Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 54

Constant communication and conversation is vital in these challenging
circumstances, Liebenberg continues. "So much can be solved, agreed
upon, and sorted out, by having decent conversations. Student staff want
to be heard, not just listened to."
Strategies to maintain connection are as varied as the personalities
who employ them. Tom Ellett, senior associate vice president for student
affairs at New York University in New York City, holds one-on-one
meetings with each one of his RAs every year. At Florida State, Myrick
started doing TED Talk-type sessions during RA training where she
could share words of wisdom and experience with student staff. Bryan
Shelangoski, associate director of housing at the University of Louisville
in Kentucky, invited all the student staff over to his home for a dinner
at the end of training. Finding ways to help staff make connections with
the person rather than the administrator improves the quality of the
relationship. Investing in relationships with student staff pays dividends
not just for our organizations but also for the students themselves.
Childress notes that in addition to the enhanced job performance of RAs
who have strong relationships with their supervisors, she also sees the

The dynamics between student staff and
hall directors are not like those of any other
supervisor-supervisee relationship, and many
residence life professionals see this as an asset.
payoff for her student staff, whether or not they are interested in a career
in a directly related field. However, she says that while the job develops
many transferable skills for student staff, it is important for a supervisor
to help them recognize and claim those skills. "When I supervised RAs,
I looked for ways to help connect the great, advanced skills sets they
were developing and the experiences they were getting to their particular
career or field of interest," she says. "We ask a lot of our student staff and
demand some high-level responses and thinking. I want to make sure
that a future employer or graduate school admission committee, who may
have no context for what a resident assistant does, understands that our
RAs are the best of the best and have skills that will make them a valuable
asset in their chosen fields." Liebenberg agrees and says she believes that
the relationships between student staff and supervisors can also have
broader implications and reach. "Our student staff develop into leaders,
which is a high priority at our university. As leaders, we work with them
to develop into fully active and well-rounded citizens who can make a
contribution towards building a better future for others."
Several considerations are relevant for best cultivating strong student
staff-hall director relationships. Cameron believes that having a smaller
 CONTINUES  63

54

TALKING STICK



Talking Stick - November/December 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - November/December 2015

Talking Stick - November/December 2015
Contents
New Members
Vision
Just In
Calendar
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Business
Special Focus
Completing the Loop
Perfect Partners
Conversations
First Takes
Around Student Affairs
Snapshot
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Intro
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Talking Stick - November/December 2015
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Cover2
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 1
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 2
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Contents
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 4
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 5
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - New Members
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 7
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Vision
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 9
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Just In
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 11
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 12
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 13
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 14
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 15
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 16
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 17
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Calendar
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 19
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 21
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Transitions
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 23
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Res Life
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 25
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 26
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 27
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Business
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 29
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 30
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 31
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Special Focus
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 33
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 34
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 35
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Completing the Loop
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 37
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 38
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 39
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 40
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 41
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 42
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 43
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 44
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 45
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 46
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 47
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Perfect Partners
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 49
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 50
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 51
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 52
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 53
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 54
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 55
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Conversations
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 57
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 58
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 59
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - First Takes
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Around Student Affairs
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 62
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 63
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 64
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 65
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 66
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - 67
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Cover3
Talking Stick - November/December 2015 - Cover4
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