Lauren Renou, a junior Honors College student at Eastern Michigan University, was named the 2016 Mid-East Honors Association "Student of the Year."

Lauren was nominated by Dr. Rebecca Sipe, director of the Eastern Michigan University Honors College.

As director of The Honors College, Sipe indicated she has had the honor of working with Lauren for three years as she has completed requirements for University Honors and begun working toward completion of Departmental and Highest Honors.

"In every way, she embodies the highest principles of the Honors College by fully engaging in service, leadership, and academic growth," said Sipe in her nomination statement.

Lauren has served the Honors College in many ways. For three years she has worked as an Honors Student Fellow. In this capacity, she has assisted in developing and staging more than 40 major events from fall 2013 to winter 2016. Under her leadership, the Honors College created advocacy outreach with local Michigan Representative David Rutledge, bringing him to campus to shadow an Honors student in the fall of 2014 and bringing an Honors student to Lansing to shadow him in fall 2015. In addition, Lauren has helped develop the Honors Canned Food Drive that directly supported SOS, a local food pantry, and Swoop’s Pantry, a food resource for students who deal with food insecurity on a regular basis. Lauren’s dedication to others is an integral part of the fabric of her life, extending to volunteering at Growing Hope, Blanket Making with the Stoic Society to support foundations such as Ronald McDonald, Food Gatherers, and a myriad other local events and agencies. She has demonstrated leadership in many ways including serving as founder and president for The Way Campus Fellowship, an official student organization on campus.

From orientation of new students to the Presidential Scholarship Competition to packing and unpacking boxes in the recent move to the new Honors Center at EMU, Sipe says Lauren is the first to volunteer. Lauren, working with another fellow, created the Friday coffee sessions focused on drawing commuters and on-campus students together each week. "Coffee with Lauren and Lauren" has grown steadily in attendance over the past year and a half. 

Lauren has also earned numerous awards at Eastern Michigan University including the competitive Honors Study Abroad Award (fall 2014) and two consecutive Symposium Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) for (2014-2015 and 2015-2016).

John Feldkamp, associate director of the EMU Honors College, who has worked with Lauren developing her academic plan since her first semester says, “When I think of an Honors College student, I think of Lauren. She has pursued the endeavors and opportunities that we encourage all students to pursue and has been open to change while taking academic risks to make the most of her Honors experience. Her curiosity, motivation, and altruism are what make her an Honors student and why I am proud to identify her as someone worthy of this award.”

The "Student of the Year Award" was selected by the student representatives of the MEHA executive committee. Renou was presented with her award at the MEHA annual conference during the banquet at the 4th Floor Blues Club in Richmond, Indiana on April 2. She will receive $250.00 in recognition for the award.