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University College for Academic Success Scholars 2011

On Sunday November 6, 2011  University College for Academic Success recognized and honored the very best in our last year’s freshman class - those students who have excelled both in and out of the classroom while in their first year of college, surely one of the most challenging and changing times of their lives. Scholars are chosen by first being identified by their high academic achievement.  We invited the top students who have grades exceeding 3.95 to tell us about their involvement at the university, in their community, and in their disciplines. Based on these criteria, the top ten winners were selected.   Recipients receive a recognition certificate along with a gift of $500.00 from an anonymous donor.   

Paige Clarkin

is from Cranston RI, majoring in communicative disorders. She is a member of the student alumni association, the Newman club, several honor societies, and is member of the honors program. Paige also serves as URI 101 mentor and is member of student senate. Paige kind of specializes in helping other people. She works as a consultant at the computer help desk, is a mentor for the SMILE program - introducing young people to the worlds of science and math, and is a member of the Liturgy team for student mass at church. Her goal is to go into the accelerated 5 year program for speech pathology and specialize in working with children. Paige balances many outside interests with her excellent school work all while working two jobs and giving back to the community.

Elliot Bertrand

is from North Kingstown RI, and is major in mathematics, with a minor in music. He is a member of several honor societies and spends much of his time with his musical pursuits. He is a member of the URI symphony orchestra and serves as principal second violinist, and is pianist as well. He is also an academic tutor at the AEC, working with the math center. He also tutors in the math department, helping students with computer software. He has worked raise awareness for URI's Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies. His ultimate goal is to become professor of mathematics,and is already planning his doctoral agenda.

Briell Dzierga

is from Adams MA, majoring in animal vet science. She is actively involved in clubs in her major, which hold fund raisers for animal shelters and mentor new students into the major, as well as hold competitions around agricultural issues. She is an avid skier and snowboarder, which she fits in while not in school or being a teaching assistant for a few faculty. She is a member of several honor societies, always striving for success through persistence and hard work. Her lifetime goal has been to become a veterinarian and she relishes the many opportunities she has already had, from freshman year on, to get hands on experience, putting theory into practice right from the start. She has already done an internship which has reinforced the knowledge that she is following her life's passion. She has been nominated as a youth leader in several organizations, has worked with autistic children, raised money for the poor, and on and on.

Bryan Poston

is from Charlestown RI, majoring in finance. He tutors in our Academic Enhancement Center, in business, math, and economics. He is a drummer in the marching band and a member of the Provost's advisory council. He is in the honors program and was even featured in a video on the Harrington School of Communication. Bryan hopes to get a degree in Finance, followed by a graduate degree in Accounting, eventually working in an investment firm. By the end of his freshman year he already began his first internship at GTECH, with the Vice President of Finance, to develop financial planning software. He has been invited to continue this work with them as he continues his education. He has been a volunteer with the boy scouts leadership program for more than four years, and is himself an eagle scout - clearly great training for hard work, focus, and giving back to the community.

Morgan Ratte

is from Hudson NH, majoring in pharmacy with a minor in biology. She is an active member in the pharmacy student organizations, working to enhance the quality of care for older people. She has also volunteered her time working with the Leukemia Society, is a biology tutor in the academic enhancement center, and plays intramural soccer. Her goal is to be highly involved, both in and out of class, and is working to one day become a pediatric pharmacist. Morgan is a first generation college student, and she is more than ready to take on all the challenges she can, and hopes to soon become part of a research team with her faculty in pharmacy seeking new cures for cancer.

Emily Rowe

is from Levittown NY, majoring in accounting. She is an officer in her Sigma Kappa sorority, an officer in the Women in Business society, and is a member of several honor societies. She works as a URI101 mentor, is a tour guide with admissions, and has done various volunteer work such as raising money in the Relay for Life and the Epilepsy Fund. She is looking forward to her internship with KPMG and Price Waterhouse, with the goal of one or the other hiring her as a CPA. Her goal is to graduate with her degree in three years. She already has 58 credits as a first semester sophomore so she is well on her way.

Christopher Shillings

is from East Greenwich RI, majoring in mechanical engineering. He has already been put to work at the URI Foundation helping to raise money for URI. He is a fitness specialist and an intramural basketball player, and an avid all around sports fan. His goal is to work in the field of ballistics (weaponry and space exploration), to be a great cook, and to run a marathon. He is a member of the engineering living learning community and says this has been a tremendous help to him, both inspiring his work ethic and his sense of competitive motivation.

Justin Vendettuoli

is from Narragansett RI, and is majoring in wildlife conservation biology. He is an active member of the outing club, the gaming club, and is on a Capoiera team. He also works as computer consultant at the help desk and has done various service experiences such as helping to raise money for the URI peace and nonviolence center. Justin plans to do an internship in the fields of biology and ecology and to one day make important improvements in protecting natural ecosystems. He is also a graduate of the Americorp Program and the Coconino Rural Environment Corp, where he first established and later further developed his commitment to the health of our environment.

Kyle Weinreich

is from Plainfield VT, and is major in political science and economics and has a minor in leadership. He is a member of Student Senate, is Vice Chair of SOARC, and is a ZBT fraternity member in charge of philanthropy. He also is on the Provost's advisory committee. He currently works with disability services as a technology coordinator, helping to support students who are dealing with learning challenges. His goal is to work in educational policy, he says to ensure that future students have a great educational experience.

Hania Zaman

is from Shelton CT, majoring in pharmacy with a minor in biology. She is a member of the Student Senate on the Executive Committee as Chief Information Officer. She has also served on th Cultural Affairs Committee, the Rules and Ethics Committee, and the Senate Scholarship Committee. She is the treasurer of the Muslim Student Association and a member of the pharmacy sorority, and works as a URI tour guide. She is currently in the honors program and has taken on active roles in the community such as writing for the Cigar and serving on the Diversity Funds Committee. She has volunteered time with Leukemia and Lymphoma fund raisers, and says that the very best event she participated in was the March for Equality last spring. Her dream is to travel the world and to then open a pharmacy in a community in need. She also hopes to go on to medical school and become a surgeon, working in a 3rd world country. She says that what makes her different is not that she is smarter than anyone else, but that she has a passion and strong work ethic, and that she always remembers to smile and be kind to others.

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