October 16, 2019
An employee of JWU for more than 30 years, Karen Silva, Ed.D., department chair of Graduate Business Programs, has been inducted into the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) 2019 Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the organization and the hospitality community.
She was appointed to the PWCVB’s Executive Board by Governor Carcieri in 2007 and has been reappointed by each subsequent governor up through Governor Raimondo’s first term. “I served as the only academic on the board,” says Karen. “Most of which is composed of hoteliers, tourism reps, restaurateurs, transportation vendors, etc.”
Kristen Adamo, PWCVB president and CEO, acknowledged this honor by saying that Karen, "has helped thousands of young men and women launch successful careers in the tourism industry," and noted that many JWU graduates have remained in the region, enhancing the quality of service for visitors.
Karen currently resides in Cranston with husband Michael Sabitoni ’90, ’92 M.S., CHE, chairperson, College of Hospitality Management, and their sweet puppy Casside. She and Michael love to travel, drink red wine, and make memories with friends. “After all, education, experience and memories are three things no one can ever take away from you,” she says.
Karen has a B.A. in English-Education from UMass Dartmouth, a M.A. in Managerial Administration from Rhode Island College, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University. She will be honored at the PWCVB’s annual meeting on November 5.
Johnson & Wales University welcomes the following new employees who started in September 2019.
Benjamin Johnston, assistant coach (baseball)
Charles Allaire, assistant coach (football club)
Daniel Starkie, assistant coach (football club)
Jacob Rinn, assistant coach (hockey)
Matthew Roberts, athletics trainer
Romaine Freeman, aerobics instructor
Sarah Healy, assistant coach (rowing)
Stephen Prew, assistant coach (football club)
Zephaniah Halsey, assistant coach (rowing)
Elizabeth Muniz, cafeteria assistant (Snowden)
Erika Tetzner, associate manager of campus dining
Michael Russo, associate manager (Red Sauce)
Ryan Daw, associate manager (Snowden)
Campus Safety & Security
Jaren Sanchez, patrol officer
College of Business
Vincent McCrystal, adjunct faculty
College of Culinary Arts
Rebecca Wagner, adjunct faculty
Thalassa Skinner, adjunct faculty
College of Engineering & Design
Craig Nelson, adjunct faculty
Norair Sarkissian, adjunct faculty
College of Online Education
John Scognamiglio Jr., instructional designer
Matthew Collins, adjunct faculty
Michelle Munoz, online instructional technologist
Ross Perry, communications coordinator
Patrick Gabrielson, grounds crew
Steven Palumbo, grounds crew
Alida Paduan, medical assistant
John Hazen White College Arts & Sciences
Bernard Brennan, assistant professor
Christopher Allen, adjunct faculty
Mariah Hopkins, adjunct faculty
Student Transportation Services
Donald Mangiante, bus driver
Karen Gundlach, bus driver
Lori Boggs, bus driver
Noemi Tejada, bus driver
The Statler Foundation recently awarded College of Hospitality Management student Rita Ellis ’20 the prestigious Scholarship of Excellence. Ellis is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports, Entertainment, Event-Management, a minor in Food & Beverage Management, and an MBA with a concentration in Hospitality. She is in the Special Honors and Rewards Program, known as SHARP, in which students can accelerate their program to complete degree requirements in less than the normally required time. She has a special interest in nonprofit events with aspirations to launch her own event planning company.
The Statler Foundation was created from the estate of hotelier Ellsworth M. Statler following his death in 1928. Its purpose is to support research work and train employees for the benefit of the hotel industry. Statler, a self-made millionaire who worked his way from bellhop to industry legend, founded the largest hotel chain of his day. The Statler Scholarship of Excellence was established in 1997 and is awarded to upper level college students studying the hotel management field. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, character, and commitment to the industry. Each scholarship is worth up to $20,000 for the academic year to be used for tuition, fees and books.
Estelle Lebeau, Ph.D., associate professor of science, John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences, is a recipient of the American Chemical Society's Division of Chemical Education (DivCHED) Travel Award. This award provides funding for Lebeau to participate in and present a paper at the CHED programming at the ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Macromolecular Chemistry: The Second Century, from March 22-26, 2020 in Philadelphia, Penn.
Lebeau will present her research paper entitled, "Investigating Field Laboratory Experiences as a Means to Reduce Student Anxiety, Increase Self-Efficacy, and Improve Attitudes towards Chemistry." Her research was supported by the JWU Faculty Scholarship Funding Program.
