Feed Back

Dear Readers,

The University is approaching its 125th year, and we will be celebrating the quasquicentennial—what a mouthful!—in this issue and throughout 2017. Look for historical content and event listings and, if you’d like to have some fun, please participate in the contest on page 40, in which we invite you to come up with weird, clever or silly captions for an old photo.

A big thanks to all who have written in about their experience in the Peace Corps. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and are busy planning a story that will do justice to such a compelling subject.

As always, thanks for reading, and email me at pjack@uri.edu with your thoughts on these or other subjects.

—Pippa Jack

Editor in Chief

I very much enjoyed “The Secret POW Camp That Fought Nazi Idealogy” (Fall 2016) by Paul E. Kandarian.

I was a married veteran student in my freshman year in 1952–53, and lived at Fort Kearney. My first son was born at South County Hospital while my wife and I were residents there. It was interesting to read about the history of the Fort—all I was told was that it was an old Army camp.

After that first year, we moved to a Quonset Hut at the back of the campus and stayed there until my senior year, when we moved to Providence.

—Leland E. Phillips ’56

San Antonio, Texas

“The War Gap” was a great article. I want to personally thank URI for its commitment to veteran students by establishing a support committee and allowing them space for a Student Veterans Center. After graduating from URI in 1971 with a degree in sociology, I spent time in two different branches of the military. While working on my master’s and doctorate, beginning in 1976, I had the dubious honor of being the Veteran Services Coordinator at a public university in the Southwest that had a veterans office because they could get money from the Veterans Cost of Instruction Program (VCIP)—a federal grant intended to provide start-up money to create offices to serve Vietnam Era veterans. They never provided any support except office space, and had a poor attitude toward veteran students in spite of the fact that we graduated at a much higher percentage than general students. They refused to use the DANTES manual to grant credits for technical training and were very conservative in granting transfer credits from classes taken in-service. My predecessor allowed other programs to drain money intended to be used for vets, and I was fired when I attempted to stop the practice.

In spite of being in mobility operations, when I got out of the military the only job I could find was selling vacuum cleaners, but I walked away from it after two days of training because it seemed like it involved ripping people off. During job interviews no one seemed to understand or care that I was a veteran. I went in the Army National Guard because they paid half my tuition when I was working on my doctorate (and ended up on alert for the Iranian Rescue Mission).

Outside of the military I have worked as a juvenile probation officer in a detention unit, run a chronic pain management and head injury day-treatment program as well as doing biofeedback at a rehab center for injured workers for 15 years, and my last full time job before retiring was in adult corrections, where I ran a mental health unit for five years and profiled sex offenders, was a hostage negotiator and academy instructor.

So, once again, thank you for your commitment to veterans. The SVA sounds a lot like the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), created by and for veterans because the VA wasn’t sensitive to the needs of that era of vets. Go Rhody!

—Ron Shaver ’71

Las Vegas, Nev.

I enjoyed the recent article “The War Gap” (Fall 2016). However, in the late 1940s we did have a very loose veterans’ group.

Since most students at Rhode Island State College (as we were then) were Rhode Island residents, many went home over the weekend, so the campus was pretty quiet. Most of us went “down the line” to Giro’s in Peace Dale. Transportation was fairly easy then, you just put out your thumb and almost the first car would stop for you. There wasn’t much war talk, just comradery, but it did give a chance to discuss campus problems like course work.  At the time we didn’t know what PTSD was, so any anxiety encountered was just passed off as “war nerves” and a few beers would, we expected, solve it.

When I returned to URI after Korea, I was married and didn’t particularly seek out any veterans’ groups but, I am sure, the informal meetings were still held at  Giro’s. If there are any more of  us “old guys” left, maybe they can add their comments.

—Dick Hanley ’56

Fruit Cove, Fla. (land of no snow)

“The War Gap” by Ellen Liberman is a profound and enlightening piece; a story that needs to be told over and over again. Ms. Liberman’s work is from the very top shelf, and elicits both a deep pain and a glimmering hope for those veterans featured and, of course, for all who have served. Reflecting on these stories reminded me of my own experiences, and, in hindsight, struggles, as a returning combat veteran from the Vietnam War. The photographic work accompanying the article is excellent.

