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Mount Saint Charles Senior was Named a Candidate in the US Presidential Scholars Program

WOONSOCKET, RI – Madeline Charbonneau, a graduating senior at Mount, has been named one of more than 4,000 candidates in the 2016 US Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.3 million students expected to graduate high school this year. Madeline is from Mendon, MA and is the daughter of Bree and Dennis Charbonneau.

Inclusion in the US Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 52nd year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character, and involvement in community and school activities.

Having attended Mount from grades 7-12, Madeline has a cumulative GPA of 4.16 and has been listed on the Excelsior Honor roll from grades 9-12 (a minimum GPA of 4.0 and no grade below a C). She was also a member of the National Honor Society in grades 10, 11, and 12 and has received several academic awards during her career at the Academy. In addition to her academic accomplishments, Madeline has served in several leadership roles. She was captain of her varsity cross country team and track team, was the founder of the running club and, during her sophomore year, held the position of Class of 2016 vice president. Active in school and in her community, Madeline is a musician in the Academy’s Fine Arts department  and spends much of her time volunteering at various service opportunities such as at the Ronald McDonald House and at Trinity Nursing Home in Woonsocket, RI.

“Mount Saint Charles Academy is proud of the recognition that Ms. Maddi Charbonneau is receiving for her tremendous work ethic and determination,” Edwin Burke, principal of Mount Saint Charles, said. “She is a young woman who is committed to scholarship and service, and she embodies the mission of the school. We at Mount Saint Charles join Maddi’s family in celebrating her effort.”

The US Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to their school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.

Annually, up to 161 US Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All Scholars are invited to Washington, DC in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities, culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House sponsored ceremony.

A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 800 semifinalists in April. The Commission of Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the US Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

About Mount Saint Charles Academy Mount Saint Charles Academy Logo

Mount Saint Charles Academy is located in Woonsocket, RI and is a private, Catholic junior-senior high school in the tradition of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. It serves  a co-educational community in a college preparatory environment. Students are challenged through a rigorous academic program and through religious and co-curricular experiences to become people of faith who use their talents and intellects to serve others.

Alliance Security and URI Create New Learning Experience for MBA Students

URI - Alliance Security Logos Collab

CRANSTON, RI — A new collaboration between Alliance Security — a leading home automation and security solutions provider — and the University of Rhode Island is offering MBA candidates an educational experience with real-world content and application. Students are tasked with developing new processes and solutions for business cases in a seven-day competition.

Alliance Security and URI recently completed a pilot phase of this intensive learning experience, which marked the start of collaboration between the two organizations. A cohort of 20 students enrolled in URI’s one-year MBA Program in Strategic Innovation spent one week at Alliance’s headquarters in Cranston, Rhode Island.

“It was truly inspiring to have so many great minds at work,” stated Jay Gotra, CEO of Alliance Security, who added that the partnership represents an intersection where the supply of and demand for fresh ideas meet. “These are projects that have the potential to truly transform lives — creating real jobs and opportunities.”

The student-contestants were split up into six teams, which each strived to develop the best strategies unique to one of three businesses owned by Alliance Security. One offers SBA loans to small companies and two offer products and services aligned with that of their parent company — identity protection and concierge residential relocation solutions.

The week kicked off with a briefing of business cases and concluded with 30-minute presentations by each team. Scholarship stipends were awarded to members of the team with the best pitch, selected by a panel of judges consisting of Gotra and other members of Alliance’s leadership team — Chief Operations Officer Eric Patrick, Chief Financial Officer Ricardo Diaz, Chief Strategy Officer Eric Polson, and Vice President of Operations Jake Murray.

During the presentation preparation process, students had direct access to support and guidance from Alliance’s executives and management personnel. The insight-filled competition challenged the MBA candidates to apply technical knowledge and creativity in an innovative environment that integrates the needs of both students and employer.

URI Professor of Practice, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Diane St. Laurent worked closely with Alliance Security on its concept and design. While URI has established numerous partnerships with businesses, this competition-style initiative with Alliance Security was the first of its kind for her MBA students.

“We knew that Alliance Security’s needs were immediate and that’s why we created an expedited program specifically to address them,” stated St. Laurent, who added that the MBA program emerged from a redesign in 2012 with aggressive goals, and is grateful for Alliance Security’s role in helping URI achieve them.

“This collaboration offers the students a chance to develop ideas using methods such as design thinking, lean startup, and the innovator’s method,” said St. Laurent. Students were required to submit white papers on their projects, as well.

St. Laurent first came in contact with Jay Gotra in 2006, when she rented out property to Alliance Security, which was then a three-year old startup company with only 15 employees.

Business performance for Alliance has since been nothing short of impressive. A repeat contender on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing companies in America, the company has created over 500 jobs and protected over 250,000 homes in 46 states.

According to St. Laurent, Alliance Security’s culture — one centered on learning, teaching, and growing among its employees — makes the company a perfect environment to cultivate the future business leaders enrolled in URI’s MBA program. “Seeing the students learn and grow everyday while developing a business case was an amazing transition to witness.”

