Featured Friars: Award Recipients
The Center for Orientation, Transitions, & Leadership Recognizes Students
by Sarah Gianni ’18
News Staff Emerita
As the spring semester comes to an end, the Providence College community has recognized students, clubs, and organizations in 18 different Student Recognition Award categories. These awards are sponsored annually by the Center for Orientation, Transitions & Leadership, the Office of Student Activities & Cultural Programming, Student Congress, and the Office of Institutional Advancement as a way to celebrate the dedication and passion of various students and groups around campus.
Students and faculty members had the opportunity to nominate individuals and organizations by Thursday, March 29, with nominees and winners recognized at an evening reception on Wednesday, April 25 in ’64 Hall.
“Winning the 2018 Emerging Leader Award reassured me that I was being a good leader and more importantly a good friend,” said Nathan Perez ’20. “Being put in the conversation the other nominees and winners is really an honor.”
Perez also gave a shoutout to Campus Ministry for winning the 2018 Outstanding Organization award. “This organization has surrounded me with other leaders who make my job so much easier, Emily King especially,” he said. “I also want to thank the Orientation Staff for being the first people to show me what it meant to be a leader on campus.”
Gabriella Dess ’18 said she was humbled and honored to have received the 2018 Unsung Hero Award. “After the awards ceremony, I made a comment to a friend and said I was totally shocked to have been chosen for this award,” she said with a laugh. “They exclaimed, ‘Gabi, that’s the point of this award!’”
The Unsung Hero Award is designed to recognize a Providence College student who is highly involved in student life, and has had a strong impact on the community. “I think my desire to collaborate with others and make Providence College a better place for everyone—from both a micro and macro perspective—is why I received this award,” Dess said.
Delina Auciello ’18 said she felt a mix of emotions when she learned she was nominated for the 2018 Service Leader of the Year Award. “I was shocked, excited, and felt so loved and honored that someone thought to nominate me for an award,” she said. Auciello is a member of the Dirigo Leadership Honor Society, and has taken on a number of service and leadership roles throughout her time at PC.
“Winning this award has made me incredibly grateful for the experiences I have had at PC, but I cannot solely take credit for this award because it is the relationships I have built and the community I have experienced that have aided me in the pursuit of my passions, and to really dive into work that I love,” Auciello said.
The Cowl congratulates all nominees and recipients of the 2018 Student Recognition Awards.
The 2018 winners for each award are as follows: Emerging Leader Award: Nathan Perez ’20, Unsung Hero Award: Gabriella Dess ’18, Service Leader of the Year Award: Delina Auciello ’18 and Keith Lee ‘18, Student Leader of the Year Award: Phionna-Cayola Claude ‘18, Dirigo Leadership Award: Sabrina Guilbeault ’18, Dirigo Honorary Membership: Father Dominic M. Verner, O.P., Leaving a Legacy Award: Cassandra Caggiano ’18, Outstanding Fundraiser: Santa Shop Dirigo Leadership Honor Society, Outstanding Service Project: English as a Second Language and Campus Ministry, Outstanding Cultural Program: Love Your Melanin and Believers of Words, Outstanding New Event: The World Needs More Love Letters and Board of Programmers, Outstanding Event: You’re Never Alone in Friartown, Active Minds and Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Outstanding Cultural Organization: SHEPARD, Most Improved Organization: Active Minds Outstanding Performance Organization: Debate Society, Outstanding Athletic Organization: Women’s Club Lacrosse, Outstanding Organization: Campus Ministry, Special Recognition Award: Women of Meagher.
Women Empowerd Puts on Naturalista Expo
by Sarah Gianni ’18
Embracing your unique, natural beauty was the theme of the 2018 Providence College Naturalista Expo. The event was held on Wednesday, April 18, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Moore Hall 125, and sponsored by Women Will. A variety of PC organizations cosponsored the event, including Brotherhood, Motherland, Simply Healthy, Afro-Am, Black Studies, Women’s Studies, and ISO. The expo showcased different vendors from around the Providence and Boston areas, who all promote natural hair and body products for individuals of all cultures.
