30th annual Rainville Awards honor student leaders, servants among URI community

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Members of Thrive
Members of Thrive, this year’s Team Excellence Award recipients with President David M. Dooley from left: Cathy Lenox, Robert Romoff, Gina Miranda, Jessi Florendo, Elana Rivkin, Haley Powers, Grace Carreiro and John Morabito. URI photo by Mike Salerno.

KINGSTON, R.I.- April 16, 2018- The University of Rhode Island honored three undergraduate student leaders and one student organization at the 30th annual A. Robert Rainville Leadership Awards ceremony held recently on the Kingston Campus.

The Division of Student Affairs’ Office of Student Involvement and Center for Student Leadership Development presents the awards each year to students who have shown outstanding leadership and teamwork skills, while maintaining strong academic performance. This year’s recipients are Romanuel Percy of Pawtucket, R.I., Student Employee Award; Shannon McIsaac of Avon, Mass., Robert L. Carothers Servant Leadership Award; Hailey Flavin of Rumford, R.I., Student Leadership Award; and Thrive, Team Excellence Award.

“The University is proud to honor these outstanding campus leaders and the entire Thrive team,” said Kathy Collins, vice president for Student Affairs. “These men and women have brought energy to their academic pursuits and numerous campus organizations. I am confident that those who have been fortunate to study, work and enjoy social time with them have been inspired to do great things as well. I want to congratulate them for making URI a better place and wish them well as they move on to other pursuits in their lives.”

Romanuel Percy
Romanuel Percy of Pawtucket, R.I., winner of this year’s Student Employee Award with URI President David M. Dooley. URI photo by Mike Salerno.

Below are the details about each recipient:

Shannon McIsaac
Shannon McIsaac of Avon, Mass., winner of this year’s Robert L. Carothers Servant Leadership Award with URI President David M. Dooley. URI photo by Mike Salerno.

Student Employee Award winner:

Senior Romanuel Percy started as an undeclared student, but quickly found majors that excited him–political science and communication studies. Percy then made the decision to embark on an ambitious leadership journey, exploring the worlds of orientation leader, URI 101 mentor, residence advisor for Housing and Residential life, Student Senate member and D.I.V.E. RI member.Percy was honored for his capacity to learn and execute new skills effortlessly, always making sure that the job is done right.

Robert L. Carothers Servant Leadership Award winner:

Shannon McIsaac, a senior nursing major and leadership studies minor believes in “service above self.” During her time at URI, McIsaac has built upon her core values and exercised her love for URI by being an active member in the Student Alumni Association, the varsity crew team, and the Student Organization Leadership Consultants. She also serves as president of Rotaract. Rotaract is a national student organization that sits under Rotary International and focuses on service, both locally and on an international level. McIsaac has used her nursing clinical skills to develop a prototype respite care program for children with disabilities that can be employed at other institutions. Her “commitment to the growth of the people” is evident in her roles as a teaching assistant, a volunteer for the Special Olympics, as a previous Leadership Institute Peer Leader, and as a personal care attendant.

Student Leadership Award winner:

Hailey Flavin
Hailey Flavin of Rumford, R.I., 2018 Student Leadership Award recipient, with President David M. Dooley. URI photo by Mike Salerno.

Hailey Flavin, a senior journalism major and leadership studies minor transferred to URI her sophomore year and immediately started making an impact as the new member education chair for the Panhellenic Council, the organization that oversees URI sororities. Flavin is now the president of the council. Flavin, who grew up in North Kingstown, believes that people should be given room to challenge themselves and has put that into practice as a founder of Aspiring Student Affairs Professionals (ASAP). She is also a teaching assistant for Greek 101 mentors throughout the Greek system, and she directs the peer educators for the Panhellenic Council. With all of these activities, she has maintained a 3.75 grade point average, and still managed to bring the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon, known as Rhodython, to URI. Flavin and her team raised more than $150,000 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital, a record for a first-time event. Flavin has been described as “truly dedicated to helping other students and making URI a stronger, inclusive environment.”

Team Excellence Award winner:

Winner of this year’s A. Robert Rainville Team Excellence award, Thrive is a student organization that focuses on helping ideas become reality. Through “Impact Labs,” the goal is to develop members’ innovative thinking and help plan the process of making ideas reality. ChangeFest, an event hosted by Thrive, allows students from all over Rhode Island to come to develop plans and then pitch their concepts to a board. The best pitches receive funding to help make the idea a reality. In the past, ChangeFest has aided in the creation of websites and phone applications. This year Thrive launched a new event, Social Change: Concept to Reality. This workshop focused on teaching students how to create social change, build connections and develop skills to spark innovation on campus. The members of Thrive are Cathy Lenox of North Kingstown, R.I. Robert Romoff of Suffern, N.Y., Gina Miranda of Pawtucket, R.I., Jessi Florendo of Scotch Plains, N.J., Elana Rivkin of Long Island, N.Y., Haley Powers of Smithfield, R.I., Grace Carreiro of Tiverton, R.I., John Morabito of Norwalk, Conn., John Hoolahan of Elwood, N.Y., Kennedy Tate of Cranston, R.I., Keven Brito of Pawtucket, R.I., and Kaelin Costa of Warren, R.I.

For 30 years, the Office of Student Involvement and The Center for Student Leadership Development hold an annual celebration to honor students who are successful in various leadership roles while maintaining a good academic record. The award is named in memory of A. Robert Rainville ’64, students’ friend and mentor, Vice President for Student Affairs 1980-86.

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.