Minnesota museum president to be honored with diversity award at URI, April 21

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Eric Jolly will give keynote speech

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 9, 2015 – Eric Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota and a former assistant dean at the University of Rhode Island, will be honored for his work in science education at the 17th annual diversity awards banquet at the University of Rhode Island.

Jolly will receive the Diversity Award for Lifetime Achievement, and will be the featured speaker at the banquet, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 in the ballroom at the URI Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road on the Kingston campus.

The son of a Cherokee father and a French-Canadian mother, Jolly is being recognized for encouraging diverse groups throughout the world to study math and science.

“In Eric Jolly, the head of one of the nation’s preeminent science and research museums, the University can be proud that one of its graduates has become an internationally authoritative voice in science and math education through teacher workshops, educational videos and films, publications and lectures,” says Melvin Wade, director of the Multicultural Center and chair of the Diversity Awards Selection Committee. “We are honored to welcome him back.”

Before joining the museum, Jolly was vice president and senior scientist at the Education Development Center in Newton, Mass.; assistant to the chancellor and director of Affirmative Action and Diversity Programs at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; assistant dean, from 1989 to 1992, at URI’s University College; associate dean at Indiana State University; and chair of the psychology department at Eastern New Mexico University. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from URI in 1979. His master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma are also in psychology.

Among Jolly’s publications are “Engagement, Capacity and Continuity: A Trilogy for Student Success,” with Patricia Campbell and Lesley Perlman. In 2014, Jolly and Campbell created Beyond Rigor, a website that helps educators assess the effectiveness and diversity of science education programs and practices.

In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Jolly to the National Museum and Library Services Board, which advises the national Institute of Museum and Library Services on policies about promoting lifelong learning, innovation and cultural and civic engagement.

Jolly serves on the Bush Foundation, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering and the Science Museum Collaborative. He is a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Eta Sigma, Mortarboard and Golden Key. He is also a member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

In addition to Jolly’s award, URI will honor several students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators who promote multiculturalism and diversity.

Awards will be presented for contributions to undergraduate student excellence in academics, service, leadership and arts and culture; graduate student excellence in academics, leadership and service; faculty excellence in leadership and excellence; and staff and administrative excellence in leadership and service.

The awards banquet is sponsored by URI’s Multicultural Center; the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity; the URI Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity; and the Graduate School.

For information, please call Vanes Beaubrun, office manager at the Multicultural Center, at 401-874-2851 or visit Multicultural Center.

Pictured above: Eric Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of URI Multicultural Center.