NACURH Winner
Month: December 2017

NACURH, INC.

Resident Assistant of the Month

School: University of Utah Region: IACURH
Nominee: Kayla Stewart Nominator: Galen Bergsten

On-Campus Population: 3200 Chapter Size: 32

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

At the University of Utah, residents have the option to live in “Living Learning Communities” (LLCs) that engage members in activities beyond the core curriculum, usually around an academic theme. The Crocker Science House is one such example of an LLC that requires residents in STEM fields to uphold a certain GPA as well as an expectation of sound character and good mental health. To be the RA of such a community would require an exceptional level of devotion to the academic and emotional success of house members, and to balance these responsibilities under the stress of a semester’s end would require a truly gifted student leader.

Kayla Stewart has been an exceptional RA all semester, but her performance in December has surpassed all expectations.

At the University of Utah, the stress of finals week is something felt by students and staff alike – a stress that only increases in a house of twelve STEM majors. Kayla recognized how tense December would be well in advance, and made all the necessary preparations to take care of her residents throughout the month. She put in a purchase order at the start of December for study snacks, which she successfully rationed out throughout the days leading up to and during exams. Kayla also participated in multiple house game nights throughout the week, having studied enough in advance to take care of her residents by providing light breaks from their studies.

Beyond taking care of her residents, Kayla has a definite devotion to the overall housing community. To ease the burden of closing on the maintenance staff, Kayla convinced the house to volunteer and help clean up common spaces before maintenance would come through at the end of the semester. Scheduling volunteer time during finals would normally be a nightmare, but Kayla’s advanced preparation and decision to divide the work based on when each resident was moving out made the process remarkably simple.

Recently, Kayla was inducted into the Tau Omega Pi chapter of NRHH at the University of Utah. She has been ecstatic about the chapter and pillars of the organization ever since, and has truly taken the spirit of recognition to heart. Kayla created a relaxing event for house members to indulge in during the house meeting prior to exams involving the decoration of small jars with paint and glitter. The jars remained in the meeting room throughout the week so that residents could write notes about their experiences and friendships with housemates throughout the semester, and leave them in the jars corresponding to that resident’s name. And while the idea was originally written off as a waste of time by some extra-stressed residents, Kayla politely reminded everyone of the opportunity throughout the week to produce a successful and meaningful means of communication and recognition.

Since my joining the Science House at the beginning of the semester, I have known that Kayla is an exceptional RA throughout all the little things she does for her residents. But it has been her outstanding performance throughout one of the toughest points in the semester that has truly set her above and beyond her peers in her first year as an RA. Her genuine compassion and consideration for her residents speaks volumes to her magnificent and kind-hearted nature.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the name Kayla means “pure of heart.”

Word Count: 559


Date of entry into database: 2018-01-04 22:11:05

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