Want a fun fact? There are more than 50 University of Rhode Island alumni who have came back to campus and have joined the faculty and staff. Â Luckily for them, being a student at URI was not their last time walking on campus
These faculty members are mostly, but not limited to, professors. Â Ranging in graduating class years, alumni can be found in departments across many disciplines.
Many staff members in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences Outreach Center are alumni. Â The center’s purpose is to study and address a wide range of environmental and socioeconomic issues, backed up by research-based knowledge.
The center’s interim director, Kate Venturini, as well as five others who work at the Outreach Center, all received degrees at URI. Â Staff members at the center have respectively received Bachelors of Science in environmental science, animal and veterinary science and supply chain management and a Masters in Science in environmental and natural resource economics.
Vince Petronio, an assistant professor in the communication studies department, graduated from URI in 1974.
“I did not intend to graduate from URI and come right back to teach,” said Petronio. Â “After I finished my grad work, I realized I really missed Rhode Island,” he said. Â “That was what brought me back.”
Petronio said when a part time position became open at URI he applied and got the job. Â His position is now full time. Â His first year teaching was 1970.
“Its been a long time since I attended URI,” Petronio said. Â “It has changed enormously. Â I look at the emporium, none of those shops existed. Â If you were hungry after the dining halls closed there was a food truck which had just hamburgers and hot dogs.”
He said that before URI became a dry campus, there were three bars on campus in the Memorial Union.
Ann Martini, a writing and rhetoric professor, is a 1990 URI graduate. Â Martini began teaching at URI in 2010. Â “I loved being a student,” she said. Â “I loved reading, writing, learning, studying. Â But there is definitely something way more exciting about teaching, because I just get a total kick out of the students.”
Martini also said how in some ways the campus is exactly the same, but it has also expanded so much. Â “Overall, it’s the same great place that it was when I was here, it has just improved,” she said.
Erica Estus, now part of the faculty in the pharmacy department, earned a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy in 1996 and her Ph.D in 2000.
“When I attended URI, we had our pharmacy classes in Fogarty which is a much older building,” Estus said. Â “When I look at it now, it’s kind of amazing to think of all the advancements we have here that we did not have then.”
Estus explained how the pharmacy program has improved because pharmacists are trained differently now and the pharmacy faculty recognizes the different opportunities that are available for pharmacists for when they graduate.