The awards will be presented at URI’s fifth annual awards celebration on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Westin Providence, One West Exchange St., Providence.
Guest registration begins at 5:30 p.m. for the black-tie optional event, followed by a reception at 6 p.m. Dinner and the awards ceremony begin at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person, $50 for children under 12. For further information, call 401.874.9455, e-mail RSVP@advance.uri.edu, or go to the website advance.uri.edu/programming.
“One of the best hallmarks of a university’s greatness is its alumni,” said Robert Beagle, vice president for University Advancement. “The University of Rhode Island is remarkable for the numbers of alumni who are highly recognized leaders in many national and international arenas. The Distinguished Achievement Awards are one important way for communicating the strengths, the contributions, and the impact of URI alums. This annual program has become a signature event for us.”
President’s Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients
Dr. Martha Banks, renowned for her expertise on issues involving women, trauma and health care, is a research neuropsychologist at the Research and Development Division of ABackans DCP, Inc. in Akron, Ohio, and a former professor at The College of Wooster in Ohio. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island (1979, 1981) before embarking on a distinguished career as scientist/ practitioner, researcher, author, lecturer and educator. Banks is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, with an impressive record of publications that includes the three-volume work, Disabilities: Insights from Across Fields and Around the World. She served as president of the Society for the Psychology of Women, Division 35, APA, from 2008-09; her presidential address, “Feminist Psychology and Women with Disabilities, an Emerging Alliance,” will be published in the March 2010 issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly. She has been honored with a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association, the Sue Rosenberg Zalk Award for Distinguished Service from the Society for the Psychology of Women, and several awards from the APA’s division of rehabilitation, among others. She has presented at more than 200 conferences and symposia on diverse topics ranging from the risks of domestic violence for women with disabilities to geriatric substance abuse. Banks has traveled extensively internationally, and is an avid musician and singer with a special interest in classical, baroque and Renaissance music. A member of several choirs and chorales, she is composer of a 45-minute Mass in G for chorus, solo quartet, organ and piano. In addition, she enjoys knitting and hot-air balloon chasing. She lives in Akron, Ohio.
A highly decorated World War II hero and engineering entrepreneur, Franklin W. Simon has been instrumental in providing housing for the elderly, low-to-moderate income individuals and families over the past 50 years. Following his earning a mechanical engineering BS with highest honors from URI, he received an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1977, Simon helped create and directed the B’nai B’rith Senior Citizens Housing Corporation for many years as its president (now B’nai B’rith Housing New England). In 1966, Simon founded The Simon Companies, which develops and manages residential and commercial properties throughout the Northeast. Over the past decade, he has been responsible for developing more than 7,000 residential units and commercial properties; and today the company has some 100 employees. Simon was only 17 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served as a combat infantry scout and from landing in Normandy France, he participated in the battles of Northern France, Ardennes, Battle of The Bulge, Rhineland and Central Europe, including the liberation of Mathausen concentration camp in Austria, and ending the war meeting Russian Troops in Piilsen, then Czechoslovakia. His service awards include two Bronze Star Medals, one for valor and three Purple Heart Medals with oak leaf clusters. He also received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm and in 2007 he was honored by the French government as one of the few Americans to receive The Legion of Honor Medal, the highest honor that the French government can bestow. A resident of Milton, Massachusetts, Simon was married for 59 years to his late wife, Gloria.
Dr. Kwok K. Yeung is vice-president of research and development at IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, Maine. The company focuses primarily on pet health, and sells a variety of products worldwide to veterinarians, including in-clinic diagnostic tests and instrumentation, laboratory services, and practice management software. Yeung, the retired chief scientific officer of the Diabetes Care Division of Bayer Healthcare in Elkhart, Ind., most recently was vice-president of Global Research and Development, heading a team of 135 staff members in the development of meters and sensors for blood glucose testing. Yeung holds ten US patents and has published numerous articles in scientific and research journals. Among his technical achievements, he has developed immunoassay methods — biochemical tests that measure the concentration of a substance in a biological liquid. Additionally, he has developed immunoassays to detect autoimmune diseases and develop therapeutic drugs, and has identified new cancer markers. Yeung facilitated the donation to URI of more than $500,000 in scientific equipment by Bayer. A member of the university’s Arts and Sciences Advisory Council, he was the recipient of the Research Excellence Award in 2000. He is also a member of the North America Chinese Clinical Chemists Association, serving as its president in 2002. He received his BS in chemistry from California State University, Fresno, in 1972; his MS in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1974; and his PhD in biochemistry from URI in 1979. Kwok K. Yeung lives in Falmouth, Maine.
