URI announces honors and appointments

KINGSTON, R.I. — March 11, 1999 — James Nugent, a senior majoring in computer science at the University of Rhode Island, has been awarded the R. Craig Caldwell Scholarship by the Department of Computer Science. The award is made possible by an endowment established in 1981 in memory of R. Craig Caldwell, who was a student in computer science. The scholarship is awarded annually to a computer science major on the basis of scholastic achievement. In addition to his major in computer science, Nugent is completing a major in computer engineering. He is a member of the national honor societies Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi. After graduation from URI, Mr. Nugent will begin graduate studies for a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and robotics. Nugent lives in Middletown, Rhode Island. He graduated from Middletown High School in 1994. Jianming Ye of Kingston, a URI graduate student in Food Science and Nutrition from mainland China, won third place in a national developing scientist competition sponsored by the International Association of Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians (IAMFES). The IAMFES professional society is committed to advancing food safety worldwide. Ye’s winning research paper “Rapid Detection of Staphylococcus aureus using a membrane biosensor” was co-authored by URI professors A. Garth Rand, Dr. Philip Pivarnik, Dr. Jay Sperry and Dr. Andre Senecal, a URI alumnus now employed at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command in Natick, Mass. The research is supported both by the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station and by a contract from the US. Army Soldier Systems Command. This is the first rapid test biosensor for the detection of the S. Aureus pathogen which is the second leading cause of food poisoning in the United States, with an estimated 1.5 million cases annually. Dr. Frank Golet of Richmond, a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Science and an authority in the natural history of wetlands, was given the 1999 Distinguished Naturalist Award by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey at its annual conference on March 12. Golet was given the award “for his many contributions to furthering knowledge of Rhode Island’s biota and ecosystems.” The organization’s citation hails Golet as “a walking encyclopedia whose depth of knowledge is staggering, as it spans wetland flora and fauna, hydrology, geology, and regulations.” The citation also notes that Golet’s life and career has been dedicated to the study and protection of wetland ecosystems. For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116