Students receive URI’s A. Robert Rainville Awards

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 19, 2011 – For every follower, there must be a leader and those leaders were recognized at the Rainville Award ceremony Tuesday night, April 5 at the University of Rhode Island.

The four awards, named in memory of A. Robert Rainville, vice president for student affairs from 1980-1986, are given to acknowledge student leadership qualities. The categories are student leadership, servant leadership, student employee leadership and team leadership. To receive the distinguished award, students are nominated and then required to submit an application detailing their academic standing and leadership capacity.

Lauren Creamer of Narragansett, a senior biology and environmental science and management major, received the A. Robert Rainville Student Leadership Award based on her in-depth involvement and contribution to the women’s rugby team and the club sports and intramural council.

During the majority of Creamer’s college career, she has held leadership positions in both organizations, volunteered for community service, completed internships, and served as an on-campus resident advisor.

“Through resident advisement, I have found that I enjoy the instant gratification of helping a student in need. It makes me feel as though I have made a difference in their lives,” said Creamer. “What I have gained amounts to what some might label a calling to the field of student affairs. I have taken away something unique from each experience and intend to take this knowledge with me to graduate school and beyond.”

The Robert L. Carothers Student Leadership Award was presented to Courtney O’Keefe, a North Kingstown resident and human development and family studies major. O’Keefe’s resume lists numerous long term and short term community service commitments including the coordination of the 2011 alternative spring break, AmeriCorps volunteer, and co-founder and president of URI’s S.A.V.E.S., students actively volunteering and engaging in service.

“A large part of service involves getting others motivated to serve along side you. Being committed to this undertaking can leave you feeling unsuccessful. When success is finally achieved, nothing makes me happier than knowing I have inspired another person to serve because I know the joy it has brought to my life,” said O’Keefe. “If students are interested, they are more likely to excel and leave a lasting impression. I am committed to the growth of individuals as well as building a sense of community.”

The A. Robert Rainville Student Employee Leadership Award went to Valerie Damon-Leduc who was recognized for her participation at URI’s Student Programming Office. Damon-Leduc, a senior English major, worked at the office for four semesters, first as an event management consultant and later at the information desk.

As a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, Damon-Leduc combines her sorority with her employment. Responsible for 20 Greek life chapters, as well as a number of other student organizations, she assists and advises in event planning ranging from philanthropy events to educational seminars.

Straying from the specified job requirements, Damon-Leduc developed and implemented various training programs to help future student employees.

“Over the past year, I have grown up a lot while working in this office. I have learned to apply my training to practical situations and take the theories I learn about working with groups into the real world and adjusted to what life is like in an office rather than a classroom,” said Damon-Leduc of Woonsocket. “More importantly, however, I have become a more confident person and learned to value my talents. These things have given me a stronger sense of self and of faith in my own abilities.”

URI’s Peer Advocates received the Team Excellence Award for their extensive training programs for members, educational outreach presentations and peer advocacy. The goal of the organization is to end sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dangerous drinking habits at URI and to provide support to victims. Peer Advocates not only deliver informational seminars, but also provide walk-in support and are involved in major on-campus events such as the Silent Witness March and Vagina Monologues.

Peer Advocates have attributed their experience to a greater sense of confidence and pride for being able to help other students and make a difference in their lives.

Peer Advocate members are:

Danielle Amaral, Ashland, Mass.

Amie Archambault, Portsmouth

Ashton Avila, Glendale, Calif.

Jenna Berube, Mapleville

Alexandria Bio, West Warwick

Kenneth Burns, Shelton, Conn.

Gina Caramadre, Cranston

Christopher Colby, Saunderstown

Heidi Dotson, Tewksbury, Mass.

Colleen Doyle, Mount Sinai, N.Y.

Ben Eaves, Fulwood, United Kingdom

Courtney Findlen, Acton, Mass.

Josue Garcia, Providence

Hali Garofalo, Johnston

Danielle Giacobbe, Medway, Mass.

Katrina Hines, Albany, N.Y.

Angela Kaloudis, Roslyn, N.Y.

Marci Lansing, Charlton, N.Y.

Anthony Malhoit, Waterford, Conn.

Linzi Rae Matta, Warwick

Adam Millard, East Greenwich

Stephen Peterson, Danvers, Mass.

Kristine Ramirez, North Providence

Kyle Regnault, Johnston

Morgan Reilly, East Greenwich

Nelli Ruotsalainen, Espoo, Finland

Zach Sullivan, Saunderstown

Kinsey Tarbell, Standish, Maine

Pictured above

URI President David M. Dooley poses with Lauren Creamer of Narragansett after she was awarded the A. Robert Rainville Student Leadership Award.

URI President David M. Dooley stands with North Kingstown resident Courtney O’Keefe who received the Robert L. Carothers Student leadership Award.

URI student Valerie Damon-Leduc of Woonsocket and recipient of the A. Robert Rainville Student Employee Leadership Award smiles with URI President David M. Dooley after the award ceremony.

URI’s Peer Advocates are all smiles after receiving the Team Excellent Award. URI photos by Michael Salerno.

This release was written by Alicia Blain, an intern in URI’s Department of Communications and Marketing and a public relations major.