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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI honors student leaders with Rainville Awards

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 24, 2001 -- A community builder, an award-winning student-athlete, a summer conference coordinator, and the student staff of a recently renovated residence hall have been named recipients of the A. Robert Rainville Leadership Awards at the University of Rhode Island.

The awards are named in memory of A. Robert Rainville, who served as vice president for student affairs from 1980 to 1986. For the past 12 years, the Office of Student Involvement and Student Life at URI have honored students who are successful in various leadership roles while maintaining solid academic records.

This year’s recipients are:

The Rainville Student Leadership Award: Lawrence Perry of Cranston and Jennifer Wanat of Suffield, Conn.

Pointing to his many varied volunteer activities, Perry, who describes himself as a community builder, said "my time at the University of Rhode Island has been one of exploration and personal discovery."

In addition to working as a resident assistant in several residence halls and as a programming assistant in the URI Admissions Office, Perry served in leadership positions in numerous campus organizations. As general manager of the Student Organization Leadership Consultants, he led workshops, retreats and informational sessions for the leaders of other student groups, an experience he said taught him "about working with people in high-pressure, team-oriented situations."

Majoring in marketing, Perry also served as historian of the Student Alumni Association, as a mentor to freshmen on campus, on the board of the Student Entertainment Committee, and as treasurer of Bridges, a diverse organization aimed at creating harmony on campus.

Wanat said she has changed considerably while at URI. "I have found out so many things about myself and improved many of the skills I already possessed because of the activities I became involved in at URI."

She served as captain of the women’s track and field team and received academic all-star awards during all four years on the team. Wanat also was a freshman mentor, a campus goodwill ambassador and a research assistant in the microbiology department, as well as a resident assistant and an orientation leader for incoming students, among other activities.
"I learned that being an effective leader has much more to do with being a positive role model and much less to do with always knowing the right answer," she said.

The Rainville Student Employee Award: Senior political science major Matthew Buttrick, a resident of Newmarket, N.H., was recognized for his leadership as an employee in the URI Department of Housing and Residential Life. Buttrick worked as a resident assistant for three years and spent the last two summers organizing conferences on campus.

"Matt’s dedication to policing the residence hall has garnered him awards from his colleagues for his even-handed, consistent enforcement," noted Residence Hall Director Nick Ardinger. "He is often asked to assist in dealing with difficult situations by other RAs."

As conference coordinator, a job not typically held by an undergraduate student, he supervised 11 students and worked long hours to provide the necessary housing accommodations and related services to conference attendees.

The Rainville Team Leadership Award: The reopening of Barlow Hall following renovations last spring posed a challenge to the staff of resident assistants responsible for building a community among the hall’s mostly-freshmen residents. The building was constantly under the microscope as it was the first of a dozen residence halls to be renovated, and a statewide election to fund additional renovations was approaching. But despite the challenges – or perhaps because of them – the staff succeeded with enthusiasm and spirit.

"Every visiting group to campus wanted to tour this exciting example of good things to come at URI," said Chip Yensan, director of Housing and Residential Life. "And the staff stepped up to the additional duties with enthusiasm and dedication. Additionally, they offered quality programs and services to the residents of their residential community."

The winning team members are Nick Ardinger, hall director, and resident assistants Mark Amargo of Middletown; Julie Bixby of Millville, N.J.; Shaun Brothers of Providence; Sarah Buonaccorsi of Pawtucket; Matthew Buttrick of Newmarket, N.H.; Heather Curzio of East Greenwich; Glen Deslauriers of Woonsocket; Dorie Spitler of Enfield, Conn.; and Glen Whitfield of Cumberland.

For Information: Todd McLeish 874-7892

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