June 2022

SMILE Alumnus Michaela Cashman completes PhD

Dr. Cashman with advisor Dr. Thomas Boving

“Much of my success started with the help of the SMILE Program. I always enjoyed science but lacked confidence in middle and high school. SMILE gave me so many opportunities to explore STEM careers. One of the best things about SMILE was that it got me comfortable with problem based learning. A lot of my abilities to trouble shoot complex problems started with SMILE challenges. Some of my favorite memories include designing bridges during the Engineering Challenge, touring a submarine in Groton, and heading to Alton Jones to test water quality. In the summer of 2007, I interned at the EPA through a SMILE partnership. Something clicked for me that summer, and I realized I wanted to be an environmental scientist. Fast-forward 15 years later and I have a PhD from URI and am a Biologist at the very same EPA facility. I research pollutants that enter Narragansett Bay to determine how they affect ecosystem health. I love my job and feel very grateful to SMILE for giving me that first stepping stone.”

Michaela with with fellow SMILE intern, Kathy Gobell at the EPA.

SMILE Is the Proud recipient of
2022 Cox Charities Community Grant.

Cox Charities Advisory group member and Assistant Dean of the University of Rhode Island Diversity Office, Chuck Watson received the awards on behalf of The SMILE Program and URI.

Since 2001, Cox Charities has invested nearly $7 million  in grants and in-kind support to nonprofit organizations  providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering,  Arts and Math) enrichment programs to youth  throughout the Northeast Region. 

Cox Charities funds are primarily raised through  employee-driven fundraisers. The SMILE Program sincerely thanks Cox Charities and its employees for giving back to their communities and future scientists and engineers in SMILE