I feel very fortunate to introduce myself to you as the editor of the very first issue of the University of Rhode Island Magazine. A product of many months of research, readership surveys, and hard work by the previous editor—my colleague and friend, Pippa Jack—your newly named and redesigned URI magazine will continue to bring you a wide range of stories, news, and interactive content, and will arrive in your mailbox as a slightly longer magazine, three times a year, instead of four. We hope you love the new look and feel of the magazine, and we invite you to share your thoughts about it with us by emailing email@example.com or commenting at our new website, uri.edu/magazine.
I’ve been part of the URI community as a staff member for almost 15 years, and my connection to URI goes further back than that. I started my college journey taking classes at URI’s College of Continuing Education in Providence in the late 1980s. My mother and both her brothers are URI alumni (classes of 1962, 1954, and 1953), and my grandfather married URI President Howard Edwards’ daughter, Mildred, right here on the Kingston Campus in 1923. Sadly, Mildred died in childbirth the following year. While the Edwards lineage did not extend to my branch of the family tree, URI has played a prominent role in my family history ever since.
The URI community is diverse in every way. We are alumni, staff, faculty, students, parents, legislators, organizations, and businesses. We hail from all walks of life, mindsets, political persuasions, and professions. We are heterogeneous in our race, ethnicity, citizenship, gender identification, language, age, and economic background. We identify with different URI campuses—from Narragansett Bay, to Kingston, to Alton Jones, to Providence—and different colleges, majors, and departments. Our interests range from fashion to pharmacy, science to sports, accounting to aquaculture, civil engineering to civil discourse, and on and on.
These differences define us and make us who we are. Curating stories that will resonate with so many different people is challenging, but it makes this magazine a true pleasure to put together. I learn things I didn’t know, meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet, and come face to face with new ideas and perspectives.
I hope that in these pages, you, too, will be challenged to reconsider something you thought you had already figured out. I hope you will learn something new. I hope something here will make you smile. And I hope you will share your ideas for what you’d like to see in these pages in coming issues.
— Barbara Caron, Interim Editor-in-Chief