WIU President of the Year - Illinois Residence Hall Association


WIU President of the Year - Illinois Residence Hall Association
Western Illinois University
Ryan Zurek
President of The Year
University of St. Francis
IRHA 2016
The Legacy of
our Pirate Prez
About ye Salty Dog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The CapTain’s QuarTers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Davy Jones’s LoCker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Ascension of a Captain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Ocean-time Merriment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
A Call to Arms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-8
“Ryan is one of the most passionate and
dedicated for when it not only involves InterHall Council (IHC) but in anything that he puts
his mind to. Ryan is helping to expand InterHall Council with co-sponsoring, collaborating,
and building bonds with other Organizations on
Campus. As the year continues Ryan will not
just grow but flourish and gain not only
experience and leadership but also connections
and relationships with those within IHC and the
—Kelly Rodgers,
IHC Vice President
Who is this Pirate Prez?
As a sophomore, Ryan has beyond exceeded the expectations
of any ordinary college student. He has been successful in
numerous facets of his university life. His actions pale in
comparison to the
average student. When
the Professors talk about
how critical and
important it is to
maintain a certain image
not only in student life
but professional life as
well, Ryan rises to the
challenge of being a
“From the moment I met Ryan, I knew he was going to be a great leader
and by working with him last year I’m glad he didn’t prove me wrong. He
really shined as a leader and became someone I admired because of how he
conducted himself in every meeting.”
- D’Angelo Barrett, Resident Assistant
Academic & Awards
As an engineering major, Ryan has an intense workload and
continues to preserve his GPA within the Centennial Honors
College requisites which has an established range of 3.5 and above.
Ryan doesn't stop there though, he also offers help and assistance
to many of his fellow classmates. His in return inspires them to do
more as well. Ryan exemplifies time-management skills by balancing
his academics and extra-curricular activities with ease.
Ryan worked with Student Government
Association (SGA) to organize a group of
students to travel from Macomb to Springfield
to advocate to state legislators on behalf of the
student budget crisis. He was grouped with
other students from his home district. They
waited outside of the House of Senate to
request an audience with their representatives
to discuss the budget crisis.
“Ryan is always willing to lend a
hand to someone in need no
matter the time commitment.
Despite being involved in a lot on
campus, Ryan remains dedicated
to his classes and helps out his
classmates in need whenever
possible. Ryan is a committed
president and, despite his busy
schedule, he finds the time to
make sure that everyone around
his is happy.”
- Angelica Strack,
IHC Secretary
Ryan constantly helps around campus. Some of the things that Ryan
has helped with are helping in preparing programs with his fellow
students and resident assistants. Specific programs he’s given his
time to are Haunted Housing put on by resident assistants and
students across campus. He also participates in an alternative
spring break group called STLF (Students Today Leaders Forever).
This consists of people who volunteer over their spring break by
traveling to several states on a bus and provide service projects.
Ryan now is a part of the bus core where he now plans where they
go and the service projects they will do!
Another instance of Ryan’s selflessness is
when he participated in Dodgeball for
Diabetes. Even after his team was
eliminated from the tournament, he stayed
and helped with whatever he could.
“He’s always been phenomenal at motivating people and is flexible so that he
can facilitate the execution of his events and duties effectively. Ryan has a
wonderful voice of authority, but a passionate one that gets people motivated
and excited. All the work he does is full of vigor and selflessness. Ryan
exemplifies extraordinary leadership and inspires the best in people through
his duties as the IHC President by creating a welcoming atmosphere by going
up to individuals and getting to know them personally.”
- Victoria Werner, NRHH
Community Service Chair
Inter-Hall Council
The moment Ryan was elected IHC President for the 2015-2016
school year, he hit the ground running. Club Wetzel is a dance
program put on to welcome incoming freshman and all students to
Western Illinois University. During this time IHC advocates
themselves to put their name out there and get students involved in
what goes on within the residence halls from day one. All
throughout the summer, Ryan was in contact with his fellow
executive board members to make sure that this event was an
astounding success, and indeed it was since we have had an
increased attendance at IHC
general assembly meetings
from all the residence halls
since then. He has also had to
order more chairs for the
general assembly meetings
because of the increased
“Ryan has been a personal proponent of my involvement on
campus. Because of him, I have become much more active in
student life. I know I am not the only one Ryan has influenced to
become active on campus, either. I have the leadership positions
on campus today because of his role in my life here at WIU.”
- Joseph Reinhart,
IHC Treasurer
One of the most influential things that has positively impacted his leadership
skills was his adventure as a delegate to NACURH 2015. There he was able to
learn and bring back irreplaceable experience that assimilated into his
actions as a leader within the student body. Before the first week of classes
and regular move-in, Western Illinois University puts on a program called
Camp Leatherneck where freshman can build relationships and leadership
skills that can be applied throughout their time here at WIU. Ryan was one of
the camp leaders and continues to serve as their mentor. His leadership
involvement within WIU doesn’t stop there though, he is also a member of
NRHH (National Residence Hall Honorary) which is an honorary
organization that is comprised of the top 1% here at WIU. In the coming
years, we can expect nothing but the absolute best out of Ryan and look
forward to it and all the greatness he will both accomplish and inspire from
his actions. He attends the annual CUPP (Community-University Partnership
Program) meetings where they discuss important topics about University and
Macomb Community. He sits on the board
“Ryan is a great President for Inter-Hall Council! His youthfulness and
eagerness are a great benefit tot the organization. He always has many and new
ideas to get the name of Inter-Hall Council out to the students and staff on the
Western Illinois University campus.”
- Sergio Flores,
Resident Assistant Council– Campus Liaison
October 12, 2015
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter on behalf of Ryan Zurek in support of his nomination for the President of the Year Award. I am pleased to have
the opportunity to write this letter as a recommendation on his performance as a student leader who utilized many leadership opportunities and held a variety of roles last year within Inter-Hall Council at Western Illinois University.
Ryan served in the role of a Bayliss-Henninger representative to Inter-Hall Council from September to December of last year (2014-2015).
During this time Ryan served as the chair of the issues committee and worked hard to advocate for his fellow residents within IHC. As an
advisor of the group during this time, Ryan set himself apart right away as a first year student that wanted to work hard on behalf of his
peers. In January of 2015, Ryan became president of the Bayliss-Henninger complex and continued to serve in his committee chair role in
addition to working with his hall. Ryan was a NACURH delegate and was instrumental in working with the delegate team to represent
Western Illinois University to the best of his ability. Throughout all of these ventures, Ryan served the team with enthusiasm, integrity,
and a can-do attitude that was infectious to his peers. In March of 2015 Ryan ran for IHC president for the 2015-2016 academic year and
earned the position, mostly due to his peers recognizing his hard work and pivotal role in a variety of organization tasks. Although I did
not directly advise Ryan beyond May of 2015, I know that he continues to serve the residential community with the same enthusiasm and
maturity beyond his years.
Ryan’s passion, commitment, and leadership are an asset to the people he interacts with. He is able to work with a variety of individuals
and has contributed actively to the greater WIU community. Overall, I enthusiastically support Ryan Zurek for President of the Year.
Please feel free to contact me regarding Ryan’s qualifications at (309) 298-3328 or via email at [email protected]
Sarah Hart
Assistant Director of Residence Life
University Housing and Dining Services
Western Illinois University