Mast Radio Producer
Maria Cruse is a Senior. She is a Women’s & Gender Studies major and a Music minor. She’s studying music and she’s a pretty good drummer if you haven’t heard her play before.
Maria is also hyper-involved on campus. She’s a First-Year Residential Assistant in Harstad Hall and one of two RAs that collaborate with faculty for programming for linked courses.
“My residents take a linked course having to do with the the theme of the hall, which is Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equity,” Cruse said.
Cruse also works with the Diversity Center as a Rieke Fellow where she helps facilitate iGroup, a pilot program that engages students in conversation about social systems, identities and ways students can enact change.
Cruse’s involvement and care for her community doesn’t stop there. She’s the recipient of the Women’s Center Kandel Oleksak Scholarship, and as a part of the scholarship she helps with event programming for the Women’s Center. Additionally, she serves on the Women’s Center Advisory Board. She worked a gender panel discussion that was a part of Gender Exploration Week and Love Your Body Day this year.
Even with all this on her plate, Cruse remains a humble scholar.
“I want to acknowledge, too, that there’s a lot of student voices that don’t get recognized as much and everyone can be newsworthy in their own way,” Cruse said.
Carrying a full load of classes, being an RA and being involved with the dCenter and Women’s Center is quite the undertaking. But, Maria is involved in one more area.
On Sundays, Cruse goes to University Congregation. In addition to participating in worship services as a reader and prayer leader, she serves as the Missions Coordinator, helping to connect members of the congregation with community engagement and service outside the campus community.
Recently, she traveled to Chicago and participated in a Lutheran Student Movement gathering. The event lasted four days and consisted of several workshops and forums on how social justice and faith interconnect and the struggles of the “micro-church” in the world of mega-churches, as well as service projects and exploring the city. ◼︎