Please see the many ways in which Housing and Residence Life staff make a difference on campus. Awards, accolades, and involvement are listed below:
Congratulations to Demarcus Merritt!
UNCG announced Demarcus Merritt as a faculty/staff “Social Media Stars” for 2019 on UNCG’s #SocialMediaDay! Demarcus consistently helps to tell the Housing and Residence Life’s story!
Demarcus Merritt has been the the Assistant Director for Residence Life with Housing and Residence Life at UNC Greensboro since January of 2017. He earned his Master of Science in Sport Management and his Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education, & Recreation with a Minor in Sport Marketing; both from Virginia State University.
Merritt has accumulated nearly 10 years of service in the Student Affairs career field; particularly the residence life and housing realm. He has served with intentionality and purpose at six various types of higher education institutions; ranging from public to private, small to large, Historically Black Colleague & Universities, and Predominately White Institutions.
A few of the Emporia, Virginia native’s professional passions include advocacy and inclusivity, brave space dialogue and action planning, multiculturalism education, professional to personal development, mental health and masculinity, and student development. Additionally, he has been known to invest time as a professional presenter and empowerment speaker throughout the nation.
Congratulations to HRL’s Executive Director, Tim Johnson!
Housing and Residence Life Executive Director Tim Johnson was named a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Association of College and University Housing Officers – International Foundation Parthenon Award at last weekend’s ACUHO-I Conference & Expo in Toronto, Canada.
The Parthenon Award recognizes supreme achievement in the profession, outstanding service, leadership, and contributions to the field of campus housing. To be considered for the award, members must have contributed 10 years of service to the housing, residential life, or affiliated professions as well as five years of service at the regional or international level of ACUHO-I.
Johnson joined the UNCG Housing and Residence Life staff in 2011. He has spent more than 25 years in service to students throughout the country, including those at the University of Wisconsin – Steven Point, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Temple University and Rutgers University – Newark. He is also the founding partner of Reslife.net, which now serves over 200 universities around the world, including the U.S., Australia, South Africa, and Singapore.
Throughout his career, Johnson has been active in professional service to the field of housing and residence life and has served as President of the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers (MACUHO) and on the Executive Board for the ACUHO-I Conference. Johnson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Dayton and a juris doctorate from the Rutgers University School of Law at Newark. He has also performed in over 30 musical theater productions.
Courtesy of Campus Weekly Staff
Student Affairs Staff Excellence & Service Awards
On May 15, all Student Affairs staff gathered for a family luncheon and awards were distributed to deserving staff members. Congratulations to HRL Staff who took home awards!
Staff Excellence Awards
- Ashley Owens – Rookie of the Year Award
- Christine Woods – Community IMPACT Award (first time award given)
- Shelley Wald – Excellence in Assessment Award (first time award given)
- Demarcus Merritt – Diversity & Inclusion Award (first time award given)
- Venoria “Nora” Douglas – Legacy of Excellence Award
- Konnie Hauser – 10 years
- Elizabeth Walker – 10 years
- Phillip Garrison – 10 years
- Chris Gregory – 15 years
- Theretha Ward – 15 years
- Melissa Minyard – 30 years
- Venoria Douglas – 30 years
Christal Southern, Assistant Coordinator for Residence Life in Jefferson Suites, was recognized as a Rising Star at UNCG and within the SEAHO region by the SEAHO Graduate Issues and Involvement Committee.The Graduate Assistant Rising Star Award was established by the Recognition and Partnerships Subcommittee of the SEAHO Graduate Issues and Involvement Committee. The Graduate Assistant Rising Star Award is awarded to an outstanding graduate student who has demonstrated dedicated service to their department and home institution while excelling academically, professionally and remaining committed to the students they serve.
Christal’s nominator stated, “Firstly, in the month of October, Christal was recognized with the “Plate of Recognition” in our Residence Life meeting for her tremendous work managing a facilities crisis in the building we oversee during Hurricane Matthew while I (CRL of the building) was out of town. She led with composure, courage, and vision. Her leadership during this time inspired four out of my nine RAs to nominate her for the October “Of The Month” Award through NRHH. Some words used to describe her in the nominations were: supportive, loving, caring, focused, professional, and calm. I know that Christal is a Rising Star in this profession, and it is my privilege to nominate her.”
First G at the G Events, Nov. 5-8, 2018
Are you a First Generation college student? (Neither parent/guardian graduated from a 4-year institution?) Want an easy way to get to know other First Gs on campus? Want to become familiar with the support services that are here to help you throughout your college career?
