Soldier Stresses Importance of Connecting with Service Members

Jerome and Iraqi children
When Rhode Island College M.S.W. student Jerome Musco Jr. was stationed in Iraq as a military police officer in 2007, he and 11 other soldiers in his unit treasured receiving thoughtful, encouraging cards and notes from Americans, particularly schoolchildren. That’s one of the key points Musco emphasized to a curious group of more than 200 Henry Barnard Laboratory School (HBS) students gathered for a Veteran’s Day observance on Nov. 2.

Read more about Jerome at the Rhode Island College news website.

Staying True to a Dream in Afghanistan and at the VA


As a young girl, Casey Botelho ’15 focused on two goals: contributing to an endeavor greater than herself and finding a career in which she could help others. Botelho, an Air Force Veteran and first-generation college student, still can’t believe she’s made both happen. Through her deployment as a soldier in Afghanistan, Botelho was able to contribute to a larger cause. And she said she couldn’t possibly think of another occupation that allows her to assist others more than her current role as a medical/surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC).

Read more about Casey at the Rhode Island College news website.

Meet Our Graduates: Faythann Fallon Redefines the Reach of People with Disabilities


Faythann Fallon has a very rare genetic disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I.) or Brittle Bone Disease, characterized by bones that are more susceptible to fractures or breaks than those who do not have the disorder. She entered the world with broken bones and has spent much of her life in and out of hospitals. However, as Fallon puts it, “Those of us who have O.I. may have fragile bones, but we don’t have fragile spirits. Our motto is Unbreakable Spirit. Our disease may be rare, our community small, but we’re here.”

Read more about Faythann at the Rhode Island College news website.

Meet Our Graduates: Vanessa Ruggieri, Early Graduate with Eye on C-Suite


A first-generation college student, Vanessa Ruggieri, 20, completed a double major in marketing and management within only three years. Her ultimate goal is to become CEO of a major advertising company. “By virtue of being a first-generation student, I’ve had to learn how to advocate for myself,’’ she said.

Read more about Vanessa at the Rhode Island College news website.

Meet Our Graduates: Esther Quiroz Santos and Ramona Santos Cross College Finish Line Together

Esther and her mother

At RIC’s baccalaureate commencement, Esther Quiroz Santos, 21, a Psychology and Justice Studies major, graduated with summa cum laude honors alongside her mother, Ramona Santos, 41, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work with cum laude honors. For both women it was a proud family moment.

Read more about the Santos at the Rhode Island College news website.

Meet Our Graduates: Mia Palombo Teaches Highschoolers to Find Common Ground

Mia Palombo

Mia Palombo is the first RIC student to become a semi-finalist for the prestigious Fulbright s​cholarship to teach in ​Spain.

A secondary education/social studies major, with a concentration in global studies, Palombo graduated summa cum laude, with college and departmental honors. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and has distinguished herself through scholarly research. Faculty noted that “Palombo exhibits a deep commitment to learning” and “was outstanding as a student teacher at Narragansett High School.”

Read more about Mia Palombo at the Rhode Island College news website.