Chamber members get an education from RIC president


North Central Chamber of Commerce members who attended last Thursday evening’s Business After Hours received quite an education at a rather surprising venue: Rhode Island College.

“We were all very honored that Nancy Carriuolo opened her home and heart to Chamber members,” said NCCC President Deborah Ramos. “This was indeed a privilege to visit her home.”

Carriuolo is the ninth person to serve as president of Rhode Island College. The president’s home is located at 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue in Providence. Her home was aglow with holiday decorations and the night was made more special with food that Eric Handwerger provided from Johnston’s newest eatery, Ocean State Sandwich Company, located at 1345 Hartford Avenue.

“I’m celebrating a month in business,” Handwerger said. “What a great event, and place, for meeting fellow Chamber members.”

Handwerger’s menu included pumpkin butternut squash bisque, an Apple Valley turkey sandwich and more, using locally grown ingredients and Buono’s Bakery sub rolls.

The formal part of the night’s program included Carriuolo giving a brief overview of Rhode Island College today. The president touched upon everything from academics to athletics and the fine arts. She also emphasized how RIC alumni continue to do great things, including Academy Award-nominee Viola Davis.

Carriuolo also explained how RIC has a new building designed especially to help those Anchormen and Anchorwomen athletes with their studies.

“We have great athletic teams here,” Carriuolo said. “We have some of the finest athletic facilities in the country as far as [NCAA] Division III programs are concerned. Our athletic director, Don Tencher, is relentless. I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

Carriuolo is vice chair elect of the president’s council of the Little East Conference. Chamber members learned that Carriuolo’s husband Ralf is a native Rhode Islander who holds an undergraduate degree from Yale and a Ph.D. from Wesleyan University. He is professor emeritus of humanities at the University of New Haven, where he serves as a music professor. At home, he enjoys playing the piano in the family living room.

Carriuolo earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State College of New York at Brockport and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She also attended Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study, where she completed post-doctoral students in organizational behavior and management, fundraising and negotiation.

The Carriuolos’ son, Mathew, continued the family’s record of academic excellence, graduating from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in physics.

“We were all very, very impressed with President Carriuolo’s home and to learn about all Rhode Island College is doing to increase student population,” Ramos said. “We were especially impressed that she’s a fan of the athletic program and teams.”

Carriuolo actually excused herself early to watch the college’s men’s and women’s basketball teams play. She was not disappointed when later that evening the men’s team defeated top-ranked Division III team MIT. RIC stunned the previously unbeaten national powerhouse, 68-44, with Carriuolo cheering on the Anchormen from the bleachers.

Carriuolo turned the evening’s hostess duties over to Jennifer Giroux, a member of the NCCC’s Board of Directors who doubles as interim associate vice president of professional studies and continuing education at RIC.

“This was a privilege to go inside and visit with President Carriuolo in her home. This was something that doesn’t happen every day,” Ramos said. “We are all thankful for this opportunity and to learn more about RIC, President Carriuolo and what a very sincere lady we have leading the college.”


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