Posted Thursday, January 7, 2021 @ 12:40 PM
OTMs are “Of The Month” awards that recognize exceptional students, staff, faculty, programs, or initiatives during the month. Any resident or staff member can submit an OTM, and the general categories are: Advisor, Executive Board Member, First Year Student, Student, Residence Life Professional Staff, Institution Faculty/Staff, Organization, Resident Assistant, Student Staff Member, and Spotlight. Individuals can also recognize programs for OTMs, and those categories are: Community Service Program, Diversity Program, Educational Program, Passive Program, and Social Program. OTMs are due by 11:59 p.m. on the last day of each month and can be submitted here.. The UCF OTMS are overseen by the UCF NRHH, or the National Residence Hall Honorary. Learn more about this past November’s winners below.
Megan is the Student Office Assistant for the Libra Community and is being recognized for her impact since the start of the semester. Megan is described as extremely friendly and helpful behind the front desk. While it is only her first semester in the position, she is very knowledgeable and uses her stellar communication skills to help students and student staff alike. Since all the COVID policies and procedures forced most interactions to take place virtually, it could be challenging for new RAs to get to know one another. Megan has been able to overcome these obstacles and build relationships with her colleagues, nonetheless.
Her nominator stated, “With someone like Megan I feel much more comfortable working office shifts, and in a year where many people are complaining of feeling alone, Megan was the reason I never had to deal with that turmoil.”
Marie serves as the Safety and Security Graduate Assistant for UCF Housing. She joined the department at a tumultuous time, between the pandemic, completing her capstone class for her bachelor’s degree, and more. Her position has taken a new form that no other GA has worked in as she is now exclusively responsible for creating safety education content. Marie quickly rose to the challenge, and in the month of November she contributed two blog posts: “Ridesharing Tips for UCF Housing Residents” and “Five Things to Do on National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.” She also produced three episodes of the Instagram series “Marie and Matt Mondays” where she connected with residents through an on-the-street style game show discussing important topics such as mental health, stress awareness and management, food safety, fire safety, COVID-19 guidelines, and the locations of important resources on campus.
In addition to safety education content, Marie also participates in an on-call rotation of housing communities. This month, she was faced with supporting students and staff of our off-campus affiliated property after an armed crime. Supporting those impacted by crime is a challenging task, especially when support options are limited in the late-night hours, but Marie was able to follow up with the students impacted by the situation to ensure that they felt safe in their apartments and knew about the resources available to them.
Her nominator stated, “I strongly believe that the students that Marie has connected with through her educational outreach and programming have left them more knowledgeable and feeling more connected to campus than they were before the interaction. Marie deserves recognition for going above and beyond in her work to promote safety and security in our residence halls by connecting with individual students, all while also exceeding expectations with the level of care she takes when assisting students and student staff with handling difficult situations.”
Many collaborative initiatives take place between UCF Housing and the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (SCAI) at UCF. An unsung hero for UCF Housing this semester has been Mariah Edwards, a Graduate Assistant with SCAI. UCF Housing saw its fair share of students in violation of the policies outlined in DHRL’s COVID-19 addendum to the 2020-2021 housing agreement. Mariah has assisted SCAI and DHRL with performing COVID-19 phone call follow-ups for students who allegedly violate COVID-19 policies before any formalized disciplinary actions are taken. By doing so, she provides the student body with timely follow-up and accurate information that slowly, but surely, works to maintain the safety of all students at UCF.
Her nominator stated, “A lot of Mariah’s work for SCAI and DHRL has taken place behind the scenes, and I wanted to provide recognition for the amount of follow up that has surely taken place regarding COVID-19 violations across UCF’s campuses. Mariah’s work assists with streamlining both SCAI’s and DHRL’s operations to where both offices can efficiently and effectively serve the student body in such unprecedented times. Thank you for your work, Mariah! It is noticed!”
RA Tre has been recognized for always doing his best to excel at his job while helping his fellow Resident Assistants succeed as well. Throughout the month of November, Tre would separate time each Monday to comb through the many UCF social media accounts in search of events and opportunities to share with his residents. This was important to Tre because he understood how difficult it is for residents to remain involved and socialize during COVID-19. He shared his findings with the entire Apollo and Libra Resident Assistant teams so they could share with their residents, and even provided image and caption suggestions for communication purposes.
Tre has supported various events, such as the Apollo Area Council’s “Among Us Game Night” and a movie night hosted by the Staff Development committee. His nominator stated, “Tre was happy to join along and attend these events to make them more enjoyable for everyone. Even though these events were not mandatory for him, he was happy to attend and always does his job cheerfully, even if people don’t always recognize it. “
In November, RHA persevered with great honor as they encouraged participation in a conference, hosted a canned food drive, orchestrated a General Body Meeting centered around professional development, and organized study knight sessions for students. RHA began the month by participating in the SAACURH Regional Leadership Conference, which exemplifies the values of student leaders. Later in November, RHA celebrated the season of giving through a two-week food drive, and all donations were later given to Knights Pantry for UCF students in need. Toward the end of the month, RHA incorporated a resume-building workshop into one of its last general body meetings and provided a professional development opportunity for students.
RHA’s nominator stated, “RHA has opened many doors for me. Through this organization I have grown substantially since the fall semester. Through RHA I remain motivated to stay involved within my community and inspired to keep on charging on especially now through the times of COVID- 19. I have also met a lot of amazing people and have learned how to be a better advocate for others. Although this semester is coming to an end, I cannot wait to see what the RHA chapter at UCF has in store and the journey’s they will embark on in the spring of 2021.”