The First G Events from Nov. 5-8, 2018, are for YOU! Refreshments will be available at every event! Raffles will be held at the First G Mix & Mingle and Celebration on 11/7 and 11/8! Hear a special message from the Provost at the Celebration, while you have a great time with other students who have a situation similar to yours.
First G Event Details:
- Mon., 11/5 – First G Stop & Chat: How TRiO Works, EUC Commons, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Tues., 11/6 – First G Dialogue, EUC 062 Office of Intercultural Engagement, 5:30-7 p.m.
- Wed., 11/7 – First G Mix & Mingle, Quad Lawn, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
(Rain Location: Tillman-Smart Room)
- Thurs., 11/8 – First G Celebration, EUC Kirkand Room, 3:30-5 p.m.
RSVP for the Celebration >
Congratulations to Ian Aitken!
Ian Aitken, who oversees special projects for HRL, won the R. Randy Rice Service Award at the recent North Carolina Housing Officers (NCHO) annual conference in Charlotte.
R. Randy Rice Service Awards are given to those deserving staff at individual institutions that have gone beyond the call of duty and/or service to support the mission, goals, and/or activities of the Residence Life and/or Housing program. Any member of the campus community; housekeeping staff, maintenance staff, food service staff, secretarial staff, and faculty member are eligible for this award.
Shown below are other members of the UNCG HRL delegation who participated at the Annual Conference.
Silver Seymour Award Winner!
Studio 91 won state level recognition for “Of the Month” from the North Carolina Association of Residence Halls (NCARH) – The Silver Seymour Award! Recognition is a core value of NCARH’s mission. Silver Seymours are NCARH’s monthly form of recognition for excellence among NCARH-affiliated institutions and members.
The arts-based living community, “Studio 91” is housed in Cone Residence Hall. It is conveniently located near the Music Building and offers a new wing of practice rooms for music and theater, a music composition computer lab, a drawing lounge, and a small dance practice room with a sprung floor and mirrors.
Congratulations, Contest Winners!
Rachel Castevens, a Resident Advisor in Cone, won 3rd place in the RoomPact Door Dec contest.
Rachel also received an honorable mention for the 2018 Caldwell & Gregory RA “Laundry-themed” Bulletin Board Contest, as did Jennifer Hurlbut. This year, there were multiple entries from 56 Colleges and Universities.
Congratulations to our creative Spartans!
HRL steps up for Guilford County Heart & Stroke Walk 2018
A growing crowd gathered on the UNCG Kaplan commons on a slightly rainy Saturday morning for the annual Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk on May 19th. This non-competitive 5K (3.1 miles) walk brought together survivors, community members, and four-legged friends in support of heart health.
Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. partnered with the American Heart Association to become chairman of the walk this year supporting his vision of UNCG taking “Giant Steps.” UNCG exceeded its goal of 125 walkers with support from the Housing and Residence Life team.
Erica Estep, Senior Assistant Director for Residence Life and Academic Enhancement, served as the HRL Team Captain. She motivated and recruited walkers and donors, while raising awareness of heart and stroke issues. With support from top fundraiser, Tim Johnson, Director of HRL, and a heart survivor, HRL exceeded its’ $1,000 fundraising goal!
Special thanks to all HRL staff members, alumni, family, and friends who donated time and money for such a great cause. To date the event raised more than $321,949.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, and stroke is a leading cause of permanent disability. – #HRLhasHeart
Clency and Dodson Receive Division Honors
At the Division of Student Affairs final all-staff meeting, Housing and Residence Life professionals received two of seven awards presented for their dedicated commitment and service in the department.
Charles Clency, Associate Director of Residence Life, was awarded with the Team Player Award. The Team Player Award is given to a Student Affairs employee who “treats other team members with respect. They consider the ideas and opinions of others, share information, are willing accept to responsibility and work beyond their office and/or department. They utilize strong interpersonal skills, work towards maintaining harmonious relationships while enhancing team productivity and broader university collaboration.”
According to those who nominated Charles, “Charles Clency is someone who works well with his entire department, not just those in his functional area. He has developed a family atmosphere among his team by treating everyone as people first and employees second. He is actively involved in committees and activities across campus and encourages and supports his staff to do the same while also building positive and collaborative relationships with colleagues across the Division and campus.”
