Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Rhode Island Students Awarded Pell Medal for U.S. History

Newport, R.I.—Sixty-six Rhode Island students earned the Herbert and Claiborne Pell Medal for U.S. History this year.  The medal, administered now by the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, recognizes college and high school students in the state who have excelled in U.S. History.

The Pell Medal was originally presented by Senator Claiborne Pell and his wife, Mrs. Nuala Pell, for more than 50 years. After Mrs. Pell’s passing in April 2014, the Pell Center at Salve Regina University agreed to become the steward of the medal process.

Pell Medal U.S. History
Clay Pell (far left) presented the Herbert and Claiborne Pell Medal for U.S. History to Rebecca Giguere (first row, second from right) at the University of Rhode Island

“It has been a joy and an honor to recognize many of our most promising students across Rhode Island,” said Clay Pell who has personally presented several of the medals at events across the state.  “To me, this medal represents my grandparents’ reverence for the past as well as their confidence in future generations.”

Pell Center Executive Director Dr. Jim Ludes said, “While I chose a career in public policy, I prepared for that career by studying history. So I’m especially grateful that the Pell Center can help continue this beautiful tradition.”

Established by the Pell family, the Pell Medal is named for Representative Herbert C. Pell and his son, Senator Claiborne Pell.  Herbert Pell served as a member of Congress and American Minister to Portugal and Hungary, while Claiborne Pell, who is responsible for the creation of the Pell Grants and the National Endowment for the Humanities, served in the Senate for 36 years and worked to strengthen American foreign policy.

“I also want to recognize Ms. Jan Demers,” said Ludes.  “For years Jan helped Senator and Mrs. Pell administer the medal.  We at the Pell Center know we have big shoes to fill in our new role and we are grateful for the support and encouragement Jan has given us.”

The winners of the 2015 Herbert and Claiborne Pell Medal for excellence in the study of U.S. History are:



F. Nelson Blount, St. Andrew’s School

Madeline Schirber, Barrington High School



Sabrina Dasilva, Mount Hope High School

Andrew Carter, Roger Williams University


Central Falls

Leslie McBurney, Central Falls High School



Jared Flamand, Coventry High School



Jonathan Penta, Cranston High School East



Justin Wood, Cumberland High School


East Greenwich

Zachary Johnson, East Greenwich High School

Mary McKenney, Rocky Hill School


East Providence

Monica Barbosa, East Providence High School

Dante Diwan, Providence Country Day School



Samantha Mancone, Burriville High School



Tiana D’Acchioli, Johnston Senior High School



Rebecca Giguere, University of Rhode Island



Benjamin P. Chiacchia, Lincoln High School

Reymy Pena, William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School



Erin Keating, St. George’s School

Samantha Plezia, Middletown High School



Rayne Henley, The Ocean Tides School

Cole Metzger-Levitt, Middlebridge School

Eileen Sullivan, Narragansett High School



Mitchell Cardon, Paul W. Crowley East Bay Met School

Catherine Hermes, Rogers High School

Jessica Rose, Salve Regina University

Brandon Watson, Paul W. Crowley East Bay Met School


North Kingstown

Joseph Black, North Kingstown High School

Lydia Sgouros, North Kingstown High School



North Providence

Brendan Walker, North Providence High School


North Scituate

Christine Wagner, Ponaganset High School


North Smithfield

Diane Newberry, North Smithfield High School



Vanessa Dos Anjos, St. Raphael Academy

Nathan Gagnon, William E. Tolman High School

Judiana Moise, Blackstone Academy Charter School

Djita Sidibe, Charles E. Shea High School



David Brower, Portsmouth Abbey School

Chris Norton, Portsmouth High School



Estrella Argueta, Hope High School

Elizabeth Bitgood, Rhode Island College

Jasmin Cantera, Academy for Career Exploration

Johanny Castillo, Paul Cuffee Upper School

Hannah Duncan, Brown University

Lexus Fernandez, Mount Pleasant High School

Emma Funaki, Rhode Island School of Design

Kaly Heng, Central High School

Julianna Marandola, La Salle Academy

Henry Mayer, Classical High School

James Morin, Providence College

Julissa Sabater, School One

Rose Maso, Lincoln School



Robert Capron, Scituate High School



Kalah Caruso, Bryant University

Megan Long, Smithfield High School



John Albert, The Prout School

Rieley Auger, South Kingstown High School



Henry Cascella, Pilgrim High School

Riley Chabot, Bishop Hendricken High School

Hanah Ellis, Warwick Veterans Memorial High School

Hunter Heberg, Toll Gate High School

Tuon Mi, Community College of Rhode Island



Kyra McCormick, Westerly High School


West Greenwich

Brianna McFadden, Exeter-West Greenwich High School


West Warwick

Kristen DiSano, West Warwick High School


Wood River Junction

Lydia Crandall, Chariho Regional High School



T.J. Bergeron, Beacon Chart High School for the Arts

Adam Mercier, Mount Saint Charles Academy

Abigail Shobako, Woonsocket High School


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