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URI track star and Dean’s List student Pascale Delaunay ’05 has always leapt ahead of the pack.

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By Laura Nelsonspace picturePhoto by Nora Lewis

• National Honor Society

• Vice President of the French Club

• Black Student Union

• California Scholastic Federation

• International Engineering Program (IEP)

• Captain of the URI Women’s Track Team

• President of the National Society of Black Engineers

• Internship with Bruker BioSpin, France

• Internship with the National Science Foundation

• William Gould Award

• Althea Gibson Scholar-Athlete Award

Her specialty is jumping, which isn’t surprising if you know her. URI track star and Dean’s List student Pascale Delaunay ’05 has always leapt ahead of the pack.

A high school track star who also found time to serve as vice president of the French Club and as a member of the National Honor Society, the Black Student Union, and the California Scholastic Federation, Pascale had her pick of elite schools, from Yale to Dartmouth to the University of Pennsylvania. She chose URI, drawn by the University’s athletic and engineering programs.

Born in France, and having lived in Haiti, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California, Pascale is something of an internationalist. That, combined with her strong math and science skills, made her a perfect fit for the URI International Engineering Program. As a student in the demanding five-year IEP, Pascale studied both French and electrical engineering, maintaining a 3.29 G.P.A. She also starred on the URI women’s track team, winning multiple national and regional honors for her long jump and triple jump, and serving as team captain for two years.

“To be chosen as a captain in the junior year is remarkable, and it speaks volumes of her desire and motivation, as well as the belief that her teammates and her coaches had in her,” noted Christopher Hunter, assistant professor of civil engineering, who serves as Pascale’s advisor and mentor. “She continued to carry that honor in her senior year. In her, the track team members and coaches saw a leader who not only talked the talk, but also walked the walk in her performance, preparation, and competition.”

For Pascale, URI was a challenging but rewarding experience. “The IEP program is very intense, and combining that with track—there was not a lot of breathing room,” she said. Despite the demands of her rigorous academic and athletic activities, Pascale still found time to participate in the URI chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, ultimately serving as president of the organization. She also spent six months in France as an intern at Bruker BioSpin, a leader in nuclear magnetic resonance. That experience, along with a 10-week National Science Foundation internship in Orono, Maine, stoked her desire to pursue a career in research and development.

In the spring of 2005, Pascale was honored for her considerable achievements at URI. At the Eighth Annual Black Scholar Awards ceremony, Pascale received the William Gould Award for All-Around Outstanding Achievement, as well as the Althea Gibson Scholar-Athlete Award. The Gould Award recognizes outstanding achievement in organizational leadership, peer relationships, faculty-student relationships, general service, and academic performance. The Gibson Award is presented each year to a senior woman who exhibits outstanding performance in sports.

“She is a leader in what can be said to be one of the toughest demands on a person in a college or university, especially at a Division I school—being a scholar/athlete,” said Professor Hunter. “She is a leader through her ability to communicate, to motivate, to encourage, and ultimately to show—not just say— how things are to be done.” u

Laura Nelson is the editor of the College of Engineering’s quarterly magazine.

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