Sean Fay-Wolfe ’19

Hometown: South Kingstown, R.I.

Major: English

Sean Fay-Wolfe has a great fondness for Minecraft, the wildly popular video game that allows players to build their own world out of blocks and undertake an infinite variety of adventures. “It’s not really a game,” he said, “more like a virtual world you can explore and do whatever you want.”

Because of the unlimited options available to Minecraft players, Sean thought it would be “a fascinating place to set a story.” So as a junior in high school, he wrote his first book of fan fiction, The Elementia Chronicles: Quest for Justice, set in the endless world of Minecraft. Initially self-published, the book quickly found a following, and he recently signed with Harper Collins, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, to publish the next two volumes in his trilogy. Aimed at readers ages 8 to 12, the books have generated extensive media attention and more than 100 requests for him to speak at schools, libraries and gatherings of scouts.

“I’m not completely sure that I’m not imagining all this,” Sean said. “I cannot believe there are so many people who really like and enjoy something that I created.” But they do. Many parents and teachers have even told him stories of children who became enthusiastic readers thanks to his books. “It’s rewarding that my little Minecraft book is changing people’s lives,” he said.

Sean has plenty of ideas for other books he would like to write, including an original action adventure series and other young adult books, some based on video games and some not. While he also enjoys computer programming and was an all-state viola player in high school, he envisions a career as a full-time writer.

“I have so many ideas that I would love to be able to write all of them,” he said. “And I hope my books become successful enough that they can not only sustain me, but I’ll also be able to pursue my other interests as well.”


Linda Green became the first female soil scientist in the state of Pennsylvania after graduating from URI in the 1970s. But the backbreaking work of digging holes in the state’s clay soils convinced her to return to URI, where she eventually took a job in the lab of Professor Art Gold, who was helping create what became Watershed Watch, a volunteer water quality monitoring program that Green would lead for the next 28 years. She admits she knew nothing about monitoring water quality when she took the job, but today she is a national leader on the subject.