URI names Cooperative Extension center for former administrator

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 6, 2008 – The University of Rhode Island today named its Cooperative Extension Education Center for Kathleen Mallon, the former director of the Center who later served in leadership roles at URI, the Community College of Rhode Island, and the R.I. Office of Higher Education.

Mallon, who lived in Shannock, passed away in 2006 at age 55.

In an emotional ceremony beneath a tent adjacent to the Kathleen M. Mallon Outreach Center, friends, family and colleagues remembered Mallon for her positive attitude, sense of humor, and as a driving force behind numerous initiatives at URI and around the state.

“Kathy brought both intelligence and passion to everything she did,” said URI President Robert L. Carothers. “At the time when she had a heavy and complex workload at URI, she also earned a Ph.D. in business. Kathy brought new ideas and new strategies to me nearly every day. We all miss her a lot.”

“Kathy brought both vision and passion to this Center,” added Jeff Seemann, dean of the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences. “Every day, its activities engage and educate the citizen’s of Rhode Island and bring to life Kathy’s dream. We owe her much.”

Mallon held a variety of positions with URI’s Cooperative Extension from 1974 to 1993 while also authoring a Providence Journal gardening column and appearing regularly on Channel 10’s Homegrown program. She was responsible for bringing the popular Master Gardener Program to Rhode Island and is fondly remembered by gardeners across the state for this effort. Mallon joined the URI Office of the President in 1994, first as executive assistant to the president and later as director of strategic planning and institutional research.

She chaired the Ryan Center building committee, advocated for campus improvements and beautification, and directed major changes to the campus parking and traffic plan, including the extensive shuttle system now in place. Mallon also led the Narragansett Bay Campus master planning effort, the Green Hall design and building committee, and the North Campus Sustainable Neighborhood Plan.

“During all of these sweeping projects, she brought divergent groups together from the campus and surrounding communities,” said Carothers. “It was no secret that if you wanted something done efficiently, Kathy was the person for the job.”

In 2003 she was named director of the City Campus Project by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. She later served as assistant to the president of CCRI for policy and urban initiatives.

The Kathleen M. Mallon Outreach Center houses many of the community outreach programs of the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, including the Master Gardener Program, the Energy Center, the Master Composter and Recycler Program, the Rhode Island Coastal Landscapes Program, and several food safety initiatives. The Center provides a means for citizens, communities, government agencies and businesses to access research-based knowledge and obtain assistance to address a broad range of socioeconomic and environmental issues. Located on East Alumni Avenue on the Kingston campus, the Center also oversees the adjacent Botanical Gardens and the Learning Landscape educational program for children.