Head of the class: URI praises its first-year elite

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 16, 2000 — As part of its Family Weekend celebration held on Nov. 5, the University of Rhode Island honored students from the 1999-2000 freshman class for their outstanding academic achievement. Eleven of URI’s brightest students, none with lower than a 3.97 grade point average (GPA), were invited with their family and friends to a brunch in URI’s Memorial Union to be recognized as University College Scholars. URI President Robert L. Carothers commended the scholars for their dedication and hard work. “We are immensely proud of these young men and women and I congratulate their parents as well,” said Carothers. “They show great promise for the future.” Concluding his remarks, Carothers presented each student with a check for $500 to show “concrete appreciation for their achievements” and encouragement for their future success. “We hope that you will be able to continue the track that you’ve started,” he said. The students were surprised and appreciative of the University’s recognition for their hard work. Cranston resident and Sophomore Matthew Papino, an Italian and Spanish double major who hopes to become an international translator, was flattered to receive the award. “I feel very proud to receive an honor like this,” he said. Monique Perron, a biological science major from Fiskdale Mass., was also pleased with the honor. “It’s great that the University recognizes the hard work of students. It’s not easy being a freshman adjusting to college and doing well at the same time.” University deans, department chairs, and faculty also attended to recognize the excellence of these students. University College Dean Jayne Richmond praised the students as “wonderful role models because of their leadership academically and within other organizations.” With majors ranging from accounting to computer science to mechanical engineering, many of the students belong to national organizations including Phi Eta Sigma, a freshman honor society. Richmond added that all of the University College Scholars are followed throughout their college years to see if they keep up with the good work. “Not surprisingly, they do,” she said. Supporting this statement, Meghan Gordon of Absecon, N.J., a double major in elementary education and psychology, said: “I spent countless hours in the library and this award gives me incentive to keep working hard.” Since its inception five years ago, the merit-based scholarship has been awarded to 60 deserving students. The award was put together by University College and is supported by the President’s discretionary funds from the URI Alumni Association. To become a University College Scholar, students must earn the highest GPA of their freshman class. This year’s scholars had no less than one A- in a single class: five earned a 4.0 GPA, the remaining a 3.97. Eight of the 11 are from Rhode Island. In addition to Papino, Perron, and Gordon, the eight other recipients are: Amy Campanini, a finance major from Providence; Nicole D. Duguay, a communicative disorders major from Central Falls; Nevan C. Hanumara, a double major in mechanical engineering and French from Kingston; Kevin MacKeen, a computer science major from North Easton, Mass.; David M. Peterson, an accounting major from Pawtucket; Dalia Saha, a chemistry major from Providence; Jamie Sgnilek, an accounting major from Warwick; and Jennifer M. Tucker, an accounting major from Portsmouth. For information: Jhodi Redlich, 874-4500, Keith Marshall, 874-2116