Brown University

Have you ever encountered moments in life when you weren't sure you had the wherewithal to climb out of bed and face another day?  Moments when you saw no light whatsoever at the end of your tunnel, when you wanted to, well, just give up and end it all?  Sadly, many people have just such moments.  The most fortunate are able to climb out of the dark abyss.  And, as we know, some are not.  We hear from David Blistein, who has written a powerful memoir about his own struggles with mental illness.

David Blistein grew up in Providence and, he reports, learned to write from his father, who was on the Brown University faculty for many years.  Blistein is a graduate of Amherst College and now lives in southern Vermont.  Blistein's books explore history, spirituality, nature, and psychology.  His most recent work is David's Inferno: My Journey through the Dark Woods of Depression.

A Nepalese scholar at Brown University is using his international development expertise and personal knowledge of the country to help guide relief efforts after a major earthquake.

Atul Pokharel is a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute. He studies development and infrastructure in Nepal, which is where he’s from. And when the earthquake shook his country, he decided to put his knowledge to work. He launched a web site that would answer three key questions for people looking for ways to help.

Photo Courtesy of Edouard Dupont-Madinier

An art academy in France, Domaine de Boisbuchet, now has a solar-powered building designed by students from Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt, Germany. The house was part of an international solar competition last year.

Brown To Confer Six Honorary Degrees

Apr 28, 2015
Brown University

Brown University has announced its list of honorary doctorate recipients, and the majority are women.

One recipient, Kathryn Sullivan, was the first American woman to walk in space. Sullivan also helped launch the Hubble Telescope.

Anthropologist Louise Lamphere will also be honored. Lamphere challenged Brown with a sexual discrimination suit when the university denied her tenure in the 1970’s. The lawsuit led Brown to establish new hiring procedures for women.

Federal Wildlife Service

Brown University hosts a forum Tuesday on legalizing marijuana. The event will feature doctors and researchers with perspective on the health effects of marijuana. 


A Brown task force on sexual assault has completed its recommendations for the university. They’re aimed at improving the way the university responds to complaints of sexual violence.

The task force urges Brown to adopt a single policy on sexual assault, dating violence, harassment and stalking. The group says the university should centralize the process for handling complaints in a single office.

RIPR File Photo

A new economic study by a forecasting firm has found that putting a tax on carbon pollution would reduce emissions and create jobs in Rhode Island. That will be the topic of a briefing this afternoon at Brown University.

It’s that time of year again: The Red Bandana Committee seeks nominations for the Red Bandana Award, given annually to a Rhode Islander who embodies the spirit and committed work of longtime activist Richard Walton.


A Brown University graduate student is dead after an apparent suicide.

South Korean Hyoun Ju Sohn was a first year doctoral student in the Brown Physics Program.  Sohn fell or leapt from the university’s science library Tuesday.  The multi-story building sits in the heart of the school’s Providence campus. Police responded to the scene a little after noon. 

This I Believe Rhode Island: Still Winter

Mar 31, 2015

Nature can teach us so much about our world, about its glory and its anguish.  In nature we find so many lessons about hardiness, resilience, triumph and, yes, destruction and death.  The British poet William Wordsworth captured this sentiment in one line of his profound 18th-century poem entitled The Tables Turned: “Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher.”  And that’s what we hear from Meghan Elizabeth Kallman.

Meghan Elizabeth Kallman is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Brown University. She is a musician, a climate activist, co-founder of the Prison Op/Ed Project, and teaches at the Rhode Island state prison.

John Bender / RIPR

Local leaders have announced the launch of a statewide task force to deal with sexual assaults on college campuses. The issue has been getting increased national attention in recent years.

The task force is comprised of local law enforcement, medical professionals, and representatives from Rhode Island colleges and universities.  They’re tasked with developing new policies to better handle sexual assaults involving college students.  Often, colleges deal with sexual assault internally, and law enforcement is not involved unless a victim wishes to press charges.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

This week an estimated 5,ooo ceramic artists, educators and industry professionals gathered in Providence for the 49th annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

Rhode Island Public Radio's weekend host Chuck Hinman talked to two of those involved; Jay Lacouture, on-site liason and ceramics professor at Salve Regina University, and Jo-Ann Conklin, Director of the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has filed a petition requesting that the city licensing board declare that all licenses held by the Shark Bar & Grille on Thayer Street near Brown University be declared void.

The mayor’s reasoning comes as no surprise because owners of the Shark paid a $52,000 in bribe in 2008 to former House Speaker Gordon Fox, who at the time was vice-chair of the Providence Board of Licenses. After the bribe was paid, the Shark obtained a liquor license despite opposition from East Side residents and Brown officials.

Researchers are launching a new clinical trial for treatments that could prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The trial is one of many Alzheimer's-related projects underway in the Ocean State.

Courtesy of Brown University

The federal government is investing millions of dollars to harness energy from ocean waves and tides as energy demands continue to grow. (In 2013, it spent $16 million on 17 tidal projects.) It’s also investing money to research how these tidal energy projects may be developed responsibly and sustainably. Some of that research is coming out of Brown University.