited to serve as guest lecturer and performer for an instrumental chamber music class at the University of California, Irvine.

o The Western Literature Association recently honored Nancy Cook of Warwick, associate professor of English, with the Willa Pilla Award for "outstanding achievement in humor in a conference paper." The Association has more than 1,000 members and annually draws more than 350 participants to its conferences.

o Literature and the law work in tandem as narratives to perpetuate cultural ideas and norms, according to Valerie Karno of Providence, assistant professor of English who also holds a law degree and advises URI students interested in pursuing legal careers. Karno is one of a handful of academics in the nation who teaches courses that combines the two disciplines.

o Brian Maynard of Peace Dale, a professor of horticulture, was recently named a Fellow of the International Plant Propagator’s Society---Eastern Region, the second highest award presented by the society. The society is dedicated to seeking and sharing knowledge in plant propagation and horticulture.

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