Photos by Autumn Walter |CIGAR|

The Rainville Leadership Awards is an annual award ceremony organized by the University of Rhode Island’s Division of Student Affairs. The 2018 awards ceremony will be held on April 10, at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom for the nominees and invited guests.

Named in memory of Robert Rainville, vice president of student affairs in the late 1980s, who was a friend and mentor to many students.

According to Maureen McDermont, the assistant director of student involvement, and organizer of the Rainville Awards, said the awards are “one of the most prestigious awards our undergraduates can receive.”

Coordinator for the Center of Student Leadership Development, Melissa Camba-Kelsay said, “nominations typically open early November and are open for a month. Students are notified of their nomination shortly after the nomination time closes. Nominees have about 2 months to complete the application if they wish.”

Students from different backgrounds and leadership roles are nominated into four categories: Student Leader, Servant Leader, Employee Excellence and Team Excellence.

The criteria examined for each of the three individual awards look at academics, including a minimum GPA requirement, and then organizations and employment the students are involved in.

According to the Rainville Awards’ website, what separates each category from one another are the requirements and criteria for each award.

The Student Leader Award honors students who “make a significant contribution to their group that moves the organization forward,” but  “does not hold a leadership position in a group.”

The Servant Leadership Award recognizes a student who “demonstrates a long-term commitment to make a positive and measurable impact related to a specific cause or social issue that affects URI, Rhode Island, and or the Global Community. While exemplifying ‘the 10 Characteristics of a Servant Leader in practice including: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of the people, and building community.”’

The Employee Excellence Award highlights the work of student employees who “make a significant contribution to work environment and moves group forward in goals and mission.”

“When it started in 1989 the only category was Student Leadership Award.  In 1996 we added two categories, Student Employee and Team Excellence,” McDermont said. “Then in 2010, after Dr. Carothers completed his term as University President, we added an additional award and named it in his honor, Dr. Robert L. Carothers Servant Leadership Award.”

Camba-Kelsay said, “There are different committees for each of the categories, each made up of undergraduate students, graduate students, staff and faculty. Committees typically review each application and narrow down to a small number of finalists. Finalists are then interviewed and the recipient is then selected.”

Jordan Cruz, a co-chair of the Selection Committee, says that the “Rainville Awards excels in celebrating student leaders. It acknowledges students work and leadership throughout the campus.”

Cruz recommends that students interested in leadership “become more of a leader on campus is to get involvement and take opportunities that are presented to them. Getting involved can be arrange of things from; a club/organization to an internship. Creating your own experience on campus begins with involvement, find what you’re passionate about and thriving in it.”