Richard J. Harrington is chairman and general partner of The Cue Ball Group. He most recently served as CEO of the world’s largest information services firm, The Thomson Corporation, now The Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE:TRI). At Cue Ball, Harrington helps set the overall strategic direction and plays an active role across investments. His many honors include the Legend in Leadership award from Yale University and the CEO of the Year award from the Executive Council, both awarded in 2007. Harrington led the transformation of Thomson from a diverse holding company into the leading global provider of electronic information, software and services. Under his 11-year leadership as CEO, the company quadrupled cash flow and more than tripled in market value of the company. Additionally, he has led more than $45 billion in transactions, with the most recent and most visible acquisition for Thomson being Reuters in April 2008. A 1973 graduate of the URI School of Business, and 2002 recipient of an honorary doctorate of laws, the Harrington family’s gift of $5-million to the newly-established School of Communication and Media was one of the largest charitable donations to the university and the largest single donation ever by an individual. The school, formed in 2008, now bears his name and brings together the disciplines of communication studies, journalism, film studies, writing and rhetoric and library and information studies. In addition, Harrington chaired the committee and provided a leadership gift for the renovation of Ballentine Hall, home of the College of Business. He, his wife Jean, and daughter Edina live in Westport, Conn.
Distinguished Achievement Awards Dean’s List Recipients
In addition to the four President’s Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients, URI’s colleges and the Graduate School of Oceanography will honor the following representing these disciplines: Arts and Sciences, Business, Continuing Education, Engineering, Environment and Life Sciences, Human Science & Services, Nursing and Oceanography.
College of Arts and Sciences
Shannon E. Chandley and Thomas J. Silvia met as freshmen at the University of Rhode Island. In 1983, Chandley received a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences in English and history, and Silvia a BS from the College of Engineering in chemical engineering. They are dedicated and longtime supporters of the University of Rhode Island. Chandley, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Arts and Sciences for several years, served as its chair from 2001until 2008. In that capacity, she led the campaign to raise funds for humanities fellowships as well as for a central endowment. Silvia is the vice-chair of the University of Rhode Island Foundation and chairs its Investment Committee. In addition, Silvia has taught finance in the URI MBA program. Both served on the Making a Difference Campaign that raised more than $100 million for the university. They co-chaired the 2008 Winter Gala in Newport. The couple endowed the Paul H. Conway ’84 Memorial Scholarship, the Tom Silvia and Shannon Chandley Professorship in Peace Studies, and the Jim and Cathy Chandley Hockey Scholarship in memory of Chandley’s parents. Additionally, they have provided support for the College of Arts and Science Excellence Fund, the Honors Colloquium, the Ram Fund, the Convocation Center Fund, the College of Business and the Beaupre Hope and Heritage Fund. In addition to extensive community service, Chandley is an elected member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving the communities of Amherst and Milford. She serves on the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. In 2010, she was named one of only 50 Emerging Political Leaders nationwide by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, a bi-partisan national organization. Silvia has a successful career in finance and investments. Chandley and Silvia, of Amherst, NH, are the parents of four children.
Laurie White is president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island’s largest business advocacy and membership association. She has served in that capacity since 2005. Previously, White served as executive counselor for policy and communications for Gov. Don Carcieri. White holds the designation Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. Under her direction, the chamber’s public policy and communications initiatives have garnered 18 national awards, including the Grand Award from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. She received an honorary doctorate in business administration from Johnson & Wales University in May 2010 and was inducted into the Community College of Rhode Island Hall of Fame in April 2010. She was inducted into The Prout School’s Hall of Fame in October of 2008. She is an honors graduate of URI, with a BA in journalism (1981). She is a 1995 graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. She resides in North Kingstown with her husband.
