Month: November 2017


Advisor of the Month

School: University of Maryland, College Park Region: CAACURH
Nominee: Aaron Hood Nominator: Rick Mikulis

On-Campus Population: 12500 Chapter Size: 125

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

“It's all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” - Philip Green

Aaron Hood serves as the advisor for both the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) at the University of Maryland. No one does such a good job as an advisor while also living the virtue of “balance” quite like Aaron. Not only does he balance managing unique challenges within each organization, but he also manages to do an effective job while keeping his time with his family sacred.

RHA at the University of Maryland looks a little bit different than it does at many other schools. While RHA does still have hall/area councils for programming, most of the organizational effort is in advocacy, with authority vested in its Senate. The Senate debates legislation and policy revolving regarding several campus departments. At the Senate meeting on November 7th, the RHA established a new committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee (DIACom), for which Aaron was chosen to be advisor. As the advisor, he did a fantastic job at the DIACom meetings on November 15th and 29th challenging us to think about how we can affect as much of our campus in a positive way as possible. Because of his influence, DIACom is becoming a well-known force for good on campus.

The Jim Henson Chapter of NRHH encountered a unique challenge in November. After years of scraping by without much of a budget, thanks to a deal with On-Campus Marketing (OCM) to deliver care packages, NRHH was delighted to find out in mid-November that we now had a massive amount of money. Obviously, this is good, but we didn’t know how best to spend it. Immediately we asked Aaron to use it for purchase of new NRHH swag. After placing the purchases, he challenged us to sit down, closely examine the budget, and begin making long-term plans for how to use the money in a way that will most benefit the community. Thanks to his advice, we are now looking at creating a standing fund in our budget for students who choose to use their Spring Break to go on service-oriented trips, and we’re also looking more at how campus can benefit too, such as through large-scale recognition initiatives for campus employees.

Not only did Aaron substantively change RHA and NRHH each for the better in November but he also did an amazing job advising both groups together as part of our delegation to the Regional Leadership Conference at nearby UMBC. By giving us space to bond as a group while also occasionally stepping in to ask processing questions like “How can you bring this back to your council,” Aaron was able to create a culture of friendship with a strong purpose of giving back to our residents among the delegation. The members of the delegation are still making strong efforts to focus their work on the residents, and most of the delegation is now also on the bid team to host the 2019 Regional Business Conference, for which Aaron is also the advisor.

Aaron does an amazing job with RHA and NRHH, but he also teaches us the value of balancing work with life. On weekends and after work hours, Aaron chooses to spend his time with his wife and adorable baby daughter, Molly. His commitment to his family reminds us to think about why we do the work we do, and that truly the most important things in life aren’t just what we accomplish, but who it is we get to spend our time with.

Word Count: 600

Date of entry into database: 2017-12-07 21:58:02

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