Attendees had the opportunity to browse the different tables set up around the perimeter of the room, test various products, and mingle and enjoy food and desserts. “This is the third annual Naturalista Expo and so far we have consistently had a great turnout,” said Mackenzie Williams ’17G. “I’m most excited to browse through the different head wraps that are being sold, because there a ton of different styles here at the Rooted Wraps table.” Some of the vendors at the expo included Sukhy’s Threading, Mixx Hair Bar, L&J Barbershop, and Rooted Wraps (to name a few). Those interested had the opportunity to enjoy a fresh eyebrow threading or line up haircut from the representatives at Sukhy’s threading and L&J Barbershop. Emily Espinal ’19 said that her favorite part of the expo has always been the variety of natural skin and hair care products. “I started my natural hair journey during my freshman year, and I’m always looking for new products I can use to style it naturally,” she said.
“I’ve enjoyed coming to the expo the past few years because there are a range of brands that are all focused on natural style.” The Naturalista Expo was powerful in its ability to provide a space for PC students and community members to embrace and celebrate natural beauty regardless of culture, race, or gender.
Senior Events: Cap & Gown Day
by Sarah Gianni ’18
As May quickly approaches, seniors at Providence College are preparing for the events and emotions encapsulated in senior week. The celebration spans from Monday, May 14 to Thursday, May 17, during which seniors will participate in a variety of activities leading up to commencement weekend.
Monday will consist of “Field Day,” a brand new event that has been added to the week by the Senior Week Core. Tuesday is “Special Events Night,” an opportunity for seniors to travel to a secret locale and enjoy a semi-formal dance. Wednesday consists of the “Day Event,” and Thursday is “Formal Night,” a formal dinner and dance held at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
“I’m most excited for the Special Events Night, because it is in a beautiful location and I think the two committee chairs have done a great job with making it their own,” said Samantha Keating ’18, marketing chair of the Senior Week Core.
Keating said she is also excited to reveal details of Field Day. “I can’t give any important information away, but I can tell you the Committee is working very hard to make the event fun and exciting,” she said.
Another significant senior event that precedes senior week is Cap and Gown Day on Wednesday, April 18. “Cap and Gown Day is a huge marriage of several different offices,” said Event Production Coordinator in the Office of College Events Amanda Talbot. “We have College Events for the planning and execution, the Dean’s and Enrollment Services offices for the data and support, and Financial Aid and Bursars for the nitty-gritty.”
In addition, there is the collaboration of Sodexo, Academic Media Services, Athletics, the campus bookstore, Career Education, Alumni Relations, and Annual Giving offices for support during the event itself.
The event will be held in ’64 Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seniors will pick up their pre-ordered caps and gowns and honors cords, as well as additional commencement tickets and schedule cards.
“Students should put aside 10 to 20 minutes of their day to swing by and pick up their commencement materials,” said Talbot. “They can also expect a fun atmosphere with plenty of free food, music, goodies and a perfect place to walk around with friends.” Seniors who are education majors and student teach during the day, may come to room 412 in Harkins Hall the following week. All attire and materials will be available for those students between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There are a few resources seniors have access to in order to stay up to date on senior week and commencement events. “As Marketing Chair, I am in charge of all of the marketing materials and social media accounts for Senior Week,” said Keating. “Students are encouraged to follow our Instagram page (@pcseniorweek) in order receive details and quick updates on all events.”
Additionally, seniors and their families can refer to the Student’s Guide to Commencement that was mailed home to all 2018 graduates. This packet is also available to access online at any time. “This year, we are also launching the use of our Event App through Guidebook,” said Talbot. “Students can search for “Providence College Events:” in their phone’s app store, download our app, and stay up to date on all Commencement 2018 specifics, updates, and resources.”
