Friday, October 14, 2011

RA of the Month Awards!

Each year, the Office of Residential Programs hires exemplary student leaders as Resident Assistants (RAs). RAs do so much for our students! As a past RA and SRA (senior resident assistant), I know from first-hand experience what a demanding yet rewarding job it really is. RAs are more than just policy enforcers; they are community builders, problem solvers, goal-setters, crisis managers, programmers, role models, organizers, motivators, and on top of all that, they are top-notch students too.

Each month we like to recognize four stellar students who have gone above and beyond in their role as an RA. We in the department call this the “Of The Month” Awards. We have four categories: RA, SRA, Program, and PRIDE moment. The first three are rather self explanatory, but “PRIDE moment” means the RA who has demonstrated (through resident interactions, programming, staff development, or through just being a good-natured human being!) one of the 5 Hofstra PRIDE principles. On this blog we want to announce each month who our winning staff members are! The envelope, please…..

(Ah-hem) and the September winners are: Mike Gueli from Alliance Hall for RA of the month, Nicole Burke from Netherlands for SRA of the month, Kate Davis from Hague House in the Netherlands for Program of the month, and Ben Gelb from Liberty Hall for PRIDE moment of the month. Congratulations!! Now a little about our contenders.

Mike Gueli: As a returning RA this semester, Mike has been a great mentor to the new RAs in his building. He is always willing to step up and help them learn the ropes. He was also very good at helping his programming team put together their all-staff program, acting as a positive role model in this situation. Mike has an overall positive attitude at staff meetings and is always one to bring the entire group up when they start to get frustrated or let their attitudes sour. In talking to Mike’s residents, it’s clear that they love him. They all talk about how often they get to hang out with him and that he’s always there to answer any questions they have. One resident commented, “Mike is a really awesome guy. He’s always around to help us out and hangs out with us all of the time.” Great job Mike!

Nicole Burke: Nicole as performed at a high level in her administrative tasks, mail coordination, Hall Council advisory role and staff support. Nicole never misses a beat! She is always quick to respond to concerns about mail and is patient in explaining processes to students. She took the lead in Hall Council at the start of the year, and got the group off to a great start. She is aware of group issues and works towards ways to address them in a way that still allows for student creativity and doesn’t hinder their motivation. Nicole goes to every Netherlands staff program! As SRA, it is not her responsibility to attend every program within the complex, but it is important to her that her fellow staff members know how much she cares about their success. Very thoughtful Nicole!

Kate Davis- Program Title: Falling Whistles: Kate chose a very “out of the box” approach to her passive program requirement. Usually programs will address typical issues such as sustainability, racism, LGBTQ issues etc. Falling Whistles is an organization that addresses the child soldiers in African countries who are abducted, brainwashed and forced to fight to their deaths for rebel armies. Her program included information, articles, suggestions for things we could do to help, methods for students to get involved in the cause etc. It was highly informative and it truly met the intentions of an educational program: spreading awareness among our student population about things they may not be familiar with. Wonderful idea Kate!

Ben Gelb- Diversity and Community: Ben has a unique hall because he has about half of his residents that are returners and the other half are new residents. Ben has been able to build community with all of them by offering a weekly watch on the whiteboard located in his hallway. Ben updates this every Sunday with a TV show that he thinks most of residents would enjoy. He includes all types of shows ranging from drama to comedy and from sitcom to documentaries. Ben then talks to his residents about these shows and asks for their input in helping him select his watch of the week. The upperclassmen have also taken a mentorship role with the first years by helping them through classes and adjusting to life at Hofstra. Keep up the good work Ben!

That's all for now! Check back next month to learn about our October winners.

_Becky Christiansen

Graduate Resident Director, GRH


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