All-Star RAs, Programs Honored by Residence Life Office
Resident Assistant of the Year Chosen as Resident Assistant of the Year was James Jones, a culinary arts and systems major from Mount Pocono and a second-year RA in College West.
"This individual exemplifies service of mankind to the fullest," staff said. "He has been an amazing asset to Residence Life and to Penn College. This person is willing and able to lend a hand to any RA or professional-staff member without thinking twice. (His) undying acts of selflessness have truly been epitomized throughout his character, and will undoubtedly bring him success in the future."
Rising Star of the Year Marija Staznik, of Harrisburg, a hospitality management major completing her first year as an RA at The Village, was named the year's Rising Star.
"This RA was an impressionable first-year student last year, and has morphed into someone who has made startling impressions on new and returning students," Residence Life staff said. "She has flawlessly grasped the concept of the RA position and immediately understood the importance of building community and getting to know residents, but she did so much more than that. She not only knew her own residents inside and out, but she spent the year creating programming initiatives that were special to her residents' needs and wants."
Staznik won several "Of the Month" awards throughout the year (including one of theannual honors outlined below), and was lauded for her positive attitude, optimism, charisma and leadership.
The Year's Other Noteworthy ProgramsResidence Life also singled out educational, social and innovative Programs of the Year, as follows:
Educational "In Remembrance of 9/11," which was organized by Staznik and included a candlelight vigil, a moment of silence, and staff and student speakers in the Remembrance Garden.
"The program was most certainly educational in nature, however it wins recognition for several specific reasons," staff explained. "Several of this RA's residents had loved ones who were lost in the Sept. 11 (2001) terrorist attack. In response to their request for a remembrance, and in a mere two days, (she) put together a program honoring the day. The program was well-attended, and, most importantly, Marija made a huge impact on many students campuswide."
Social A "Wing Blast" organized by Franklin Carr, a first-year RA at Rose Street.
Carr, a construction carpentry student from Davidsville (who also was spotlighted among April's honors detailed below), took an idea he had seen from his hometown and turned it into a praiseworthy event for Penn College residents.
"Different wings from across the country, a Steelers game, a bonfire and an award to the best "wing place' in Williamsport were all part of the master plan for this creative Resident Assistant," staff said. "As an additional incentive, this individual asked attendees to bring canned goods for the Student Government Association food drive."
Carr arranged for chicken wings from four area establishments and, even though the event had to be moved indoors due to weather, more than 100 residents turned out for the program.
Innovative The entire College West team Jason Kovach, Julianne Grega, Bradley Jackson, Yo-Seop Lee, Jamie Lear, Brian Walton, Matthew Miller, Steven Ritter, Lucas Cusatis and Jones was honored for "Meat the Fuzz."
"This program was a collaboration of all staff members. This program was a 'meat'-and-greet barbecue, which featured great food prepared by the Resident Assistant staff," it was noted. "The residents of this complex were afforded the opportunity to socialize with several of the Penn College Police officers who work in this complex's substation."
About 70 residents attended the two-and-a-half-hour program, which also was chosen as the most innovative for the month.
Resident Assistant of the MonthHonored as RA of the Month for April was John C. Phillippy, an information technology: security specialist major from Greencastle and a second-year RA at Rose Street.
"Like a chameleon, he has adapted many times through phases of change only to successfully rise up again. The extraordinary tenacity he has displayed is a true testament to his love, pride and genuine concern for all the residents and Resident Assistants he encounters," staff said. "This individual does not only excel tremendously at his performance within Residence Life, he also wears many other student-leadership hats."
Phillippy is an Admissions Ambassador, for instance, as well as a certified EMT, an SGA senator and a Residence Hall Association Executive Board member.
"Most importantly," staff added, "he has a clear concept of time management, maturity, integrity and the importance of striving for academic success.
Rising Star of the Month The Rising Star of the Month was Grega, a first-year RA at College West Apartments and a pre-physician assistant major from Weatherly.
"She always contributes to her respective staff by demonstrating her willingness to help out wherever needed without hesitation," Residence Life officials said. "This RA deals with situations effectively, has an amazing rapport with residents and does a phenomenal job balancing academic responsibilities (and) memberships in various student organizations."
Educational Program of the Month The outstanding educational program for April was "Saturday Morning Brunch," arranged by Carr and Melissa Dobson, a pre-physician assistant student from Elysburg who also is a first-year RA at Rose Street.
"(Through) the cooking of breakfast on a crisp Saturday morning, this dynamic duo sought to educate their community on the importance of ... healthy eating habits," staff said. "An additional goal of the program was to offer students an alternative ... to going home for the weekend, thus enlightening the community on the weekend programming initiatives that take place at Penn College on a consistent basis. The coordinators of this magnificent event were very diligent with word-of-mouth and poster advertising, communicated their goals clearly, and were excellent in executing their event with a delicious breakfast served to over 25 attendees. Congratulations ... for their culinary delights, which captured the true essence of fun and education."
Social Program of the Month Honored as the month's best social offering was an "Old School Videos" program presented by Jordan Enders, an information technology: network specialist from Columbia.
"Back in February, this RA (completing his first year in The Village) began the planning for a program that he developed based on the recommendation of some of his residents. He wanted to create something different instead of a run-of-the-mill social gathering. This RA worked with several of his own residents and hosted a video-game program using versions of Atari and Nintendo."
More than 10 residents attended, staff added residents who really appreciated the planning and effort that went into the program.