SHEPARD Puts on No Hate Campaign
by Sarah Gianni ’18
One of the core missions of Providence College is to promote diversity and inclusion amongst all community members. As a reflection of this goal, SHEPARD and the PC Photography Club co-sponsored a NOH8 photo shoot in the Slavin Soft Lounge. The shoot took place on Monday, February 26, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The NOH8 campaign is a photographic silent protest that originated with celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner, Jeff Parshley. It began after “Proposition 8” was passed in California in 2008, amending the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
“Holding this photo shoot allowed members of the PC community to openly express their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ individuals and allies both in our community and outside of it,” said SHEPARD president Mallari Bosque ’18.
The photos capture participants with the words “NOH8” painted on their face, with a piece of duct tape covering their mouths. “The photos were a portrait style with the faces of each person as the main focus,” said Bosque. “Some participants took group photos, and the facial expressions were always serious.” There to capture the photos were Shalan McDonagh ’18 and Nicholas Crenshaw ’20, who took shots of around 25 participants.
“While we had a higher turnout to the event last year—about 50 or so students—I still thought this year’s campaign was a success,” said executive board member Christina Cahill ’18. It is the mission of the NOH8 campaign to promote marriage, gender, and human equality through education, social media, and visual protest. “I was proud to participate in this event, and I hope it will continue at PC to educate community members and support equal rights for all,” said Bosque.
Bursting the PC Bubble: A Recap of the Olympics
An Exploration of the Events and Everything in Between
by Sarah Gianni ‘18
This February the XXIII Olympic Winter Games were held in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, South Korea. Athletes from across the world competed on Korea’s center stage, participating in 102 events in 15 sports. The games spanned from Feb. 9-25 and marked several historical milestones.
A report from CNN highlighted that during the opening ceremony, athletes from North and South Korea walked in unison despite tensions between the two countries. In men’s snowboarding, 17-year-old Red Gerald won the first gold medal for team USA, becoming the youngest American to medal in a snowboarding event at the Olympics.
Another notable element was the number of openly gay athletes present. Canadian figure skater Eric Radford became the first openly gay Olympian to take home a gold medal during the winter games. Figure skater Adam Rippon and freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy made headlines during the games through their promotion of LGBTQ+ pride on their social media pages during their respective competitions. In addition, Brittany Bowe—an openly gay speed skater—was nominated for American Female Athlete of the Olympic Games.
Among Providence College students, events such as snowboarding, figure skating, and curling were some of the favored competitions to watch. “I am a huge fan of Shaun White, and it was so exciting to see him compete for—and win—gold,” said Katie Shields ’18. White took the gold medal over Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano, redeeming himself after a tough performance in Sochi in 2014.
The USA men’s curling team had another momentous performance when they became the first American team to ever win gold in curling. “Curling is definitely my favorite winter Olympic sport to watch,” said David Lessard ’20. “It seems like a sport that takes a lot of strength and precision, and it was great to see team USA take home the gold.” Overall, team USA athletes were awarded a total of 23 medals.
The closing ceremony took place at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 25. Despite missing a few athletes who had already traveled home, the ceremony was buzzing in celebration. “Although parting is sad, we will remember PyeongChang with beautiful memories,” said Lee Hee-beom, the PyeongChang Olympics organizing committee president. Thomas Bach, head of the international Olympic committee, said North and South Korea “have shown how sports bring people together in our very fragile world. You have shown how sport builds bridges.” To conclude, the Olympic torch was passed to Beijing, China, which will host the Winter Games in 2022. In the meantime, Tokyo will be home to the Summer Olympics in 2020.
Featured Friar: Father Michael Weibley
Fr. Michael Weibley Making a Mark at PC
by Sarah Gianni ’18
There is always something to explore in the Campus Ministry Center at Providence College. From free hot coffee every morning to the weekly Post-Mass Bash that is always abundant with food, students and community members can always find what they need in this space. Fulfilling needs is precisely what Associate Chaplain Father Michael Weibley, O.P., strives to do.
