November 07, 2013

Tena Bennett honored for distinguished service

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Tena M. Bennett, director of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Center, is the recipient of the highest honor given by the Association of College Unions International Region 9.

Bennett is the recipient of the Susan Yung Maul Distinguished Service Award, announced at the ACUI Region 7 and 9 annual conference in Cincinnati, Nov. 1-3.  The award recognizes someone from the region for significant contributions to the advancement of ACUI and its goals, for working hard, serving well in his or her position and displaying a positive attitude.  All staff and students from the organization’s member institutions are eligible. 

“I am truly grateful to receive the Susan Yung Maul Distinguished Service Award from our region within ACUI, especially as it is the last time it will be awarded due to a reorganization of the regions.  To have my colleagues and peers nominate me for such an honor is humbling.  I look forward to continuing to serve the new region, ACUI and SIU in the future,” Bennett said. 

Bennett’s affiliation with SIU began in 2006 when she was hired as coordinator of facilities and operations for Recreational Sports and Services.  The next year she became assistant director of facilities and operations at the Student Center and by late 2008 was associate director there.  She has been the director since January, overseeing the 374,900-square-foot facility that is home to numerous university offices, various restaurants and businesses and more than 9,000 events each year. 

Bennett, who previously held management positions at Washington State University, completed her master’s degree in physical education/sport management at Western Illinois University in Macomb in 2000.  She also holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation-corporate wellness and therapeutic recreation from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. 

She is involved in a variety of professional and community organizations including serving on the board of Keep Carbondale Beautiful and as an adviser for the SIU ProRec Club.