URI announces 2nd annual President’s Distinguished Achievement Award winners

Posted on
Festivities to be held Oct. 13 at Westin Hotel

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 11, 2007 — The careers of this year’s University of Rhode Island President’s Distinguished Achievement Award winners could not be more disparate. Yet, Josepha Campinha-Bacote, Howard S. Frank, William R. Holland, and Nina F. Saberi, all URI alumni, share prominence on the national and international stages.

They and 26 other honorees from URI’s individual colleges will be honored Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Westin Hotel in Providence. The colleges’ Dean List receptions will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor conference rooms. The dinner and program will run from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Narragansett Ballroom. Tickets are $90 per person and $20 for children under 12. For tickets and dinner selections, email events@advance.uri.edu or call 401-874-2014.

The ceremonies will also include the public opening of URI’s $100 million Making a Difference capital campaign.

The President’s Distinguished Achievement and Dean’s List awards were initiated last year to honor alumni and friends of the University who distinguish themselves in a wide variety of careers, community service activities and in their devotion to URI. Individual college award programs were wrapped into this one festive evening so the entire community could celebrate the achievements of URI alumni and friends.

“As we celebrate the second year of the awards, we again see how our alumni and friends are making such a great difference in the state, the nation and the world,” said President Robert L. Carothers. “From health care to the cruise line industry and from education to entrepreneurial business, these talented and innovative individuals are among the leaders in their fields. We salute all of them for their innumerable contributions.”

Josepha Campinha-Bacote earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1974. In private practice since 1991, she has been treating diverse populations and educating health care professionals around the world about the need to immerse themselves in their patients’ cultural heritage. An appreciation of patients’ cultural, religious and language traditions leads to better care, she said.

As the founder and president of Transcultural C.A.R.E. Associates, a private consulting service that addresses clinical, administrative, research, and educational issues in transcultural health care, she has become renowned internationally.

Campinha-Bacote said she owes a great debt to Barbara Tate, dean emerita of the College of Nursing. “She was such a caring person, and I have so much allegiance to URI because of Dean Tate. She made me feel so welcome, and she has the most respect for diversity of anyone I knew,” said the third generation Cape Verdean, who grew up in Wareham, Mass.

Campinha-Bacote holds an M.S. in Nursing from Texas Women’s University, a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. in Religion from Cincinnati Christian University.

These days, the recipient of the College of Nursing’s Alumna of the Year award and an Alumni Achievement award gives national and international presentations that target neuroscience, pharmacy, and dentistry. “Pharmacy schools and dental schools are not teaching about cultural differences and ethnic background and how they affect drug metabolism. I am now getting grants from pharmaceutical companies to address drug effects on minority patients,” said the Cincinnati, Ohio, resident.

Howard S. Frank, who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1962, is vice chairman and chief operating officer of Carnival Corp., a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Based in Miami, the company has more than 55,000 employees worldwide and operates a fleet of 83 ships.

A numbers guy, he’ll tell you that his communications and English courses with favorite professors Agnes Doody and Warren Smith helped him learn how to talk with people and make presentations. He also talks about the importance of campus activities. “I honed my leadership and communication skills, not necessarily in the academic arena, but working with my colleagues in my fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. They looked to me as a pragmatic problem solver and that helped to build confidence in my abilities.”

A member of the College of Business Administration’s Hall of Fame and keynote speaker at the 1995 University CEO Forum, Frank joined Carnival as senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer in July 1989. He served as CFO and chief accounting officer from 1989 until 1998. He became a member of the board of directors in 1992 and was named vice chairman of the board in 1993. In 1998, he was named to his current position as chief operating officer.

A voracious reader and faithful runner, Frank shows no signs of slowing his pace.

“I am 66 and I should be retired,” he said. “My daughter and my wife tell me it’s time to smell the roses. The reason I don’t retire is I love my work. It’s a great company with great colleagues all over the world.”

As an education leader for more than 40 years, William R. Holland, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1960, laughs when someone mentions retirement because in 2002 he stepped down as Rhode Island commissioner of higher education.

During the next three years, he taught half time at Rhode Island College, officially retiring as professor emeritus in 2005. In that capacity, he was mentor to hundreds of school principals in Rhode Island and nearby states.

Then he was asked to serve as interim superintendent-consultant in the Central Falls school district. During that time, the Narragansett resident proposed a restructuring of the high school that called for a formal partnership with URI. The URI Academy at Central Falls will open officially this month.

Holland holds a Master’s in History and Education from the University of Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Boston University. “You enter public service knowing you are not going to be wealthy, but that you can contribute to improvement in the lives of people. I am very honored that the University realizes that.”

During his career, Holland served as superintendent in four Rhode Island and Massachusetts school districts and as executive director of the Rhode Island Principals Association. As commissioner of higher education, he oversaw an unprecedented $500 million in expansion and improvement at CCRI, RIC and URI, including construction of the Ryan Center, the Boss Arena, and Ballentine Hall.