My wife Claire and I have had the great good fortune of having raised two highly successful URI graduates, Katharine M. Johnson ’06, and William C. Johnson ‘09, M.S. ’11.

Always impressed with QuadAngles, we think you have reached an even further height and importance with “The War Gap” and your ongoing work. Thank you!

—Stephen G. Johnson

Little Compton, R.I.

It has been a long time since I started at URI after leaving the Army—I had been afraid to try college after high school— and finally earned my degree decades later. Why so long? Well I took two courses a semester at the Providence Campus and summer courses at Kingston, with lots of stops and starts, while helping my father run his business.

Meanwhile, with living on our small farm, I got to know the agriculture department well and ended up becoming a master gardener. Later, I got a master’s and doctorate in Bible sciences at a Christian college, worked in the Lutheran Church, and went on medical missionary trips to Haiti.

Your magazine brings back many memories and the fall issue was especially interesting. I love animals so the cover caught my attention. And the story being about veterans got my attention, too, as someone who went to college on the GI Bill. Finally, I have been to the campus on the bay, but did not know the POW history.

About contributor Todd McLeish: In my world travels, I have tried many different foods, from camel to topi (a cow-like animal in Africa). But I have not tried rattlesnake, grubs or chocolate coated ants yet.

—William K. Harter ’90

Each edition of QA brings me back and makes me proud to be a URI grad and Rhody native.

I shared “The War Gap” (Fall 2016) and “The Martians” (Spring 2016) with my family of military veterans and rocket scientists. “On Guards” (Summer 2016) actually made me laugh with a memory. My twin, an ’81 grad, was a lifeguard at Charlestown Beach “watching over” the then clothing-optional Moonstone Beach next door.

Our education and experiences at URI have definitely served us well!

—Kathy Perry Ojeda ’81

Merritt Island, Fla.

This is one of the best QuadAngles I have read. Two articles got my attention: “The War Gap” and “The Secret POW Camp that Fought Nazi Ideology” (both Fall 2016). I grew up in Apponaug, R.I., graduated Warwick Veterans Memorial High School in 1959, and URI in 1963 with an ROTC commission as a 2LT. I never knew we had German POWs in R.I. My dad served in WWII and he never mentioned anything about them being in R.I. I am familiar with the area that is mentioned in this article.

I served in the Army/Army Reserve for 28 years, retiring out in 1991 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Keep up the good work, especially with the military articles.

—Thomas F. Soule Jr. ’63

Chesterfield , Mo.

I appreciated Ellen Liberman’s article “The War Gap” (QuadAngles, Fall 2016) about veterans and efforts to improve veterans’ services at URI.  Keep up the good work.

I’m the Acquisitions Librarian and Website Wizard at the Hyannis Public Library in Hyannis, Massachusetts. I also coach patrons about using their portable devices to get the most out of the many digital library services our library offers. And I just reached my fifteenth work anniversary in August!

I’ve been a happy member of the Cape Cod Chorale, a community chorus comprised of about 50 SATB voices, since 2013.  We sing classical and contemporary choral works—challenging pieces—and still have so much fun in rehearsals.

I enjoy receiving QuadAngles and look forward to future issues.

—Sherry Evans M.L.I.S. ’00

Hyannis Mass.

Just finished reading through the latest QuadAngles and wanted to tell how much I enjoyed it; especially the articles on veterans, kelp research and Fort Kearney, too! Living here, directly on the West Coast in Santa Barbara, sometimes makes it seem like URI is just too far away for some of us. But QuadAngles keeps us in touch and brings us close again to a place that has been important in helping shape our lives. Plus, it makes us very proud to know of the great things going on there. Thank you, President Dooley and all at Kingston.

I did return to URI for my 60th last June and enjoyed it a lot. I returned home, filled with clams and lobster, and a ton of wonderful memories. I was also impressed with the program put on for us by Michele Nota and her staff. The campus looked great too. For a few years, I was Vice Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder and, among other things, worked to make that campus beautiful. Now URI has matched it and that pleases me. Of course, I also recognize that impressive educations and research is always going on in those buildings too.

Again, thanks for a wonderful publication and all the other information we get which lets us know the good things happening back East! Yeah Rhody.

—Ted Tedesco ’56

Santa Barbara, Calif.