Month: April 2019


First Year Student of the Month

School: Northern Arizona University Region: IACURH
Nominee: Destenie Kurtz Nominator: Rachell Krell

On-Campus Population: 9500 Chapter Size: 95

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

Destenie Kurtz is the epitome of an outstanding first year student in both the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). Since the beginning of this year, she has worked tirelessly to make her mark on both organizations while also overcoming many obstacles that typically accompany the transition into college. This year, Destenie served as a prime example that somebody doesn’t need to hold a leadership position in order to step up as a true leader.

Immediately after beginning classes at Northern Arizona University (NAU), Destenie decided to join the Honors College Community Council, a decision that created a huge impact that will extend far past this academic year. It is easy to say without question that Destenie is the cornerstone of Community Council. She is the person members turn to when things need to get done with speed and precision, but most importantly, with heart. She took the lead on almost every event this year, spearheaded the Homecoming sign and float, and stepped up to write a bid for the RHA End of the Year Banquet. None of this was required of her, but she chose to volunteer for these roles due to her passion for Community Council and the impact it can have. In April, Destenie held a crucial role in the execution of Honors Appreciation Week. She submitted Purchase Orders, made appreciation posters for all 13 Resident Assistants in the building (which took at least 15 hours total), and worked to make 50 door decks for the Honors desk staff, maintenance staff, academic staff, and employees at the Writing Center. Just like every other event put on by Community Council this year, Honors Appreciation Week simply would not have gotten done without the hard work put in by Destenie.

However, unlike many Community Council members, Destenie’s involvement did not stop there. She was selected to attend the IACURH Regional Leadership Conference and was even chosen as the Outstanding Delegate at the end of the weekend. She co-presented a program which taught participants how to have more meaningful conversations in their daily lives. This year, Destenie also attended the Arizona Regional Leadership Conference (ARLC) and presented another program, this one talking about how leadership styles can play into the work done by RHA and NRHH.

Despite not holding an elected position in Community Council, Destenie decided at the beginning of second semester to attend every General Council Meeting to stay as involved as possible within RHA. Not only did she attend every single meeting this semester, but she also spoke up and contributed to every discussion, despite backlash from Community Council chairs and representatives who believed the space should only be for elected officers.

Destenie is also an upstanding member of the Dr. Neil Potter Chapter of NRHH. She was inducted in November, and though she has only been an active member for one semester, she has already made great strides in the improvement of the organization. She has risen as one of the most prominent members of the chapter and was nominated for both NRHH Member of the Year and Spring 2019 Standout despite her status as a freshman.

Due to her immense commitment to both RHA and NRHH, Destenie was awarded the Bronze Pin, which is the highest honor that an individual can receive on the campus level. Thankfully, her involvement in both organizations is just beginning. She was selected to serve as the RHA Advocacy Chair for the 2019-2020 school year, and there is no doubt that she’ll go on to spread awareness for many impactful initiatives on NAU's campus.

Word Count: 599

Date of entry into database: 2019-05-04 00:47:25

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