Ashford CHAMPion Award
Student Community Standards and Student Development and Engagement want to recognize Ashford University students who uphold the values of integrity, fairness, respect, responsibility, and community. The Ashford CHAMPion Award will be presented to the student or students who best exhibit Ashford University’s high community standards. This quarter’s award goes to Renee Sus.
“Everybody needs a hand up every now and again."
Transitions. We don’t consider them much in our lives. Some transitions are major, such as a new job, or new baby. Some transitions are minor, like having to find a new route home because of construction, an unexpected meeting at work, or an unplanned trip to the doctor. For our CHAMPion, Renee Sus, helping people with transitions is at the core of who she is and why she helps.
Renee is used to helping people with probably the biggest transition a family can face: the death of a loved one. A native of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, Renee saw how difficult dealing with death could be. Her grandmother died when Renee’s mother was only 30 years old. She saw how her mother turned that grief into a desire to help others by joining the local hospice unit as a nurse to help terminal patients and their loved ones deal with this final transition in life. Over time, Renee’s mother created her own job as a bereavement counselor by helping those who lost loved ones understand how to deal with the grief and how to become stronger in the end.
Renee started volunteering with her mother and met many of the people her mother worked with at the unit. Over time, Renee learned the bereavement counselors expressed grace, dignity, and compassion to those who were grieving, and with those experiences, Renee found her purpose was in helping people.
“Everybody needs a hand up every now and again,” Renee said during her interview for the CHAMPion award. Originally wanting to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a bereavement counselor, Renee switched gears to use the skills she learned as a teenager to her everyday life. The double major in psychology and sociology decided to become one of the first CHAMPS mentors for new students. Renee said that people often do not understand the changes that occur to people when they go to college. The time pressures, sacrifices, and anxiety can torture even the strongest students. The whiplash effect that happened to her when she started Ashford helped her understand that new students need some extra help. By mentoring new students through the CHAMPS program, Renee exercises her talents and skills to their advantage.
Renee doesn’t think twice about helping others. Her mother, husband, and children have served as the foundation for who she is and what she has accomplished. For Renee, she comes from a family of CHAMPions. For Ashford, we’re lucky to have her.
Nominate the next Ashford CHAMPion! Do you know a student or alum who:
• acts in an uplifting manner toward the community?
• is encouraging to those around them?
• has acted courageously in light of difficult circumstances?
• consistently demonstrates responsible and ethical behavior at all times?
• has impressed you with their resilience and dedication?
If you know someone who exemplifies any of these points, please take a few minutes to fill out the nomination form below and return to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The award is open to all current and former Ashford University students. Anyone (family, friends, staff, faculty, students) can nominate a student for the award.
For any additional information or questions, please contact Student Community Standards at email@example.com or at 1.800.798.0584.