NACURH Winner
Month: November 2018

NACURH, INC.

Residence Life Professional Staff of the Month

School: University of Texas Region: SWACURH
Nominee: JD Castro Nominator: Mauricio Barrera Chico

On-Campus Population: 7300 Chapter Size: 23

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

Jester East is a building with 10 floors, 1200 residents, and 26 RAs. There is a great amount of responsibility that is required to maintain it all in order. There are on-call situations, resident conduct situations, staff meetings, support for RAs, desk management, and many other situations. There is one man at the helm of this all - JD Castro, the complex coordinator of Jester East. All these duties are normally split between two complex coordinators one for the upper half of Jester East and one for the lower half. But this academic year JD has been tasked with holding down the Jester East fort as the sole complex coordinator. There was never any uncertainty from the 26 RAs in Jester East that JD would be able to handle double the work while still being present, supportive, and not being spread out too thin, but JD has surpassed those expectations over the course of the year. JD has proven to be innovative through programming, incredibly resourceful, and supportive of his RAs.

Around the time of the past Midterm elections of 2018, JD was interested in finding an interactive way to incentivize voter turnout. He came up with a challenge between the 10 floors of Jester East to see which floor could have the most residents stick their "I voted" or "Yo vote" stickers on a bulletin board in the lobby of the dorm. The bulletin board was divided into 10 rows for each floor and next to the bulletin board the rules for the challenge were laid out and the reward was stated - $200 in funds for the winning floor to use in a floor program to celebrate the victory. This program not only became an immediate hit in the community, bringing out the competitiveness and floor pride of residents. It also served as a way to bring awareness to and reward voting in the midterm election, one that was projected to be one of the closest in state history and where voter turnout most mattered. By the time voting closed, the board was covered in stickers that were overlapping. The board simply was not big enough to hold all of the stickers. The program that JD cooked up had been a hit and served its purpose of making voting cool again. JDs programming inspires his RAs to plan programs that have a meaningful impact on Jester East Residents.

Jd has also been a resourceful and supporting figure for his RAs. There was one staff meeting in which JD typed up an 11-page document to use in a 45 minute activity on identity formation and self-care. In this activity he divided up his 26 RAs into 7 teams of 3-4 and had them read on of the phases of identity formation and then use a sheet of butcher paper to highlight the main topics of that phase. Each team then presented to the other teams about their phase. This was another one of JD's initiatives that opened the eyes of his RAs to the self-infliction of harmful identities and how role of the subconscious in portraying one's self-image. JD's care for his staff is also apparent in the support that he puts forth for his RA's programs. He goes beyond the required business hours of his job and makes it a point to attend every community program that his RAs put together. He is at every game-night that RAs have with one another and he brings his icon of a dog around the front desk to help RAs destress. JD’s Ras feel and welcome his presence and dedication.

Word Count: 599


Date of entry into database: 2018-12-01 00:26:28

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