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Residence Life Office Announces Year-End, April Honorees

The most notable Resident Assistants and programs of the 2009-10 academic year have been announced by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Residence Life Office, which also applauded its “…of the Month” honorees for April.

Marija StaznikResident Assistant of the Year Marija Staznik, a hospitality management student from Harrisburg and Resident Assistant in The Village at Penn College, was selected as “RA of the Year.”

” One of the most important aspects of the Resident Assistant position is making connections with students and serving them as leaders and role models,” Residence Life staff said. “This RA has gone above and beyond to reach out not only to her own residents, but to many residents throughout the entire complex. On several occasions, she found students who were ‘lost’ and worked with them to make them feel like a part of the community.”

As a team member, it was noted, Staznik worked tirelessly in assisting new staff members in the area of programming area and in offering thoughtful words of wisdom regardingher position.

“She has strong morals and values and believes that, by recognizing and building on the strengths of others, a stronger community can be established. She always has a warm smile and a positive word to share. She is a charismatic individual and student leader who is most deserving of being named Resident Assistant of the Year.”

Adam FeatherRising Star of the YearNamed “Rising Star of the Year” among RAs was Adam Feather, of Bally, majoring in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology.

“In the fall, this student began … with limited experience and knowledge of the Resident Assistant position. With little guidance and a lot of enthusiasm, (he) worked hard to establish himself on his floor (which wasn’t easy, given that the majority of his building is female!),” staff said. “A true self-starter who didn’t wait to be told what to do, he got busy!

“From the very beginning he did a great job at building community. Through his hard work and programming efforts, his residents came to respect him. He consistently goes above and beyond the requirements of the position in every situation. He knows his residents very well and works with them continually when changes take place in his community.” his colleagues added.

Feather has done more programming than anyone inthe Campus View complex and consistently brings several residents to events happening around campus. He is willing to take on extra responsibility when assistance is needed, it was noted, and volunteers above and beyond the requirements of the Resident Assistant position all the while maintaining a high grade-point average.

College West Apartments staffEducational Program of the Year“What’s in Your Cup?” an alcohol-awareness program offered by College West Apartments staff within Penn College’s on-campus housing, addressed urgent issues in a manner that would speak practically to resident students.

“Participants played several rounds of a game that most residents are familiar with: Beer Pong,” staff explained. “However, it was done with an education spin … and with water, not beer! Participants were asked to answer questions about consequences and dangers of substance and alcohol abuse.”

The program presented by RAs Justin Ball, Brittany Davis, Jordan Enders, Tracy Garis, Alyssa Giedroc, Charles Herman, Bradley Jackson, Elizabeth Rutt, Azeez Salu and Morris Sayron was well-received, with more than 75 residents in attendance.

Rose Street ApartmentsSocial Program of the YearIt was termed a “tasty delight” to reward 13 Resident Assistants at the Rose Street Apartments for presenting “Wing Blast,” a now-traditional offering chosen as 2009-10’s best social program.

The event mixed a sampling of local restaurants’ versions of the famous Buffalochicken wingwith a fun rendition of the recipe’s creation (courtesy of the School of Hospitality’s Chef Paul Mach).

” When something is successful the first time you try it, often it’s difficult to repeat the success,” staff said. “However, when you successfully put on a program for a second time and it increases in popularity, you tend to create a ‘tradition.’ ”

More than 80 students attended the event, which included a showing of “The Blind Side” in College Avenue Labs. The program was organized by Kelly Bensinger, Kevin Brookhart, Jeff Eshenour, John Gearhart, Ashlin Hershberger, Stephania Karoullas, Marissa Koch, Alonso Marchinski, Kyle Miller, Corvin Oberholtzer, Toye Ogundoyin, Corey Shank and Sara Shott.

Resident Assistant of the Month Bensinger, a pre-occupational therapy assistant major from Valley View (for whom no photo was available), also was chosen as “RA of the Month” for April.

“This Resident Assistant had the challenge of starting in the middle of a semester in a new community (the Rose Street Apartments) with a new staff that had already formed its bonds with each other,” Residence Life staff wrote. “It takes a special type of personality and strong natural abilities to be able to come in and excel in a position like that. The RA of the Month did all of that, and did it with a smile and a jolt of energy that lifted the entire staff. (She) has become a great resource for her community and a huge asset to the Rose Street Staff.”

Rising Star of the MonthSelected as the “Rising Star of the Month” was Lee Michels, a Campus View RA from Mason Neck, Va., majoring in construction management. (No photo was available.)

” This Resident Assistant joined us late in the year and came into the difficult situation of establishing leadership on a floor that was already together,” staff reported. “From the very beginning, he made it a point to get to know his residents and their needs. He works hard and volunteers to go above and beyond what is required of him in his position. He has handled difficult situations with ease and finesse.

The staff of The Village at Penn CollegeEducational Program of the Month “The Educational Program of the Month goes to an entire staff that fulfilled its staff/faculty educational requirement by working with upperclassmen and Career Services. They invited Shelley Moore, assistant director of career services … to conduct ‘mock interviews.’ The program drew in roughly 10 residents to go through interviews, where job professions were chosen on the spot. Each interview was critiqued and graded, and feedback was given to the participants.”

Prizes were awarded for first, second and third places, and participants received handouts with a lot of useful information on cover letters and resumes.

The RAs involved in “Mock Interviews and Resume Busters” were Jaime Ackerman, Kyle Baker, Sarah Buckwalter, Alyson Fields, Anthony Grubbs, Megan Pennington, Staznik and Joshua Wilson.

Ashlin HollingerJustin WeaverSocial Program of the Month Congratulated for organizingApril’s most noteworthy social program, “Campus View Camping,” were Ashlin Hollinger, a plastics and polymer engineering technologystudent from Columbia, and Justin Weaver, of Hanover, majoring in computer aided product design.

“These RAs began planning in January to pull off a program that combined camping with a great social activity. They researched camping techniques and safety tips to share with residents,” staff explained. “They rented the movie, ‘Without a Paddle,’ and showed it in the Campus View Courtyard while roasting hot dogs on the grill. Although it was a chilly night, several of the residents stayed for the entire movie, while many residents came and went throughout the evening.”