During the 2017-2018 academic year, Leandra (Lea) Neumann, served in
her first year as a Resident Advisor in Pritchard Hall. This year,
though she has a new group of residents, she has remained connected to
several of her residents from the previous year. One of the residents
Lea has stayed connected to has continued to live in Pritchard Hall
this year. Throughout the year, Lea has supported this resident through
a variety of hardships such as with her relationships, mental health,
family issues, etc. Toward the end of the semester, Lea learned that
the resident would be transferring to another institution starting in
the Spring of 2019 because her parents no longer wanted her to be at
Virginia Tech. |
As the resident wrapped up her semester, she closed out her room and
left the university. Her parents took her out to her new institution in
Texas so she could get settled. In mid-December, the resident contacted
Lea to share her experience at her new institution. She was seemingly
unhappy and did not feel as if her personality fit the students who she
was connecting to in her sorority. Additionally, she did not feel like
she belonged at the institution, so she told Lea she wanted to return
to Virginia Tech. In sharing this, the resident also shared that her
parents were not going to support her decision to return to the
institution and therefore would be cutting her off financially. This
left the resident unsure of what to do and stuck in Texas with no way
to return to Virginia.
Immediately, Lea reached out to me (one of her supervisors for the
Resident Advisor role) to ask how we might be able to support the
resident in returning to Virginia Tech. I asked that Lea have the
resident reach out to me so I could speak with her about her situation.
After talking with the student, we were able to get her connected to
the central housing office for her room assignment, the Dean of
Students Office, Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, etc. After
getting the resident connected to a few resources to get her re-
enrolled at the institution, Lea was still concerned about getting the
resident physically back to Virginia Tech given the lack of financial
support from her family. On her own, Lea then went to speak with the
Program Director for the living learning community in which the
resident had lived. Laura, the Program Director, talked with Lea about
a few scholarships the resident might consider.
After speaking with Laura, Lea then returned to my office with an idea.
Lea and her mother had recently moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, and
they had a spare bedroom. Lea had contacted her mother and after
explaining the resident’s situation, asked if the resident could
possibly stay with them temporarily. Happily, Lea’s mother agreed and
offered to help pay for the resident’s transportation back to Virginia.
Typically, Resident Advisors are not allowed to transport residents or
allow them to stay with them and despite this, Lea’s efforts should not
go unnoticed. Not only has Lea maintained a relationship with this
resident this year, but during the month of December, she has gone
above and beyond to help the resident re-connect to the institution.
For going the extra mile in her role, Lea is deserving of recognition
as the Resident Assistant of the Month for the month of December.
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