2016 Student Employee Award Recipients
Brendan O’Keefe – a senior Finance major from North Kingstown, RI, began his tenure as a Building Manager at the Memorial Union at the end of his freshman year. He describes the Building Manager’s responsibility as “providing oversight to nearly every operational aspect of the Union on a daily basis.”Brendan and the other members of his team are responsible for monitoring the traffic and activity in the building, enforcing building policies, assisting with event set-up, regulating programs and events, maintaining the A/V system, and trouble-shooting any issues that arise in the Union during hours of operation.During his junior year, Brendan was promoted to the position of Senior Building Manager, which includes increased responsibilities of building oversight, and training, scheduling, and supervision of other managers. Shortly after his promotion, Brendan and a fellow senior manager were asked to provide additional coverage in the temporary absence of a staff supervisor. Brendan welcomed this challenge as an opportunity to strengthen the leadership skills he had begun to develop, as well as to learn new strategies and approaches to the various aspects of his job. Brendan’s willingness to help and his contributions of professionalism and proactivity are the attributes mentioned by one of his references as his most notable contribution to his job and the university community.
Jennifer Scotti is a junior from Warwick, Rhode Island with a double-major in Political Science and Psychology and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. She has been a Resident Advisor at URI for the past four semesters, and loves to discuss how much she has learned and grown through the everyday interactions with students and the campus community that her job provides. Jennifer states, “…the sheer amount of leadership, communication, conflict resolution, team-building, time-management, and people skills I have attained through through my experience will likely stay with me and give perspective to my future career for the rest of my life.” In addition to fostering community, building relationships, and creating an environment that facilitates student growth and achievement, Jennifer is a member of the Student Senate, the Senate’s SOARC committee, a student representative on the President’s Council on the Status of Women, a member of Thrive URI, and the Psi Chi and Triota honor societies. This summer she will take advantage of an opportunity to participate in an environmental program in Ghana, before returning to URI in the fall to serve in the newly created position of Community Advisor for four residence halls, as well as continuing her term as president of HRL’s RA Board. Jennifer’s long-term goals include earning a graduate degree in Public Policy and eventually attending law school.
2016 Robert L. Carothers Servant Leadership
Kelsea Adams – as a double major and member of URI’s Honor’s Program with a 3.72 GPA, Kelsea lives out her own statement “I know what I am passionate about and I know what I want to do” in her everyday efforts to serve on campus, in the community, and in her student teaching assignment. With more than 8 years of experience as a Best Buddy and 4 years as a member and leader of URI’s Jumpstart team, Kelsea has provided direct service through the depth of her relationships and her time spent in helping others to grow as learners and leaders. Through her focused commitment in these projects and her efforts with the Civic Engagement Leaders, Kelsea has encouraged countless others to understand the exponential power that individuals have when they come together to serve a greater good. It is this dedication, according to one of her recommendations, that has made Kelsea so successful in cultivating a culture of service within the community. Kelsea’s dedication to inclusion, particularly her work to ensure people with disabilities are treated with equity and fully included, has led her to a graduate program in special education. As a result, Kelsea “exemplifies what it means to work tirelessly to benefit others” and will continue to do so in her chosen career.
2016 Student Leadership Award Recipient
David Cummings‘ involvement on campus reaches far and wide, all of it with one purpose: “to make the university a better place than when he found it four years ago.” This statement was made by one of his recommenders and is apparent in his varied experiences throughout his four years. He has strengthened his time-management skills through his involvement as Senior Captain of the Men’s Swim and Dive team, developed a passion for helping others through his facilitation with Student Organization Leadership Consultants, and cultivated a talent for advocacy and enhancing awareness of issues of inclusion within his communities as president of Bridges and a member of the Gay Straight Alliance. His dream job is to connect all of these skills with his major, Environmental Science and Management, by “connecting people and bridging the gap between the general public and hard core scientists.” David finds his inspiration in the stories and experiences of those who have come before him. His positivity and ability to connect with people is infectious and he believes that “to truly develop we need to push ourselves to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and give [ourselves] the opportunity for growth.”
2016 Team Excellence Award Recipients
URI Powerlifting Team – In the course of one year, the Powerlifting Team has been able to increase its membership from 12 to 55 students, place 10th in the Collegiate Nationals, and first in the New England Regionals. Aside from these accomplishments, the Powerlifting Team has offered students an opportunity to foster development, friendships, and self improvement physically, mentally, and interpersonally. The Powerlifting Team dedicates its time to not only physical wellness, but to community building. As trained Special Olympics facilitators, members of the Powerlifting Team devote their Saturday mornings to training and teaching aspiring powerlifters with mental, physical, and cognitive disabilities. This commitment to service makes this team more than an athletic group, it makes them servant leaders who encourage and support each other to work collaboratively, lead by example, and “be better”.