Leading by example: a spotlight on Tim Lohrenz, article by Paul Quinn

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Photo courtesy of Tim Lohrenz.

Photo courtesy of Tim Lohrenz.

Rocky Mountain College’s Director of Outdoor Recreation, Intramurals, Student Activities and New Student Orientation, Tim Lohrenz, fills many roles centered around activities on the RMC campus and beyond.

Lohrenz is a graduate of RMC who met his wife, Cara, while they were both attending the college.

As an RMC instructor, Lohrenz has a reputation for leadership and innovation. This attitude also extends to his other pastimes, according to fellow members of the RMC staff.

“He trains leaders because he is a leader,” RMC’s office Manager Teresa Rowen said.

Lohrenz is an organizer of events and has duties for the students of both social and professional natures.

Rowen expressed respect for Lohrenz’s role in instructing all the RMC student leaders and easing them into their jobs.

As part of his training, Lohrenz takes them through a program called StrengthsQuest.

Lohrenz is also the mastermind behind the Drops in the Bucket Initiative, focused on acknowledging and remembering people’s hard work and filling one’s mind with positive thoughts about what others have done for them.

“He keeps trying to come up with new stuff to keep it interesting,” RMC’s library associate Beth Schatzke remarked about Lohrenz and his roles in extracurricular activities for the campus.

Lohrenz is the coordinator for the Rocky faculty staff-student softball game near the end of each school year as well as the dodgeball games at the end of each fall semester. He also arranges other student-oriented recreational events like slack-lining and archery tag.

On one memorable occasion, Lohrenz organized a game modeled after the “Harry Potter” sport of Quidditch on RMC’s Green.

“He’s got a lot of vision,” said Schatzke, who spent several years working with Lohrenz in Rocky’s defunct environmental club, the Green Group.

She stated, “We worked with each other straight out of the gate when I got here.”

Lohrenz was the club’s president and believed in leading by example. Every year, he would organize RMC’s Earth Day tree planting.

When Lohrenz left that position, it was so that his students had an opportunity to organize the tree-planting. According to Schatzke, he sees it as a form of empowerment for the students, a way to involve students in programs on campus, and the first step to helping them reach independence.

Long after the Green Group disbanded, Lohrenz’s department and the RMC library continued to collaborate on Earth Day events. Earth Day does not mark the full extent of Lohrenz’s efforts to help the environment, though, as he makes such efforts on a daily basis.

Preferring to stay independent of modern technology, Lohrenz does not own a cell phone. Rowen stated that she sometimes has to reach him by calling his wife, also describing both Mr. and Mrs. Lohrenz as “outdoorsy.” The environmental club had a conscientious and devoted leader in Tim Lohrenz during the time it was running.

Lohrenz manages to combine his love for the outdoors with his educational duties and leadership modeling at RMC. Lohrenz once had a hiking experience as part of the first-year experience for new students, but it was eventually phased out for other activities such as the Common Read.

Nonetheless, he continues to lead camping and hiking trips for interested students, typically over spring break, as part of mentoring them in outdoor skills.

Tim Lohrenz “keeps trying,” when encountering resistance to growth, states Schatzke. Lohrenz is also an avid reader of self-improvement novels and biographies, often introducing professional development and leadership books at the RMC staff faculty book discussions by authors such as Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, and Simon Sinek.

Heavily involved with everything that comes his way and working more for the benefit of others than himself, Tim Lohrenz is described by colleagues as a natural leader, but one who works to show his students responsibilities so that they can excel in life.

 

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