November 20, 2017
PC News, Fall 2017
We’re #1 — again
For the second year in a row, Providence College was ranked number 1 in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges – Regional Universities – North” category.
Privileged biology lab research
Biology students in a first-time seminar taught by Dr. Charles Toth received a unique science training opportunity in creating organoids — artificially cultivated groups of cells or tissue that resemble an organ. The seminar, Human Organoids, introduced the students to lab research with adult human cells that were reprogrammed into stem cells. The type of organoid research they conducted is frequently used for drug screening and testing. The human-induced pluripotent stem cells were made available through a gift by Dr. John Mullen ’78.
PC awarded first-time wellness grant
The College received a grant of $102,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a comprehensive, integrated wellness promotion and suicide prevention program. It is the first time the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Grant has been awarded in Rhode Island. The grant will help PC expand outreach with students at a higher risk and offer additional education collegewide. A key aspect of the project is a new approach to a “gatekeeper training” program, whereby students are empowered to identify others in the early stages of distress and refer them for treatment.
Summer of science
This year, about 70 students received grants to do summer research with faculty in PC’s science labs. Many chose to live in campus residence halls at a reduced rate of $100 per week. In August, they presented their research at the annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Conference at the University of Rhode Island.
Arroyo named Accinno Faculty Teaching Award recipient
Dr. Christopher Arroyo, associate professor of philosophy, received the College’s highest teaching honor, the 2016-17 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award, during the Faculty Recognition Dinner following Academic Convocation in September. The annual award, which was first presented in academic year 2002-03, recognizes the faculty member who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.
Arroyo, who joined the PC faculty in 2007, has taught numerous courses, including Contemporary Existentialism, Early Modern Philosophy, and Current Problems in Ethics. He teaches in the honors Development of Western Civilization Program. His primary areas of expertise are Kant’s moral philosophy and practical ethics, especially sexual ethics and Catholicism. He is the author of Kant’s Ethics & the Same-Sex Marriage Debate: An Introduction (Springer, 2017).
Five earn newly established faculty awards
Five faculty members were recipients of newly established awards for the 2016-17 academic year. Two of the awards were presented by the Office of Academic Affairs, and the other three honors — recognizing teaching excellence and innovation — were sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence.
- 2017 Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award: Dr. Russell M. Hillier, associate professor of English
- 2017 Faculty Service Award: Dr. Jennifer G. Illuzzi, associate professor of history
- 2017 Innovation in Teaching Award: Eric Sung, associate professor of photography
- 2017 Teaching Excellence by Visiting & Practitioner Faculty: Dr. Eileen Johnson, visiting assistant professor of psychology
- 2017 Teaching Excellence by Adjunct Faculty: Dr. Gloria-Jean Masciarotte, adjunct faculty in women’s studies
Retired faculty members leave mark of excellence
Four faculty members, who each emboldened the learning and enriched the lives of thousands of students over the course of two or more decades, retired from Providence College either at the end of the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 semesters. Together, they contributed 92 years of teaching at PC.
The retirees (by name, rank, start date, and administrative roles) are:
- Dr. Deirdre Bird, assistant professor of marketing; 1996; department chair, 2007-2010
- Rev. Paul M. Conner, O.P., associate professor of theology; 1992
- Dr. Christopher T. Kelton, assistant professor of music; 1995; director of instrumental activities, 1995-2017; department chair, 2006-2007
- Dr. Ann W. Norton*, professor of humanities; 1991; director of the Asian Studies Program, 1991-2005; chair, Department of Art and Art History, 1996-2002
*accorded professor emeritus status as of 7/1/17