Fr. Michael joined the PC community in the fall of 2017, and has since been an integral part of campus life. “It’s tremendous work that we can do with young people, and I’m thrilled to be at Providence College,” said Fr. Michael. Fr. Michael handles a diverse range of responsibilities, from his duties as a priest to work as the associate chaplain for Peer Ministry. “I am very involved with Peer Ministry on campus, and am excited to know that it has grown in the past few years,” said Fr. Michael. “It is a great program where students can engage one another with questions about life, as well as the intersection of faith and college life.”
Fr. Michael also helps to serve as the chaplain of both Friars Club and the Providence College Mens and Womens Track and Cross Country Teams. In the future, Fr. Michael said that he and Fr. Dominic Verner, O.P., will be starting up a grief support group to students who have lost loved ones. “As a chaplain I have my hands in almost everything on campus,” said Fr. Michael. “I really enjoy going into Slavin and talking to students, making sure they know that we are available and here for them.”
Fr. Michael said it did not take long to notice the pride and love students have for PC. “There is such great love for the College, and I like to believe that the reason students love this college is that they have the freedom to ask the big questions about life in a loving community,” said Fr. Michael. While Fr. Michael admitted that he does not know how long his stay at PC will be, he plans to make the most of every moment. “I am happy to be here, and that is truly one of the joys of religious life,” said Fr. Michael. “You trust yourself in God’s providence, and His providence has led me to Providence College.”
For anyone who may be looking to talk with someone on campus, Fr. Michael’s door is always open. “Day in and day out as I encounter students, whether in a crisis or good situation, and I am constantly reminded about the goodness in my vocation as a priest,” said Fr. Michael. “I want the students here to know that I am available for them.” Please feel free to contact Fr. Michael at email@example.com.
IT Helpdesk Moved to the Basement of Library
by Sarah Gianni ’18
With a new year comes the promise of change and improvement. There is no exception for the Providence College campus, which seems to constantly change no matter the time of year. However, 2018 brings completion to the changes made on the basement floor of Philips Memorial Library. The brand new iHelp Suite is now a fully functioning space where students and community members can go for technology support.
“The renovations for the new iHelp office began with some prep work a couple years ago in anticipation of the complete renovations,” said Helpdesk Manager Jim Rizzo. These renovations began in the summer of 2016, to avoid disrupting students taking classes or studying in the library.
“The purpose of the project was to bring the User Support group of the IT department together with Academic Media Services (AMS) in a single office to better support faculty, staff, and students by combining our efforts and avoiding duplication of services,” said Rizzo. The office provides assistance for everything from computers, mobile devices, and classroom technology to database research and PC prints.
“While the project was underway, AMS was officially merged under the IT umbrella, having previously been a separate department that reported to the Division of Academic Affairs,” said Rizzo. “The new office space, and the combination of multiple departments in one space comes with many learning opportunities and some slight changes to how we all manage our day-to-day activities, but it provides us with an opportunity to grow as a more singular unit to best serve the needs of the college.”
Members of the PC community are now enjoying the sleek and modern iHelp suite. “It’s been really great to work in this updated office space,” said iHelp student worker Meghan Brown ’21. “Most of my hours are now in this office because we only have one student worker working in the Accino office instead of two.”
Monday through Friday beginning at 8:00 a.m., anyone can call the iHelp Office to speak with an assistant at the “Helpdesk.” “If you are having any technology problems we first try to solve the issue over the phone,” said Brown, “If we can’t solve them right away we put in a work order and our techs come in starting at 5:00 p.m. to address the problems.”
Students and community members still have the option to address their technology issues in Accino as well. “There are still members of the IT department working out of Accinno, and we still maintain the four computer labs in Accinno 100, 101, 202, and 207,” said Rizzo. Both office spaces are open seven days a week for community use.