College of Business Administration
Wesley R. Card is CEO and a director of Jones Apparel Group, Inc., and has served the company for almost 20 years in various positions. From July 2007-February 2010, he was the company’s president and CEO. Prior to that, he had been COO of Jones Apparel Group since March 2002. He had also been appointed CFO in March 2007, a position he previously held from 1990 to March 2006. Prior to joining Jones Apparel Group in 1990, Card was executive vice-president and CFO of Carolyn Roehm, Inc. from 1988 to 1990, and corporate vice-president, controller and assistant secretary of Warnaco, Inc. from 1986 to 1988, having served in various divisional positions from 1979 to 1986. Prior to 1979, he held several positions with Price Waterhouse & Co. and Bank of Boston. Card is a 1970 graduate of the University of Rhode Island and received his CPA certification in 1973. He served as chairman of the board of directors for the American Apparel and Footwear Association from March 2005-March 2007 and remains on the executive committee of the board. Card also serves on the advisory board of The Wharton School Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative, the board of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries in support of FIT, and the advisory board for the Terry Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona. Card was recently presented with the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee.
A 1968 graduate of the College of Business Administration, with an MBA from Harvard University in 1972, Jay A. Kaiser is the owner and president of AmCap, Inc., in Stamford, CT, which acquires, owns and operates shopping centers, primarily on the East Coast, and also in other parts of the country, including the Midwest and West. Beginning as a self-employed real estate investor in New York City, in 1977 Kaiser became a partner with developers CRJ Investments, also of New York City. He sold his interest in the company in 1979 to form AmCap Inc., and ultimately grew the company from a two-person firm in 1979 to more than 25 employees. Throughout his career, he has acquired, developed, sold or financed more than $2-billion in real estate. AmCap Ventures, Inc. was formed in 1996 to provide residential real estate development services to luxury waterfront homes in south Florida. The Kaiser family has supported URI financially to make it easier for students with disabilities to gain access to assistive technologies. Their contributions to the Office of Disability Services have enabled the department to develop a “virtual center” that students can access online from remote locations at any time of day. In addition, the family is a generous supporter of the annual fund, and a major donor to Ballentine Hall. The Kaisers live in Westport, CT.
Alan R. Spachman, founder and chairman of National Interstate Corporation, served as chief executive from the company’s inception in 1989 through 2007. He remains chairman of the board of directors and a significant investor. National Interstate, an insurance holding corporation, operates insurance company subsidiaries that focus on the transportation insurance market. The company is the nation’s leading underwriter of insurance for the passenger transportation and moving and storage industries. It also provides insurance to trucking companies, short-line railroads, owners of recreation vehicles, watercraft and other specialty exposures. Spachman started National Interstate in 1989 with financial support from 15 of his friends and acquaintances. In February 2005, the company completed its initial public offering and now trades on the NASDAQ market. Following its recent acquisition of Vanliner Insurance Company, it now employs 500 people. Spachman, who received both a BS from URI in 1969 and an MBA in 1971, held various labor relations and human resources management positions with Collins and Aikman, Inc. and the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo, Inc. From 1984-1988, he served as senior vice-president at Progressive Corporation, where he initiated that company’s passenger transportation business. He currently operates Belmont Insurance Services, LLC with his son Brian, and resides in Bluffton, South Carolina and Naples, Florida with his wife, Florence.
