Month: September 2017


Spotlight of the Month

School: Missouri State University Region: MACURH
Nominee: Rachel McGrath and Fall Leadership Day Nominator: Stephanie Leeth

On-Campus Population: 4100 Chapter Size: 41

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

“True leadership is servant hood. Put the interests of others at the center of your decisions.” – David Ramsey III

Working with Rachel McGrath this month has provided me with another opportunity to witness the incredible impact that servantship can have throughout the surrounding community. Personally, I was incredibly apprehensive about supervising the team of student leaders I was moved to for this new academic year; while I have gotten accustomed to working with Resident Assistants for the last few years, advising RHA was a new adventure for me. This September, Rachel’s selfless work with our annual Fall Leadership Day had gone above and beyond all expectations.

At Missouri State, Fall Leadership Day provides a retreat-like experience for all newly elected student leaders involved with Hall Councils. Facilitated through RHA, Fall Leadership Day offers varying opportunities for students to learn, lead, and look ahead to planning the impact they will surely make for the students in their residence halls. While Rachel’s position on the RHA Executive Board called for her to take primary responsibility of planning the September event, she completely left the advisors and fellow executive board members in awe; Rachel had dedicated herself to providing the best possible experience for incoming student leaders, taking into consideration positive and constructive feedback from the past events.

Knowing that all of our students are different and learn and grow in varying ways, Fall Leadership Day was designed to provide different opportunities to get involved. Throughout the battle for the coveted Spirit Stick that travels to the most deserving Hall Council each semester, there were new opportunities for students to gain spirit points from a revamped initiative; while students comfortable approaching RHA advisors and executive members to get selfies could rack up points, points could also be gained through an individual’s or team’s thoughtful consideration of others throughout the event, or showing individual creativity. Those more comfortable interacting with social media could engage in that manner, and those completing small and random acts of service and kindness could also be rewarded.

Something that stood out to me during September was Rachel’s ability to think creatively and innovatively throughout planning Fall Leadership Day. She not only identified objectives for making the experience better, but multiple avenues were created for which the other students could achieve these goals. For example, one learning objective for Fall Leadership Day was to create buy-in and investment from the students before they even arrived to the event. To do this, Rachel put together all materials in the weeks leading up to the event and distributed them to the Hall Councils, providing them an opportunity to prepare in advance (which had not been given in years prior). Rachel wanted the other students to be able to take pride in their own leadership styles, and in an effort to accomplish this, incentivized the students to decorate their binders (either on their own or with their group) before arriving to the event. This aspect of the event allowed students to highlight aspects of themselves with which they identified and took pride. These seemingly small changes to the program had a meaningful impact, as students consistently gave positive feedback of their appreciation for that opportunity.

Rachel’s work this September with Fall Leadership Day has been a privilege to work alongside, and has reassured me of the great opportunities that lie ahead for our student leaders on campus this year. Her kindness and initiative throughout this month, specifically with Fall Leadership Day and its accomplished outcomes, has reminded me, once again, why working with Student Affairs truly is the best job around.

Word Count: 599

Date of entry into database: 2017-10-05 00:01:02

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