Morgenweck ‘A Rising Star’ at ϲ

Junior Mackenzie Morgenweck received the 2023 “Catch A Rising Star” award for her work in Residence Life and the Title IX Office

By Mel Thibeault
Mackenzie Morgenweck holds her NASPA award outside the Student Development building

BRISTOL, R.I. – Whether she’s working as a Head Resident Assistant in Cedar Hall or serving on the Student Title IX Task Force, junior Mackenzie Morgenweck is dedicated to ensuring other students have the best possible experience at Roger Williams University. 

Her hard work and dedication to student affairs at Roger Williams is being recognized beyond the Bristol campus. Morgenweck received the 2023 “Catch A Rising Star” award from the Rhode Island chapter of the . This award honors undergraduate students for their significant contributions to their university community, their potential in the student affairs profession and outstanding academic achievements.   

“I’m extremely grateful to have been considered for the award and that I have supervisors who were willing to put in the time to nominate me,” said Morgenweck, an Accounting and Management double major and Political Science and Data Analytics double minor from Rehoboth, Mass. “I am honored to be recognized for the work I put in every day. I’m very proud of everything that I’ve done here and that I am able to be a service to Roger in some way. I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me get here.” 

Among her many leadership roles at ϲ, Morgenweck serves as a member of both the Student Title IX Task Force and the ϲ Culture of Respect Leadership Team. In addition to her role as a Head Resident Assistant, she is also an office assistant for the Department of Residence Life and Housing. In between those commitments, she is a Presidential Student Ambassador and serves as president of ϲ’s chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, a national business fraternity. 

For Jen Stanley, Title IX Coordinator and Associate Dean at ϲ, nominating Morgenweck for this honor was an easy decision. 

“Mackenzie embodies the mission of the university. She’s making the most of her experience at Roger Williams and is also trying to make the experience better for other students,” she said. “I’ve been a member of NASPA for many years, and this honor that she received is quite significant. When we thought about students (to nominate), without a doubt Mackenzie was a shining star. I’m happy for her and excited to see what else she will do before she graduates and beyond.” 

Morgenweck has been part of the Student Title IX Task Force since her first semester at ϲ, where she explores issues related to campus climate and violence prevention and makes recommendations to develop university-wide education- and awareness-raising efforts, resources and support. As a first-year student she received the Title IX Violence Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness award for her commitment to raising awareness and helping make ϲ a safer place – an honor normally reserved for a junior or senior. 

“It’s exciting to be able to work with (the task force) and have constructive discussions about what we can do to make this campus better. This group really allows for student voices to be heard,” Morgenweck said, adding that she’s been fortunate to work with both Stanley and Hannah Ilagan, Compliance Officer/Title IX & Title VI Investigator. 

Also during her first year at ϲ, Morgenweck served as the council president for Maple Hall, collaborating with the community director and running programming and awareness initiatives for the residence hall community. From there she became a Resident Assistant in Cedar Hall her sophomore year and discovered a passion for engaging with first-year residents. This year, as a Head Resident Assistant, she helps facilitate and support the 14 student staff members in Cedar. 

By Fall 2023, she became Head Resident Assistant for this academic year, and is the youngest HRA, according to Assistant Director of Residence Life Erin Durigan. For her outstanding work during the 2022-23 school year, she received the Department of Residence Life and Housing Rookie RA of the Year award. In addition, Morgenweck has received the Class of 2025 Award for University Engagement in 2022. 

“Mackenzie is an exemplary student leader and has contributed greatly to the Roger Williams University community,” said Durigan in a letter nominating Morgenweck for the NASPA award.

From learning how to communicate and connect with people to thinking constructively and creatively, Morgenweck said her involvement in these leadership roles is helping prepare her for life beyond ϲ. “Going through the job hiring process, it’s been the most beneficial part. Employers ask you about the experiences you’ve had and how you handled situations. You don’t get that (experience) from the classroom alone.”