Two URI students win NSF research internships

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KINGSTON, R.I. — May 1, 2006 — Meghan Skira of Valley Stream, N.Y. and Rich Ryan of North Kingstown are completing their junior year at the University of Rhode Island and majoring in economics. The two honor students agree that economics is a discipline with great flexibility. “You can do anything with it,” Ryan declares.

To prove their point, Skira also majors in Spanish while Ryan also majors in math. Both URI students have been presented with opportunities to participate in the competitive Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, funded by the National Science Foundation.

The NSF internship gives Skira the chance to expand her interest in international policy. The 21-year-old chose to spend seven weeks this summer at the Andrew Young School at Georgia State University assisting a professor studying policies relating to economic growth in South Africa.

Academics aren’t Skira’s only interest. In addition to maintaining a 4.0 average in her studies, she plays the trombone in the URI Concert Band and Big Band. She also runs the Spanish and Economics Club and is active in the Newman Club. And the budding economist also enjoys a good game of floor hockey and intramural women’s basketball.

This is the second year Ryan has been awarded an internship from the NSF program. Last summer, the 21-year-old interned eight weeks at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a team of math students modeling a biology project on peregrine falcon populations.

This summer, instead of taking another NSF internship, Ryan will intern at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, working on a behavioral economics project, exploring why people don’t have bank accounts.

Both students credit their URI professors with opening doors to multiple opportunities. “I want to thank all of my professors for their dedication and for putting up with me,” says Ryan with a grin.

Pictured above

Rich Ryan of North Kingstown and Meghan Skira of Valley Stream, N.Y

URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.