Commencement 202 Edition A Publication of New England Institute of Technology

April 2012
202nd Edition
A Publication of New England Institute of Technology
Martin Sheen to Address the Class of 2012
New England Institute of
Technology will host its
71st Commencement
ceremony to be held on
Sunday, May 6, 2012
at 11:00 a.m. at the
Rhode Island
Convention Center.
Award-winning actor
and social activist,
Martin Sheen, will deliver
this year’s
M.Therese Antone, RSM
Chancellor of Salve
Regina University,
along with Martin Sheen,
will receive an honorary
doctor of humane letters
at the ceremony.
Martin Sheen, a three-time Emmy and Golden Globe awardwinner, social justice activist and humanitarian, will deliver this
year’s commencement address on May 6, 2012, at the Rhode
Island Convention Center. Before an audience of approximately
5000, Sheen will share his values and encourage the more than
1200 graduates to always be honest and to follow their dreams
even when faced with adversity.
Sheen, one of ten children and the first
to be born in the United States to
immigrant parents, was named Ramon
Estevez at birth, which is still his legal
name. He knew as a child that he
wanted to be an actor despite his
father’s advice to go to college. At 18
years old, he borrowed bus money from
his parish priest and headed to New
York to pursue his dream. Since that
time, Sheen has portrayed a wide
range of characters and is best known
for his role in the film, Apocalypse Now and as President Josiah
Bartlet on the NBC hit series, The West Wing, which enjoyed a
seven year run. To his credit, he has performed in more than 100
roles since the late 1960’s in such films as Badlands, Wall Street,
Catch Me If You Can, Gandhi, The Departed, Bobby and The
Way, which was written and directed by his son Emilio Estevez.
Both he and Emilio have written a soon-to-be released memoir
entitled Along the Way. Sheen’s upcoming work includes an
independent Irish film, Stella Days, as well as his role in
Spiderman to premier this July.
Sheen has used his success to bring awareness to many social
causes, such as gun violence, nuclear proliferation, homelessness
and war. Despite the fact that these situations are still cause for
much concern, Sheen stands strong in his convictions.
With all of the awards and accomplishments Sheen has worked so
hard to achieve, what is most important to him is his family. He
has been married to his wife, Janet, for 50 years and they have
TechTalk is published by NEIT’s Office of Media Relations, Linda Dionne, Editor.
Please send your story ideas or comments to [email protected] .
April 2012
four children, Emilio, Renee and Ramon Estevez and Charlie Sheen, all with careers in
the entertainment field.
Martin Sheen will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from NEIT recognizing
his many achievements. The Commencement ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m.
M. Therese Antone, RSM, To Receive Honorary Degree
Chancellor of Salve Regina University, M. Therese Antone, RSM, is being awarded with
an honorary doctor of humane letters at NEIT’s 2012 Commencement for her
outstanding contributions to education and the Rhode Island community.
A native Rhode Islander, Sister Therese was raised in
Central Falls and Cumberland and realized at a young age,
her desire to join the Sisters of Mercy order and become a
teacher. She graduated from Salve Regina with a bachelor’s
degree and began her teaching career. Sister Therese later
earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Villanova
University as well as a doctor of education degree from
Harvard University.
At the outset of her career, Sister Therese enjoyed working
as a classroom teacher at all grade levels before moving into
school administration at the secondary level. In 1973, she
joined the staff at Salve and became president of the university in 1994. Sister Therese
was named Chancellor in 2009 where her responsibilities are now focused on long term
planning and projects for the university. Under her leadership, Salve has enjoyed a
growing endowment fund along with a dramatic increase in annual freshman
applications. She has assisted in positioning the university as a center for international
studies through the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy. Because of
her commitment to the betterment of Salve Regina University, its Center for Culture and
the Arts was named in her honor.
Sister Therese has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National
Conference Humanitarian Award, the John E. Fogarty Award, and was inducted into the
Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
Her dedication to the needs of the community are quite evident having served on several
boards, including AAA of Southern New England, Lifespan Health Care Corporation, the
Davis Educational Foundation, as well as financial organizations, libraries and academic
institutions. In 2006, Sister Therese worked with the Carcieri administration to help
revamp the troubled worker’s compensation system.
