URI recognizes graduating seniors with academic excellence awards

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KINGSTON, R.I. –May 21, 2012– Each year, the University of Rhode Island honors graduating seniors with superior academic achievement in a particular field with a University Academic Excellence Award. Their selection is based on grade point average, as well as other criteria determined by the individual department. For example, criteria might include an honors project, a research presentation, or a student’s professional promise.

URI Provost and Vice President of Academic Affair Donald H. DeHayes and a college dean presented each recipient with a certificate of academic excellence suitable for framing and a URI lapel pin during award ceremonies in Edwards Auditorium on May 18.

The following students are the recipients of a 2012 University Academic Excellence Award listed by name, program, and hometown.

Rhode Island residents

Veronica Paz Espinosa, Italian, West Warwick, R.I.

Ahmed El-Araby, Biological Sciences, Environment & Life Sciences, West Warwick, R.I.

Joshua Wurdeman, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Environment & Life Sciences, West Warwick, R.I.

Peter J. Edwards, German, West Greenwich, R.I.

Jacob Ryan Monaghan, Philosophy, Arts &Sciences, West Greenwich, R.I.

Nicholas Putnam, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering, Warwick, R.I.

Christopher J. Menihan, English, Arts &Sciences, Wakefield, R.I.

Joseph Schrader, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy, Wakefield, R.I.

Renee Lemieux, Kinesiology, Human Science & Services, Slatersville, R.I.

Joseph Timothy Quainoo, Africana Studies, Arts &Sciences, Saunderstown, R.I.

Victoria Clare, Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Continuing Education, Saunderstown, R.I.

Justin Brown, Spanish, Providence, R.I.

Mark S. Billard, Psychology, Arts &Sciences, Providence, R.I.

Noereem Zenaida Mena, Nutrition and Dietetics, Environment & Life Sciences, Providence, R.I.

Meghan E. McCabe, Marketing, Business Administration, Portsmouth, R.I.

Giles MacDonald, Environmental Horticulture and Turfgrass Management, Environment & Life Sciences, Pawtucket, R.I.

Jason Nadeau, English, Continuing Education, Pawtucket, R.I.

Jessica L. Marchand, Human Development and Family Studies, Human Science & Services, North Smithfield, R.I.

Ani Arzoomanian, Global Business Administration, Business Administration, North Scituate, R.I.

Erin Maughan, Music, Arts &Sciences, North Kingstown, R.I.

Joshua Savory, Sociology, Arts &Sciences, North Kingstown, R.I.

Victoria Lyn Tousignant, Writing and Rhetoric, Arts &Sciences, North Kingstown, R.I.

Ashley Hutchins, Ocean Engineering, Engineering, North Kingstown, R.I.

Stephanie Castaldi Szczepanski, Entrepreneurial Management, Business Administration, Narragansett, R.I.

Amanda Bourget Ouellette, Anthropology, Arts &Sciences, Manville, R.I.

Amanda Bourget Ouellette, Art History, Arts &Sciences, Manville, R.I.

Michael James Payne, Military Science and Leadership, Arts &Sciences, Manville, R.I.

Andrew Tyler Giguere, Environmental Science & Management, Environment & Life Sciences, Little Compton, R.I.

Anna L.Vaccaro, Gender and Women’s Studies, Arts &Sciences, Kingston, R.I.

Thomas Derensis, Computer Engineering, Engineering, Hope, R.I.

Michael S. Commendatore, Film Media, Arts &Sciences, Gloucester, R.I.

Michael Kieron, Geosciences, Environment & Life Sciences, East Providence, R.I.

Flannery Burke, Medical Laboratory Science, Environment & Life Sciences, East Providence, R.I.

Danielle Dufault, General Business Administration, Business Administration, East Greenwich, R.I.

Michael R. Pezzullo, Civil Engineering, Engineering, East Greenwich, R.I.

Johnathan David Berard, Political Science, Arts &Sciences, Cumberland, R.I.

Johnathan D. Berard, History, Continuing Education, Cumberland, R.I.

Vanessa Landes, Biomedical Engineering, Engineering, Cranston, R.I.

Anthony Marcello, Biotechnology Manufacturing, Continuing Education, Cranston, R.I.

Amy Wolfe, Art, Arts &Sciences, Coventry, R.I.

Thomas Valletta, Mathematics, Arts &Sciences, Coventry, R.I.

David Timothy McArdle, Physics, Arts &Sciences, Coventry, R.I.

Miles Gregory Boucher, Theatre, Arts &Sciences, Coventry, R.I.

Victoria Lomas, Microbiology, Environment & Life Sciences, Coventry, R.I.

David Timothy McArdle, Secondary Education, Human Science & Services, Coventry, R.I.

Jay Coutu, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Chepachet, R.I.

Kristin A. Pedersen, Accounting, Business Administration, Central Falls, R.I.

S. Jazmin Zamberlan, Animal Science and Technology, Environment & Life Sciences, Central Falls, R.I.

Amanda M. Blau, Public Relations, Arts &Sciences, Bradford, R.I.

Judith Ann Raponi, Human Development and Family Studies, Continuing Education, Barrington, R.I.

New York residents

Madeline Regina Gies, Elementary Education, Human Science & Services, Red Hook, N.Y.

Daniel Roche, Marine Affairs, Environment & Life Sciences, Lake Peeksville, N.Y.

Melania V. Malavazos, Communication Studies, Arts &Sciences, Harrison, N.Y.

Melania V. Malavazos, French, Harrison, N.Y.

Nicholas Child, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Engineering, Corning, N.Y.

New Jersey residents

Hillary N. Brady, Journalism, Arts &Sciences, North Brunswick, N.J.

Alexa Kretsch, Aquaculture and Fishery Technology, Environment & Life Sciences, Eatontown, N.J.

Ryan Kleinert, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Environment & Life Sciences, East Brunswick, NJ.

Kyle Elliott, Finance, Business Administration, Cresskill, N.J.

Rebecca K. Manning, Supply Chain Management, Business Administration, Brick, N.J.

Massachusetts residents

Michael Visco, Chemistry, Arts &Sciences, Winthrop, Mass.

Brian Stack, History, Arts &Sciences, Wilbraham, Mass.

Kelley Woodacre, Landscape Architecture, Environment & Life Sciences, Wellesley, Mass.

Jaclyn A. Surette, Textile Marketing, Human Science & Services, Shrewsbury, Mass.

Jennifer Doyle, Communicative Disorders, Human Science & Services, Fall River, Mass.

Connecticut residents

Charles Morace, Computer Science, Arts &Sciences, Newton, Conn.

Jean Kulas, Nursing, Nursing, Monroe, Conn.

Jessica Rago, Pharmacy, Pharmacy, Monroe, Conn.

Other states

Lindsay Dawn Lozeau, Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Milford, N.H.

Benjamin Negrete, Marine Biology, Environment & Life Sciences, Haltom City, Texas

Kirsten Elaine Leikem, Economics, Arts &Sciences, Tucson, Arizona


Jhih-Syuan Cindy Yang, Textiles, Fashion Merchandising & Design, Human Science & Services, Kaohsiung , Taiwan