Nearly a decade ago, Robin Krakowsky ’88,’08 Ed.D., then vice president of administration, stood in an empty, run-down 30,000-square-foot building in the former jewelry district of Providence. Through the dust, she envisioned “this funky building as the perfect location for a one-stop student services operation at the Downcity Campus location.”In 1997, the university purchased the 86-year-old building located at 274 Pine Street. What followed Krakowsky’s insight was the strategic Vision 2006 plan that held “excellence in customer experience” as a vision point.With a $12.5 million renovation to support the concept, student financial and academic services, previously in separate buildings, along with the International Center, are now under one roof that glimmers in the middle of Rhode Island’s most substantial construction effort — the relocation of Interstate 195. The new Student Services Center for the Downcity Campus opened this summer. The design of Boston-based ARC/Architectural Resources of Cambridge, Mass., has maintained the building’s historical integrity with vibrant colors and functional elements that reflect its purpose: efficiency.The trend to create centralized student services has been reshaping campuses around the country since the 1990s, says Krakowsky, now senior vice president of administration. “A one-stop shopping model not only provides benefits for our students but for our staff as well,” notes Marie Bernardo-Sousa ’92, university registrar and vice president of student services. “The co-location of these areas allows us to build work groups by function versus department, which ultimately adds to the overall student experience.”
Rhode Races Honor JWU Community A cold, steady May rain drummed on rooftops, but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 5,000 runners who went to the Harborside and Downcity campuses to compete in the inaugural Cox Providence Rhode Races, co-sponsored by Johnson & Wales University. Runners aged 10 to 71 came from as far away as Hong Kong and Belgium to participate in the day-long event, which included a full and half marathon, and a 5K race.In addition to bringing a full marathon back to Providence, the race offered hands-on education. Students from The Hospitality College, the College of Business and the School of Technology worked on all facets of the event, including marketing, sponsorship sales and Web site design.The race, which served as a qualifying event for the 2009 Boston Marathon, also honored ties to the JWU community. The top finisher received the McNulty Award in honor of the late Col. John McNulty ’89 Hon., a former administrator who brought cross-country racing to the then-Johnson & Wales Junior College in the 1960s. One of the charitable beneficiaries was the Brendan Doyle Recovery Fund honoring Brendan Doyle, a Rhode Island state trooper injured during an off-duty altercation, and son of the late Johnson & Wales All-American runner Bobby Doyle. Plans have begun for the next Providence marathon in May 2009.