Today we attempt to answer a question that has been gnawing at us for some time: Which came first, Ren Stoecklin or “The Ren and Stimpy” show?
“I think me,” Stoecklin says. “I’m the original.”
Stoecklin, a DePaul redshirt junior, graduated from St. Charles North in 2009. In high school, she participated in choir and was a standout for the North Stars on the soccer field.
The 5-foot-6 defender looked at Central Michigan, Washington University in St. Louis and Loyola before settling on DePaul.
“I liked the proximity to home,” she said when asked why she settled on DePaul. “I liked that I knew I would have my parents here at every game. Specifically, I liked the business school at DePaul.”
A scholarship offer played no role in her decision. She had to walk on to the soccer team and did not appear in any matches as a freshman or sophomore.
“It was definitely hard coming from being a standout in high school and coming into college and realizing everyone else was a standout in high school,” she says. “It also humbled me a lot, too, and made me learn that I have to work for things.”
Her hard work has paid off. Last season, the defender played in eight matches and started six, all against the Blue Demons’ Big East Conference foes. So far this season, she has started every contest, including all 96 minutes of an overtime victory at highly-regarded Dayton.
“I had to grind it out and I had to face adversity,” Stoecklin said. “I persevered through the adversity to be where I am now.”
Stoecklin says the Dayton contest showed the Blue Demons that “we can take any team on.”
She says her role is as “an organizer” for the squad.
“Playing as a center back, you kind of have a vantage point that most other players on the team don’t necessarily have,” she said.
Stoecklin says she helps provide direction to teammates both on and off the field.
“I can relate to the person who plays 90 minutes,” she said, “but I can also relate to the person who hasn’t stepped onto the field this season.”
That gift for organization carries over into Stoecklin’s academic career. She is a two-time member of the Big East All-Academic Team.
“Academics are very important to me,” she said. “It probably doesn’t help that my older sister graduated as valedictorian from DePaul.”
Paige Stoecklin graduated from DePaul in 2009 with the highest GPA of any communications major. Ren Stoecklin also has a younger sister, Darcy, who is a junior at North and was a member of the North Stars’ 2012 Class 3A state runner-up soccer team.
At DePaul, Stoecklin is majoring in marketing with a concentration in sales leadership and category management. Noting that 70 percent of marketing majors wind up in a sales position, Stoecklin says the program provides students with knowledge about “how to sell and how to network and how to market yourself.”
The category management part of the major “has a lot to do with consumer package goods,” she explains, such as why Neutrogena moisturizer is displayed at eye level at Walgreens.
Stoecklin says analyzing sales trends and making forecasts for specific times of year also is a part of category management.
“I would love to work for a manufacturer of some kind in branding,” she said.
When it came time to brand her pet, Westie, Stoecklin gave him the name of a character on the animated TV show, “Family Guy.” No, not Brian the talking dog, but Stewie, the evil infant genius.
Which brings us back to “Ren and Stimpy,” which first aired on Aug. 11, 1991, slightly after Stoecklin came into the world. Stoecklin doesn’t appear to mind sharing a name with a deranged, asthmatic chihuahua.
In fact, she uses it to her advantage to help people understand her name when they first meet.
“Hi, I’m Ren, like ‘Ren and Stimpy,’ ” she tells them.
• Dennis D. Jacobs writes a weekly On Campus column for the Kane County Chronicle. To submit information about area athletes competing in college, email him at email@example.com.