New residence life team assembled

Mar 29, 2018
(l to r) Thor Balavage, Jonathan Coufal, Imkeleen Meyer, Katie Sullivan and Chase Bowman (not pictured) Courtney Klaus and Madison McCollum

Five brand new resident assistants (RAs) have been hired for the 2018-19 academic year. The residence life team is excited about the new additions and eager for two veterans to return for another year.

The 2018-19 RAs are Courtney Klaus, Katie Sullivan, Thor Balavage, Jonathan Coufal, Madison McCollum and Imkeleen Meyer.

When searching for new RAs, Residence Life Coordinator Jerricus Funderburke said, “We want students with good personalities, motivation, passion and confidence. We want someone who does the right thing. Someone you can build trust with, build a relationship with and someone that can help you transition and make you feel comfortable living on campus.”

He said the overall goal for an RA should be to make students feel at home at Newman University.

Director of Residence Life Scott Mudloff is excited about this incoming group and sees a great opportunity to build on the programming and relationships that have been implemented since he started.

He said, “We have a good balance of youth and experience and I believe that will help us engage students, get them excited about living in housing and hopefully keep them here in the residence halls longer.”

An RA has more responsibilities than you may think but sophomore Courtney Klaus is excited about her new job.

“I’ve wanted to be an RA since freshman year,” Klaus said. “I feel like being an RA is uniquely rewarding from any other student leadership position on campus because it gives you the opportunity to make a positive impact at a more personal and individual level.”

Training started as early as this week for the new team. Mudloff and Funderburke will hold a weekly night class until the end of the semester for the RAs.

Mudloff said, “This is to take a little of the load off of our fall training before students arrive.”

Fall training starts three weeks prior to Jet Days, which is an event that includes the official move-in day for freshmen.

“The RA training in August is to polish them up and get them ready for a fun year,” said Funderburke.

This training provides ample time to work through different scenarios that may arise, develop leadership skills, practice relationship building and fully prepare the RAs for any situation or student personality they may encounter in their halls.

Madison RA
Madison McCollum at last years’ fall training.

New RA Jonathan “Jon” Coufal will reside in Merlini Hall next year and said, “I am most looking forward to helping foster a very enjoyable environment for the residents on campus because college can be very stressful as is, and I want to help in any way I can to make the students’ college experience better.”

Funderburke looks forward to working with this new group of students.

“These people are ready to tackle things head-on,” said Funderburke, “and I’m just here to help them have an easy transition into the job, have fun and make great memories that they can keep and take with them throughout their college experience at Newman University.”

The RAs’ excitement to start the job and meet their residents will only build from now until move-in day.

Klaus said, “I’m looking forward to doing fun events in my hall. I want the decorations and events in my hall to reflect the interests of not just myself, but the residents.” Klaus looks forward to meeting her residents in August. “I’m excited to see what kind of personality they will bring.”

Funderburke pointed out that students at Newman tend to be highly involved on campus and in organizations around campus. He said, “The students here are made of great character. I’m just happy that I’m at a school with people like that.”

As for the 2018-19 RA staff, Mudloff said, “Each student we selected has different gifts and talents and that balance will hopefully translate to a great year next year.”

Funderburke added, “From the interviews, they seem passionate and excited to be an RA. They’ll bring in a new energy that I’m really blessed to be a part of.”