New England Tech is proud to add Chancellor M. Therese Antone, RSM, to its
distinguished list of honorary degree recipients.
Planning for the Future
April 2012
By Sharon Charette, Assistant to the Provost
On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, President Richard Gouse welcomed over 60 members
of the faculty, staff, administration, and a student representative to an all-day planning
meeting connecting the work done in the NEASC (New England Association of Schools
and Colleges) self-study standards committees to the College's Long-Range Plan.
Those participating included members of the long-range planning teams and the NEASC
self-study standards committees. Dr.
Thomas Wylie, Senior Vice President
and Provost, opened the meeting by
introducing facilitator Jay Vogt of
Peoplesworth, who set the stage by
explaining the planning process,
Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and
Timely) action items, and what was
Assistant Provost, Tom Thibodeau, summarizes the comments
of the Faculty group to all participants. (Photo by Jay Vogt)
expected for the day.
The groups were divided into the six planning areas: Programs, Faculty, Student
Services, Facility, External Relations, and Administration. Each group was tasked with
reviewing the previous long-range plan and input from all of the self-study drafts and the
NEASC meetings held earlier this year, discussing those and coming up with potential
objectives and action items for the new 2013 – 2015 plan. The NEASC Operations
Committee is currently working on compiling the results of the sessions and editing them
into objectives and action items to submit to the six Long-Range Plan teams for
Sarah Schirduan (ABTA), the student who attended, did so eagerly, and was happy to
add a student perspective to the ideas exchanged in the discussions. Sarah mentioned
that whenever she participates in something, she does so completely, embracing the
process and the challenges.
There was a lot of energy in the room reflecting on how much has been accomplished in
the past few years and with plenty of enthusiasm for the future. One major theme that
surfaced for the day was increasing communication between different groups on the
three campuses. This productive meeting was a great start toward fulfilling the spirit of
that goal.
Spotlight on Student Accounts
As we continue to focus on the responsibilities of various departments at New England
Tech, this issue of Tech Talk will showcase the Student Accounts Department. It is
important for all faculty and staff to be familiar with the role each department plays,
especially those areas where NEIT students are directly serviced.
April 2012
The role of the Student Accounts Department is two-fold. First, the
staff monitors tuition payments for those students who have agreed to
“pay as they go”. Secondly, Student Accounts personnel stand ready
to assist students who may be experiencing difficulty in making their
payments because of life changes that may have occurred since the
student first enrolled. Students who may be struggling to make their
tuition payments should contact the Student Accounts office before
the problem escalates. Some common problems include the inability
to make payments as first agreed upon, changes in the student’s
personal life, receipt of past due notices, loan denials, and questions regarding
reimbursement from employers or government agencies such as, the Department of
Vocational Rehabilitation.
When those students who are facing financial difficulty do not come forth on their own for
assistance, the Student Accounts Department then intervenes through phone calls,
emails and invoices. The goal is to assist the student before the account is too far in
arrears. Once notified, many students will then seek out help and payment adjustments
can be made. The Student Accounts staff prides itself in being understanding, helpful,
and successful in getting students back on track.
There are situations, however, where a student does not respond to any of the attempts
made by the Student Accounts Department to contact the office for assistance. In these
cases, Pierre Morin, Director of Student Accounts, will then instruct staff member, Tony
Monteiro, to visit the student’s class. Tony has no knowledge of the student’s financial
situation. Tony simply advises the student to contact the Student Accounts office that
day to address the outstanding issues. The purpose of this visit is not to embarrass the
student or possibly disrupt the class but to get the financial matter resolved so the
student can focus on his/her studies and educational success.
In addition to Tony Monteiro, the Student Accounts staff includes Assistant Director,
Cindy Skavron, Student Accounts representatives Anthony Fossa and Terri Walker;
Administrative Assistant, Paula Allen, and evening receptionist, Sandra O’Donnell, all of
whom are ready to help.
The Student Accounts Department is located at the East Greenwich campus, 1st floor,
room N119. The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday
and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. (Extended hours are available by appointment for
students in the master’s degree OT program).