Holland’s immediate family includes several URI graduates: his wife, Karen ’60; sons Kevin ’84 and Steven ’93; daughter Kathleen Meringolo ’85; and Steven’s wife, Catherine ’93.

Nina F. Saberi ’82 will tell you that as founder of Castile Ventures in Waltham, Mass., she is privileged to provide capital and management expertise to entrepreneurial businesses. The entrepreneurs who founded those businesses must feel most fortunate to be working with her.

Saberi, who earned her Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in 1982, founded the venture capital firm in 1998.“In the early stages, it’s an investment in people who have unique ideas and ways to solve problems,” Saberi explained.

Her company has helped launch such leading technology firms as Network Intelligence, which was purchased in 2006 by EMC2, a global technology leader in Hopkinton, Mass.; Trapeze Networks, which provides seamless mobility to the enterprise workforce and meets the requirements of network managers and information technology staffs; and Aurora Networks, a manufacturer of advanced optical transport systems for broadband networks that support the convergence of digital broadband, voice, video, and data applications.

Saberi said URI was a community that embraced her. “My late professor, Mack Prince, understood why I wanted to become an engineer. But he also knew that I belonged in an entrepreneurial environment before I did, and he recommended me to a venture-backed startup that had been founded by another URI alumnus.”

She credits URI engineering classes for her success. “You learn how to break down problems into solvable pieces, organize your thought processes, and gather the tools you’ll need to proceed. Engineering gives you a high level of credibility and confidence,” said the 2007 commencement speaker for the College of Engineering.

Inducted in the college’s Founder’s Club in 2004, she is now vice chair of the College of Engineering Advisory Committee; she will become chair in 2008.

In addition to the four Distinguished Achievement Award winners, URI’s individual colleges and the Graduate School of Oceanography, will honor the following alumni and friends who are Dean’s List recipients:

Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education

Rebecca L. Burke ‘76 has spent the last 26 years in nursing leadership positions at The Miriam Hospital where she is presently senior vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer. Under Burke’s leadership, The Miriam’s Department of Nursing was awarded Magnet status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for a third time in March 2006. She lives Barrington.

Carol A. Corwin ’84 is a vice president and commercial loan officer at the Bank of Fall River. Previously, she had served in the same capacity for more than 20 years at Bank of America, Fleet, Shawmut, and Bank of Boston. The former treasurer of the URI Alumni Association Executive Board, she currently serves on the Association’s Finance and Gala Committees. She lives in Cranston.

Joseph N. Waller ‘69 is chair of the ASFCCE Campus Advisory Board and a member of the college’s Board of Trustees; he also serves on the URI Foundation Patent Committee. He is a retired brigadier general in the USAF/R.I. Air National Guard where he last served as assistant adjutant general, deputy commanding general/air. He is retired from a civilian career at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport. He lives in Wakefield.

College of Arts and Sciences

John Dunnigan ’72, the head of the Department of Furniture Design at Rhode Island School of Design, is the owner of John Dunnigan Studio, which specializes in one-of-a-kind furniture. His work is included in the collections at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. He lives in West Kingston.

Bernice Pescosolido ’74, the Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at Indiana University, has received numerous awards including the Leo G. Reeder Award for distinguished contributions to medical sociology. She lives in Bloomington, Ind.

Christopher Savoie ’92 is founder/CEO of GNI Ltd., a public, global pharmaceutical company in Japan recognized by The Wall Street Journal and Red Herring as one of the top emerging businesses in Asia. Savoie was named as one of the nine most influential leaders in global biotechnology by Nikkei and as a top innovator by MIT’s Technology Review. He lives in Japan.

College of Business Administration

Johnny Chen, M.S. ’83, was appointed CEO of Zurich Financial Services Group’s Greater China/Southeast Asia business in 2006. He played a leading role in helping Zurich become the first foreign insurer to obtain a license to establish a general insurance branch in Beijing. North Haven, Conn.

Karen Davis ’82, M.A. ’93, vice president of community relations for Hasbro, Inc., is responsible for the company’s philanthropic programs that annually help over 6 million children worldwide. She is a founding member of the Rhode Island Women Ending Hunger program and of World Vision’s Women for Africa Group. A former URI development officer, Davis founded the URI Student Alumni Association. She lives in East Greenwich.

Robert Petisi ’74 has just been appointed CEO of B. Smith Enterprises, a lifestyle company offering a furniture line, TV and radio shows, restaurants, and recipes and style tips. He is also the president of Tween Waters Marketing Alliance, a strategic growth and turn-around consultancy. He lives in Southport, Conn.

