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The Third Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards

The President’s Award winners are, left to right, John C. King ’85, chief national correspondent for CNN; William J. Flynn ’75, president, CEO, and director of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings; Clarice Owiti Odhiambo, M.S. ’88, founder of Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions; and Bruce S. Sherman ’68, CEO and chief investment officer of Private Capital Management.

URI’s third annual Distinguished Achievement Awards, held on Saturday evening, Oct. 18, at the Westin Hotel, Providence, celebrated the achievements of four President’s Award winners and 27 Dean’s List recipients.

The Dean’s List Award recipients were joined in most cases by the deans of their colleges for these photo sessions.

2008 Distinguished Achievement Awards Photo Album.

More on the 2008 DAA honorees.

Left to right, Ann Marie Rathbun ’01, a sales manager at Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina who is a strong advocate of educational opportunities for adult students; Vice Provost for Urban Programs John H. McCray Jr.; and  Virginia A. Nardone ’68, M.S. ‘78, who served for 15 years as ASFCCE’s director of special programs.

Left to right, Daniel A. Procaccini ’74, associate justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court; Pamela Watts ’76, anchor/reporter for WPRI’s Eyewitness News; and Gerald P. Keane ’74, a board certified physiatrist for the Stanford University and University of California-Berkley athletic programs and a consultant for the San Francisco 49ers.


Standing, left to right, Deborah A. Ciolfi ’80, principal of Providence Investors, LLC, a private wealth management and strategy firm; Richard Vangermeersch, M.S. ’64, professor emeritus of accounting; Stephen H. Hopkins ’79, a partner of Roundtable Investment Partners; and seated, Dean Mark Higgins.

Standing, left to right, Kenneth J. Hylander ’80, senior vice president and chief safety officer for Northwest Airlines; Dean Raymond Wright; seated, left to right, Steven A. Bouley ’80, general manager, California Operations, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne; and Kenneth A. Epstein ’69, principal for NewCap Partners, Inc.


Standing, left to right, Dean Jeffrey Seemann; H. Curtis Spalding, former executive director of Save The Bay; Peter B. Lord, M.M.A.’07, a reporter for The Providence Journal; and seated, Kimball Hall, vice president of Amgen Rhode Island.


Standing, left to right, Dean Lynn McKinney; Meredith A. Caswell ’75, principal of Slater Junior High School in Pawtucket; seated, left to right, Evelyn S. Kennedy Commentucci ’69, M.S. ’72, founder of Sewtique, a textile restoration company, and founder and executive director of P.R.I.D.E (Promote Real Independence for the Disabled and Elderly); and Paul A. McCaffrey ’79, a health and physical education teacher at Narragansett Elementary School.


Standing, left to right, Elaine Reimels ’68, M.S. ’76, senior director of heart and vascular care at AnMed Health in South Carolina; Joanne V. Hickey, M.S. ’74, the Patricia L. Starck Endowed Professor of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston; Martha E. Griffin, Ph.D. ’00, a well-known speaker on lateral violence in the nursing field; and seated, Dean Dayle Joseph. Not in photo, Diann Uustal ’68, founder and president of Resources in HealthCare, Inc.


Back row, left to right, Saul Kaplan ’79, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and executive counselor to the Governor on Economic Growth and Community Development; Stephen J. Allen ’76, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists’ Research and Education Foundation; Interim Dean Ronald Jordan; front, left to right, Evangeline R. Lausier ’75, assistant professor of medicine at Duke University; and Vasant G. Telang ’68, associate provost, Howard University.


Left to right, John M. Hoenig, M.S. ’79, M.S. ’81, Ph.D ’83, professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; and James A. Yoder, M.S. ’74, Ph.D ’79, vice president for academic programs at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and former associate dean and interim dean of the GSO.

2 comments to “The Third Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards”

  1. Diane Grimley, PhD comments:

    The winners are all highly deserving of such an award. It is wonderful that URI does this sort of thing. However, many were associated with big business and productive companies($$). I do understand that universities are always looking for potential donors and great “press” but what about deserving alumi who are trying to remove health disparities and who developing programs targeting individuals at greatest risk to keep the public healthy. It would be great to hear more about individuals who are teaching students many of whom are minorities, conducting research, and providing service to the community? Are these not worthy of recognition? I guess such accomplishments are not perceived as being worthy of praise. Not as sexy as CNN, I agree. Moreover, the pay is much lower. But I guess this is what my little Rhody has become–it wants to play with the “big boys”.

    --Posted: January 8th, 2009 at 9:14 pm
  2. Gigi Edwards, Saunderstown comments:

    Agreeing wholeheartedly with Dr. Grimley’s comments above, I would like to remind her and other readers that one of the DAA winners this time around was Clarice Odhiambo, subject of _QuadAngles_’s July 2008 cover story (please see links to Odhiambo and her organization at the top of this page). It would be great to see URI recognizing and publicizing more people like Clarice Odhiambo.

    --Posted: February 27th, 2009 at 10:34 am

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