Meet our Innovation Fellows

The Carter Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Innovation, made possible through the vision and generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter, is designed to stimulate solutions to Rhode Island challenges.

Our 2017 Innovation Fellows are focusing on one challenge for Rhode Island: increasing and improving civic engagement.

Donna Childs, 2017 Innovation Fellow

Donna launched the “Civic Resilience” project, a technology-enabled credit bank that tracks volunteer service, enabling participants to save and trade service hours. She is focusing first on volunteerism in the area of climate and disaster resilience.


Ditra Edwards, 2017 Innovation Fellow

Ditra launched SistaFire RI to train a statewide network of women of color to actively engage their communities in addressing issues important to them, building a coalition that can connect women across the state to address issues of economic opportunity.


2017 Innovation Finalists

Samantha Andersen

Samantha's project, Anchors Up!, aims to bridge the gap between urban and rural communities in Rhode Island by pairing high school classes from an urban and rural community to examine issues and take action to improve each community.

Dorothy Jungels

Dorothy's project, The Police/Youth Collaboration, develops workshops which utilize improvisational role-play as a medium to equip both police and at-risk youth with tools of emotional intelligence necessary to de-escalate conflicts that arise amid interactions between the two groups.

Johanna Torres

Johanna's project, RI Rising, engages millennials by creating a new kind of media hub that will become a one-stop shop for everything Rhode Islanders need to know about local politics and how to get involved in their community.

Learn more about the Fellows and their projects and see photos from the announcement.


Raymond Two Hawks Watson, 2016 Innovation Fellow

Ray’s project, the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, aims to make Rhode Island “the cultural capital of the Northeast” by leveraging our cultural heritage, history, and diversity as a driver for both economic development and social cohesion.


John Haley, 2015 Innovation Fellow

John's project, the Blue Mussel Spat Attachment Cord, is stimulating the state’s shellfish industry by creating a more reliable method of obtaining blue mussel seed stock.

Daniel Kamil and Emily Steffian, 2015 Innovation Fellows

Daniel and Emily's project, the Providence Cinematheque, has created Rhode Island's only multi-screen exhibition space and educational facility focusing on first-run, independent film programming; repertory series, film festivals and a curriculum in film history and media literacy.


Amy Bernhardt, 2014 Innovation Fellow

Amy’s project, Colorfast, is creating a state-of-the-art research and manufacturing pilot facility for the design and production of digitally printed textiles.


David Dadekian, 2014 Innovation Fellow

David’s project, the Eat Drink Rhode Island Central Market, is creating a centralized culinary hub for Rhode Island, a complete business-to-business and business-to-consumer center with a public market, commercial production and processing facilities, and an educational component.


Adrienne Gagnon, 2013 Innovation Fellow

Adrienne's Innovation by Design is shaping the next generation of innovators and revolutionizing education by introducing the transformative tools of Design Thinking to students and teachers across Rhode Island.


Dr. Lynn Taylor, 2013 Innovation Fellow

Lynn's project, Rhode Island Defeats Hep C, is working to make Rhode Island the first state to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus infection.


Soren Ryherd, 2012 Innovation Fellow

Soren's The Retail Project has created four on-line stores and has a goal to open so-called brick and mortar stores.


Allan Tear, 2012 Innovation Fellow

Allan's RallyRI project is building platforms to help entrepreneurs launch start-ups in sectors such as art and design, food and beverage, and advanced manufacturing.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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