FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
August 31, 2001
 
 

Rhode Island College Announces
Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2001

Providence, RI—Rhode Island College will induct eight former student-athletes into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 13 in conjunction with Homecoming.

Paul Donovan ’51, ’67 played basketball and soccer while an undergraduate at Rhode Island College from 1946-51. He played professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization (’46-’51, ’54) and in the Baltimore Orioles organization (’55). Donovan spent two years in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1951-53.

Donovan recently retired after 44 years as an interscholastic baseball coach, spending the past 18 seasons at Moses Brown School. The Quakers posted a 16-0 record and won the SENE League under his guidance in 1984. He also coached for 28 years at Hope High School in Providence. He is a 1999 inductee to the Hope High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He received the Rhode Island Baseball Coaches’ Carl Toti Memorial Award in 1989 and the Rhode Island Baseball Umpires’ Ed Jansen Award in 1996. He was also an assistant coach for football, indoor track, and basketball.

As an educator, Donovan taught at Hope High School from 1957-83, serving as the Head of the English Department from 1972-83. He moved on to Moses Brown in 1983 where he taught English until his retirement in 1996. He was named the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year in 1973. Donovan earned his bachelor’s degree in education from RIC in 1951 and his master’s in secondary education in 1967.

He hails from the Fox Point District of Providence and is a 1946 graduate of La Salle Academy. He resides in Cumberland, Rhode Island with his wife Eileen. The couple has one child, Mary (39).

Mark Fullam ’60 played three sports for the Anchormen from 1957-60. He played four seasons of basketball, three in soccer and one in baseball. Fullam co-captained the soccer and basketball squads and received the John E. Hetherman Award, signifying him as RIC’s top male senior athlete in 1960.

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in education in May of 1960, the Woonsocket native embarked on an impressive career in education, spanning 36 years. He spent 22 years (’60-’66, ’80-’96) as a teacher and coach in the Broward Country School System in Hollywood, Florida. In 1963-64, Fullam traveled to Iran as a Fulbright Scholar and lectured at the University of Meshed. He returned to Iran in 1967 and worked at the Tehran American School as a teacher, coach, then as the Director of Athletics and Student Activities. During this time period, Fullam served as President of the Middle Eastern Schools Athletic Association. This organization held competitions in athletics and extracurricular activities in countries throughout the Middle East. Fullam remained in Iran until evacuated in February of 1979 following that country’s revolution. During that year, he served as the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, Bill Keough, who was held as one of the 52 hostages by the Iranians for 444 days. In 1980, Fullam resumed his teaching and coaching duties back in Florida. He primarily coached baseball, swimming and basketball, and also served as an official for baseball, football and basketball. He retired in 1996.

He hails from Woonsocket, Rhode Island and is a 1951 graduate of Woonsocket High School. He currently spends the summers in Warwick and returns to Destin, Florida during the winter. Fullam has five children, Tim (44), Mary Jane (35), Sue (34), Karen (29) and Sharon (29).

Scott Martin ’89 is one of the finest wrestlers ever to compete for Rhode Island College. His accomplishments on the mat speak for themselves. He was a member of two New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Championship teams at RIC in 1987-88 and 1988-89. He was the NECCWA Champion at 118 lbs. in each of his four years at RIC, winning titles in 1986, ’87, ’88 and ’89. Rarely, if ever, did a freshman win a title, and there is a short list of New England Champions who have won four consecutive crowns during their careers.

He was a two-time All-American, placing third in the country in 1989 and fourth in 1988. His third place finish in ’89 was the highest status a RIC wrestler had ever attained up to that point and helped the Anchormen place in the top 20 in the country as a team. Martin currently ranks tenth all-time in career victories and pins at RIC. His success was a key factor in strengthening RIC’s recruiting which led to three more NECCWA Championships for the Anchormen in 1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92.

Martin earned his bachelor’s degree in computer information services from RIC in 1989. A native of Cranston, Rhode Island, he is a 1985 graduate of Cranston High School East. He is a successful businessman who currently runs his own computer business based in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. He resides in North Smithfield with his fiancée Karen.

Robin Gobeille Orticerio ’93 was an outstanding two-sport athlete while an undergraduate at Rhode Island College. She played four seasons of women’s basketball from 1989-93 and competed in outdoor track and field for two seasons in 1991 and 1992.

In women’s basketball, she is third all-time with 1,402 career points at RIC. Orticerio is one of only nine players in RIC women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. She also ranks in the top ten in several season and individual game statistical categories. She was named First Team All-Little East Conference as a senior in 1992-93 and was Second Team All-Little East as a sophomore in 1990-91. She co-captained the team as a junior and senior.

As a track and field athlete, Orticerio competed in the javelin event. As a junior in 1992, she was All-ECAC, placing fourth, and All-New England with a fifth place finish. As a sophomore in 1991, she was All-ECAC with a second place finish.

Orticerio was a student athletic trainer at RIC from 1989-93 and a member of the RIC Student Athletic Trainers Club during that same time span. She graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. She is currently a Certified Athletic Trainer and has been the varsity girls’ basketball coach at the Lincoln School since 1998. Orticerio hails from Smithfield, Rhode Island and is a 1988 graduate of La Salle Academy.