Dr. Will Dodson, Residential College Coordinator, was awarded the Unsung Hero Award. The Unsung Hero Award is given to “an individual who works quietly behind the scenes for the good of Student Affairs and UNCG and, while not being publicly celebrated, demonstrates leadership through dedication and service.”
According to those who nominated Dr. Will Dodson, he has “gone above and beyond for the benefit of the students and staff he works with. As a residential College Coordinator, he builds a sense of community in his residence halls that encourages inclusion of all students and involvement of his hall councils. He strives to make his communities feel like home and pays attention to details like knowing the names of all of his residents.”
A full summary of all award recipients and excerpts from their nominations can be found here: https://sa.uncg.edu/2018-awards/
What’s in a Name? One Residence Hall Explores the Story of Its Namesake
What’s in a name? Most of give little thought to the names of the buildings in which we work, attend class, and attend programs every day. Behind each and every building name, however, is a person and a story. Some like McIver, Foust, and Sullivan are named after former chancellors. Others are named after prominent faculty, such as Coleman and the Elliott University Center. Still others like Shaw Residence Hall (named after women’s suffragist leader Anna Howard Shaw) tell the story of trailblazers in the history of the institution and the country.
Recently, one residence hall delved into its own history and found a fascinating story. Reynolds Residence Hall, opened in 1963, is named in honor of Katharine Smith Reynolds (November 17, 1880 – May 23, 1924), the wife of tobacco industrialist R.J. Reynolds and a student at the State Normal and Industrial College (now UNC Greensboro) from 1897 to 1900.
Katharine was born in 1880 in Mount Airy, about 30 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her father, a prosperous farmer and businessman, educated his daughters as well as his sons. Katharine spent three years at the State Normal and Industrial College, where she learned the radical notion that educated women could change the world.
A capable business woman, Katherine used her influence as the wife of the wealthiest man in North Carolina to influence civic and social change. She pressed her husband for better working conditions for his employees. Under her influence, he provided hot lunches and water fountains in his factories and built a nursery where working mothers could leave their children. Throughout her life, Katharine was committed to living a life of purpose.
Katharine spent much of her adult life at the famed Reynolda House in Winston-Salem. The site remains a historical landmark (more information can be found on the Reynolda House Website). Katharine gave birth to four children: Dick, Mary, Nancy, and Smith.
On April 24, the residence life staff and hall council in Reynolds Hall hosted a program called the “Reynolds Family Reunion.” The program was intended as both an end-of-year celebration for current residents and an opportunity for former residents and staff to return to the building that was once their home. In addition, the community welcomed a special guest – Noah Reynolds, one the great-grandchildren of Katharine and R.J. In addition to being a family historian, Noah is also an adjunct faculty member and the Coleman Entrepreneur in Residence in the Bryan School of Business.
During the event, Noah shared with students a little bit about his family’s history and also presented the hall with two books generously donated by the Reynolda House – Katharine and R.J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South (Michele Gillespie) and Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories (an anthology of the artwork at Reynolda House).
As the year-long celebration of UNCG’s 125th Anniversary draws to a close, let us remember that we cannot have “history” without “story,” and that UNCG is full of fascinating stories just waiting to be told.
(L to R) Coordinator for Residence Life Ryan Collins, Reynolds Hall Council President Jasmine Gwyn, and Noah Reynolds standing with portrait of Katharine Smith Reynolds (Noah’s great-grandmother) after whom Reynolds Hall is named. The portrait hangs in the Reynolds parlor.
Books donated to Reynolds Hall by the Reynolda Home Museum
The “Can I Kick It?” Kickball Challenge
On April 16, 2018, members of HRL and officers from the UNCG Police Department (PD) challenged the RecWell intramural kickball champions to a friendly kickball game. Participants brought canned goods and non-perishable items to donate to the Spartan Open Pantry. The HRL-PD team was no match for the student team, who took home the victory in this inaugural showdown. We hope that this is just one of many opportunities for students and staff to come together in the name of fun and getting to know one another.
Williams and Merritt Named Greensboro Volunteers of the Month
Since Spring 2013, HRL has committed annually to the “Flowers, Food, & Fun (FFF)” outreach program in the Glenwood neighborhood. In an effort to expand community outreach with the City of Greensboro and the Glenwood neighborhood, HRL’s Christine Williams, Coordinator for Residence Life, and Demarcus Merritt, Assistant Director for Residence Life, have partnered with the Glenwood Rec Center (GRC). Together, they planned four additional events since April of 2017. The most recent event was GRC’s Candy Land Egg Hunt that amassed more than 400 community youth and family participants. Williams assisted with volunteer coordination while Merritt hopped around the event in a bunny costume, dispensing sweet treats.
