2011 Student Employee Award Recipient
Valerie Damon-Leduc – Valerie Damon-Leduc is an English major, with minors in leadership Studies and Communication Studies and a 3.65 GPA. She is a senior from Woonsocket, RI. Since January, 2010, Valerie has worked as an Event Management Consultant in the Student Programming Office. Her other involvements include being a Challenge Course Facilitator for 4 semesters, working as a Student Organization Leadership Consultant for 3 semesters, and holding a variety of leadership positions in her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, over the past 8 semesters. Valerie’s favorite part of her job is helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, and teaching them how to become stronger and more successful in the future. Both of Valerie’s references mention her extraordinary passion for her work, as well as her ability to relate to fellow students as both a peer and a teacher. She considers herself a transformational leader who works hard to inspire others with her vision and passion, and she strives to leave every place she works better than she found it.
2011 Student Leadership Award Recipient
Lauren Creamer –Lauren is a senior from Narragansett, RI majoring in Environmental
Science and Management/Biology carrying a 3.16 GPA. She has been an active member on campus involved in Club Sports and Intramural Council as president, Women’s Rugby as their vice president and president, a URI 101 Mentor and a resident assistant for four years. Her involvement in these co-curricular activities has changed her career path. She is now considering a master’s degree in college student personnel and following her heart into the field of higher education, what she explains as a “calling.” Based on her varied experiences and interest in advising and helping others out, she will do very well in her pursuit of life in the college world. One of her references states, “To be a successful RA one requires leadership, human relations, and organizational skills, self-confidence, a commitment to helping and supporting others, and at times a good dose of intestinal fortitude. To commit oneself to being an RA for one year is quite an accomplishment, to serve as an RA for four years – and to do so with such high energy enthusiasm, and success is truly remarkable.”
2011 Robert L. Carothers Servant Leadership Award Recipient
Courtney O’Keefe –“Miss O’Keefe is well on her way to changing the world and being the voice and advocate for those who are unable”. This quote, offered by a reference, serves as a testimony to her long-term commitment to creating real and sustainable positive change for some of the world’s most pressing social issues – poverty, literacy and homelessness. As a senior majoring in Human Development & Family Studies, an intern with both the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Habitat for Humanity, and as founder of URI S.A.V.E.S., Courtney has fully committed herself to using every waking moment of each day at URI to serve others – a task that anyone who knows her would simply say is about who she is, and not what she has chosen to do at URI. Her achievements, however, are truly remarkable. With a GPA of 3.68, Courtney has personally recorded more than 1300 hours of service with Jumpstart URI and Americorps. Most impressive, however, is Courtney’s legacy of empowering others through service. Whether it be through inspiring others to serve on Alternative Spring Break trips, working side by side with homeless youth in NYC, creating an outlet for service for all students at URI (S.A.V.E.S), or by voicing her heartfelt opinions about the issues of poverty and literacy to state legislators, Courtney has not only answered the call to service, but has also been successful in helping others to grow.
2011 Team Excellence Award Recipients
URI Violence Prevention Peer Advocates- The URI Peer Advocates are a group of specially trained students who create and perform interactive workshops and programs to educate and increase awareness in areas including: partner violence, stalking, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. The Peer Advocates operate out of the URI Women’s Center and are involved in many different aspects of the campus community. Most notably, the Peer Advocates are involved in New Student Orientation, URI 101, and an annual production of “The Vagina Monologues”, an event to help put a stop to violence towards women worldwide.
The Peer Advocates exemplify what it means to be a team. The support system that they have created for one another and the URI community as a whole speaks volumes to the dedication and passion of all of their members. The presence of such a group of individuals on campus is pivotal to achieving equal opportunity for all while giving those in need a confidential place to be heard.