College of Engineering

Sherry Embrey ’72 is a senior consultant for Verizon Federal, a Verizon business unit. She was previously a systems engineer at the now BAE Systems (formerly Automation Industries) where she worked in various roles related to the U.S. Fleet Ballistic Missile program, DOE National Data Solar Network, and the NASA space program. She lives in Stevensville, Md.

Michael Keith ’70 has held senior leadership positions at AT&T and AT&T Wireless. He served as president of AT&T Business Markets and most recently was president of AT&T Wireless. He earned his M.B.A. at Boston University and attended the Senior Executive Program at Stamford University. He lives in Mendham, N.J.

Robert A. Weygand ’71, ’76, has been URI’s vice president for administration since 2004. Formerly the president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education, he was a member of the U.S. Congress and served as Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor and as a state representative in the General Assembly. He lives in Saunderstown.

College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Suzanne Carcieri ‘65, Rhode Island’s First Lady, actively promotes issues relating to health, wellness, education, and substance abuse prevention. She has served numerous charitable and community causes. A former science teacher, she and her husband, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, are co-founders of the Academy Children’s Science Center in East Greenwich. She lives in East Greenwich.

Robert Marchand ’78, a physician with South County Orthopedics and a member of South County Hospital’s medical staff since 1988, earned his M.D. at Cornell University Medical College. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a team physician for URI athletics. He lives in Wakefield.

Julia Randall Sharpe graduated from Princeton University with honors in geology. A student in URI’s Continuing Education program, she has served on the Town of Narragansett Conservation Commission and Land Trust; and the boards of the Narrow River Preservation Association, Narrow River Land Trust, North Kingstown Land Conservancy, and Washington County Land Trust Coalition. She has participated in URI’s Watershed Watch and the Rhode Island Natural History Survey. She lives in North Kingstown.

College of Human Sciences and Services

Marguerite Bumpus, a retired reading professor and former chair of the Department of Education, was a recipient of the URI Foundation’s Teaching Excellence Award. She is also a former chair of the Board on Student Conduct. She lives in Carolina, R.I.

Thomas D. Romeo was executive in residence at URI for 10 years, during which he taught graduate physical therapy students and led successful efforts to establish contracts between URI and the state’s hospitals, health care agencies, and insurers. Before that, he was director of the state Department of Mental Health, Retardation, and Hospitals for 12 years. West Greenwich.

College of Nursing

Steve Alves, Ph.D. ’02, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, is associate professor and coordinator of the Graduate Nurses Anesthesia Program at Northeastern University. He established an endowment at URI in honor of former Dean Hesook (Suzie) Kim that provides graduate students with seed money to present their research findings at conferences. He lives in Brockton, Mass.

Cathy E. Duquette ’84, M.S. ’96, is vice president of nursing and patient care services at Newport Hospital where she is responsible for ensuring consistent standards of nursing practice. For seven years prior to this appointment, she was senior vice president at the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. She earned her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. She lives in North Kingstown.

Susan E. Sherman ’69 is president and CEO of the Independence Foundation, a Philadelphia philanthropy that supports culture and the arts, health and human services, nurse-managed primary health care, and public interest legal aid. She has headed the foundation since 1996 and has received many awards, including the Philadelphia Health Management Corp.’s Carl Moore Leadership Award. She lives in Philadelphia.

College of Pharmacy

Mario Casinelli Jr. ’53, was invited by CVS to establish and run the innovative Pharmacy Outreach Program at Cranston Senior Services Center. A former independent community pharmacist in Cranston, he is a past president of the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association and has served in many leadership positions in the state organization, including public relations chair. He lives in Cranston.

Kathleen Jaeger ‘87 is president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the largest trade association representing the manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of generic medicines in the world. Prior to joining GPhA, Jaeger was a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm where she served as the national practice leader of K&L’s Food and Drug Practice Group. She lives in Oakton, Va.

Robert E. Sauté ’50, and his wife, Arda, founded Sauté Consultants, Inc., a company specializing in research and development in the dermatological, cosmetic, OTC drugs and related areas in 1975. A former director at Avon Products, Inc., and Gillette Co., and a former vice president at Dart Industries, Inc., Dr. Sauté has published in leading cosmetics journals and holds many patents. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He lives in Los Angeles.

Graduate School of Oceanography

James A. Austin Jr. has been a marine geologist at the University of

Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics for more than 28 years. He has played a prominent role in the international marine geoscience community, in particular scientific ocean drilling, for more than two decades. He is also a trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Larry Mayer ’73 is director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire where he is also a professor. He is the recipient of the Keen Medal for Marine Geology and of an honorary doctorate from the University of Stockholm. He served on the President’s Panel for Ocean Exploration. He lives in Lee, N.H.

Sandra Whitehouse, Ph.D. ’94, is the former chair of the Coastal Resources Management Council, an independent state regulatory agency. She also serves on the boards of numerous nonprofit groups and is an environmental consultant to the Rhode Island General Assembly. She is married to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. She lives in Providence.