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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Group puts its talents online - Team unveils new website for Cong. Jim Langevin

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 6, 2004 -- There's a new group at the University of Rhode Island and they're quite well-connected. In fact, the members know many different languages, are avid surfers, talented weavers, and they do all of their finest work out in the open.

"They" are the University's Web Development Group, a new URI Service Center from the University's Office of Information Services that provides dynamic, database-driven web design services for businesses and offices throughout the state. Congressman Jim Langevin is the latest to benefit from these services with the development and launch of his new website at

Known as the WDG, the group's talents really shine with large web-services projects for departments, schools and colleges at URI. In addition, it also services other Rhode Island state and local government offices and grant-supported projects.

Co-lead by Lisa Chen, the University webmaster and Trent Batson, a Director in the Office of Information Services, the group is staffed by a number of undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated a high-level of skill in database creation. The technical lead is Lin Sing Lee and faculty advisor is Joan Peckham from the College of Arts and Sciences' Computer Science Department.

"Comprehensive web services development is one of the biggest growth areas in the country," said Batson. "Interactive sites that help people do the business they want to do online are critical. The students working in our group are talented, intuitive and dedicated to structuring the sites while they're learning and exploring new ways to meet the needs of the users. It's a great process that involves teaching, learning and service."

"The Web Development Group at the University of Rhode Island has put their knowledge and state-of-the-art tools to work to help me better communicate with my constituents and others seeking information on my efforts in the House of Representatives," said Congressman Langevin. "The Web has become a crucial communications and learning tool, and I would like to thank the Web Development Group for bringing my web site into the 21st century."

Batson says that the Service Center fees charged to programs on-and off-campus are for the web design services offered and are calibrated to suit the academic environment.

"The students involved in the process are gaining a real-world type of internship through interactions with the WDG clients. They participate in the process of understanding what the client's goals are in their web effort, then developing a product to meet those goals," said Batson.

Batson said the group has been developed through the support of Paul Gandel, vice provost for information and dean of libraries at the University of Rhode Island. The group's website is located at: and features links to other sites they have developed.