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All in the University Family

Electrical Engineering Professor Leland Jackson is known for his research and teaching in digital signal processing, which is the basis of many modern devices from cell phones to modems, radar, and sonar. He built the first digital filter in hardware at Bell Labs, and his two textbooks are still in use. He retired last spring after 36 years at URI and 10 years in industry.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the last the University would see of a Jackson. Just as Leland Jackson was exiting, his daughter Anita Jackson Derreza joined our College of Pharmacy as a clinical assistant professor in pharmacy practice. In her role as an instructor in the Professional Pharmacy Practice Laboratory, she teaches students about patient counseling, cultural competence, medication reconciliation, inter-professional health care teams, and the prevention of adverse medication events.

“I grew up on South Road in Kingston,” Derreza recalled. “I learned to throw and hit a softball on the Quad and took many after-dinner walks through the URI gardens. I remember spending lots of time at the Fine Arts Building where my mother accompanied opera students on the piano and in Kelly Hall with my father, drawing on the board and reading.

“It has always been my dream to be at URI. I hope I can be even a shadow of the professor, teacher, and mentor that my father was for so many students.”

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