Dr. Maling Ebrahimpour, Dean of the College of Business Administration at URI, agrees. “Our students worked hand and hand with Alliance Security and utilized the knowledge they had acquired to help Alliance make more informative decisions about their business and products. This was truly a mutually beneficial experience for both Alliance Security and URI.”

Furthermore, the experience offered an opportunity for students to showcase their talents to a company looking to recruit the best and brightest grads. Some standouts were actually offered contracts by Alliance to continue developing their ideas.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with URI and continue developing a talent pipeline for Alliance Security that is aligned with career pathways of their MBA students,” concluded Alliance Security CEO Jay Gotra.

Discussions for another installment of the business case competition to take place later this year are already underway.

Alliance Security is hiring. To learn more about the company and opportunities to join its fast-growing and dynamic team, visit

About Alliance Security

Alliance Security is a leading provider of home automation and security solutions. Over the past 13 years, the Rhode Island-based company has established an expanding presence — operating in 46 states with over 500 employees. Dedicated to offering the latest smart home technology, security products, and award-winning service, Alliance Security has protected over 250,000 homes across America.

The Shadows are Illuminated at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium in April

NEWPORT, RI – This month at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport, the vast, hidden world of the deep sea becomes a backyard of discovery. Visitors will learn about the types of fish that light the way with bioluminescence, as well as other adaptations these animals have to living in darkness. The aquarium, open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and daily throughout school vacation week, April 15 – 24, will hold special activities centered on this strange realm of the ocean.

Far below the visible ocean is a landscape of deep crevices and alcoves where light barely penetrates the water. As a result, many native species that live there have developed a unique trait. Called bioluminescence, a chemical reaction in their bodies allows them to literally light themselves up, as though they are fireflies in the water. This is a crucial adaptation without which very few of the fish would find their way in the dark for food and shelter from larger predators. They also use their light in other ways, such as distracting prey before catching it or navigating through often perilous deep sea canyons . The most commonly found luminescent creature native to Narragansett Bay is the ‘comb jellyfish,’ identified by its glowing ‘veins’ beneath its transparent body.

Visitors will be able to see a fluorescent fish up close, the resident Chain Catshark, which has a scale pattern that lets it blend in with the substrate found in dark waters.  Chain Catsharks have been photographed in the ocean glowing a brilliant green color, which is invisible to the human eye.  A yellow filter is needed to block out blue hues in order to observe this beautiful coloration.  Also, educators will share stories about the importance of sunlight below the ocean surface.  Inside the aquarium, visitors are challenged to find a brilliant orange fish with large eyes that calls the deep sea home. Children can also go on a scavenger hunt for a prize, take a stroll along the shore if the weather permits, and join in an assortment of other activities throughout the day:

Daily Schedule:

11:00 Story Time: “Ocean Sunlight”
12:00 Science Experiment
01:00 Scavenger Hunt “Can you find all the deep sea creatures?”
02:00 Deep Sea Lesson
03:00 Beach Walk (weather permitting)

The Exploration Center and Aquarium is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport, R.I. General admission is $8 with discounts for military and senior citizens. Save The Bay Family Members can enjoy FREE admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children. For more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium, visit or call 401-324-6020. 

About Save The Bay Save The Bay Expolation Center

Founded in 1970, Save The Bay works to protect and improve Narragansett Bay and its watershed through advocacy, education, and restoration efforts. It envisions a fully swimmable, fishable, healthy Narragansett Bay, accessible to everyone and globally recognized as an environmental treasure.

St. Pius V School to Award Honor to Providence Family for 21st Annual Veritas Mass

PROVIDENCE, RI – On May 15, 2016, St. Pius V School will be honoring John and Margaret Neubauer and their five children, Mary (Keane), John, Paul, Kevin, and Grace, with the annual Veritas Award. The award is an honor given by the school each year to an alumnus or alumnae who show exemplary spirit of their SPV educational experience. The school chooses a person or people who have gone on from SPV and lived in the true essence of the school’s quality education, strong community foundation, and teachings of Jesus’ love. 

The five Neubauer children attended St. Pius V School during the years of 1984-2005 and continued their secondary educations at both St. Mary’s Bay View and LaSalle Academies. The children then went on to study at various colleges and universities including St. Anselm, Western New England, Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston Colleges and Fairfield, Rhode Island, and Loyola (School of Medicine) Universities. 

Today, the Neubauer children enjoy successful careers in teaching, social work and rights advocacy for disadvantaged children, medicine, law, and speech pathology. They credit St. Pius V School as being the initial exposure to hard work, dedication, Christian values, and respect. “As I get older,” states Margaret Neubauer, when asked about the successes of her children, “people sometimes ask, ‘What was your secret ?’ I think my kids saw value and respect both at home and at school.” Neubauer continues, “My children wanted to be responsible and do what they needed to do. They could see that was what we we were working toward.” 

The 2016, 21st Annual Veritas Mass will be held at St. Pius V Church on Sunday, May 15th at the 10:00 Mass. The public is invited to the Mass, the award celebration, and a reception afterward at the school. St. Pius V Church is located at 55 Elmhurst Avenue, Providence, RI 02908. (401) 421-9750. 

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