August 25, 2017

Author to present convocation keynote as PC welcomes new academic year

From left, Mateo Godoy '21, Jeffrey Acosta '21, Princely Tamfu '21, and Samuel Adefiyiju '21 play Spikeball during a Transitions Program reception on the Slavin Center lawn. The pre-orientation program for multicultural and first-generation college students helps participants get acclimated with all aspects of PC.​ (Photo: Bradley Camilo ’20)
From left, Mateo Godoy ’21, Jeffrey Acosta ’21, Princely Tamfu ’21, and Samuel Adefiyiju ’21 play Spikeball during a Transitions Program reception on the Slavin Center lawn. The pre-orientation program for multicultural and first-generation college students helps participants get acclimated with all aspects of PC.​ (Photo: Bradley Camilo ’20)

By Vicki-Ann Downing

Joshua Davis
Joshua Davis

Academic Convocation, marking the official start of the new academic year at Providence College, will take place on Monday, Aug. 28, at 3 p.m. in the Peterson Recreation Center. Classes will begin that day with an abbreviated schedule to allow the College community to attend convocation.

Joshua Davis, author of Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), this year’s Common Reading Program selection, will be the featured speaker. Davis, a contributing editor for Wired magazine and the co-founder of Epic magazine, studied economics and modern thought-literature at Stanford University. The College community will use his book to explore the theme “Access Equals Opportunity.”

First-year and transfer students received copies of Spare Parts during Advising Days in the summer. On Friday, Aug. 25, during New Student Orientation, they discussed the book in small groups led by orientation leaders, resident assistants, and about 60 faculty, staff, and alumni volunteers, including College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80.

Following convocation, Davis will answer questions and sign copies of his book in Slavin Center ’64 Hall.

Orientation for new students will continue through Sunday, Aug. 27, and from Sept. 1-3.

Class of 2021 starts with service

The 1,050 students in the Class of 2021 moved into campus on Thursday, Aug. 24. The class is the most gender-balanced in a decade, 53 percent female and 47 percent male. It is the most diverse class in the College’s history, with 18.3 percent students of color. First-generation college students make up 11 percent of the class.

Some 11,233 students applied for admission to the Class of 2021, a record number for the third straight year. The class is academically strong, with 60 percent ranking in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating classes. About a quarter of the class is undecided about a major. Among those who have decided, the most popular majors are biology, finance, marketing, management, and accountancy.

Class members are athletic — 88 percent played varsity athletics in high school — and service-minded — 72 percent reported participating in community service in the past.

Almost 200 first-year students elected to begin their college experience early with service through the Urban Action and FaithWorks programs.

Urban Action drew 135 participants who helped beautify Pleasant Valley Parkway, Viscolosi Park, and Fargnoli Park, all in Providence, and assisted with school-opening preparations at the nearby Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School. The first-year students were led by sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The program is in its 27th year.

From left, Connor Christuk '21, Katie Mann '21, and Katrina Aucello '21 work on a hallway poster board at the Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School as part of Urban Action.
From left, Connor Christuk ’21, Katie Mann ’21, and Katrina Aucello ’21 work on a hallway poster board at the Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School as part of Urban Action.

Forty-five students joined FaithWorks, a program sponsored by Campus Ministry to introduce them to service opportunities in the Diocese of Providence. With 10 student leaders, all past program participants, they visited multiple service locations, including the Mother of Life Center, a pregnancy resource center in Providence; the Refugee Dream Center, a resettlement agency in Providence; and My Brother’s Keeper, a Massachusetts charity that supplies people with furniture and food.

Eight tenure-track professors join faculty 

The faculty will include eight new, full-time, tenure-track professors:

  • Emann Allebban, assistant professor-instructor of philosophy;
  • Dr. Nestor Azcona, assistant professor of economics;
  • Dr. James B. Bailey, assistant professor of economics;
  • Dr. Juan David Cortes Ortiz, assistant professor of finance;
  • Bing Huang, assistant professor-instructor of art history;
  • Dr. Ana Cecilia Iraheta, assistant professor of Spanish;
  • Dr. Eric C. Melley, assistant professor of music;
  • and Dr. Ainslie E. Schultz, assistant professor of marketing.

Five newly ordained Dominicans are assigned to campus, four as teachers. They are:

  •  Rev. Bonaventure Chapman, O.P. and Rev. John Sica, O.P. ’10, philosophy;
  • Rev. Alan Piper, O.P., theology;
  • and Rev. Vincent Ferrer Bagan, O.P., theology and music.

Rev. Michael Weibley, O.P. will be an assistant chaplain with Father Chapman. Rev. Patrick Mary Briscoe, O.P., associate pastor at St. Pius V Church adjacent to campus, also will teach theology.

The Rev. Robert J. Randall Distinguished Professor in Christian Culture will be Dr. Michael Root, ordinary professor of systemic theology at The Catholic University of America.

The Faculty Recognition Dinner will take place on Monday, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m. in the Peterson Recreation Center. New, full-time faculty will be introduced and awards will be presented.

Dr. Christopher Arroyo, associate professor of philosophy, will receive the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award. Dr. Russell M. Hillier, associate professor of English, will be presented the Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award, and Dr. Jennifer G. Illuzzi, associate professor of history, will receive the Faculty Service Award.

