RU Honors Alumni for Exemplary Service & Achievement
Chad Osborne
The RU Alumni Association honored three alumni at the Partners in Excellence banquet during Homecoming Weekend.

George Mendiola of Lorton, Mason Gates of Richmond and Carolyn Weber Merritt of Palatine, Illinois were all recognized for their outstanding achievements and support of RU.

Mendiola received the Young Alumnus Merit Award. Over the past four years, he has helped establish a student scholarship, has financially supported the construction of the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center, has been a dedicated member of the President’s Advisory Council and has assisted the Alumni Association with student recruitment projects.

Mendiola currently works as an operations project control manager for Science Application International Corporation in McLean.

While a student at RU, Mendiola served as Student Government Association president and was a member of numerous campus organizations. He received his undergraduate degree in 2000 and completed his master’s degree in 2002.

The Young Alumnus Merit Award is given to an alumnus under the age of 36 who has made significant career achievements and has been actively involved in RU programs or civic and volunteer activities.

Gates was honored with the Outstanding Service Award for his entrepreneurial savvy and dedication to helping RU students and graduates map career opportunities. Following graduation from RU in 1989, Gates founded a communications company through which he formed partnerships and gained clientele from such organizations as Sports Illustrated for Women, Time Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life Magazine, M&M Mars, MCI, AT&T, MasterCard and American Express. Within a few years, the company exceeded $3 million in revenues and employed 11 people. In 1997 it was sold to a publicly traded company.

Gates has since launched numerous award-winning and nationally recognized marketing programs and most recently founded InternDirect, a virtual internship service.

Gates continues to be a mentor to many RU students and is a member of the President’s Advisory Council.

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes a graduate who has made exceptional contributions to furthering the mission of the university and has demonstrated how an alumnus can continue to support Radford University.

Merritt received the Outstanding Alumnus Award for her lifelong work in the chemical industry. She retired from the private sector in 2001 and soon thereafter took on the role of chair of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, where she is responsible for assisting in the investigation of chemical-related explosions.

Recently the 1967 RU graduate served as the first Distinguished Scientist in Residence for the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award recognizes a graduate who has made remarkable contributions to society through his or her profession.

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