Featured Friar: Matt Lovecchio ’18
Senior Talks About His Transformatiom While at PC
by Sarah Gianni ’18
Sitting at a high top table in McPhails, Matt Lovecchio ’18 reflected on his journey at Providence College, and how his experience has shaped him.
Lovecchio entered PC as a finance major, but realized during his sophomore year that he wanted to make a change. “I wasn’t happy as a finance major, and it was probably the best decision I made to switch,” he said. Now a public community service studies (PSP) major, Lovecchio said he had no idea that his field of study existed when he arrived to PC.
During his sophomore year, Lovecchio took a PSP 101 course, from which he subsequently secured an internship with City Farm in Providence. “I’ve taken a special interest in sustainable agriculture as a means for community development,” said Lovecchio. “Participating in this internship is when I really got interested in agriculture, sustainability, addressing the food industry, public health, and trying to use the knowledge I’ve gained for social justice.”
Lovecchio said he remembers wanting to incorporate this work in his life even when he was a kid. “I’ve always wanted to live off the land, but I used to think that I needed to make a lot of money first to acquire land,” he said.
However, Lovecchio was able to grow and live solely off of his own food this past May to August. “Before I knew it I was learning how to grow my own food for a purpose and a mission, and was really living out my childhood dream.”
During the summer months, Lovecchio worked at the Camden Ave Community Garden, where he had taken on the role of manager. He worked to get local youth involved in the garden by coordinating a summer program, and said he enjoyed the overlap of youth development and agriculture.
Lovecchio also dedicated time to volunteer with YouthRAP, a program for youth and teens in the Smith Hill community. Through this program young people can receive tutoring and participate in after school and weekend activities. He commented, “In the summer we were doing 50 hours a week but when school came around, we didn’t realize how drastic the difference was between summer and after school programing.”
With long hours and issues securing funding at times, Lovecchio said that non-profit work certainly is not glamorous. Yet, he reflected on the “something” that keeps him going. “I think it’s the community I’ve made in Smith Hill,” he said. “Whether it’s with organizations or individual community members, it has become my community.”
In addition to his work in the Smith Hill, Lovecchio is the president of the Providence College Environmental Club and serves on the executive board of PC Pals. “I believe the most valuable resource you have to give someone is your time, and I’ve definitely given a lot of time to these endeavors because they matter to me.”
In the future, Lovecchio said that he would like to see more attention and pride placed on local communities, combined with efforts towards sustainability. “For a few months this summer I lived in an intentional home stay community called the Listening Tree Cooperative.”
“The experience taught me how we can learn to live better with the land versus making it perform the way we want to.” The cooperative was co-designed by PC global studies faculty member Jim Tull. “Living there was very affirming, and tied philosophies of life, community, and agriculture together which I hope to continue.”
Where Does the PC Shuttle Take Students?
Office of Transportation Looking into Better Marketing Strategies
by Sarah Gianni ’18
For most Providence College students, a few options come to mind for traveling off campus. There is the RIPTA that makes its daily rounds passing through lower campus, delivering students to destinations like the Providence Place Mall and downtown Providence. Apps such as Lyft or Uber are easy for students to split with friends, a cheap and efficient way to get to your desired location. However, some students may be unaware of a totally free method of transportation available to them right on campus: PC shuttle services. “The shuttle service is run though the Transportation Office, but we do hire an outside company that operates the shuttles,” said Transportation Office Graduate Assistant Hannah Higgins. “Students can directly communicate with the company through our website or over the phone, and either show up at the designated time or schedule a time for pick up.”
Shuttle services are available for students Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. They also run Friday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The Office of Transportation also provides shuttles used by PC drivers. “These specific shuttles are used for service learning or practicums, with about 50 students a day using that service,” said Higgins.
Students who wish to use the neighborhood shuttle service are picked up every 45 minutes from the front of Raymond Hall, or at another pre-designated time. “I used the shuttle service my freshman year to travel to Target,” said Sydney Legagneur ’19. “The driver waited while I shopped, and actually came into the store to help people who didn’t know how to navigate the store.”