Teaching Excellence Awards will be presented to Eric Sung, associate professor of photography, Innovation in Teaching; Dr. Eileen G. Johnson, visiting assistant professor of psychology, Teaching Excellence Recognition for Visiting and Practitioner Faculty; and Dr. Gloria-Jean Masciarotte, instructor in women’s studies, Teaching Excellence Recognition for Adjunct Faculty.

A summer of change

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who move into residence halls on Sunday, Aug. 27, will be greeted with changes to campus, the most significant of which was the elimination of Huxley Avenue as a street dividing west and east campuses. Thanks to a summer of construction, a landscaped walking path now exists from the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies to a new pedestrian entrance at Eaton Street.

The pedestrian entrance at Eaton Street and Huxley Avenue is a new campus gateway to the portion of Huxley that was closed and converted to a walkway.
The pedestrian entrance at Eaton Street and Huxley Avenue is a new campus gateway to the portion of Huxley that was closed and converted to a walkway.

Construction also is proceeding on an addition to the Science Complex and on the first phase of the Ruane Friar Development Center near Alumni Hall.

Almost 4,000 undergraduates are studying at PC this year, with 80 percent residing on campus. Thirty-nine percent are majoring in business, 30 percent in the liberal arts, 14 percent in science, mathematics, and engineering, and 6 percent in education. Another 10 percent have individualized majors or are undeclared.

More Providence College News

‘Thomson Way’ dedicated in honor of beloved professor Rev. Paul van K. Thomson

Providence College celebrates close of record $185 million fundraising campaign

Five questions with Karen Monti Flynn ’80 & ’15P, NAA Council president

Convocation speakers extol active learning, exploring new experiences

Education students earn an A+ for national conference presentations, exercises

Campus stormwater management efforts rise to the surface again

Love of film unites Puente ’17 and Gere ’97 on the set of ‘The Santa Files’

Biology students’ stem cell research takes off

For PC’s first Luce Scholars, summer is all about science

Sideravage Day 2017

Five decades of friendship inspire scholarship, estate gift to PC

Opportunity, ingenuity at core of 2017-18 common reading book

Koikou ’16 chosen as one of Africa’s most promising young female leaders

MBA students travel to Milan to explore luxury brands 

Garrett Gamez ’19: Sustained by faith, supported by team

Maymester in Ghana

Dr. Kenneth Walker ’57 honored for lifetime of teaching, mentoring, giving

Transform adversity into opportunity, Clark ’70 advises 2017 graduates

Thank you videos from the Class of 2017

Legacy parents congratulate the Class of 2017

Persistence was key for science major Shantal Solomon ’17

Patrick J. Healey ’17: Fourth-generation Friar chose PC for its ‘happiness’

Sean Moore ’17SCE: Army vet, father of four never stopped believing

Business student Nicholas Hunsaker ’17 brought lessons in sustainability to an orphanage in Haiti

Nick Sailor ’17 — A believer in caring and sharing

Taylor Gibson ’17: Latin American experiences deepen advocacy for immigrants

The Class of 2017, By the Numbers

Expanded Latino Symposium answers ‘great need’

Three Providence College students share top rank in Class of 2017

Providence College dedicates Ryan Center for Business Studies, a ‘new kind of business school’

More Providence College students are studying abroad than ever before

Seafood joins menu of locally produced foods offered to students

Accountancy class project approach sharpens students’ real-world view

The Class of 2021 commits to Providence College

Biochemistry major bound for Poland through prestigious Fulbright Program

Students face ethical dilemmas in first PC business case competition

Dr. Roy Peter Clark ’70 to present address at PC’s commencement

Chants encounter: Unexpected connections help Joan Miller ’18 solve mysteries of Stravinsky’s discordant church music

Providence College to give $100,000 to diocesan Catholic schools

ESPN analyst Doris Burke ’87 describes ‘A Basketball Life’ at Alumni & Family Weekend

Prestigious academic journal publishes research by two history professors

Student researchers discover the secrets of ant colony behavior

A music master class that’s world class

Students, faculty make Ryan Center for Business Studies a ‘home’

Congratulations, #PC2021!

Creative drama: learning and loving

Ex-Major Leaguer advises student-athletes to build relationships, brand

Mulcahy: Chemistry department, students to prosper from 1st NSF grant

Student entrepreneur’s class-inspired laundry business still cleaning up

Clare Boothe Luce scholarships to enhance opportunities for women in STEM disciplines

Chislom ’17 turns fellowship experience into community project

Rev. James Martin, S.J. discusses the dual natures of Jesus

First Liberal Arts Honors Program Symposium on truth features keynotes, scholars

Shahid compels students to ‘change what you cannot accept’

Cardinal Dolan praises John Paul II’s role in advancing Catholic-Jewish relations

Alumni authors bring their literature to life at ‘Veritas and Values’ panel

Student identity, success at core of Dr. Julia Jordan-Zachery’s teaching

For love of the game: Olympic medalist Sara DeCosta-Hayes ’00

The Last Word: Bound together by Providence

Moments of Grace: Dr. Grace ’62 reflects on his Providence College history

Ex-Friars build life around a game they love

PC News/Briefly

Moments That Endure: Timeline of highlights from Providence College’s first 100 years

Our Moment campaign update

Dominicans an enduring presence at PC

Black and White Buzz

O’Connor ’75 develops tax case that leads to historic Supreme Court ruling

News from regional alumni clubs

Four alumni celebrate priestly ordinations

2012 Commencement Address by Viola Davis ’12Hon.

Show More