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Big Thinkers Archive

Gabriela Cardone

Gabriela Cardona ’16

As a 21-year-old college senior, Gabriela Cardona has done something most people never accomplish: She's already an author. Gabriela initially wrote “Ava’s Last Day of Summer," a children's book about hearing loss, ...

Ayla Fox

Ayla Fox ’11

Ayla Fox tells stories through sights and sounds. A modern day storyteller, she shares her work through digital media and owns her own film production company called Shed Light Productions. With ...

Bridget Buxton holding gold coins

Bridget Buxton

As an underwater archaeologist, Bridget Buxton is trained to search for knowledge, not sunken treasure. But her most recent expedition to Israel dug up plenty of both. When scuba divers in ...

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Omar Bah

Omar Bah ’10

Omar Bah was nearly beaten to death in a jail cell in Gambia a decade ago. His crime? Writing newspaper stories about the country’s brutal dictator. Here in America, we ...

Carrie McDonough

Carrie McDonough ’17

Carrie McDonough studies the ocean, but she also writes about it, and not just for other scientists. Through her blog—"oceanbites"—she translates complicated research into words the general public can understand. Since her first ...

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Susanne Menden Deuer

Susanne Menden-Deuer

Susanne Menden-Deuer is fascinated by plankton, even though she can’t see them with the naked eye. As is often true, the small can be mighty: These microscopic ocean creatures make our planet ...

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Taylor Ross headshot

Taylor Ross ’18

Inspired by her love for soccer and the joy it brings her, URI Women’s Soccer team player Taylor Ross, founded the nonprofit Cleats Count. Her intention: to bring joy to disadvantaged children in Ethiopia through “the ...

Otto Gregory

Otto Gregory

In his lab at URI, Otto Gregory is working to make the world a safer place. The chemical engineering professor has developed a sensor that detects traces of triacetone triperoxide, ...


Cara Nunez ’16

Cara Nunez was confident in her speaking abilities when she walked into the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition in December, but as a participant in the Elevator Pitch Contest, she ...

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Maureen Moakley

Maureen Moakley

If you follow Rhode Island politics, you’ll know the name Maureen Moakley.  A longtime political commentator on radio and television, she's also a well-respected political science professor at URI whose ...

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George McDonough

George McDonough ’93

On vacations, George “Hopper” McDonough could never completely take it easy. He always found it hard to relax unless he was doing something active. A former member of the URI ...

Marie Jimenez

Marie Jimenez ’16

Marie Jimenez is aiming for a career as a paleontologist, and her aspirations received a big boost last summer when she served as an intern at Dinosaur National Monument in ...

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John Grant

John Grant M.S. ’86

No science is more earthy than geology, but its pursuit has taken John Grant to Mars. Not in person, of course. But as one of the scientists involved in the ...

Xinyuan Chen

Xinyuan Chen

We’ve all been through them as kids—painful needle sticks for multiple vaccinations. And even if we don’t remember them, our parents do. Now, Xinyuan Chen, an assistant professor of biomedical and ...


Kyle Nacci

Kyle Nacci ’16

"People think that changing the world is a ridiculous ambition," says Kyle Nacci, whose interests led him to found a campus group called Big Thinkers, inspired by URI's “Think Big. ...

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