Regional Winner
Month: January 2016


Residence Life Professional Staff of the Month

School: Georgia State University Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Norma Altidor Nominator: Falon Thacker

On-Campus Population: 4000 Chapter Size: 40

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

January can be a busy month in residence life. Students are returning from the holidays, new students are moving in, student staff training and much more. The month of January doesn’t often leave room for time to focus on much besides getting settled and establishing new routines.

January is also a time for goal setting, New Year’s resolutions, establishing new expectations and an opportunity to start fresh. Despite having a lot do in the month of January, Norma Altidor took advantage of the new year, set new goals, implemented new initiatives all while maintaining her established commitment to her job, colleagues, staff and residents.

One of Norma’s goals for the year is to implement #MotivationMonday’s for her RA staff. Every Monday this month, Norma placed something of motivation in each of her RAs mailboxes. These motivations range from a letter of encouragement to a $5 certificate redeemable for coffee or tea to use this semester when they feel they are in need of encouragement and motivation. Norma also took the time to volunteer to advise the G.R.A.S.S. delegation, a conference for student leaders in the state of Georgia. This was Norma’s second time volunteering to advise the delegation to support our student staff representing GSU at the state level.

Norma serves as the co-chair for professional staff search committee. As the department gears up for search season and has several anticipated openings, Norma and her co-chair put together a refresher targeted selection training session for professional staff to remind and refresh staff on the process of targeted selection for both student staff and professional staff candidates. Most notably in the month of January, Norma implemented a program in her area called EncourageMe. This program was about spreading positive vibes across the community. Norma and the other professional staff in the area individually emailed residents in the community (over 1,000 people) to share deeply personal feelings around areas they felt they needed encouragement. Residents were asked to read their emails and later participate in a program where they could come and meet the professional staff to write encouraging messages to them but also write encouraging messages on the windows of the community to spread positive vibes and encouragement across the community. I was extremely proud of Norma to expose her vulnerabilities to many people she personally does not know. This was an honorable act that deserves recognition, as the act of her and her team requires great courage and strength.

Norma also did a number of other selfless acts during January including buying snacks for residents during inclement weather, stayed for her RAs programs while the university was closed, judged an open mic night for the social issues living learning community and randomly bought pizza for residents watching football in the lobby.

Lastly, Norma made time to support me as a friend and colleague while I was taking my comprehensive exams for my doctoral program over the course of three weeks in January. Throughout the entire duration of my exams, Norma’s support did not waiver: checking in, encouraging, cheering me on and coming to support me while I was writing. Her support meant so much, as she was already busy with so many things, yet made such a great effort. This was an act of kindness I will never forget.

Most of the above mentioned acts had little to do with her day-to- day job responsibilities and much to do with her care for her community, staff and residents. Norma is beyond deserving for the Residence Life Faculty/Staff award for the month of January and I am honored to nominate her.

Word Count: 600

Date of entry into database: 2016-02-01 19:46:30

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