URI receives $563,706 in grants from The Champlin Foundation for cutting-edge technologies

Grants enhance access and resources for multiple programs

KINGSTON, R.I., — January 27, 2022 — The Champlin Foundation has awarded $563,706 to the University of Rhode Island for advanced technologies that will enhance learning for students in a variety of disciplines.

The Champlin Foundation, one of the oldest philanthropic organizations in Rhode Island, has funded projects at URI for more than 30 years that total more than $15 million. This year the organization supported three proposals submitted by a range of URI colleges and programs, including engineering, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, neuroscience, the Graduate School of Oceanography, and the theatre department.

“The Champlin Foundation has consistently invested in technology that better prepares URI students to successfully enter their professions and grow within their fields,” said Laura Beauvais, URI interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our faculty are on the cutting-edge of the evolution of technology and know what our students need to expand their intellectual, entrepreneurial, and creative mindsets. We are delighted that The Champlin Foundation is encouraging and supporting this environment of continuous learning.”

“The Champlin Foundation has been a long-standing generous supporter of the educational needs of URI students for more than 30 years,” said Katharine Hazard Flynn, executive director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the URI Foundation & Alumni Engagement. “While their technology investments are often focused on the hard sciences, this year, we are particularly excited that The Champlin Foundation has also provided resources to support the technology of our arts community, specifically the theatre department. These new resources will enhance the building and renovation of the Fine Arts building.”

Projects funded this year:

Training Students in Turbulence Measurement with Laser Doppler Velocimetry: $197,406 to acquire a Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) System to educate students in the measurement of fluid turbulence properties. The equipment will provide hands-on investigative learning and complement challenging theoretical concepts that have widespread engineering applications. It will benefit about 125 students each year, providing skills that will make them more competitive in the job market.

Principal Investigators: Jason M. Dahl, (Primary PI) Department of Ocean Engineering; M. Reza Hashemi, Department of Ocean Engineering/Graduate School of Oceanography; Joseph Goodwill, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM): Harnessing High-Precision Single-Cell Technology: $179,500 to acquire this highly sophisticated technology for students enrolled in pharmacy, biological sciences, neuroscience, engineering, and bioinformatics to gain conceptual, practical, and analytical training. They will study cell arrangements in tissues, cell structures, and complex biological communities by isolating individual cells or cell structures from a sample with ultimate precision, and then examine the genetic blueprint of only these collected cells. This is technology in which students need to be fluent to enter today’s biomedical workforce.

Principal Investigators: Jaime Marie Ross (Primary PI), Dept. of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences/George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience (Ryan Institute); Giuseppe Coppotelli (Primary PI), Dept. of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Ryan Institute; Jodi Camberg, Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology; Chris Hemme, RI-INBRE Bioinformatics Core; Chris Lane, Coastal Institute/Dept. of Biological Sciences; Marin Manuel, Dept. of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Jyothi Menon, Dept. of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Dept. of Chemical Engineering; Katharina Quinlan, Dept. of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Ryan Institute.

Theatrical and Live-Entertainment Technologies: LED Ellipsoidals and Moving Lights: $186,800 to bring cutting-edge lighting technologies and production experiences, updating and enhancing our degree programs with current core competencies within the industry. URI Theatre educates more than 675 students per year via direct, hands-on experiences in all aspects of live theatre production, and produces four mainstage and several smaller productions that attract thousands of community members each year.

Principal Investigators: James Horban (Primary PI), Theatre Department; David Howard, Theatre Department; Jake Hegnauer, Theatre Department; Max Ponticelli, Theatre Department.