Rhody spirit infuses 8th annual Higher Education Day at Statehouse

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KINGSTON, R.I. – May 9, 2007 – More than 100 students joined administrators and staff to bring the University of Rhode Island to the Statehouse for the 8th Annual Higher Education Day.

URI joined colleagues from Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island for the two-hour event coordinated by the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education.

“The purpose is to showcase public higher education through our talented and energetic students,” said Andrea M. Hopkins, URI assistant vice president for public affairs.

“It wasn’t easy to walk around the rotunda because there was so much going on and so many legislators and Statehouse staff visiting our various stations,” she said. “For the first time, we used all of the space in the corridor surrounding the rotunda.”

Legislators and staff members had a chance to visit the health fair where URI, nursing, kineseology and physical therapy students conducted blood pressure, blood sugar and physical therapy screenings. They also had a chance to talk with students about their research in hurricane forecasting, chemistry, health care and a variety of other fields.

“It was active, vibrant, and the legislators thoroughly enjoyed meeting our students,” Hopkins said. “The individuals involved with our hurricane research are important to the state commission that is examining insurance issues in coastal communities.”

Student-athletes also participated, as did theater students dressed in costume from the play Pride and Prejudice. The URI a capella group “Lively Experiment” performed The Star Spangled Banner.

“The Art Department also offered photographic portraits of Statehouse personnel,” Hopkins added.

Hopkins had great praise for the URI Student Senate, which provided a bus at no cost to students who wanted to participate in Higher Education Day. “The Senate also provided snacks for the event. And all this hard work fell on a day when the Senate had its own meeting that night for which it needed to prepare.

“Thanks to URI’s Dining Services, individuals at the Statehouse had a chance to sample the wide variety of wonderful foods enjoyed by our students,” Hopkins said.