Any questions or concerns may be directed to Pierre Morin at ext. 3406 or by email at
[email protected]
April 2012
Erin Flynn Attends State-of-the-Union Address
Erin Flynn, NEIT’s Manager of Admissions Outreach and Events, was surprised and
honored when she was invited by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) to be his guest at
President Obama’s recent State of the Union Address held at the House of
Representatives in Washington, D.C. Why was Erin
chosen by Congressman Langevin?
During her 25 year tenure at NEIT, Erin has become
a leader in the state’s educational initiatives
designed to help build a skilled workforce. Over the
past year, New England Tech has partnered with
Congressman Langevin in bringing the National
Cyber Security High School Challenge to Rhode
Island. Through Erin’s diligent efforts serving as
State Coordinator, Rhode Island boasted more than 300 participants, outnumbering
every other state’s competition. For the past five years, Erin has served as the Rhode
Island point person for the state’s FIRST Tech Challenge, which is hosted by NEIT. Erin
brings more than 30 Rhode Island high school teams to campus each year for this
exciting robotics competition, of which Congressman Langevin is a strong advocate.
Having a keen interest in the political scene, Erin’s trip to Washington, D.C. was a dream
come true. The college community wishes to thank Erin for her dedication not only to
NEIT students but to the youth of Rhode Island.
New Development Director at NEIT
Lynne Donahue has recently joined our college community
as the new Director of Institutional Development and Alumni
Relations. She brings more than 20 years of non-profit
management and development experience working with
many notable organizations such as, the Rhode Island
School of Design, Women and Infants Hospital, Special
Olympics of Rhode Island, the Compass School and many
more. Lynne’s knowledge and expertise in the development
arena will be of great importance to NEIT as we continue to
In her new role at NEIT, Lynne will be responsible for building an effective and
sustainable development program engaging alumni, employees, employers,
corporations, foundations and members of the college’s technical advisory committees.
Lynne will oversee New England Tech’s 3rd Annual Alumni Golf Tournament scheduled
for July 27, 2012, along with other development projects currently underway. Lynne will
also continue to expand NEIT’s Alumni Association.
April 2012
Lynne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Providence College along with a Master
of Science degree in Business Administration from Bryant University.
For further information regarding NEIT’s development opportunities or alumni relations
programs, please contact Lynne Donahue at ext. 3704 or [email protected]
Mary Brinson, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Mary Brinson has joined the faculty at New England Tech as an Assistant Professor in
the Occupational Therapy Department with a long list of accomplishments to her name.
Mary has been active in local, regional, and national
occupational therapy activities. During her tenure as
Director of the Occupational Therapy Department at Butler
Hospital, The American Occupational Therapy Association
(AOTA) named the Butler OT Fieldwork Program as one of
the top 25 model fieldwork programs in the country. She
has held several leadership positions serving as President
of the Rhode Island Occupational Therapy Association, a
member of the AOTA Commission on Practice, and as Chair of the Mental Health
Service Delivery Guidelines Task Force for the AOTA Commission on Practice. Mary
was awarded the Fieldwork Education Award of Excellence by the New England
Occupational Therapy Education Council and named to the Roster of Fellows by AOTA.
Mary received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Indiana
University. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and a
Doctor of Occupational Therapy, both of which are from Boston University.
In Remembrance
Ellard Richard “Dick” Merrill, a dedicated faculty member, passed away
on March 7, 2012. Dick began his career at New England Tech in 1979
and served the college well until his retirement in 1996. During his
tenure, Dick established the Building Construction/Cabinetmaking
Technology program and served as Department Chair. He later
became a faculty member in the Architectural/Building Engineering
Technology program.
Dick was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. He was a
self-employed builder and architect who put his creativity and talents to
work building unusual structures, such as a diamond-shaped house in
Maine, a butterfly design roof and a solar home with a wood foundation. He also served
as the building inspector in Scituate, RI.
April 2012
Fred Reisman, a former NEIT colleague, stated that Dick believed in simplicity. Dick
was very deliberate in his approach and was able to solve complex problems using
simple methods.
In addition to his passion for teaching and his talent for carpentry, Dick was an avid
skier. NEIT is proud to have had Dick Merrill as a member of our college community.
