Big Ideas. Bold Plans.

The Campaign for the University of Rhode Island

Beibhinn Gallagher ’21
Data Science
Home: Charlestown, R.I.

Announcing the $250 Million Campaign for the University of Rhode Island

URI is making transformative investments in students, faculty, groundbreaking research, and our physical environment. The campaign will build upon our exceptional achievements and advance learning, research, and thought-leading academic activity.

URI President David Dooley
“This campaign offers the opportunity for everyone to contribute something meaningful to making the University of Rhode Island even better, even stronger, and more resilient, and to raising our profile globally and nationally.”
David M. Dooley URI President

Seraphina Negash ’21
: Health Studies and Cell and Molecular Biology
Home: Providence, R.I.

Seraphina Negash ’21 is an idealist with a strong practical bent. She is studying to be a doctor because she believes that people, regardless of income or status, should have access to health care.

She speaks fondly of URI faculty who have challenged her to think critically and ask tough questions while mentoring her even after the class is over.

Her leadership skills and confidence have grown through her participation in student organizations and as a resident assistant. URI is home and the foundation on which to build a better future.

“I was accepted to seven universities and I chose URI because of the financial aid I received. I want to be a doctor and I have a lot of schooling ahead of me. URI has provided me with unexpected experiences in and out of the classroom that have broadened how I think. I love it here.”
Seraphina Negash ’21
Adelaide Levenson

Adelaide Levenson ’21
Major: Chemistry
Home: Woonsocket, R.I.

Adelaide Levenson ’21 wants to help protect the environment, and she believes research is the key to sustainability.

She participated in three research projects in her first two years as a chemistry major. She worked on the creation of flame-retardant textiles, studied supramolecular compounds’ ability to capture pollutants from water, and assisted in the development of devices that detect nutrients in seawater.

Her love of chemistry continues to blossom under the guidance of her professors, and her research earned her two summer research positions and a National Science Foundation summer undergraduate fellowship.

Levenson found the formula at URI to achieve her dreams.

“URI has provided me with amazing hands-on opportunities early in my academic career. It has offered knowledge and experience I couldn’t gain sitting in a classroom. Because of these experiences, I can confidently say that I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
Adelaide Levenson ’21

Kunal Mankodiya
Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering

As a child, Kunal Mankodiya helped sell textiles at his family-owned shop in India. Now, he and an interdisciplinary team at URI marry textiles with sensors, computing, and the internet to improve health.

Professor Mankodiya founded the Wearable Biosensing Lab at URI, which has received national and international accolades. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and was named the “Innovator-of-the-year” by Future Textiles Awards in Germany. Mankodiya organizes international scientific workshops and hackathons to promote entrepreneurial thinking.

URI students benefit from the synergy between teaching and research. Mankodiya’s course, Wearable Internet of Things, nurtures their entrepreneurial skills.

Faculty like Professor Mankodiya enable URI to better serve its students and raise its academic profile.

“I tell students when they walk into my class that they are going to start a company in one semester. Over that time, they create a working prototype of a product they want to bring to market. They leave the course with a better understanding of design thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. Life is an experiment, and I love sharing that idea with my students.”
Kunal Mankodiya

Scott Breault ’21
Majors: Mechanical Engineering and German
Home: Milford, Connecticut

Scott Breault ’21 saw a flyer in high school that combined his passions for cars and innovation: an internship at BMW through the URI International Engineering Program (IEP).

The flyer inspired him to apply to URI, and in spring 2020 he was interning at ZF Friedrichshafen AG in Germany, a company that creates systems that enable vehicles to see, think, and act.

Breault’s semester abroad was cut short due to COVID-19, but the IEP helped him transition to an internship at PI (Physik Instrumente), a German company with a facility in Auburn, Massachusetts.

The experience has demonstrated that he can “think globally and act locally.”

“The IEP is second-to-none and allows students to establish connections and take advantage of the many opportunities the program provides.”
Scott Breault ’21
Donald H. DeHayes

Donald H. DeHayes came to URI in 2008 as provost and vice president for academic affairs to oversee the intellectual enterprise and to encourage growth and innovation. Under his leadership, the 2016–2021 Academic Plan set clear goals to enhance URI’s environment for superlative learning and discovery.

This “living plan” anticipated dramatic changes in the landscape of higher education and developed strategies to address disruptive technologies, access and affordability issues, student success and degree completion, and globalization.

These challenges and new ones will continue to present URI with opportunities. By building the URI endowment, the University will have access to resources that can be used to implement strategies that enhance URI and benefit students.

“For the University to take the next step, we need to be nimble and take advantage of opportunities that require quick action. Strategic endowed funds, combined with immediate-use resources, give us the agility to ensure URI’s continued success.”
Donald H. DeHayes Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
$250MCampaign goal by 2024
$175MProgress to date
“My wife Jean and I are committed to supporting the University of Rhode Island’s vision for the future and are pleased to invest in Big Ideas. Bold Plans. The Campaign for URI.”
Richard J. Harrington ’73, Hon. ’02 Campaign Chair


Campaign Chairs

Leadership Phase
Michael D. Fascitelli ’78, Hon. ’08

Public Phase
Richard J. Harrington ’73, Hon. ’02

Geraldine M. Barber ’70
Gregory P. Barber
James P. Clappin ’80, P’17
Paul M. Cofoni ’70
Richard G. Dunn ’89, P’24
Thomas E. Ehrhardt ’86
Frederick J. Newton III ’78, P’24
John Vito Priore ’87, P’07, P’12, P’20
Shiela Irene Priore P’07, P’12, P’20
Thomas M. Ryan ’75, Hon. ’99
Cynthia Davis Sculco ’65
Diane Sullivan P’05
Alfred J. Verrecchia ’67, M.B.A. ’72, Hon. ’04

Photos: Joe Giblin, Nora Lewis, Patrick O’Connor Photography, and courtesy Scott Breault