Standard drop-off and pick up locations for the shuttle include Shaw’s Supermarket in North Providence, CVS on Admiral Street, the PC Annex, Golden Crust Pizza, the Shell Station on Admiral Street, and PC Food Mart. “During my sophomore year I took the shuttle to Shaw’s Supermarket,” said Maeve Mulderry ’18. “While I had a good experience, I would have never known about the shuttle if it wasn’t for my friend, and I wish more was publicized about it.”
Tunde Johnson ’18 said she felt similarly regarding knowledge about the shuttle. “I never knew that a shuttle service on campus existed,” she said. “I feel as though it had never been publicized to me during my time at PC.” While the Office of Transportation intermittently has tables on campus to publicize the shuttle, they are working on more campus exposure. “Currently our office does not have any social media pages, but next semester we’re going to work on expanding our marketing a little more,” said Higgins. Any student interested in getting more information on PC shuttle or other transportation services can go visit the transportation site at https://friarsprovidence.sharepoint.com/transportation.
Shots Heard Near Providence Mall
by Sarah Giani
Last Thursday, the FriarAlert System was utilized to communicate with the campus community that shots were fired near the Providence Place Mall.
The day began with a Providence police cruiser was stolen on Route 146 at about 9:00 a.m. that November 9. According to several media reports, officials said the suspect, Donald Morgan, was being transported to court. Morgan was facing charges after being arrested the night before for car theft that result in a crash on Route 95 in Providence.
After a trooper stopped to check on a car crash on Route 146 south, the handcuffed suspect managed to get in the front-seat of the cruiser and drive off. Less than two hours after this initial incident, a call on police radio channels called for officers to be on the lookout for a white Ford F150. An eye-witness had reported that a man looking like Morgan was getting into a white pick-up truck at the site of the abandoned cruiser.
Between 40 and 50 officers became engaged in a chase after a white pickup truck on Route 10, believing Morgan, the man responsible for stealing the cruiser, was inside. The driver of the truck, Joseph Santos, attempted to flee, crashing into nearby cars. Determining that the driver was putting the lives of those in the vicinity in danger, officers shot at the driver. Santos was killed while the female passenger his girlfriend Christina Demers, was injured. It was reported after the incident by Morgan’s ex-girlfriend, Priscilla Almeida, that Morgan knew Santos and Demers from a drug rehabilitation facility.
At 11:50 a.m., the FriarAlert system sent a message to the Providence College community with the following message: “according to news reports and law enforcement sources shots fired near Providence Place Mall; avoid I-95 and Rt. 10 near the mall.”
Some community members questioned the timing of the alert, saying that they had heard about this incident an hour or two prior to the campus-wide message. “There is some confusion amongst students at times when they are not made aware of certain incidents that occur off campus,” said Executive Director of Public Safety Major John Leyden. The Department of Public Safety determines whether or not to issue a crime alert to the college community based on a multi-step protocol, which can be accessed on their website. “If something happens—a serious felony—and there’s an imminent threat to the campus, we are required to notify the students, faculty, and staff,” said Major Leyden.
“On Thursday we got word that there was a shooting right outside of the Providence Place Mall, but the information we initially received was not completely accurate.” Major Leyden said that it is important to take the time to decipher what news is true and what is not, while still keeping in mind that community members want information as quickly as possible.
Ultimately, a message was sent to the community to allow for individuals to be aware of the situation. “You’d rather error on the side of caution, as this was a pretty critical event in Rhode Island,” said Major Leyden. Looking to the future, the Office of Public Safety is identifying how social media can be further incorporated to keep the PC community safe and up to date.
The stolen police cruiser was later found crashed and abandoned. Providence police launched a search for the suspect in the Elmwood neighborhood, with several schools in the area shutting down as a safety precaution. Morgan was found and taken into custody on Friday.