College of Continuing Education
Mary A. Parella is director of the Pawtucket Child Opportunity Zone (COZ), a full service community school model, integrating health, education and social services. She has 25 years’ experience in program and partnership development, community outreach and grant management. Parella has been with the Pawtucket School Department since 1994, and oversees a variety of projects that support children and families, including after school, summer and adult literacy. Under her leadership, the Pawtucket COZ has leveraged millions of dollars for the implementation of programs and services. She was first elected to the state Senate in 1992, and served for 12 years. During that time, Parella was recognized with many awards, particularly in the areas of social equity, education, housing, and health care. She sponsored and supported legislation for government reform, increased aid to education, environmental protection, economic development and affordable health care. Prior to her service as state senator, from 1986 to 1992 Parella was an elected member of the Bristol Town Council. She was re-elected to the council in 2004, and is now in her sixth year of once again holding that position. She earned a BA in political science from Emmanuel College, Boston in 1979, and a master’s in community planning from URI in 1986. She is on the advisory committee for URI’s Feld Lecture Series, held annually on the Feinstein Providence campus. In addition, Parella has been an adjunct professor in URI’s graduate programs in planning and development, and urban affairs. She lives in Bristol.
Paul Fioravanti is president and chief consultant with Reverie Consulting/Reverie Capital LLC of Cranston, a business growth strategies consulting firm. He has more than 20 years of senior level business experience, mostly in the service sector. He has managed both private and public company responsibilities and has received numerous accolades for business excellence and corporate and individual achievement. A graduate of La Salle Academy, Fioravanti is a three-time alumnus of URI, receiving a BS in 1988, an MPA in 1995, and an MBA in 1999. He also completed the Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) program in marketing at Bryant University. He served as vice-chairman of the College Advisory Board for ASF CCE, and helped charter its urban studies program. He is an adjunct professor, teaching both undergraduate and MBA courses at area colleges and universities. Fioravanti has served numerous charitable and civic service organizations in the roles of chair, director, and advisor, and is a graduate of Leadership Rhode Island. A Providence native, he lives in Cranston.
College of the Environment and Life Sciences
Frances W. Ingersoll, known worldwide as a medical laboratory professional, is responsible for planning, developing, training and evaluating medical laboratory programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. She was recently appointed director of Global Health Programs for the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. A leading educator in her field, Ingersoll is co-author of a standard text used in teaching diagnostic microbiology. She has also written many scientific and educational articles, as well as a diagnostic study guide and lab manual. She is a consultant to the International Laboratory Capacity Building Program of the American Society of Microbiology, which since 2005 has worked in countries with limited resources to strengthen and expand clinical microbiology services. Through LabCap, Ingersoll has developed programs in sub-Saharan Africa, which she has deemed her most rewarding experience as a clinical scientist. Her various professional positions include serving as director and/or faculty member in programs at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, UMass Dartmouth, and URI. Additionally, she has served as president of the Rhode Island Society for Medical Technology, and president and board member of the American Society for Clinical ASCLS Microbiology Scientific Assembly. A 1974 graduate of URI with a degree in microbiology, Ingersoll received her master’s degree in medical laboratory science from UMass Dartmouth in 1980. She lives in Portsmouth.
Rear Admiral Mary E. Landry serves as the commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District and commander of Task Force 189.8, headquartered in New Orleans. As district commander, Landry is responsible for U.S. Coast Guard operations covering 26 states, more than 1,200 miles of coastline and 10,300 miles of inland waterways from Florida to Mexico. Previously, Landry served for two years as the Coast Guard’s director of governmental and public affairs, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. She has served most of her career in the Marine Safety field. She was the executive officer of Marine Safety in Boston during the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and oversaw the federal response to the Buzzard’s Bay oil spill in southeastern Massachusetts. Most recently, she served as the federal on-scene coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Landry completed Officer Candidate School in 1980. She graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1978 and worked for the city’s mayor prior to joining the Coast Guard. She has an MA in management from Webster University, and a Master of Marine Affairs from URI. Landry is a National Security Fellow, earning this distinction at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2000. She received an honorary doctoral degree from Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York in 2009. In 2006, she was honored as the Maritime Person of the Year by the Propeller Club of Narragansett Bay. Her military decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards), 9/11 Medal, and Achievement Medal. She is married to Capt. Mark Landry, USCG, Ret.
