Month: March 2018


Student Staff Member of the Month

School: University of Kentucky Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Brendan Mathews Nominator: Angus McKenzie

On-Campus Population: 6000 Chapter Size: 35

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

600 words is but too short a length to fully capitulate the incredible work Brendan has achieved as ARD of Lewis Hall. But, if it was to be boiled down to its purest form, his leadership, innovation, incredible work ethic and kindness are all reasons why Brendan deserves to be recognized as ARD of the Year.

Leadership is a critical aspect of the ARD role, and Brendan’s very being is steeped in it. From leading staff meetings, to opening and closing the building on his own, to handling crisis and incidents while on call for the area, he shows exceptional leadership by remaining calm, collected, compassionate and demonstrated an incredible competency in policy and procedure. When Brendan's got the on call phone, you know you have the best captain possible steering the ship. His staff know that should they need support in running a program, or dealing with problematic residents, they can turn to Brendan to help them not only get through the situation, but learn from it. His desire to inspire and teach his staff to become the best RA’s possible is demonstrated by his willingness to meet with them one-on-one whenever suits their schedule.

Throughout the year, Brendan has demonstrated exceptional innovation in his ARD role. Through opening and running the university's premier honors residential college, he has helped lead and run a truly unique residential building that has involved the continued development of the collaboration between residence life and the honors college. With massive staple honors programs like “Harry Potter Month” requiring delicate integration with Res Life’s own programs, Brendan has shown incredible innovation in management by working with staff from both departments so they can schedule and run the best programs possible with maximum support and resources.

A strong work ethic is key to success, and Brendan has it in spades. He lives an incredibly busy life outside of Res Life; this year alone he is finishing up double degree in biology and neuroscience, studied for the MCAT and the GRE, applied to both medical and graduate school, as well as training to become a Medical and Legal Advocate for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center. Despite this gargantuan workload, Brendan has given 110% role to his responsibilities as an ARD. This strong work ethic gives his staff a residence life member to aspire to be, especially when he seeks to do more than required, whether that be taking his staff program shopping whenever needed, or sitting at the desk with his staff whilst tackling his work.

The kindness and empathy that he shows in his position as ARD has given his building a staff that feels safe and supported. Whether it be a personal or professional problem, the Lewis staff know that they can come to Brendan, day or night, and get the support and empathy they need to do their job. Whether it’s through a one-on-one or a late night pow-wow, his staff trust him to not only be there for them in times of need, but lend phenomenal advice on a range of topics.

All these personal qualities aside, Brendan is the reason I am the RA I am today, and a constant aspiration for all members of this department. His words of encouragement and professional support when I need them have allowed me to not only thrive as an RA, but as a professional student ready to conquer the world. When I’m dealing with a situation in my building, or facing a personal hurdle, I ask myself WWTBMD. What Would Thomas Brendan Mathews Do? And it always works out for the better.

Word Count: 600

Date of entry into database: 2018-03-26 14:22:04

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