Passion for science led students to URI and environmental scholarship

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

Passion for science led students
to URI and environmental scholarship

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 14, 2002 — When Woonsocket resident Candyss Sullivan began thinking about college last year, she went looking for a school that could combine her passion for science with her growing interest in economics.

At the same time, Julio Agosto of Providence was conducting a similar search in his effort to become a veterinarian.

Both students found what they were looking for at the University of Rhode Island’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and both earned full-tuition scholarships through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Multicultural Scholars program. Designed to encourage under-represented students to study environmental, food and agricultural sciences, the scholarship was awarded to Sullivan and Agosto based on academic achievement, letters of recommendation, personal interviews, and evidence of interest and commitment to studying the required subject areas.

Sullivan, who played tennis, track and field, and cross country at Woonsocket High School, is now thriving at URI studying environmental economics and management. “When I first heard about the major, it sounded like a perfect fit,” she said. “It’s the best of both worlds for me, combining work outside with work in an office.”

Sullivan said the scholarship is contributing to her success at URI because it requires that she maintain a 3.0 grade point average. “Having that standard to meet really pushes me to do well. I’m motivated myself, but I also need that extra push of motivation that the scholarship gives me.”

Agosto has been interested in animals “ever since I was 5 years old,” he said. “I would go out and find snakes and turtles and study them. Ever since then my goal has been to become a vet.”

As a student at Central High School, Agosto worked with the Mayor’s Council to start Youth Care, a group of students that teaches middle school students to avoid drugs and violence. An animal science major at URI, he’s also proficient in the martial arts, and he has joined a group of URI students to learn Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines dance and music with traditional martial arts.
The Opportunity Scholars program now supports nine students at URI in five different areas of study. Applications are now available for the fourth year of the program. For additional information or to apply, contact Kim Anderson at 874-5026 or email

For Information: Kim Anderson 874-5026