College of Engineering
Jay William Harford is owner of Kent Ltd. in Trappe, Md., where he provides product development services. As a result several products have been brought to market, including a system to prevent marine fouling of pollution, and nutrient monitoring systems, a remotely controlled self calibrating probe for estuarine monitoring with real time remote data readout, and a remote vessel control system to deliver critical cargo to areas devastated by natural disasters or combat. His many awards include one for technical support from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Naval Research Lab for his support during the search for the submarine Thresher, the Joint Task Force Eight for support during nuclear weapons tests, a citation from Alcatel for “exceptional performance and innovative design” in support of the Globalstar satellite, the Naval SOFAR Station for acoustic equipment design. as well as five Quality Achiever awards from IBM. Harford designed and developed many other tools and instruments at various companies. He designed oceanographic equipment, including deep sea cameras and lighting equipment, for Jacques Cousteau and the Glomar Explorer. In addition, he developed the first acoustic Doppler ocean current meter, now the standard for current measurement. He is also credited with designing the first acoustically-quiet sensor system for covert operations, technology for making color-balanced underwater photographs, and the first directional hydrophone array system for submarine surveillance and oil exploration. Harford received a BS in chemistry from the University of Delaware, and an MS in electrical engineering from URI (1962). He lives in Trappe, Md. with his wife Janet.
Dorothy S. Rasco is perhaps closer to outer space than other URI graduates: She is the manager of the Space Shuttle Business Office for the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Rasco, who earned her BS in civil engineering from URI in 1981, has been with NASA for 25 years. She joined the agency as a civil engineer, designing facilities such as the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, used to train the astronauts in a “weightless” environment. Since then, she has served in positions of increasing responsibility, and in 2006, was named business manager of the Space Shuttle Program (SSP). She is a key advisor to the SSP manager, sharing program responsibility and accountability for managing an annual budget of more than $3.2 billion and a multi-disciplinary workforce of more than 11,000 civil servants and contractors across the country. With the decision to retire the Space Shuttle in 2011, Rasco was asked to manage the transition and retirement of this highly complex program. Leading an organization of more than 700 government and contractor employees, Rasco provides strategic guidance, technical management policy, acquisition strategy, budget processes, analysis and assessments, for retiring the Space Shuttle Program. She was awarded NASA fellowships to the Smith College Management Program and the Harvard Business School Leadership for Senior Executives. Her accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the JSC Certificate of Commendation, JSC and the NASA Group Achievement Awards, the Equal Opportunity Award, Outstanding Performance Award. She has served as vice-president and president of the Asian Pacific American Council, vice president of the board of directors of the JSC Child Care Center, and a member of Senior Executive Service, Society of Women Engineers, the JSC Diversity Council, the JSC Exchange Council, and the National Managers Association. A native of South Kingstown, she lives with her family in Houston, Texas.
Despite the global recession, Richard R. Schloesser has led Toray Industries (Toray Plastics America, Inc.) of North Kingstown to generate a net growth of 41 percent in 2008 and 33 percent in 2009. As president, CEO, and COO of the $400-million-dollar company, his leadership resulted in there being no layoffs, and there were salary increases and bonuses for every one of more than 700 employees at the four manufacturing sites he heads. TPA ended the year as the number-two company of Toray’s 200 companies. Schloesser’s outstanding leadership led to his being named a senior director for Toray Industries — one of only four advisors, worldwide, to the company’s board of directors. Prior to his tenure at Toray, beginning in 2008, he was a top executive with Mobil Chemical Company and Mobil Oil Company. Richard Schloesser has supported URI in a number of ways: Undergraduate internships and scholarships, ongoing hiring of graduates and workforce development, engineering and technology career fairs, support of student engineering chapters, and ongoing interaction with engineering faculty and administrators. A 1968 graduate of Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, with a degree in administration, Schloesser served in the US Army in Korea as a first lieutenant. He and his wife Janet live in Wakefield.