Alpha Chi Honor Society Established at NEIT
The inauguration of the Rhode Island Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Chi Honor Society
was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at the East Greenwich campus. Dr. Margaret
FitzGerald, Alpha Chi National Council President, officiated
the Inauguration Ceremony. Alpha Chi membership is a
prestigious honor reserved for only the top 10% of
Bachelor and Master’s students in all academic fields.
Alpha Chi recognizes and promotes scholarship and those
elements of character that make scholarship effective for
good. The top 10% is based on quarterly cumulative GPAs.
NEIT is now one of 300 Alphi Chi chapters that are located
in 45 states and Puerto Rico. This prestigious honor society
boasts more than 400,000 members and is celebrating its
90th anniversary this year.
NEIT is very proud of the 19 outstanding students that were
inducted into the Rhode Island Gamma Chapter. Dr.
Thomas Wylie, Senior Vice President and Provost,
welcomed the students, families, faculty and staff. Dr. Robin Schutt, Associate
Professor at NEIT, and the Gamma Faculty Advisor, along with Co-Advisors, Assistant
Provost, Karen Arnold, and Student Activities Coordinator, Melissa Hague, conducted
the induction ceremony. For a complete list of inductees, please visit and
scroll down to the “What’s New” tab on the left.
The PTA Open House Is A Success
The 5th quarter Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Technology students hosted an Open House at the
East Greenwich campus on Tuesday, April 10th from
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the PTA Lab. NEIT faculty,
staff, and students were invited to participate in
activities offered by our PTA students. The Open
House was used to promote awareness of Physical
Therapy and wellness through exercise and
nutrition. The activities offered included: exercise and
balance with the Wii, Zumba, Plyometrics, kettlebell
April 2012
workouts, core strengthening with stability balls, and “nutrition on the go”. The students
did an outstanding job putting their hands-on training to use. They are now completing
four weeks of class to prepare for their full-time clinical placements.
SkillsUSA Competition Winners
SkillsUSA is national organization serving more than 264,500 high school and college
students as well as professional members enrolled in training programs in technical,
skilled, and service occupations, including health professions.
SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national
competitions in which students demonstrate occupational
and leadership skills. During the annual national-level
SkillsUSA Championships, more than 4,500 students
compete in 77 occupational and leadership skill areas.
SkillsUSA programs also help to establish industry standards
for job skill training in the classroom.
NEIT is a post-secondary chapter of SkillsUSA. On Thursday, March 29, 2012, Rhode
Island SkillsUSA held its annual awards ceremony at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, where
the winners were announced from each technical area. The first place winners will
travel to the national competition in Kansas City, Missouri, in June and will compete
against top students in their technical areas from across the United States.
Congratulations to all the winners and best of luck to the four 1st place gold medalists
competing at the nationals this year.
Industrial Motor Controls:
1st Place:
Kevin Prisco
Architectural Drafting:
1st Place:
Kyle Duquette
Electrical Construction Wiring:
1st Place:
3rd Place:
Mike Scicutella
Jevorni Lloyd
Automotive Service Technology:
1st Place:
2nd Place:
3rd Place:
Andrew Biederka
James Brookman
Julio Bautista
Best of Tech Award Presentation Scheduled
The 15th annual “Best of Tech” award ceremony will be held on Friday, April 27, 2012, at
2:00 p.m. in the Media Presentation Theater at the East Greenwich campus. Awards will
be presented to those students receiving Best of Tech, Tech Scholar, and Best of
Humanities and Social Sciences awards. Please contact Dav Cranmer, 2012 Chair,
Best of Tech Committee, at ext. 3342 or email him at [email protected]
April 2012
Attention All Golfers!
The 3rd Annual New England Tech Alumni Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, July
27, 2012, at the Swansea Country Club, 299 Market Street, Swansea, Massachusetts.
All faculty, staff, alumni, students, guests and friends of the college are invited. Check-in
time begins at 10:00 a.m. with tee-off at 11:00 a.m. Join us for a great day of golf
including lunch, dinner, prizes and an awards ceremony too! This event sold out last
year so please register early at Tournament proceeds will benefit
students in need with scholarships, textbooks and financial support.
For more information, please contact Lynne Donahue, Director of Institutional
Development and Alumni Relations at ext. 3704 or email her at [email protected]
June 5, 2012
August 7, 2012
November 7, 2012