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Champlin grant to renovate two RIC biology labs


John E. Fogarty Life Science Building
The Champlin Foundations recently awarded Rhode Island College a $248,000 grant to remodel and supply state-of-the-art equipment for two classrooms in the John E. Fogarty Life Science (FLS) Building.

These funds will not only benefit RIC STEM majors (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but all students with interests in these fields, said RIC President Nancy Carriuolo, adding that these improvements will provide a stellar setting for innovative thinking and learning.

“The renovations will improve safety and the overall learning environment,” said Eric Hall, chair of the biology department. “The laboratory spaces will be far more user friendly, and hopefully the students using these facilities will be able to do more and learn more.”

Renovations included in the Champlin grant will improve FLS rooms 103B and 242.

“The improvements to [these classrooms] would make both spaces safe and functional environments that would enhance the learning experience of the students, as well as the faculty teaching experience,” said Dana Kolibachuk, associate professor of biology, who helped to write the Biology Department’s proposal for the Champlin grant.

FLS 242 is currently used for Medical Microbiology and General Microbiology courses. Proposed improvements to this classroom include replacing student laboratory benches, as well as installing laboratory grade tiles and two new refrigerators.

FLS 103B serves as the classroom where Ecology and Vertebrate Zoology courses are taught. Renovations to this room include replacing instructor and student laboratory benches and dissecting microscopes, and installing storage cabinets and a projection system, including a document camera similar to other rooms in the building.

“The renovations provide a cleaner environment and will us to extend our lab activities beyond simple surveys of vertebrate diversity,” said Merson, who teaches Vertebrate Zoology in 103B.

“These improvements would allow this laboratory to be utilized by other courses within the biology department,” added Kolibachuk.

Other RIC faculty who aided in writing the proposal include Marita Sheridan and Rebeka Merson, associate professors of biology, Deborah Britt, assistant professor of biology and Linda Jzyk, grant specialist for the RIC Foundation.

View all proposed renovations

The first Champlin Foundation Trust was established in Delaware in 1932, the second in 1947 and the third in 1975. Since 1932, The Champlin Foundations have distributed over $442 million almost entirely in Rhode Island.