Graduate School of Oceanography
Three years ago, The St. Petersburg Times (FL) made note of the “swan dive” Dr. Peter Betzer once took off the research vessel Trident to save a valuable scientific sample that had fallen off the ship. It is an early measure of his commitment to the study of the oceans during a distinguished professional life. Betzer is widely credited as being the moving force behind the development of the largest marine research complex in the southeastern US. The institutions in Bayboro Harbor include the Florida Marine Research Institute, the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, the USF Center for Ocean Technology, the Florida Institute of Oceanography, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the US Geological Survey and its Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Most recently he played a major role in attracting two advanced technology groups, SRI International (2006) and Draper Laboratory (2009), to open new research facilities in St. Petersburg. The marine science complex that he guided into existence now encompasses 11 government agencies employing more than 1,100 people. It was recently highlighted nationally as their scientists provided insights into the movement, fate and effect of the oil injected from the Deepwater Horizon Oil well into the Gulf of Mexico. The 1972 graduate of URI’s doctoral program in oceanography has served as professor, department chair and founding dean of USF’s College of Marine Science. Currently he is president of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. He has been honored with numerous awards, and has presented invited lectures around the world, from England to Russia to China. Additionally, Betzer has participated in a number of expeditions in several of the world’s oceans. Creating places in oceanography and other sciences for women and minorities has been a special focus through the National Science Foundation’s “Bridge to the Doctorate” program and the Florida-Georgia Stokes Alliance for Minorities. In 1991 he established the Oceanography Camp for Girls — focused on eighth graders — that has, for the last 19 years, encouraged young women to seek scientific careers. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL.
College of Human Science and Services
Diane Chace Fannon earned a BA in elementary education from URI in 1974. After working as a first-grade teacher, she left that profession for a career in advertising and design. She is now a principal at The Richards Group in Dallas, the largest independent branding agency in the world, with annual billing of more than $1-billion and a staff of 650. Fannon has variously worked as a broadcast producer in Manhattan, a copywriter at Grey Advertising, executive creative director at Tracy-Locke in Dallas, and head of the photography division for a subsidiary of Kodak. She has garnered a number of diverse honors, including a Clio Award for a television advertising campaign that incorporated clips from old TV programs, All-Star recognition by Adweek magazine; and in July of this year she was named one of the top 25 most influential women in Dallas/Ft. Worth business by the Dallas Business Journal. She has served multiple times as a judge for the Effie Awards, sponsored by the Ad Page Group, and was a speaker at the American Advertising Federation National Conference. In addition, she and her husband Kent – also a 1974 URI graduate – were featured speakers at the 2007 URI Anthony J. Risica Endowed Lecture Series on innovation and entrepreneurship. She is currently a member of URI’s Branding Steering Committee. The Fannons are strong supporters of URI, and established the Kent and Diane Fannon Scholarship in 2008. They live in Irving, Texas and have a home in Saunderstown.
Christine L. (Scott) and Kevin J. Pelton are both doctors of chiropractic medicine, and have a joint practice from two offices in South Kingstown. Both are 1984 graduates from URI, Christine with a BS in corrective and adaptive physical education, and Kevin with a BA in political science. Christine went on to attend the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Ill. for four years. She was salutatorian of her graduating class in 1992, and has been in private medical practice since earning her degree. While at URI, she was a leader in the freshman orientation program; she is active in the Alumni Ambassador Program. Christine is a member of Rotary International. Kevin was also active as a leader and coordinator of freshman orientation while at URI. Following graduation, he attended the Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., where he was honored several times for excellence. He received his JD in 1987, and then enrolled at the National College of Chiropractic, graduating in 1992 as a doctor of chiropractic medicine and entering private practice. From 1993 to the present, Kevin has served as adjunct professor at the National University of Health Sciences in Chicago. He has staff privileges at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, and South Coast Hospital in New Bedford, Mass. The Peltons live in Kingston with their two children, Emma and Joshua, “close enough to URI to hear the Quad bells ring.”
The late Barbara L. Wilson was well known as a professor and then chairperson of the former Department of Dental Hygiene for nearly 30 years, from 1961-1990. Her love for URI led her to bequeath a substantial gift, the Barbara L. Wilson Endowment to the College of Human Science and Services, upon her death in January, 2009 at the age of 89. Wilson’s stated purpose was to “support students and faculty in health-related programs,” with preference given to programs pertaining to oral health and its relationship to chronic and acute disease states, and dental health for high-risk populations such as children and adults. The support includes scholarships for students in these programs as well as for student and faculty development. She was a member of the Dental Hygiene Association, locally and nationally, and was on a number of national dental hygiene committees. In addition, she was for many years a member of the RI Board of Dental Examiners, and served as a consultant for the regional office of Head Start. In retirement, she served on the board of directors at Thundermist Health Center of South County, and volunteered in nursing homes around the state. Born in Lynn, Mass. in 1919, Wilson graduated from the Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene, and received her MS from Boston University. She lived in Wakefield maintaining a cabin in Maine as a “getaway.” A world traveler, she visited virtually every continent during her lifetime.
