One could look up the definitions for incredible, hardworking, passionate, and monumental, but all
you would find is Maria Renken from the University of Northern Iowa. Maria Renken currently
serves as the National Residence Hall Honorary Panther Pride Chapter, Chapter Coordinator In-
Training. However, Maria has not only stepped into this role, she has flown into it, exceeding the
expectations on a daily basis. Without Maria’s guidance, support, and advice the Panther Pride
Chapter could not and would not be as successful as it is today.|
During the month of March, Maria has gone above and beyond her positional duties as the Chapter
Coordinator – In Training, or CC-IT. As the CC-IT, Maria’s expectations are to attend Regional
NRHH Representative Diamond Chats, meet with the current Chapter Coordinator on a regular
basis, and assist the current Chapter Coordinator with planning the Spring NRHH Induction
Ceremony and the annual Department of Residence recognition ceremony, Among the Stars. In
addition to fulfilling these duties, Maria Renken has positively impacted the Panther Pride Chapter
at the University of Northern Iowa through a variety of events. First, when the current NRHH
President was unable to fulfill their duties at the next Residence Hall Association meeting, Maria
volunteered to represent NRHH as the liaison with less than an hour notice. Maria selflessly
accepted more responsibilities and successfully represented NRHH at the RHA meeting.
Secondly, during the month of March, Maria has stepped up and done a tremendous job planning
and preparing for Among the Stars, the University of Northern Iowa’s annual recognition ceremony.
Maria created, organized, and implemented a new form of invitation to spread awareness for and
invite individuals to Among the Stars. In addition, Maria single-handedly organized the seating
chart of 160 individuals for Among the Stars, taking a large, difficult task off of the current Chapter
Coordinator’s plate. Next, Maria drafted an overview of Among the Stars, that was later sent out to
invitees, providing a brief explanation of Among the Stars, which was a new initiative that had
never been done before.
Thirdly, Maria has provided feedback and proposals to the Chapter Coordinator – In Training
position, as the position is new to the Panther Pride Chapter, and has worked with the current
Chapter Coordinator to improve and strengthen the CC-IT position. Maria’s advocacy for the CC-IT
position, will set the future Panther Pride Chapter CC-IT’s up for success. Lastly, Maria has
volunteered to help the current Chapter Coordinator by co-authoring a NACURH-Level Award Bid,
NRHH Building Block Chapter of the Year for the NACURH 2019 Annual Conference.
Outside of NRHH and the CC-IT position, Maria Renken is a heavily involved student at the
University of Northern Iowa. Maria currently serves as a Resident Assistant in Lawther Hall and as
the Northern Iowa Student Government Department of Residence Liaison, representing the
University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Residence at all Northern Iowa Student Government
meetings and programs. In addition, Maria has worked with other members of the Northern Iowa
Student Government, working on programs to promote awareness on mental health and fight the
stigma of mental health on the campus at the University of Northern Iowa.
Maria Renken has shown her dedication and passion to the National Residence Hall Honorary
Panther Pride Chapter through her role as Chapter Coordinator – In Training, working tirelessly and
selflessly to incorporate new initiatives and refining the CC-IT position, providing stepping stones
for the future success of our chapter. For these reasons and more, Maria Renken deserves to be
recognized as Executive Board Member of the Month for March 2019.
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