Senior Hailee Rennels was watching a movie from her couch when she got a phone call from her adviser congratulating her for winning the prestigious NASPA Rising Start Award.
“It was a moment of pure excitement. That was not a call that I was expecting to get,” Rennels said.
The award is presented annually to students actively involved in the division of student development in colleges and universities. One undergraduate student from each state receives the honor.
Rennels has been involved in student development activities since she first arrived on campus. She is the founding president of National Residence Hall Honorary, has worked as a resident assistant and desk assistant and has served, since her freshman year, as the president for the Student Alumni Association.
Through her work in the division of student development, Rennels has gotten to know people who have made a profound impact on her personal and professional life and hopes that she has been able to do the same for others.
“I’ve grown a lot through these organizations. I don’t think that the people I have worked with understand how much they’ve impacted my life. I have gained an appreciation for that over time and have realized that those small moments are what make an experience special,” Rennels said.
In November, Rennels attended a conference in Detroit where she officially accepted her award.
“For me to get chosen from this pool of 86 universities is something that I don’t take lightly. It is such a huge honor,” she said.