Rhode Island College, Office of College Communications and Marketing, News Release


CONTACTS:    Laura Hart, 401-456-8977, lhart@ric.edu;
                           Gita Brown, 401-456-8465, gbrown@ric.edu


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – More than 300 Rhode Island College alumni and community members are expected to attend the 2014 Alumni Awards Dinner held on the RIC campus Thursday, May 8, and hosted by Masters of Ceremony Michael Montecalvo ’84 and Walter Musto ’00.

Wakefield resident Victor Ventura ’71, principal of Westerly’s Springbrook Elementary School, will be honored as Alumnus of the Year for his service to the college and the RIC Alumni Association.

Other Alumni Award winners include:

  • Young Alumni Award: Former Miss Rhode Island Kelsey Fournier ’12 of North Weymouth, Mass. Fournier is now a business development manager at Doctors Express Urgent Care.
  • Alumni Service Award: Retired educator Robert Ricci M.Ed. ’66, C.A.G.S. ’70, of Cranston.
  • Charles B. Willard Professional Achievement Award:Providence resident Terrence Hassett ’85, president pro tempore of the Providence City Council. Hassett is also a senior investigator in the Workers’ Compensation Division of the R.I. Dept. of Labor and Training.
  • Alumni Staff Award: Director of RIC College Health Services Lynn Wachtel of Greenville.
  • Alumni Faculty Award: RIC Professor of History and Department Chair Robert Cvornyek of West Kingston.

2014 Honor Roll recipients, recognized for their achievements in their chosen fields, include the following:

  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Theatre:Chicago resident Susan Leigh ’75, associate vice president of enrollment management and marketing and associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at DePaul University.
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Biology:East Greenwich resident Manuel DaSilva ’86, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at University Orthopedics. He is also an assistant professor of orthopaedics and director of medical education at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Biology: North Providence resident David I. Upegui ’97, M.A. ’03, science teacher at Central Falls High School and RIC adjunct professor.
  • Feinstein School of Education and Human Development; Health Education:Attleboro, Mass., resident Jean Choiniere Tapley ’03, M.A. ’09, wellness coordinator for Amica and RIC adjunct professor.
  • School of Management; AccountingTennessee resident Kimberly Bales ’88, principal in charge of Chattanooga Tax Department at Joseph DeCosimo & Company.
  • School of Nursing:Cranston resident Susan Fox Hjerpe ’84, case manager at VNA of Rhode Island.
  • School of Social Work:Cranston resident Yanaiza Gallant ’98 and ’03, M.Ed. ’12, principal intern at Burrillville Middle School and school transformation leader at the R.I. Dept. of Education.

2014 Student Honor Roll Scholarship recipients, recognized for their academic achievement and receiving $1,000 RIC Alumni Association scholarships, include:

  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Biology:Sarah Bilida ’15 of Riverside.
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Biology:Adam Jacques ’16 of North Scituate.
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Theatre/Musical Theatre:Neil Jeronimo ’15 of Swansea, Mass.
  • Feinstein School of Education and Human Development; Health and Physical Education:Jenna Pare ’15 of Tiverton.
  • School of Management; Accounting and Computer Information Systems:Audrey Maia ’15 of Norton, Mass.
  • School of Nursing:Mayumi Shoi Parker ’15 of Cranston.
  • School of Social Work:Kelsey Rapoza ’15 of Fairhaven, Mass.

Tickets are $40 per person. Visit www.ric.edu/go/alumniawards/ to register.

Established in Providence in 1854, Rhode Island College serves approximately 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students through its five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Social Work, the School of Management and the School of Nursing. For more information, visit www.ric.edu.