Proud cat mother to Bailey and horse aficionado, Laura Hauser, admissions counselor for Providence Campus Admissions, has been with the university since 2017, after graduating from the University of New Hampshire. Laura is the admissions counselor that supports enrollment for the John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences.
“From traveling across the region meeting high school students and educators, to connecting with families and prospective students on campus, Laura’s warm demeanor, can-do attitude and keen understanding of the market has helped the College of Arts & Sciences establish strong enrollments for their programs here at JWU,” says Amy O’Connell, director of admissions, Providence Campus.
Something that people may not know about Laura is that she started horseback riding lessons when she was eight years old—and was instantly hooked. She rode weekly and competed in local horse shows throughout high school and college. She now leases a nine-year-old thoroughbred mare named Layla.
“One of the greatest gifts I ever received was for my high school graduation, when my parents agreed that I could half lease a horse for the summer before I left for college,” says Laura. “This meant we agreed to cover half of the horse’s board, vet, and farrier bills, and I got to ride three times a week outside of my normal lesson.”
Laura continued to lease different horses each summer while she was in college and now leases year round. Currently, she ride four to five times per week and still works at the same farm where she started riding (when not at JWU).
Laura resides in Burrillville, Rhode Island and is currently working on her master’s in Human Resource Management here at JWU.
On Thursday, September 26, faculty and other members of JWU’s academic community came together to celebrate scholarship and exchange ideas at the third annual Faculty Scholarship Showcase. Faculty were invited to submit presentation proposals aligned with the Boyer Model of Scholarship for inclusion in this showcase. The event was also held that same week at JWU’s branch campuses. This showcase is a wonderful opportunity for faculty from across campus to share their scholarship and research with their colleagues.
“JWU is a teaching university, and we don’t always have an opportunity to showcase faculty doing research,” says Diane McCrohan, associate professor in the College of Business, who has been participating in this annual event since it launched in 2017. “It’s a great opportunity to see what your peers are interested in and showcase what you’re researching. It often leads to great discussions and collaborations between colleges.” Provost Billye Auclair, Ph.D. echoed this by saying, “Many faculty have commented that they have been inspired to start their own scholarship project by talking with their colleagues at the showcase.”
This year, for the first time, JWU Ed.D. students were encouraged to share their dissertation projects as emerging scholars. A graduate of JWU’s doctoral program, Kelly Dunn ’18, Ed.D., director of New Student Orientation & Support Programs and Student Involvement & Leadership, was one of this year’s presenters.
“Presenting at the faculty showcase provided me a great opportunity to witness the power of scholarship across multiple facets of the university because of my role as a current staff member, former JWU doctoral student and previous faculty member at another institution,” Kelly says. “Scholars put endless amounts of time and effort into their research, so it was rewarding to interact with and encourage current doctoral students while conversing in deep inquiry about research with faculty and staff.”
Nicholas Makris ’94, associate professor, Food & Beverage Management, is one of 50 faculty and staff mentors participating in the pilot year of the jwuGOLD Mentorship Program. This is an initiative spearheaded by the Our Approach committee within the Campus 2022 effort. Our Approach focuses on finding strategies that help identify diverse pathways for students to strive.
In reviewing national and university retention data, the committee identified first-year commuter students as a vulnerable, risk population. The committee recognized that creating a program connecting first-year commuter students to JWU in a meaningful way could positively impact student satisfaction, success and retention. jwuGOLD provides commuter students with individual attention during their first year through the support and guidance of a JWU employee mentor, and provides students with tools and resources to achieve personal and academic success.
“None of us would be where we are without the care, encouragement, and motivation of someone - past or present,” says Nick when asked why he chose to be a mentor. He continued to share that “providing support and vision to others is a way of reciprocating by conveying worth to your personal work.” Nick was paired with mentee Preston Araujo ’23, majoring in Culinary Arts. Prior to the matching process, Off-Campus Student Services sent a questionnaire to all students and mentors asking for information about hobbies, music, movies, etc. Although Nick’s mentee is not a student within the College of Hospitality Management, Nick’s love of cooking and all things food, including his experience working in the food industry, was a precursor to their pairing. “My mentee and I meet once a week,” Nick says. “We communicate almost daily via text.”
More than 45 incoming commuter students applied for the program, citing wanting a mentor who could help them adjust to college, provide guidance, and assist them with meeting their goals as reasons for joining the program. The mentor-mentee pairs met for the first time at the official kick-off event held on August 30, 2019.
Nick would encourage other faculty and staff to volunteer for jwuGOLD or other JWU campus experiences and programs because “they will serve as a resource to mentees while providing opportunities for individual growth.”