Annual Fund Student Testimonials

Christine Johnson '16

Christine Johnson '16 is a girl who knows her own mind. The soft-spoken Warwick native relates: "For as long as I can remember, I have aspired to become a nurse. A Rhode Island College education is the catalyst to my dreams." Her mother Tracy (Muto) Johnson'84, an involved RIC alumna, confirms her daughter's conviction: "All Christine wanted was RIC from the very beginning. We come every year for homecoming, and Christine always said that RIC was her college. It is very exciting for me that she will be here."

Christine is pleased with her fall schedule, an ambitious one that includes biology, psychology, chemistry and First Year Seminar. With her labs, she will be attending 11 classes a week. But she is undaunted, a good quality for a prospective orthopedic or pediatric nurse. She is also excited about the camaraderie on campus; she has met lots of students already, she says, and looks forward to forming enduring friendships. For an extracurricular activity, Christine would like to pursue her established interest in dance (she participated in the dance team for three years at Our Lady of Fatima High School in Warren, RI). She has seen a few performances of the RIC dance company, and loved them.

While she is clearly focused on her own college experience, Christine doesn't lose sight of the greater picture, especially when it comes to her family. She is grateful for her Alumni Association scholarship because it makes her time at RIC better. But her gratitude extends beyond herself because, as she puts it: "This scholarship will help my family. We have my two brothers in school, and one coming up to college age. I want to thank you very much."

Eddie Pannone '16

Eddie Pannone '16, a native of Johnston, RI, feels at home on the RIC campus, and he should. His mother Joanne (Votta) Pannone, a gifted and devoted teacher, studied education at RIC, earning a BA in 1987 and an MA in 1993. He says that at the party for his high school graduation, he heard over and over again, "You're going to RIC? Great! I went there too!" Two of his cousins who attended RIC, Mick Tedesco '87 and Peter Boyer '91, HD '04, have distinguished themselves in their careers, Mick as vice president of stadium operations at McCoy Stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox, and Peter as a composer whose work includes music for "Up" at Pixar and world premieres with the Boston Pops. Several other members of his extended family are RIC graduates as well, and Eddie believes that the motto of his family and of the college could be summed up in three words: "Nothing but success."

Eddie is planning to be a communications major, aiming for a career as a sports writer for a professional baseball team, preferably the Boston or Pawtucket Red Sox. He has already gained considerable experience in this field writing for, and, now that he is over 18, for He is fully at ease with new technology, employing Facebook and Twitter for his commentary. Eddie intends to write about sports at the college for The Anchor as well. Eddie's enthusiasm for his upcoming RIC experience includes the donors to his Alumni Scholarship. He looks ahead with deep gratitude, expressing sincere thanks in his own words: "No one has to tell me the value of having an education from Rhode Island College. This college prepares you not only for a job, but for a successful career. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for my scholarship. It means so much to me and to my family."

Junior Peralta '16

Junior Peralta '16, of North Providence, RI, is truly excited about his education at RIC. When he found out he had received an Alumni Association scholarship (his mom called him to relay the news) Junior felt it was "awesome to be given this chance." His appreciation stems from a family tradition of working hard and making the most of good opportunities at RIC and beyond. Junior's mother, Nancy Peralta-Bautista, got her BS in nursing in 2000, and his uncle, Christopher Peralta '12 just graduated with a BS in health education.

Junior is keen to study in the Criminal Justice Program and has enrolled in his first course in the subject fall semester. He would like to become a police officer one day. He says: "As I look into my future, I see myself reaching my goal of finding a career that will make me an independent and successful individual." Understanding the need to balance work and play, Junior is also involved in sports. He was a third baseman and right fielder in high school at St. Raphael Academy, and is looking forward to checking out the many athletic programs on campus. He hopes to have time to join a club or two as well.

While he knows a few classmates already, Junior relishes the chance to make new friends at RIC. All in all, he enthuses, "Rhode Island College is a perfect 'fit' for me." Junior is profoundly grateful for the Alumni Association Scholarship he has received, and looks forward to making the most of his RIC education, just as his family members have done before him.

Tadeisha Jones '16

Tadeisha Jones '16, of Providence, RI, is an enthusiastic member of the RIC community, and is profoundly thankful for the Alumni Scholarship that is helping her to be here. An honor roll student at her high school, the Academy for Career Exploration, Tadeisha was an active volunteer with the LEAD program at Central High School. She plans to keep up her volunteer efforts here and is currently exploring RIC's many opportunities.

Family is very important to Tadeisha. She likes to note that her grandfather, Edwin Dsunba, a RIC alumni (BA 1984), taught her that an excellent education is "the key to life." As the eldest of six children, and the first to go off to college, Tadeisha reflects: "I want to set a good example for my brothers and sisters." Her interests include theater, psychology and possibly study abroad.

Tadeisha loves the atmosphere and size of RIC. She lived on campus over the summer as a PEP (Preparatory Enrollment Program) student, and says she felt comfortable and happy: "All of us were like a big family." Moving ahead, Tadeisha affirms, "I want people to know who I am." With her beautiful smile, positive attitude, and excellent work ethic, and with the assistance of her Alumni Association scholarship, Tadeisha should achieve this and all her laudable aspirations at Rhode Island College.

Marykatherine McCutcheon '16

Marykatherine McCutcheon '16, of Smithfield, RI, has a well-rounded approach to her education, aiming high while balancing work, play and sports. A premedical honors student, Marykate is a competitive swimmer and an accomplished musician. She plans to pursue all her interests at RIC. She is familiar with the campus and the music department from three summers in MIRIC (Music Institute of Rhode Island College). Playing in an orchestra and singing in a choir are musts for her. And she is excited about swimming competitively on the new varsity women's swim team.

Marykate also has a powerful family tradition here at the college. Her father, Peter McCutcheon, earned a BA ('84) and MAT ('09) at RIC, and her aunt, Chris Mulcahey MA '80, PhD '00, is a professor and art specialist at Henry Barnard School. Marykate's grandfather, Henry McCutcheon, was an associate professor of biology at RIC from 1963 to 1983. She recalls that her "pepe" used to help her with her school science projects. As her dad's MAT degree included a middle school endorsement in science, Marykate is the third generation at RIC to be fascinated by science. When she reflects on her hopes and dreams, Marykate's intellectual strength and caring warmth shines through: "I'm curious to learn about various diseases and make new advances in the field of medicine while also helping treat children to overcome illnesses."

Thrilled to be a RIC student, Marykate is equally delighted about the generous assistance she is receiving through her Alumni Association scholarship. She is thankful for her award, adding: "My scholarship support makes it possible for me to be at RIC. It helps so much. I aspire to one day become a physician, incorporating my gifts in music while practicing medicine. I am confident that the education I receive at Rhode Island College will play a crucial role in my career development and accomplishments."

Page last updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013