Reenie Menditto, director of student standards, advising, and services for the Honors School, was recently recognized by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) with an honorable mention for the 2019 Award for Administrative Excellence. The NCHC bestows this award upon individuals who “have dedicated decades of hard work and commitment to ensure the standard of honors education is carried on within their own respective programs.”
Menditto was nominated by Nancy Mezey, Ph.D., dean of the Honors School. In her letter to the committee, Mezey wrote, “Reenie is the heartbeat and core of the Honors School. She is responsible for advising all Honors students, coordinating the Honors Advisory Council, overseeing academic award processes and research conferences, and working closely with Admissions in recruiting prospective students.”
Mezey continued, “Reenie welcomed and advised me as I moved into my new position as dean of the Honors School. The transition into my current role would have been many times more challenging without Reenie’s skills, knowledge, efficiency, effectiveness, and overall collegiality.”
Many of Menditto’s former colleagues and students submitted testimonials that illustrated her character and contributed to her receiving this award. William Mitchell, Ph.D., emeritus faculty and founding director of the Honors program, wrote, “Reenie is an awesome supporter of Honors at all levels: administrative, recruitment, publicity, programmatic, and most especially compassionate student service. I consider Reenie one of the best assistants in my nearly 50 years as a faculty member, department chair, and dean: She is proactive, creative, and emotionally warm to students and everyone.”
Associate Professor of Political Science and former Honors School Dean Kevin Dooley, Ph.D., added, “Reenie is the definition of consistency. She never sacrifices quality, but understands that allowing students to feel cared for relieves stress and can generate higher achievement.”
Several students reinforced these sentiments with stories about how Menditto had helped them through difficult times and stressful situations. Former Honors student Susan Schuld ’18 ’19M explained that completing her Honors thesis as a double major with multiple obligations seemed impossible until Menditto eased her concerns and worked to find a solution.
“Though I believed there was no way around my situation, Reenie quickly proposed an alternate route of completion,” Schuld wrote in her testimonial. “One year later, I successfully presented my completed thesis project, won an award for one of the top Honors theses in my year, and proudly walked at commencement as a graduate of the Honors School. I owe Reenie everything I have become through the Honors School and I could not imagine my life without her.”
Current student and former Honors School Association President Mehdi Husaini added, “Reenie’s reputation for knowing each and every student by their name and personal story, along with her ‘students first’ attitude, are qualities that I never expected in an administrator at a university.”
In his testimonial, Husaini continued, “Reenie genuinely cares about students and goes above and beyond to help us all succeed in whatever we do. The Honors School, as well as Monmouth University in general, are lucky to have her.”
Menditto will receive her award at the NCHC annual conference held in New Orleans this November.