For their outstanding volunteer service to enhance and improve the City of Greensboro’s parks, programs, and facilities, Williams and Merritt received the Volunteers of the Month for April 2018 from Alex Zaleski, Volunteer Coordinator with the City of Greensboro’s Parks & Recreation Department. They were nominated by Darryl Williams (GRC Facility Coordinator) and officially honored with their recognition at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.
UNCG Housing and Residence Life Earns Two Awards at the Annual SEAHO Conference
Biloxi, Miss. (seaho.org) – Representatives of The University of North Carolina Greensboro earned two regional awards at the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers 2018 Conference held this week in Biloxi, Mississippi. The awards were given to members of UNCG’s Office of Housing and Residence Life.
Demarcus Merrit received the “Peace” Award.
The PEACE Award (Providing Educational Advocacy for Cultural Excellence) is presented to a member to honor and recognize outstanding contributions and service to the SEAHO region through advancement of diversity and multiculturalism. Such advancement can be attributed to advocacy, leadership, mentorship, educational initiatives, and programming. The recipient must have been a member of a SEAHO institution for at least one full academic year and will have demonstrated exceptional service in the areas of diversity and multiculturalism on their home campus and/or to SEAHO. (Pictured: Ashley Gaddy, Chair of SEAHO’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and Demarcus Merritt, Assistant Director for Residence Life, Award recipient and Co-Coordinator of Scholarship and Research for SEAHO’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
UNCG’s Faculty-in-Residence program received the “Academic Collaboration Award”.
This award is presented to a housing department that currently has programs in place where academic affairs are intentionally involved in on-campus residential communities. The Academic Collaboration Award will recognize a program and/or community that involves collaboration between Housing and Academic Affairs. Nomination must include:
- an outline of academic initiatives and/or ongoing programming
- a description of the stated learning outcomes
- assessment results of the academic initiative (i.e., statistics on academic improvement of residents and retention rates within the residential community and/or the institution)
Courtesy of Division of Student Affairs staff
Presidential Symposium on Racial Justice in Higher Education
On January 22, HRL’s Social Justice Diversity Initiative (SJDI) Committee co-hosted a live-stream webinar entitled The Presidential Symposium on Racial Justice in Higher Education. The webinar was sponsored by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, the College Student Educators International (ACPA), and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).
In attendance alongside SJDI members, were participants from the Office of Intercultural Engagement, the Higher Education Student Association, and the Higher Education and School of Education.
The webinar featured a panel of renowned speakers:
- Dr. Stephen John Quaye (Miami University / ACPA President)
- Dr. Lori Patton Davis (Indiana University / ASHE President)
- Dr. Shaun R. Harper (University of Southern California / ASHE Past President)
These scholars presented a four-hour session that included educational and reflective activities and a discussion centered around the following concepts:
- Taking Stock and Making Sense of Racist Incidents on Campuses
- Self-Care in Periods of Racial Stress and Recovery from Racial Battles
- The Collective Impact of Racial Justice
- Coalition-Building for Racial Justice
During the event, HRL staff monitored tweets, questions and impressions shared to #UNCGRacialJustice. They were pleased with the results: a total of 73 tweets, 103 likes, and 37 retweets were generated.
SJDI is exploring the idea of a follow-up event to continue the conversation about racial justice as it applies to the UNCG campus.
Hear from the Participants
Graduate Student Chris Gremillion, an Assistant Coordinator for Residence Life with HRL, said, “It allowed me to engage with many people who could be future employers or on search committees…and that’s important.” Chris added, “It was a great way to engage with grads, pros, and faculty from NC to California; particularly through the live-tweeting.”
HRL’s Erica Estep, Senior Assistant Director for Residence Life & Academic Enhancement, was also one of the 26 symposium attendees. After connecting with various campus colleagues at the event, Erica commented, “This was a powerful model of collaboration between Students Affairs (SA) and Academic Affairs (AA); particularly SA practice and SA graduate degree preparatory programs as it reiterated the necessity to create bolder learning spaces for us to engage around the topic of racial justice…and the role we play in dismantling racism in Higher Education.”
