NACURH Winner
Month: October 2018

NACURH, INC.

Resident Assistant of the Month

School: New York University Region: NEACURH
Nominee: Kasane Tonegawa Nominator: Allie Degen

On-Campus Population: 12000 Chapter Size: 120

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

"Throughout the month of October, Kasane has demonstrated her commitment to strengthening the relationships between her residents and fellow RAs. She has made an overwhelming effort to be inclusive of everyone and also spread awareness of important mental health issues.

After learning that some of her residents were interested in astronomy, Kasane planned a free hall event on October 5th at Columbia University, where she took them to hear a lecture on astronomy and stargaze in the observatory afterwards. This was a great opportunity for her residents, as this likely would have been more difficult and pricey for them to plan on their own, but Kasane did it with ease and created new bonds between her residents as they discussed their common interests.

Kasane is also passionate about mental health, and she has fueled this passion into her acceptance of all residents. To create an open platform for discussion about this, Kasane planned a hall event on October 27th, where she hosted a showing of the film “Beautiful Boy.” This film portrays a strained father-son relationship after the son develops a drug addiction. Clearly, this was a very sensitive topic, so Kasane hosted a panel discussion afterwards, during which residents could share their reactions to the film and, if they felt comfortable, any personal connection they felt to different characters in the film. This was a great way to promote mental health awareness and reflect on the various ways that mental health issues can present themselves.

Although she has established and strengthened bonds among her residents throughout the month of October, Kasane has not stopped there. In the beginning of the month, in an effort to recognize the variety of musical tastes held by her fellow RAs, Kasane created a collaborative playlist for them all to add their favorite songs to. This was effective in building a feeling of community within the team of RAs, and giving them the opportunity to bond with one another over their favorite bands or musical genres.

Lastly, Kasane has always offered a listening ear and helping hand to her residents and team of RAs, as she knows how stressful October can get in terms of schoolwork. She has created an environment in which people feel comfortable approaching her -- many students who weren’t Kasane’s residents attended her hall snacks anyway, just for the sole purpose of being around her. She also does not lose sight of her goal to spread mental health awareness -- at one of her hall snacks, when one of her residents used the word “crazy” to describe something, she encouraged him to use a different word instead, as “crazy” is a common derogatory term for mentally ill people. He agreed with her and wanted to make this a permanent change in his speech, as he was previously unaware of its negative connotation. A fellow RA comments on Kasane’s passion, “She’s always been such an energetic, helpful RA and has truly changed my perspective on mental health and the benefits of self-care. In the smallest ways, she’s been able to make the biggest difference in the residential community at Carlyle.”

Throughout the month of October, Kasane has promoted feelings of inclusion, comfort, and awareness among her residents and fellow RAs, and these consistent efforts deserve to be recognized. Her powerful drive to create new friendships, whether they be on a floor in Carlyle or across a team of RAs, is what establishes the positive and welcoming environment she strives to uphold for the entire year (and beyond!)."

Word Count: 586


Date of entry into database: 2018-11-10 13:57:44

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