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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Providence mayor to be featured as guest on URI radio show Dec. 3 as part of University’s honors colloquium

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 25, 2013 – The University of Rhode Island will welcome Providence mayor and Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras to its Kingston campus as part of its fall 2013 honors colloquium series.

Taveras will be featured as a guest on WRIU’s The Beauty Salon, a weekly, half-hour radio show that looks at everyday aesthetics in and around Rhode Island, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Hall auditorium. The “Decoding Rhode Island” segment of the show will focus on the $5 million Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge prize awarded to the City of Providence in support of “Providence Talks” - Taveras’ initiative to improve the vocabularies of preschool-age children by measuring and rapidly increasing the number of words spoken in their households.

Cate Morrison, URI lecturer of communication studies, and Karen de Bruin, URI associate professor of French, will interview Taveras live. The audience will get to experience the recording of the radio show during that time.

“While our show is about aesthetics, we are also committed to providing access and breaking down barriers,” said Cheryl Foster, URI professor of philosophy and associate director of the Honors Program. “We’re looking to interview Mayor Taveras about why language acquisition is important and how he got involved with the initiative, especially since he was a part of the Head Start program in Rhode Island as a child.”

This year’s honors colloquium is the 51st annual at URI, and is titled “Great Public Schools:
Everyone’s Right? Everyone’s Responsibility?”

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

Taveras was elected Providence’s 37th mayor in 2010. He grew up on the South Side of Providence and participated in Head Start, a federally-funded program that provides educational and medical resources for low-income women and children. After attending the Providence Public Schools, Taveras graduated from Harvard University, where he received his undergraduate degree, and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he received his law degree. In 2007, Taveras was appointed as an associate judge on the Providence Housing Court. He served in that position until 2010, when he stepped down to enter the Providence mayoral race. He won a four-way Democratic Primary with 49-percent of the vote, and went on to win the general election with 82-percent of the vote.

Since taking office in January 2011, Mayor Taveras has worked to strengthen the city, including reforming the pension system, eliminating a $110 million structural deficit, growing Providence’s economy and creating jobs, and improving public education.

The Beauty Salon is broadcast Mondays at 12:30 p.m. on 90.3 WRIU, and is hosted by Ian Reyes, URI assistant professor of communication studies; Karen de Bruin; and Cheryl Foster. Foster was also recently named the 2013 Rhode Island professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, as well as a Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher. Additional contributors to the radio show are David Howard, URI associate professor of costume design, and Cate Morrison. For more information about the show, visit: Beauty Salon.

This year’s honors colloquium is coordinated by David Byrd and Diane Kern of the URI School of Education and is supported by:

Major Sponsor: URI Honors Program.

Sponsors: URI Office of the President; URI Office of the Provost; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, as well as the following URI colleges, departments and offices: College of Human Sciences and Services, Talent Development, Multicultural Center, University College, WRIU’s The Beauty Salon, College of Arts and Sciences, The Harrington School of Communications and Media, John Hazen White, Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, College of Pharmacy, College of Environment and Life Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Nursing, Division of Student Affairs, Department of Marketing and Communications, Department of Publications and Creative Services, and Instructional Technology and Media Services. Rhode Island Public Radio is also a sponsor.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401-874-2381 or dgardiner@mail.uri.edu.

For more information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact URI professor Lynne Derbyshire, Honors Program director, at 401-874-4732. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401-874-2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call R.I. Relay Service at 800-745-5555.