The word exceptional can easily be applied to University of Miami senior Renee Reneau. A native of California who grew up in St. Augustine, Florida, she graduates this spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Studies and Political Science and a minor in Spanish.
An accomplished debater and strong communicator in both English and Spanish, Reneau is a compassionate soul who spent her free time helping the underserved and touching the lives of many at the U. Her dedication and hard work earned her the Miami Commitment Senior Excellence Award, given to outstanding seniors who have successfully balanced academic and work duties as well as demonstrated growth in their chosen field.
For the past three years, Reneau has served as a media relations intern in the office of University Communications. She wrote releases, penned stories about student life, and even covered an forum at which where Assistant Secretary of State Roberta S. Jacobson spoke in Spanish.
As a key member of the UM debate team, she recruited more women to the squad and trained local high school students as part of the Urban Debate League initiative.
“Renee has been a team leader, helping to grow the team and make a name for our program as we began competing in British Parliamentary debate,” said Professor David Steinberg, who coaches the team. “She is unselfish and team-focused, disciplined, and dedicated to excellence. She has been a terrific representative for UM debate.”
As an active member of UM’s Catholic Campus Ministry, Reneau also traveled to Haiti three times during her undergraduate career to help at a Missionaries of Charity compound, where she worked with malnourished children and helped deliver much-needed supplies to community members.
Reneau has decided to pursue a career as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State because she wants to “advocate for those voices that are not heard.” In the fall, she will start a two-year Master’s Degree Program in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.