Jessica Webb Named HRL’s Quad CRL
Jessica Webb recently joined Housing and Residence Life as the Coordinator for Residence Life of the Quad residential community. Jessica joined HRL from the University of North Georgia; where she served in a dual role as a Resident Director and Marketing Director. Jessica received a Masters of Education in College Student Affairs Administration in April 2016. She brings a wealth of experience including conference services and operations with the University of Miami as an Association of College and University Housing Officer – International’s (ACUHO-I) Intern.
Dr. Rachel Boit Receives the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement (ICEE) Award
Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Boit, who was selected as one of four 2018 ICEE Faculty Fellows! Boit will serve as the faculty-in-residence for the Global Learning community in Union Hall at Spartan Village beginning Spring 2018. For more information about this prestigious award, please visit this page.
Flapjacks and Friendship in the Glenwood Community
The morning of November 18, 2017, UNCG’s Housing and Residence Life (HRL) student and professional staff members joined forces with other enthusiastic volunteers at Glenwood United Methodist Church for the Glenwood Pancake Breakfast.
The griddles were greased, flapjacks were flipped, and beverages were poured in time for the arrival of 75 Glenwood community members. Volunteers warmly greeted them, and after serving up traditional flapjacks, the cooks turned up their creativity with Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes and pancakes that spelled out UNCG and GIA (which represents the neighborhood’s theme — Glenwood Is Awesome).
Phyllis Hajnos, one of the community members serving on the planning committee, shared her thanks and sentiments to the group immediately after the event. Hajnos said, “I just want to thank everyone for your time today. This was really a great way to bring this event back to the community!”
Volunteers hope to build on the success of this event as they prepare for the next Glenwood Pancake Breakfast, scheduled for Saturday, December 16, 2017.
Special thanks to the following UNCG HRL professional staff and Resident Advisors for their volunteer service:
- Sara Simms, Coordinator for Residence Life
- Daniel Wiggins, Coordinator for Residence Life
- Abigail Kilma, Resident Advisor
- Dillion Clayton, Resident Advisor
- Jordan Lopez, Resident Advisor
- Alisha Woodside, Resident Advisor
- Joeyy Dove, Resident Advisor
- Savannah Duncan, Resident Advisor
- Shiann Cook, Resident Advisor
- Andy McGeagh, Senior Resident Advisor
Building Neighborhood Bridges with Community Partnerships
Christine E. Williams, Coordinator for Residence Life in Haywood, Highland, and Lofts on Lee residential communities, witnessed the positive impact the UNCG community had in the neighboring Glenwood community at the annual Flowers, Food, Fun service event. Williams decided to find more ways for UNCG to get involved.
Toward that end, she combined efforts with Melvin Melton, Facilities Coordinator for Parks and Recreation with the City of Greensboro. Together, they decided that the annual “Monster Mash” event, hosted by the Glenwood Recreation Center (GRC), provided a perfect opportunity for collaboration. The new GRC Supervisor, Darryl Williams, and the Greensboro Library’s Youth Specialist, Cynthia Dye, joined the pair in planning the event. In addition, they decided to combine efforts for the library’s longstanding “Zombie Walk” Halloween event.
On October 29, 2017, nearly 200 community youth, family members, and supporters enjoyed the highly anticipated Monster Mash event. Attendees navigated through “haunted” stations in five different classrooms of the GRC. Staff from the City of Greensboro and UNCG’s Housing and Residence Life (HRL) greeted guests with smiles and treats. Children had their faces painted, watched movies, listened to story-telling, and joined in the popular “cake walk” game. Soon after, UNCG Law Enforcement conducted an impressive K-9 presentation for the participants.
The day after Monster Mash, fifteen neighboring youth piled into the Greensboro Library to be transformed into zombies. Their faces were painted and they were dressed in appropriate “Walking Dead” attire. UNCG HRL staff safely escorted the young zombies from the library to GRC, where they enjoyed slices of pizza, drinks, and desserts.
Both events planted the seeds of a strong, burgeoning relationship between the UNCG campus and the neighboring community, particularly with its aspiring youth. Williams added, “The success of the 2017 Monster Mash was definitely an indicator that UNCG is also a part of the Glenwood community and that our presence is needed and valued!”
The Monster Mash and Zombie Walk
Kathryn Byrd, Resident Advisor and Bryan School of Business and Economics major, said of the event:
“Monster Mash was a wonderful event. It was an amazing experience that showed me how just a few hours of my day could mean so much to a child. I got to paint faces and absolutely loved seeing the expressions on the children’s faces after I had turned them into a kitty cat, skeleton, or vampire.”
