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March 2012 

In This Issue:
Where Are We Now?
OSHEAN Staff Spotlight: Alison Ferreira
OSL Creates New and Exciting Resource for RI
Ralph Fasano Joins OSHEAN Team
NKHS and Cranston East Compete in Tech Challenge
   Member Spotlight:
Brown University   
OSHEAN member,
Brown University was featured in Providence Business News for its role
in the design of the next generation of high-speed super computers.



A conference  took place at the headquarters of Brown University's new Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM).


Jill Pipher, Director of Brown's ICERM, led the conference. 


The goal, explained Pipher, was, "to develop computers 1,000 times more powerful than the ones we have today, as measured in number of calculations that you
can do per second."


Jan S. Hesthaven, professor of Applied Mathematics at Brown and deputy director at ICERM said there is
 much to gain from this
initiative, including the
economic advantage of
super-computing. "If you have it, and you know how to use it, it gives you an economic advantage for discovery and innovation."


For the full article in Providence Business News, click here  
Watch For Us! 

Check out our full page advertisement and article in Rhode Island Monthly.


RI Monthly Ad 

Click here to see our Ad on page 14 and article on page 8.  


Calling all Articles for the 2012-2013 OSHEAN Current  


We are currently developing the 2012-2013 publication of the OSHEAN Current
(the annual compilation of
member stories on technology enabled projects  and general collaboration). 

Our goal this year is to highlight all OSHEAN member organizations.  If your organization is interested in participating, please contact Nimota Solola at

To view the 2011-2012 edition, click
Beacon 2.0 


For updates on the  

Beacon 2.0 Project,  

please click here 



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Founded in 1999, OSHEAN is a non-profit coalition of universities, hospitals, government agencies, K-12 schools, libraries and other non-profit organizations dedicated to providing innovative Internet-based technology solutions for its member institutions and the communities they serve. 



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To Our Members,


Welcome to The Bridge, an e-newsletter for OSHEAN members! Whether you are a new member or you've been with us for years, we are sure you will find something of interest in The Bridge. Look for us each month to get updates on initiatives and events, the latest news on developing projects and special member and staff spotlights.


The value of OSHEAN membership comes not only from our ability to provide abundant, reliable broadband, but also from our ability to provide opportunities for members to collaborate with each other in valuable ways. We are committed to helping our members provide excellent services to their constituents.


We continue to enhance our member benefits and look forward to your feedback.


Best Regards,


Pam Christman

Chief Operating Officer


Where Are We Now?


The installation of backbone fiber in Providence County and Kent County is complete. Cox Communications' installation of backbone fiber in Washington County continues, with approximately fifty-seven miles pulled thus far.   


Installation of backbone fiber in Newport County has commenced with approximately 3 miles pulled during the month.  To date, fifty laterals have been installed in Providence and Kent Counties.  In southeast Massachusetts, Sidera Networks is preparing to begin pulling backbone fiber


For more updates on our progress, click here 

ARRA Logo  

Staff Spotlight: Alison Ferreira


Meet Alison Ferreira, OSHEAN Manager of Business Operations and Program Manager for Beacon 2.0


"Beacon 2.0 is a 'once in a generation' opportunity. Through the grant award, we will be able to provide members with significantly increased capacity that is not currently available in the state."  


In her role as OSHEAN Manager of Business Operations, Alison Ferreira is responsible for financial analysis, development and presentation of the annual budget, business modeling, and member communications.  


As the Beacon 2.0 Program Manager, Alison acts as the direct liaison with the NTIA, where she is responsible for project oversight and implementations, procurement, reporting, vendor and member relations, and most importantly, ensuring that the project remains in compliance with the ever changing federal regulations. Over the next quarter, Alison is excited to hit a prominent milestone with the project - in late April/early May, OSHEAN will be lighting the Beacon 2.0 backbone fiber in Providence and Kent counties, and providing service to our first Community Anchor Institutions. 

Outside of work, Alison enjoys spending time with family and friends, though lately, much of her spare time has been dedicated to pursuing a masters degree at Boston University. She did break away recently for a 10-day trek through Costa Rica, where after zip-lining through the jungle, rappelling down waterfalls, hand feeding wild monkeys, and taking in beautiful sunsets, found the country be one of her favorite destinations.

BTOP Helps Ocean State Libraries Create New and Exciting Resource for Rhode Island  


OSL Logo

Ocean State Libraries (OSL) has been busy putting into place an exciting new resource for the state of Rhode Island.  Through the BTOP grant, OSL purchased equipment and software for video conferencing; and with the cooperation of the Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) was able to set up a network to support this endeavor.  Eight public libraries, as well as the OSL headquarters in Warwick received stand alone conferencing systems, and four libraries received mobile systems.  This is an exciting breakthrough for library patrons and staff, who will now be able to remotely attend meetings, conferences, and trainings.  


Through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTAgrant acquired through the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), OSL was also able to purchase a content server which has been installed at OSHEAN's URI data center.  This gives our public library network the unprecedented opportunity to archive programming as content in its library catalog.  Patrons who want to watch a refresher on Excel, figure out their new e-Reader or catch that great program on perennials that they missed will be able to search for and view these programs through the online catalog.   


OSL is hard at work training the library staff on using the equipment and had a demo of some of the capabilities at the statehouse on February 28th for Library Legislative Day.   

Ralph Fasano Joins OSHEAN as Director of Member Services

It is our pleasure to announce that Ralph Fasano has joined the OSHEAN team as Director of Member Services!


Ralph will be responsible for member outreach and engagement and will be working closely with members to ensure that your communications, service and strategic needs are met.


Ralph has been a part of the OSHEAN family for many years and comes to us most recently from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he served as Associate Vice President and CIO for the Office of Information Technology.   


Over his tenure, Ralph was responsible for the development of a Strategic Plan for IT, the implementation of a robust wired and wireless infrastructure, and a strong success of aligning technology initiatives with business goals and objectives. 


Ralph holds a Bachelor of Science from the New York Institute of Technology, and has been active on various educational organizations such as Educause, Acuta, and Nercomp. Ralph has also most recently served as an OSHEAN board member from 2010-2011.  



North Kingstown High School and Cranston East High School Compete in NEIT's 7th Annual FIRST Tech Challenge     



On February 4th, the 7th Annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge took place at New England Tech's Automotive Technologies Campus in Warwick, RI.  This year, OSHEAN sponsored two high schools for the competition, North Kingstown (NKHS) and Cranston East.  The competition pitted 32 high school teams and after school clubs from across Rhode Island in 5 rounds of the game "Bowled Over".   


This year's game consisted of team robots to pick up racquet balls from the floor, place them in small crates, and stack the crates on top of each other.  Teams received more points for the highest amount balls in their crates, in addition to how high their crates were stacked.


Although neither school won the first place prize, each team learned fundamental principles in both software and hardware design and most importantly had fun!