Commencement 2016: URI senior shines locally, globally

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Cranberry Township, Pa. resident, URI volleyball player to graduate in May

KINGSTON, R.I., April 11, 2016 – Whether on the volleyball court, or in the classroom, University of Rhode Island graduate Catherine Seman has been nothing less than spectacular.


Seman has dominated the classroom, earning Dean’s List honors seven times while maintaining a 3.76 grade point average as a business administration major with an emphasis in global business management.


But what stands out most about Seman is her desire to help others. Since high school, Seman has been eager to extend a helping hand.


When Seman was a freshman at URI, she traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. She also participated in a Habitat for Humanity 5K fundraiser and was involved with Habitat’s nearby “all-woman” build, which helped put insulation and windows into a house that was donated to a family in need.


While at URI, she continued her community service and international activities.


Last summer, she led a four-week immersion program for Taiwanese exchange students, helping them adapt to the American culture.


As a full-time resident advisor for this program, she also assisted the students with their studies, provided cultural and social programming in the evenings, and acted as a guide for weekend excursions.


“The biggest take away I had from the program was that to truly understand another culture you must be empathetic and want to immerse yourself wholeheartedly,” said Seman. “Only by traveling can you fully appreciate another culture and way of life. After working with the students, it is my goal to visit Taiwan at some point to see their culture firsthand,” she said.


Seman is also a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies as well as the Society for Human Resource Management.


In addition to her work with Taiwanese exchange students, Seman has traveled to Italy and participated in a two-week sustainable agriculture program with a small group of students. “We learned about sustainable farming practices and the seasonable food cultures of the Campania region,” said Seman. “We engaged in hands on learning through farm stays, fishing, cooking and food festivals.”


In her athletic career at URI, she has shown the same commitment.


Appearing in each of Rhode Island’s 103 sets played as a junior, Seman totaled 178 kills, 189 digs, 64 blocks, 19 service aces and 10 assists, while being named to the Delaware Invitational All-Tournament Team. As a senior, Seman suffered a concussion and missed several mid-season games. She still totaled 177 kills, 190 digs, 53 blocks, 21 service aces and 28 assists.


“Our athletic community has always been so supportive of my pursuits athletically, academically and professionally,” said Seman

As a result, she helped create three lasting student organizations. She is the co-creator of the RAM Project, Injured Athletes Anonymous and URI’s Legacy Dinner.


The RAM Project is for student-athletes that face personal challenges related to their athletic career. Injured Athletes Anonymous is a support group for injured student-athletes, and URI’s Legacy Dinner is a event that connects current athletes with former URI athletes working in their respective fields of study.


Seman has already accepted a position with Mondelez International in Cincinnati as a management development associate. Mondelez International is one of the world’s largest snack companies.


Seman will take part in a fast track training program lasting 18 months. After that, she will be eligible to obtain a management position within the company.


Dominick LaFerrera, an intern in the Department of Marketing & Communication, and a communication studies major, wrote this release.


Pictured above

Catherine Seman

Seman in action for the URI Rams

Photo courtesy of URI Athletics