UNCG graduate student and Assistant Coordinator for Residence Life, Kirby Jones, who was instrumental in all aspects of the event stated:
“Several of the parents verbally expressed their gratitude for creating a space for their children to enjoy themselves. The privilege of serving this community through this year’s Monster Mash benefited me just as much as it did the families we served.”
Glenwood Neighborhood Trick-or-Treating
This Halloween, UNCG got to be a part of the local trick-or-treating scene. UNCG’s Staff Senate sponsored a “house” as part of the Glenwood Neighborhood Trick-or-Treating route, handing out candy that was donated by faculty and staff. Approximately 25 children and parents stopped by the table, which was set up next to Lexington Hall and managed by student volunteers living in Spartan Village. The kids were happy to stop by our table and show off their Halloween spirit!
RA Drive-In Conference
On Saturday, October 14, 12 Resident Advisors and 3 professional staff members traveled to Louisburg College in Louisburg, NC, for the RA drive-in conference. This year’s theme was “Legacy.” Our delegation played on this theme and dressed like Lego people and representing “Building Our LEGO-CY.”
Student staff joined more than 100 other RAs from across the state. The RAs attended three educational sessions, a keynote speaker and a social where they met other RAs and swapped items to get some swag from other schools.
Before leaving, the RAs hosted two philanthropy events to support the United Way of Franklin County. Overall the UNCG delegation raised over $60, which helped the entire conference donate over $500 to the United Way. The delegation also created a school spirit banner and prepared a roll call.
See the RA’s impressions below:
“It was really cool to meet other RAs from the area”
“…learn about some of their programming initiatives and how residence life departments vary from one university to anther”
“…there was a lot of energy in the room that kept going throughout the day”
“I learned new techniques for handling roommate conflicts that will be very useful this year”
“Having this amazing chance to grow has shown me the amazing opportunities given to us RAs”
“The RA conference was amazing. It was the highlight of my year.”
One of UNCG’s RAs, Alice Croom in Reynolds, had her program proposal accepted and presented on “Minimum Waste-Maximum Happiness.” Alice had the following to share about her experience:
“Presentation skills are very important, especially for someone who expects public speaking to be a big part of her professional life. I was excited to have the opportunity to practice those skills! Also, I was sure that no other presenter would be talking about sustainability, and it is such an important subject that I think people just need some help to understand. ”
All in all, the RA staff had a great time and are excited to go again next year.
40 Resident Advisors and professional staff members from Housing and Residence Life spent a recent afternoon cleaning up the two streams between Gray Dr. and Aycock Street. Part of the City of Greensboro’s Adopt-a-Stream program, HRL has committed to cleaning the stream for the next few years as a way to give back to the community.
Assistant Director Chris Gregory, who organized the event, was happy to see this program continue. “This is the 2nd year, we have worked with this great program. With so much recent rain, a lot of trash was pushed into the city’s waterways. We’re glad we were able to do our part, and keep our campus beautiful.” More than 300 pounds of debris and trash was removed from the two streams.
Residence Life staff volunteered at BackPack Beginnings, a Greensboro organization whose mission is to deliver child-centric services to feed, comfort and clothe children in need. Staff worked to sort items in the food and clothing pantries, organize donations and paint murals. The partnership will sustain throughout the year with staff returning to the site but also raising funds and collecting items to help cloth and feed children in Guilford County.
HRL RA’s Moneta & Hansen Reflect on ACUHO-I STARS College Experience
Earlier this summer, two Resident Advisors of UNCG HRL were selected for one of the most premier student opportunities offered in the student affairs career field. Marley Moneta and Dane Hansen were chosen applicants to experience STARS College, a three-day intensive experience for undergraduate students interested in learning about the student affairs and campus housing professionals offered by the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I). Marley a native of Charlotte, NC, is a rising senior majoring in Kinesiology and has spent three years as a Resident Advisor and two years as a Senior Resident Advisor with the Grogan Hall residential community. Dane, a native of Lincolnton, NC, is a rising senior majoring in Computer Science and has spent two years as a Resident Advisor in Guilford & Mary Foust.Marley and Dane packed their bags and headed to Providence, Rhode Island, to join the other 60 undergraduate students from across the United States and Canada selected for this unique opportunity. Their time consisted of interactive engagement that included large group presentations, mentoring by nine to 12 seasoned professionals, self-evaluation, and role play on the campus of Salve Regina University. Additionally, these brightly shining STARS College scholars were afforded the opportunity to attend conference sessions and network with a number of current professionals during the ACUHO-I Annual Composition Conference (ACE).