College of Nursing
Terri L. Maxwell’s dedication to improving and developing palliative care for patients with life-threatening illnesses is reflected in her extensive research, writing, speaking and hands-on expertise. In her current position as vice president of clinical initiatives for excelleRx Inc., her mission is to improve circumstances and health care for the frail elderly as well as for patients who are at the end of life. Previously, she was vice-president of research for the company. A summa cum laude graduate of URI in 1982, Maxwell received a master’s degree in nursing and a doctorate in nursing science from the University of Pennsylvania. She was named a prestigious “Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar” from the Soros Foundation Open Society Institute in 2002. Maxwell has served as executive director of the Philadelphia-based Center for Palliative Care in the Department of Family Medicine at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University. In addition, she has worked as a nurse and oncology advance practice nurse at various hospitals, including Princeton (NJ) Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Beth Israel Medical Center (Mass.) She lives with her husband and two children in New Hope, Penn.
Ken Owens is president of Owens Marketing Group in North Kingstown, with more than 30 years experience as a communications/public relations professional. As director of Olympic Marketing and Event Management at John Hancock Financial Services, Owens was involved in the development, co-branding and implementation of the company’s sports and event marketing activities, including the international Olympics, Major League Baseball, USA Hockey, The Ryder Cup, and the Boston Marathon. His responsibilities also included that of executive producer for most of the company’s major business meetings in the United States, as well as internationally, for more than ten years. Earlier, he directed John Hancock’s community relations efforts, including program development, and the review and allocation of funding for non-profit organizations. Prior to John Hancock, Owens was director of public information and public education for the American Cancer Society of Rhode Island. His efforts contributed to the establishment of Rhode Island’s first statewide cancer information service. He was also involved in the acquisition of a major grant to establish a cancer control program for Rhode Island. Owens is president of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Nursing at URI. He has a BA in philosophy and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. His work has led to Crystal and Cine Awards for creative and staging of events, and his efforts as executive producer of a film for the John Hancock Observatory won an award from the Advertising Club of Boston. Owens is an Of Counsel member of the Kullberg Consulting Group, a strategic alliance of 60 companies representing all disciplines of marketing communications. He and his family reside in North Kingstown.
Known for her humanitarian work in the Dominican Republic and beloved by students in URI’s College of Nursing, the late Ruth Waldman was appointed the college’s first associate dean in 2008. Her distinguished career on campus began when she joined the faculty in 1974, just a year after earning a master’s degree in nursing at URI. She went on to become assistant dean in 1995, and was recognized with countless awards. Waldman was widely known for her frequent travels with students to provide free health care to the poor in villages of the Dominican Republic. The intercultural nursing effort, which she began leading in 2000, continued until her death in that country in 2009, of natural causes. She was the first nursing staff member to receive the URI Diversity Faculty Excellence Award. She was also honored as U.S. Air Force Educator. Other awards include the URI Feinstein Service Learning Fellowship, Outstanding Community Outreach, and UMass Distinguished Alumna. Waldman was a board member of South County Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Services of Washington County, and a member of the Chorus of Westerly.
