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Big Thinkers Archive

Carol Englander

Carol Englander

Carol Englander’s “aha moment” came 21 years ago, when she discovered a program at Oregon State University that engaged under-represented K-12 students in after-school, hands-on science activities. The middle-school teacher ...

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Ross Kauffman

Ross Kauffman ’89

Filmmaking wasn’t at all what alumnus Ross Kauffman '89 set out to do when he enrolled at the University of Rhode Island. But the former marketing major’s interest in film ...

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Vinka Craver

Vinka Oyanedel-Craver

Engineering Professor Vinka Oyanedel-Craver dreams of a world where everyone can enjoy a glass of safe, clean water. Turning that dream into a reality will take pioneering research like that ...

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Laureen Breene

Lauren Breene ’17

In an age of genetically modified organisms, family farming is enjoying a resurgence, and Lauren Breene’s big idea is to make it even more popular. She fell in love with her ...

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Matt Gusto

Matt Gusto ’14

A native of Bath, Maine, Matt Gusto has always had his eye on the sea. According to this former boat captain, lobsterman, government fisheries observer—and 2014 “Blue MBA” grad, the ...

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Judy Beckman

Judy Beckman

Instead of starting the school year at URI as she's done since 1992, this fall, Professor Judy Beckman is in Washington, D.C. where she recently began a prestigious one-year fellowship ...

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Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown ’15

Patrick Brown always wanted to be an astronaut. He may never make it to space in person, but he is helping develop a technology that just may take humans to ...

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Leslie Smith

Leslie Smith ’11

Leslie Smith grew up fascinated by Ranger Rick and Bill Nye the Science Guy. As she spent her childhood summers playing in Chesapeake Bay, she learned the importance of being ...

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Assistant Professor Sheng Lu

Sheng Lu

The clothing industry goes way beyond fiber, yarn, and fabric, says assistant professor Sheng Lu, of URI’s department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design.  An expert in the global textile industry ...

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Keith Brown

Keith Brown ’96

Keith Brown started making movies with his parents’ Super 8 camera when he was just a boy. He went on to become an award-winning filmmaker, but he never forgot the ...

Jonathan Burgess

Jonathan Burgess ’06

Jonathan Burgess ’06 was recruited by a landscape architecture firm directly from his undergraduate studio in Rodman Hall. It was an auspicious start to a career that now has him ...

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Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson ’14

After her son Nathan was gunned down in the midst of a neighborhood feud, Nancy Wilson '14 shut herself inside her house for months and cried. Her despair was deep, ...

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Tinh Huynh '11 is heading to University of Vermont College of Medicine this fall.

Tinh Huynh ’11

Tinh Huyuh '11 is thinking about becoming a neurosurgeon. Meanwhile he’s working as an EMT, shadowing doctors at Rhode Island Hospital, volunteering as a Big Brother—and preparing for medical school at ...

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Matt Franco

Mat Franco ’10

When Mat Franco graduated from URI with a marketing degree in 2010, his big idea was to use his new business skills to promote and advance his career as a ...

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Y.Q. Wang

Yeqiao Wang

Yeqiao Wang is fascinated by what can be learned by studying satellite images of Earth. “We usually see our world from the bottom up, but satellites allow us to interpret ...

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