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Big Thinkers Archive

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, ...


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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Sylvia Bogusz

Sylvia Bogusz ’14

Look at Sylvia Bogusz’s resume, and you might think—just another college over-achiever. Think again. Nowhere does she list her triumphs over near-fatal injuries she suffered when a drunken driver hit ...

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David Powers '14

Dave Powers ’14

For many young car enthusiasts, it’s all about the engine, the horsepower, the mechanics. But for Dave Powers '14, the big idea is in the ergonomics. “I like to tell people ...

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Geoff Cameron 2

Geoff Cameron

If former Rhody soccer player Geoff Cameron’s big idea was to play in the World Cup, then he’s going to need a new big idea. That’s because he is now ...

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Austin Demers

Austin Demers ’14

Austin Demers enrolled at the University of Rhode Island planning to become a doctor. But then she traveled to India, learned to speak Arabic, captained the URI equestrian team, and ...

Peter Covino2

Peter Covino

Peter Covino brings people together, creating communities wherever he goes. This associate professor of English and creative writing, poet, translator, and former social worker makes it look easy. It’s just ...

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Charles Rushimisha

Charles Rushimisha ’14

On the sidelines of a poultry plant in 2005, a smug supervisor told Charles Rushimisha that he would be aligning chickens on a conveyor belt at minimum wage for the ...

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Brianna Blank

Brianna Blank ’14

Journalism student Brianna Blank lost big to earn something bigger. She didn’t like the way she felt at all, and during winter break of 2012, she saw a number she never wanted ...

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Maria Briones

Maria Briones ’14

Maria Briones believes all people, no matter where they live, have a basic human right to proper sanitation and clean water. Her big idea—and her career goal—is to bring it ...

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