Presidential inauguration symposia spotlight the role of education in transforming the world

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Public urged to participate in discussions on three campuses

KINGSTON, R.I. — March 18, 2010 — In honor of the inauguration of Dr. David M. Dooley as University of Rhode Island’s 11th president, the University has planned a series of events on April 7.

The president’s vision, “Creating the Future: The Role of the University in Transforming the World,” inspired the events, academic symposia, music and more to be enjoyed by the entire university community and the general public. College of Arts and Science Dean Winifred Brownell and Lynne Derbyshire, chair of the Communication Studies Department co-chaired the academic events planning committee. All events are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, April 7, academic symposia, lectures and related activities will be presented at three of the University’s campuses. These events will be followed by the formal inauguration ceremony and community celebration Thursday, April 8.

As a premier learning-centered research university, URI plays a significant role in finding solutions to many of the most critical problems facing the people in Rhode Island, the nation and the world. The academic symposia will address issues on which the University’s resources and talents have been put to work.

The Wednesday, April 7 symposia schedule follows and details about each are available online at

9:30-11 a.m

Paff Auditorium. Feinstein Providence Campus, 80 Washington Street
“The Role of the University in Transforming Education, Economic Development, Health care, and Social Justice” Panel discussion moderated by

Providence Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White ’81, with experts:

  • David Byrd, professor who directs the School of Education
  • Matthew Bodah, URI associate professor of Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Linda Sebelia a nutrition specialist for Cooperative Extension
  • Diane Martins, associate professor of nursing
  • Kendall Moore, associate professor of journalism and documentary filmmaker.

The panelists will discuss related issues including education, labor, food, health, and workforce development.

12 – 1:15 p.m. Center for Biological and Life Sciences, Room 100

Kingston Campus

Distinguished International Scholar Lecture

“Gender Equity in Higher Education: Perspectives from the Global South”

Bola Akanji, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research

1 – 2:30 p.m.

Poster session will showcase student research and/or creative projects at the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons

Kingston Campus

3 – 4:30 p.m

Corless Auditorium, Watkins Building, Narragansett Bay Campus.. “The Role of the University in Transforming the Globe” Panel discussion moderated by former Graduate School of Oceanography Dean Margaret Leinen, Ph.D., ’80, chief executive officer, Climate Response with experts:

  • Navindra Seeram, assistant professor of pharmacy
  • Alain-Philippe Durand, professor of French, English, and film media
  • Jimmie Oxley, professor of chemistry and head of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Excellence in Explosive Detection, Mitigation, Response and Characterization at URI
  • John Merrill, professor of oceanography
  • Martin Bide, professor of textiles, fashion merchandising, and design.

The panelists will discuss related issues including medicinal foods, languages, explosives, the atmosphere and textiles.

4 – 6 p.m.

Swan Hall, Kingston Campus
Dana Shugar Colloquium

“URI’s National Success Engaging Men in Violence Prevention”

URI Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services Directors Keith Labelle and Jenn Longa Moio.

7:30 – 9 p.m.

Barry Marks Auditorium, Chafee Social Science Center, Kingston Campus
“The Role of the University in Transforming A Sustainable Quality of Life” Panel discussion moderated by John S. Struck ’74, managing partner of Wand Partners Inc., New York and the builder of Rhode Island’s first LEED Platinum Certified home in Narragansett. Panelists are:

  • Art Gold, professor of natural resource science
  • Cheryl Foster, professor of philosophy
  • Vinka Craver, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering
  • Jeffrey Bratberg, associate professor of clinical pharmacy
  • Doug Hales, assistant professor of business administration

These panelists will explore issues involving water, environmental decision-making, wastewater, emergencies, and logistics.

The formal induction ceremony will be held Thursday, April 8, at the Thomas M. Ryan Center at 2 p.m. on the Kingston Campus. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the ceremony starts with a formal procession of faculty, visitors from other universities, among others. More details about the ceremony will soon be available online at

The University has raised private gifts from individuals, organizations, and corporations to pay for the expenses associated with the inauguration.

The University of Rhode Island is known locally and worldwide for its innovative, big ideas, adaptive intelligence and breakthrough solutions to today’s puzzling problems. URI’s pioneering research extends the University’s influence well beyond its coastal borders, while its unique interdisciplinary courses provide its 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students with global opportunities in an intimate environment.