Sunshine Menezes Ph.D. ’05

Day Job/Night Job

Two years ago, Sunshine Menezes—executive director of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography’s Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting—attended a Texas conference and suddenly found a new dream: becoming a Western swing singer and songwriter.

She knew little about the genre, but no matter; it was love. She juggled lessons in singing, songwriting and guitar with her day job improving national environmental news coverage, and this spring traveled to Dallas to record a five-song album with local musicians at a cattle ranch. Her band’s name? Shiner and her Lucky Pennies. “There’s a great deal that can be accomplished,” she says, “if you give yourself the time and space to develop a skill.”


—Courtney Coelho