President Di Pasquale shares news about a recent graduate

Sept. 15, 2009

CCRI President Ray M. Di Pasquale

I often hear from students, past and present, about their college experience at CCRI and how well it has prepared them for future endeavors. Dr. Becky Yount, associate dean for Student Life and Service Learning, recently shared with me the following message from Jean Nsabumuremyi, who graduated from CCRI in May 2009 and transferred to Cornell University.

At age 12, Jean was on the run for his life. He was alone in Kigali, Rwanda, in 1994, the year of genocide in that country. When the killing suddenly began, he fled with his family to the Congo to escape the violence, spending each night in a different hiding place, until they moved again to Zambia, where they lived in a United Nations refugee camp before resettling in the United States in 1996. Jean got a job and struggled at first to learn English, but he knew he wanted to better himself.

He enrolled at CCRI in fall 2006, and graduated with a degree in General Studies and a 3.6 GPA. He served as student government president for the Liston Campus in Providence. His ultimate goal is to work with the United Nations Development Program in Africa. As you will read, he is well on his way to achieving his dreams.

Sept. 12, 2009

Dear Dr. Becky,

This e-mail comes as an assignment from my introduction to Psychology class, Psych 101. Our instructor Dr. James B. Maas taught the class the value of a thank you note, and he asked every student to write to a person who has made a difference in his/her life. Then I thought about the wonderful things you have done for me, including a recommendation that helped my admission here at Cornell.

Every second and minute I spend here at Cornell has been a remarkable learning experience. I have five classes: Introduction to Development Sociology, Introduction to Psychology, Social Inequality, Society, Agriculture and Food and Intermediate Macroeconomics. Cornell teaching is a little bit different from the Community College of Rhode Island. For instance, each class has at least a minimum of three books to read from, three exams per semester and takes place in a lecture hall with many students. To help students understand the lecture, usually large classes have small discussion sections taught by teaching assistants, who are graduate students.

I love every minute of lectures in these classes. Psych 101 is one of my most interesting classes because of its size and the topics in every single lecture. I think it is the largest lecture class that exists in the whole world, with more than 1,000 students in one lecture hall!

I don’t only want to tell you about Dr. Maas’ sense of humor and ability to connect to every student in this lecture room of more than 1,000 students, but also about his expertise in sleep deprivation. His book, “Power Sleep,” which I am reading, would teach anybody how to be successful and happy just by maintaining the right amount of sleep one needs each day. If you think students haven’t been happy, or students government presidents are not functioning well, they probably just need to read “Power Sleep,” get the right amount of sleep their need per day and everything will be fine.

In addition, for the past few weeks, we have been spending time learning about mind control, how to spot and resist manipulation behavior, and most important how to be a good Samaritan. This class is just an example of the elite education I am getting here at Cornell, so you can see how you have made a difference in my life.

Please also pass my gratitude and greetings to Ray Di Pasquale, president of CCRI, Dr. Walter Crocker, director of the Providence campus, and to CCRI professors and all those involved in the student government at each campus. I always remember you all in my heart.

Thank you!

Jean D. Nsabumuremyi ’09