NACURH Winner
Month: July 2017

NACURH, INC.

Spotlight of the Month

School: Arkansas Tech Region: SWACURH
Nominee: Jason Sanders Nominator: Alysha Daley

On-Campus Population: 2800 Chapter Size: 19

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

It's no secret that Student Affairs grads and professionals love people. That's why we do the work that we do. But what about those unsung heroes? The ones that hear the ins and outs of what's happening around campus, that might get to reap a few perks now and then, but that also have their sleep interrupted when a duty phone or fire alarm goes off? I'm talking about the partners and spouses of live-in staff members. Particularly, I am talking about Jason Sanders. Jason is the husband of one of the Graduate Resident Directors (RDs), Mary Beth, at Arkansas Tech University (ATU) and even though he may not be an official member of the team, I think it's safe to say that most of the other RDs consider him as one.

Being the husband of Mary Beth did not guarantee him an honorary spot in the RD squad, but his personality and actions did. Being an ATU alum and native Arkansan, Jason has been able to provide a lot of knowledge and insight to the new Resident Directors this July. Whether it has been looking for good places to eat around town, trying to learn more about ATU traditions, or searching for adventures throughout the Natural State, Jason has been a go-to person for answers.

Jason provides more than just answers, however. He provides actions. As the RDs were trying to get to know campus and each other during our first few weeks at ATU in early July, he would always tag along to play sand volleyball or to enjoy a meal together. By doing this, he has been able to use his humor and bold personality to connect others and bring them out of their shells. As someone who isn't going into the Student Affairs career field, he sure is good at building meaningful relationships.

One of the most noticeable and appreciated actions by Jason throughout the month of July has been the excursions he has taken the RD staff on. Jason guided over half of the RD staff to a creek that he frequented while growing up in the area. This experience was more than getting away after a long day of training, but one of bonding, trust development and growth. At the creek, we swam (some of us for the first time!), jumped off cliffs, and even had a picnic dinner - which was supplied by none other than Jason.

Us RDs had so much fun on this excursion that we wanted more, and Jason didn't complain. A week later we loaded up in our cars again to head to a different spot. Here, we swam in a different area of the creek and swung from rope swings. We jumped off more rocks and were able to continue bonding and making Arkansas home, which might not have happened without him.

The importance of the first weeks should not be taken lightly, even for Graduate Students, but with Jason's help, we were able to get to know the area surrounding ATU in addition to getting to know each other. As a husband, he was not required to hang out with us, get to know us, or even help us, but he did. He may not be a staff member, but he is still woken up by the trouble alarm and duty phone, and he never hesitated to make time for the RD squad at Arkansas Tech this July.

Word Count: 572


Date of entry into database: 2017-07-27 16:27:39

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