Upon returning to Greensboro, we interviewed Marley and Dane about their experiences. Check out their thoughts and reflections about their STARS College experience below.
How did you find out about STARS College? What or who influenced you to apply?
Marley: “I found out about STARS through my CRL/supervisor [Maggie Gillespie] and also through other student affairs and HRL professionals. My supervisor and one of our Assistant Housing Directors [Shelley Wald] really influenced me to apply since they had knowledge of my interest in pursuing a career in student affairs or residence life and suggested that I could gain more information by attending STARS college.”
The ACUHO-I website states that each STARS College applicant has a mentor. Who serves/served in that role for you?
Marley: “Denise Golden, Director of Residence Life at Gannon University served as my mentor during STARS college and we continue to stay in touch!”
Dane: “Nandini Bissessar-Grant from the University of Arlington at Texas was my mentor and was great! She had so much useful information and really helped guide us through the curriculum.”
What are up to three takeaways you value from your STARS College experience?
Marley: “One of the greatest takeaways for me from the STARS College experience was learning about the entire graduate school process, including but not limited to the placement exchanges, general grad school requirements, and resume review. The information gained through these sections was incredibly useful and made the upcoming process of applying to graduate school a lot less intimidating. Building off of this was the networking opportunities with other students from a variety of universities across the United States and Canada, as well as other faculty mentors.”
Dane: “My three takeaways would have to be (a) never give up, (b) make sure the program is your fit, and (c) most importantly, be sure to love what I do!”
What were your favorite session(s) / event(s) that you attended?
Marley: “I enjoyed all of the speakers at the ACUHO-I conference including Simon Bailey and spoken-word poet Sarah Kay. The sessions I enjoyed the most were “Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Building Diversity Competency”, “Frenemies – Our Love-Hate Relationship with Social Justice Allies”, “Branching Out Your Free Time: Netflix and No Chill”, and the all-day Multicultural Institute.”
Dane: “My favorite session of STARS college was the history of the residence halls. It was really cool to see where/what began housing and residence life and how far we have come. At ACUHO-I I attended many programs geared towards Resident Advisors related to the hiring process and self-care. This helped me look at the RA job as if I were a CRL and think about how UNCG runs compared to other campuses.”
Did attending STARS College influence you to pursue a future career in Student Affairs? If so, in what area?
Marley: “I pretty much had my mind already made up, but this experience definitely solidified for me the decision to pursue a future career in Student Affairs. The interactions I had with other housing professionals throughout the week and the sessions I attended during ACE re-affirmed everything I already loved about housing and what student affairs careers allow one to do for others in regards to the influence on students’ lives. Also, the passion that all of us shared for the work we do was so refreshing. I think when I realized at the end of the trip that I was tired from so many long days, but not from the work I had been doing or the interactions I was having was what made me realize that this is what I really want to do because it didn’t feel like work to me since I enjoyed the entire experience.”
Dane: “I really did not know what to expect but it was very informational. I was not sure what I wanted to be doing in the future. We got to STARS College on Wednesday and by Friday I knew that this was the field I want to pursue. I really enjoyed listening to all the stories and experiences from the faculty and fellow students. I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in student affairs!”
What advice would you give to anyone that may consider applying for STARS College?
Marley: “DO IT!! You have nothing to lose and the experience will change your life. I was nervous about stepping outside of my comfort zone and being surrounded by a great number of people that I didn’t know, but within hours you feel at home and make lifelong friends. Use the experience to meet as many people as you can and soak up every minute of it – the conversations, the sessions, the knowledge and advice, and all the fun stuff.”
Dane: “For anyone thinking about going to STARS, I say “Go!” It was one of the best experiences I have had in my college career. Some advice would be to go open-minded and be ready to learn!”
How do you plan to utilize the information and experience going forward in your current and future role?
Marley: “I gained a lot of helpful insight about graduate school programs and assistantships across the country that I will use as I begin my application process. I will use the other information from sessions I attended through programming for residents and sharing it with my new staff in the fall to continue to make UNCG and the greater Greensboro community a better place!”
Dane: “With the information I have gained by STARS and ACUHO-I, I plan to use it in my role as a SRA and in my search for a Master’s program.”