She resides in Smithfield, Rhode Island with her husband Michael and their daughters Emily (2) and Anna (four months).

Elizabeth Penkala ’79 was an outstanding softball player during her career at Rhode Island College. She starred as a third baseman/pitcher from 1976-79. As a junior in 1978, she was named to the All-RIAIAW Tournament Team and posted a .326 batting average for the season. As a senior in 1979, she was an alternate selection to the All-RIAIAW Tournament Team and was named the Most Valuable Player of the RIC softball team. That season, she led the team with a .451 batting average and a 3.23 earned run average.

She continued to play and coach softball for many years after her career at RIC was over, winning many championships and several MVP awards in numerous leagues. After graduation, Penkala taught math in the Warwick School Department from 1979-82. She was an Assistant Softball Coach at RIC in 1980 and 1981. She moved on to the Bristol/Warren School Department where she has taught math since 1982. She was the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s Fast-Pitch Softball Director from 1985-89. She was the Head Softball Coach at Warren High School from 1984-93 and is currently entering her ninth season as the Head Girls’ Tennis Coach at Mt. Hope High School. She is a 1999 inductee to the town of Warren’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

She is a 1975 graduate of Warren High School where she excelled in tennis, track & field, and basketball. Penkala resides in Warren, Rhode Island.

Cathy Dusza Stengel ’89, ’97 was an outstanding gymnast for the Anchorwomen from 1984-88. Over the course of her career, she held the RIC records for the top scores on vault, beam, bars, floor and in the all-around.

As a senior in 1987-88, Stengel placed third on beam and fourth on bars at the New England Championships before an injury prematurely ended her season. As a junior in 1986-87 she was named a National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) All-American, placing seventh in the all-around. She placed first in New England on floor and second in the all-around.

She was the New England Champion in the all-around in 1984-85, placing first on vault, bars, and floor. Stengel placed first on vault, second on floor and third in the all-around at the Division III ECAC Championships.

Stengel received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Rhode Island College in 1989 and earned an additional bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1997. Stengel is currently a registered nurse and has worked in the medical/oncology department at Rhode Island Hospital since 1997. She hails from Cumberland, Rhode Island and is a 1984 graduate of Cumberland High School.

She resides in Cumberland with her husband Michael and daughters Emily (3) and Julia (ten months).

James Whitaker ’58 was an outstanding soccer player during his career at Rhode Island College, playing for three seasons from 1955-57. He co-captained the team and received the John E. Hetherman Award in 1958. Whitaker earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1958. Prior to coming to RIC, Whitaker played professional baseball in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for two seasons in 1948 and 1949 before an elbow injury ended his career.

Whitaker distinguished himself as a teacher and coach at East Providence High School. He was the Head Wrestling Coach at East Providence High from 1947-73, beginning his career as the youngest head coach in Rhode Island high school history. Whitaker coached 75 Rhode Island and New England Champions, three of which were selected as "Outstanding Wrestler" in New England. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 1975 and into EPHS’s Hall of Fame in 2000. After his wrestling coaching career, Whitaker was a wrestling official for ten years. In addition, he was the Assistant Baseball Coach at EPHS for nine years and the Head Coach for ten years. Whitaker was the Head Football Coach at Central Junior High School for 19 seasons. He served as the President of the R.I. High School Baseball Coaches’ Association for two years.

He retired in 1990 after a 32-year career at East Providence High School, primarily as an English and social studies teacher. He resides in Seekonk, Massachusetts with his wife Anita. They have five children, Mary Katherine (44), Liane (40), Peter (36), Susan (34) and Nancy (32) as well as nine grandchildren.

John Wilkins ’83 is one of the finest baseball players in Rhode Island College’s history. Despite not playing for the Anchormen for over 18 years now, he still holds RIC records for the most career victories, strikeouts, shutouts, complete games, appearances and innings pitched. Wilkins also holds single season records for the most victories, strikeouts, shutouts and games started.

He was named the team’s captain, Most Valuable Player and was First Team All-New England as a senior in 1983. Following his career at RIC, Wilkins played professionally in the Detroit Tigers organization. He has been an umpire for the past ten years, primarily working high school games, as well as summer college leagues. Wilkins is a member of the Eastern Connecticut Umpires Association.

He hails from Warwick, Rhode Island and is a 1979 graduate of Veterans High School. During his days as a Hurricane, he played four years of hockey and baseball. He was an All-Division selection as a pitcher in 1979 during his senior year.

Wilkins earned a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1983. He currently works for the Connecticut Department of Corrections as a counselor. Wilkins primarily works at the Corrigan Correctional Institution in Montville. He resides in Pawcatuck, Connecticut with his wife Lynn and children, Brendan (9) and Megan (5).

The Rhode Island College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2001 will be officially inducted at the Athletic Recognition and Hall of Fame Dinner, held in conjunction with Homecoming, on Saturday, Oct. 13. Tickets are $40 each. The deadline for ordering tickets is September 24. Please contact the Rhode Island College Office of Development at 401-456-8105 to purchase tickets or for additional information.

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