NACURH Winner
Month: June 2018

NACURH, INC.

Residence Life Professional Staff of the Month

School: Georgia Southern University Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Erin McFerrin Nominator: Verva Shumate

On-Campus Population: 5030 Chapter Size: 50

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

Steve Jobs described this person perfectly when he stated "You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." Throughout the past two years working as an Assistant Director of Residential Learning for Georgia Southern University, Erin McFerrin has been determined, enthusiastic, and passionate about residential learning and genuinely developing students in all aspects of their college experience. Erin has been the driving force behind creating intentional interactions with residents that genuinely define and showcase the values of University Housing.

In the past month, Erin has reestablished new strategies to engage with residents and to provide continued learning experiences in all levels and aspects of University Housing. Erin has created a new playbook that offers professional, graduate, and student staff the resources and tools to integrate curriculum into all aspects of the position. Residential Curriculum plans are established in a key critical theory that defines and shapes the guiding outcomes. Erin did an extensive research dig and focused on what theory would meet the needs of our residents and how to continue developing as a whole. Erin did not stop with just selecting the Emotional Intelligence Leadership (EIL) theory. She created strategies that would implement EIL into all aspects of learning. Within this playbook that was developed, Erin took the time to provide background information about EIL and how it can be implemented into the strategies used across campus. Erin also took time to develop intricate developmental sequencing to take place with graduate and student staffs through one on one conversations and staff meetings. The playbook establishes reflection questions with writing space to encourage processing and continued learning. Erin strives to make learning engaging and rewarding for each person she comes in contact. Erin has put in countless hours on designing, creating, and providing knowledge to make incoming and current Resident Directors successful in implementing curriculum strategies and making fun educational.

Another example where Erin’s passion and enthusiasm for continuous and engaged learning was contagious was in the planning of Resident Advision training for the Fall. The RA training committee developed a new training plan that incorporated each learning style and incorporated more hands-on skill development activities to allow students staff to retain information. Erin played a vital role in establishing ways to program and facilitate different curriculum learning goals and strategies in an intentional way. Each day of training focuses on an aspect of the student staff position but also how it applies to the residential curriculum learning goals. Erin took the training committee vision one step farther by incorporating intentional reflection of learning questions to be completed at the end of each day to have well-rounded training experience. Erin is always willing to brainstorm new techniques or approaches to make training engaging but beneficial. Training has now been created to develop the student staff members and establish that why that is often removed from the overall experience.

The work that Erin continues to do with Residential Incentives is more than words can explain. The most significant accomplishment that I have been able to witness is seeing the residential curriculum vision become a reality and seeing the fire that she sparks inside professional staff members to be educators in this field. Erin has demonstrated that learning may appear overwhelming at times but the lasting impact and passion developed is worth the journey.

Word Count: 576


Date of entry into database: 2018-07-05 20:17:43

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