College of Pharmacy
For nearly 60 years, pharmacist William H. Lang has been advancing outpatient and community care services at Kent County Hospital in Warwick, where he served as CEO from 1960-1985. During the 25-year period of his leadership, the hospital grew from 90 to 365 beds. Lang pioneered home care in 1964 and piloted the first out-patient surgery in the state beginning in 1975. A 1949 graduate of the original Rhode Island College of Pharmacy in Providence, Lang was class president for four years, and then president of the Alumni Association when the college merged with the URI College of Pharmacy. Named Kent’s first pharmacist in 1952, three years after the hospital was established, he became chief pharmacist in 1956. Lang was a leader in the development and advancement of hospital pharmacy practices. Along with three other practitioners, he organized Hospital Pharmacists of Rhode Island, and helped organize the New England Society of Hospital Pharmacists. His early work on medication-use errors, and the prevention of mistakes in prescribing and dispensing, preceded by decades the recognition of such mistakes as a key to health-care quality and unnecessary health-care costs. He has been honored by Kent Hospital with the William H. Lang Trust for Continuing Employees – ongoing since his retirement – and the William H. Lang Employee of the Month Award. Lang has served as president of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, chaired the Citizens Advisory Committee on Emergency Medical Service, and was a member of the Governor’s Mental Health Commission in the 1970s, when significant restructuring of mental health services was occurring. A trustee of Kent Hospital from 1985 until 2002, Lang co-authored the book The Imperishable Gift—Kent Hospital, the First Fifty Years, with Dr. H. Herald Rock. He and his wife live in Warwick.
Countless College of Pharmacy graduates have reason to remember Lois Vars Mason. A scholarship in her name benefits non-traditional students, and the former assistant dean was also the first “externship” coordinator for the college. She had primary responsibility for student affairs, both in admission and in progress, and was known for her high expectations. The Masons gave the first financial gift to URI that led to the new College of Pharmacy building initiatives, donating a memorial room in honor of their fathers, Clarence A. Vars and Earl H. Mason, who were trustees of the original College of Pharmacy in Providence and advisory counselors when it became part of URI. She also served on the college Dean’s Advisory Council. A 1951 graduate of Hood College, she earned a MAT from Columbia University in 1956 and a BS in pharmacy from URI in 1962. The latter resulted in a career change from teaching high school mathematics to serving as a pharmacist in Vars Bros. Pharmacy in Westerly. She joined the College of Pharmacy staff in 1975, becoming assistant dean in 1979. In addition to being a generous supporter of URI, Mason served for a total of 35 years as a trustee of Hood College and her secondary school, Northfield (MA) Mount Herman School. She was a trustee and chair of the board of The Westerly Hospital, trustee and chair of Community Health of Westerly, an incorporator of the Westerly Public Library and a director of the Westerly Adult Daycare Center. She was on the advisory board of Fleet National Bank, Westerly; served as director of Girl Scouts of RI and was a member of the Episcopal Housing Foundation. She and her husband Bill reside in Westerly.
Capt. Justina A. Molzon is a pharmacist and attorney, and a commissioned officer in the U.S Public Health Service. She is currently associate director for international programs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and a member of the senior management team. One of her primary responsibilities is coordination of CDER’s efforts related to the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). In this capacity, she serves as representative to the ICH Steering Committee. She also coordinates CDER’s activities related to the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), and is involved in technical outreach to focus countries. Molzon has been a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on International Pharmacopoeia and Pharmaceutical Preparations since 2002, as well as its Expert Committee on Specifications for Pharmaceutical Preparations since 2003. She received her BS with honors and distinction and MS in pharmacy, with a concentration in pharmaceutics and pharmacognosy, from URI, and law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology. Molzon is a Fellow in the American Society for Pharmacy Law, serving on its board of directors from 1989-1997. Her PHS assignments include serving as a pharmacist on the Navajo Indian Reservation, and as the regional pharmacist consultant and inspector for the Health Care Financing Administration’s Survey and Certification Review Branch in Chicago. Upon leaving the Public Health Service to go to law school, she was a clinical pharmacist in the critical care area of Northwestern University’s teaching hospital. After law school, she maintained a private law practice and worked with a pro bono legal program for persons with AIDS. In 1990, she rejoined the Public Health Service to work in FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs. In 2008, she was honored with the US Public Health Service Mary Louise Andersen Leadership Award (pharmacist of the year) for extraordinary dedication and leadership in support of global public health. In 2009 she was awarded an exemplary service award by the Surgeon General of the United States for her international efforts.