Senior Profiles – Class of 2014
Most people type with their fingers. Andrew Pilkington types with his nose, tapping out tough-guy dialogue for his award-winning films and videos. Born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that keeps him from fully controlling his fingers, arms and legs, Andrew has excelled in persistence during his four years at the University.
Sometimes inspiration comes from the darkest and most unexpected places. This is true for Lisa D’Amore and her journey to become a nurse. Her mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer when she was a sophomore at Stoneham High School in Stoneham, Mass.
A bright teenager was falling behind in her classwork, challenged by working 50 hours a week at a restaurant to support her family. “I didn’t think I would ever make it this far,” Marilyn Le said, a few weeks before graduating with bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and biotechnology from the University of Rhode Island.
Paul Knott enrolled at the University of Rhode Island as a worried and confused freshman, uncertain that going to school so close to his Saunderstown home was the right choice. Now he’s a confident, motivated, and involved senior who will be this year’s student commencement speaker.
Casey, who is graduating with his doctor of pharmacy degree will tell you he is boring. But the evidence proves otherwise, including his record of achievement combined with his leadership of groups like the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists.
Cecilia says she knows about racing and holds the record in the 55-meter dash at her high school. Over the past four years, she’s been running a different race and despite some major hurdles as a freshman, she is approaching the finish line with grace, determined to make her mother proud.
If you look at Sylvia’s resume, you might reach the conclusion that she is just another college over-achiever. But you’d just be getting a small part of her story. That’s because nowhere does she list her triumphs over near-fatal injuries she suffered when a drunken driver ran into her seven years ago.
The science of human movement – kinesiology – and the track and field team is what attracted Juliana to URI. Now the student-athlete has positioned herself well for a career in physical therapy after completing a 400-hour internship at an outpatient facility.
An eloquent but quiet senior student-athlete, William Janes Jr. is at home competing as he is in the classroom. He was surprised earlier this year when he was chosen to address his peers, faculty and staff at the University of Rhode Island’s dean’s list reception for athletes.
When Maria Briones visited Guatemala with the University of Rhode Island student group Engineers for a Sustainable World, she was heartbroken by the difficult circumstances the poor residents faced due to a lack of clean water. It was a turning point in her life, an experience that convinced her to make the provision of clean water a career goal.
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