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Mandie Ellis Presented with John H. Chafee Award

From left, Vice President of Academic Affairs Ron Pitt, RIC President Nancy Carriuolo, Mandie Ellis, Professor Thomas Schmeling and Gov. Lincoln Chafee

From left, Vice President of Academic Affairs Ron Pitt, RIC President Nancy Carriuolo, Mandie Ellis, Professor Thomas Schmeling and Gov. Lincoln Chafee

On Nov. 1, Gov. Lincoln Chafee concluded his tour of RIC’s facilities with a brief ceremony held in Roberts Hall, where he presented Mandie Ellis, a senior at RIC and a member of the R.I. Navy Reserve, with the John H. Chafee Award.

The award recognizes an exemplary RIC undergraduate student who has demonstrated involvement and leadership in public and community service. The award was named after Chafee’s father, who was the 66th governor of Rhode Island, secretary of the Navy and a U.S. senator.

Nominated for this award by the RIC political science faculty, Mandie, 30, is a military veteran, vice president of the Student Veterans Organization at RIC and has her major in political science. She founded the organization Bike to Better and, with her sister Courtney, bicycled 3,500 miles to raise $3,500 for UNICEF. She has also mentored two teens.

"The political science faculty are extremely pleased to nominate Mandie Ellis for the Chafee award," said Thomas Schmeling, professor and chair of political science. "Mandie's academic work has been excellent, and her service as vice president of the RIC Student Veterans Organization and fundraising work for UNICEF exemplify the type of public service that the Chafee award is designed to recognize."

The honorary plaque was presented as Mandie’s family looked on. Her mother, Denise Ellis of Burrillville, literally beamed. Seated next to Denise was Mandie’s sister, Courtney ’10, and her uncle and aunt, Gilbert and Mary-Ann Pickering.