We congratulate Marley and Dane on not only absorbing and making the most of a golden opportunity but for also representing the institution and our department at the national/international level at ACUHO-I. Tim Johnson, UNCG Director of Housing and Residence Life, was in attendance at ACE and remarked on the number of comments he received from colleagues there regarding the engagement, the potential, and the character of Marley and Dane during both events.
Door Decoration Contest Winner
Congratulations to Kaitlyn Jessee, who won the Door Decoration Contest – Her design will appear on the doors of every RA working for Housing and Residence Life in the residence halls. Kaitlyn included pictures of notable people/ places from UNCG’s history. The pictures are of Charles McIver (founder of the state normal and industrial school, now UNCG), College Ave. in 1910, Joanne Smart and Bettye Tillman (first African American students to attend UNCG), the University logo featuring its opening year, and the main building (first building on campus, now known as Foust).
Kaitlyn has worked for The University of North Carolina Greensboro, Special Collections and University Archives for two years. This year she is researching the universities departmental history for the University’s 125th anniversary. Last year, She also worked for UNCG’s Housing and Residence Life as a Resident Advisor in The Quad. She is very excited to continue her position as a Resident Advisor in Phillips-Hawkins this year.
2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off
Congratulations to Dandralyn Johnson, who won the 2nd Annual Housing and Residence Life Chili Cook-Off in a field of tough competitors on Friday, April 7, 2017.
UNCG HRL Shines at 2017 SEAHO Conference
In the world of Student Affairs and Higher Education, the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) has been known for its pre-eminent service to the global world through the individual to teamwork difference contributed with its various professional leaders and change makers. While in its 53rd year of operation, the regional body of housing officers across the 10 Southeastern states assembled earlier this year in late February/early March for its annual SEAHO Regional Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. What has become valued as a “housing homecoming” for many is also a unique opportunity to experience engagement, learning first-hand regarding the field’s most current trends and topics of importance from a plethora of seasoned to new professionals across the region.
With this year’s SEAHO conference theme of “Bridging The Gap From Good to Great®,” more than 650 delegates (conference attendees) went to Tennessee to engage, educate, and be empowered by networking with professionals and attending presentations on a wide variety of topics slated throughout the conference. UNCG HRL had eight professional team members in attendance, the largest representation from one institution at SEAHO’s first ever Pre-Conference that was a collaborative project between SEAHO’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee and the SEAHO Programming Committee.
As the conference unfolded and delegates weaved in and out of particular selected presentations that piqued their professional or personal curiosity, there were a number of highly acclaimed awards that were garnered by UNCG!
SEAHO Report 2017 Article of the Year Award
Maggie Gillespie, Coordinator for Residence Life of Grogan Residential College, was honored with the SEAHO Report 2017 Article of the Year Award for her article entitled “Ambiversion: The Lost Personality Type.” Maggie’s article was submitted and selected for the SEAHO Report’s Winter 2016 issue as a featured article. The SEAHO Report is a quarterly publication that features articles and news from member institutions across the region. Check out Maggie’s award winning article here (on page 12): https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/seaho.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/seahoreport/Seaho_Winter_2016.pdf
Case Study Competition Champs
Daniel Wiggins, Coordinator for Residence Life of Spring Garden, and Sean Sukys (of Florida Gulf Coast University) teamed up to enter SEAHO’s Case Study Competition for New Professionals, and were awarded Case Study Competition Champs! Daniel and Sean were provided with a complex collegiate campus occurrence regarding politics and demonstrations and charged to create a plan to address the multi-faceted concerns and positions for various entities of the institution. The Case Study Competition is designed for graduate and new professionals to be presented with a realistic, often complex, campus situation and to resolve or address it thoroughly in a limited amount of time.
SEAHO Best of Program at the Closing Luncheon
The most recent addition to the UNCG HRL family, Assistant Director Demarcus Merritt, and co-presenter Gabriel (Gabe) Solomon (of Florida State University) were awarded with the “SEAHO Best of Program” award at the Closing Luncheon. Their presentation on “Diversity Self-Care Health Check-Up: You’re Not Alone” prevailed over 70 presentation sessions conducted during the week-long conference. As a result, Demarcus and Gabe will serve as “Diversity Doctors” and will represent the region this summer at the ACUHO-I Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE) in Providence, Rhode Island. The pair will present their SEAHO Report Article turned presentation.
We are extremely proud of our team members and the excellence that is achieved for them as contributing professionals in our field and with our UNCG community. Congratulations to each of you!