Each month the Residence Life Office recognizes students from each residence area and a Resident Assistant who go above and beyond to contribute to the building of residence areas committed to academic excellence, individual student development, and a strong loving Christian community. The Stonehill Stars program recognizes the positive work that so many members of the College community are doing. Residence Life is proud to announce the following Stonehill Stars. Click the following links to view past winners of Stonehill Stars!
March Stonehill Star Winners!
Community Assistant of the Month: Greg Shaw
Professor Shaw made his way to the common room of Kingston / Lowell on Tuesday night ready and eager to lead a guided meditation session. On the surface, this may not seem all that special. However, one week prior, Professor Shaw had been so swamped with work and his other responsibilities that our program as it was initially planned slipped his mind entirely. It would have been just as easy and understandable for Professor Shaw to indicate that he had too many things on his plate as a means of apologizing and moving forward but I am thrilled to report that he went in the complete opposite direction. Professor Shaw ensured the program was rescheduled arrived with great energy and enthusiasm. He talked about his background in meditation and led us in a five minute exercise. The stress of the mid-semester crunch evaporated from the room immediately. We continued to have a very fruitful conversation after the program with the residents present about the stresses and pressures in our lives, the role Stonehill College has played in our personal development and the changing dynamic of our culture with respect to the recent headlines about sexual assault. We even found time to explore the evolving guest policy through a very open and honest dialogue. Professor Shaw used this program as an opportunity to not only show us the power of silence through meditation but he went to great lengths to connect with the residents who were present on an individual level. For these reasons and so many more, Professor Shaw is certainly deserving of the title, CA of the Month.
Program of the Month: St. Patrick's Day Celebration, Christina Scanlon
Christina Scanlon was able to bring the St. Patrick's Day spirit to the Courts. Her program had residents attend from all four of her houses in addition to other Courts residents. She brought treats and even had some of her residents make St. Patrick's Day themed cupcakes and cookies. She taught us all a bit about the history of St. Patrick's Day and Irish Step Dance and gave us all a flier with additional information. She, along with some other experienced Irish Step dancers, taught us all some basic steps. Everyone was so engaged and tried their hardest to get the steps right. Christina was so patient and encouraging with each of the residents. Her program was such a success that at the end, many residents asked if she could teach them more.
Resident Assistant of the Month : Paris Volpe
Paris Volpe absolutely rocks the village. It is no secret that along with all of the stresses of being an RA, the village adds another layer of challenge. It often is viewed as an area associated with little potential for community vibes, difficulty in developing connections with all houses, and challenges being a visible presence in all areas. Paris had completely smashed this stigma. After recognizing that not all residents may feel comfortable entering another house to find her with questions or concerns, Paris implemented an online system where residents can either anonymously or openly submit anything that they may need to speak to Paris about. When telling me about this system, Paris stated that she did it because she felt bad that only about half of her residents from other houses felt comfortable going into Centerville to find her. What really struck me were the incredible standards to which she held herself. Many would find the fact that they can make one house home to other who do not live there quite an accomplishment, but Paris truly did not want to stop until every resident felt included. Her dedication to her residents shows both in and out of the halls, when residents will often call “hi mom!” to her when seeing her around campus.
Paris also has an unprecedented relationship with her CA. Although her programming plans with her CA have fallen through more times that would be ideal this year, she continues to maintain a positive attitude and is in frequent contact with him. In having one-on-ones with her this semester, every time we meet, I find myself running to Emily or Janice just to let them know how great Paris is doing, she never ceases to impress me. For these reasons, I find Paris to be an ideal Stonehill Star!
Residents of the Month
Michelle Dander- Commonwealth and Colonial Courts
This month the Courts would like to award Michelle Dander the resident of the month title! Michelle, who lives in Quincy in the Colonial Courts, is constantly exemplifying positivity and kindness for the entire community! There is absolutely never a dull moment when Michelle is around! She’s always conscientious and always asks people how they’re doing. I know that since coming back from being abroad in Spain, she’s always making someone smile. In addition, Michelle is also the president of Model UN and organized their weeklong upcoming conference to New York City! She is also one of the founding members and on the e board for the Sylvia Plath Society for Women in Politics, and volunteers at the HOPE House with Best Buddies. Michelle is absolutely always ready to help every member of the community and when around her you’re reminded of her thoughtful, hard working, sassy, and fun personality! Michelle is a Stonehill Star because the Courts are made a much better community just by having Michelle!
Melanie Smeaton- O' Hara
Melanie Smeaton has taken every opportunity in front of her and ran with it. She applied for Resident Assistant but unfortunately did not get it but she did not let that stop her. She went out of her comfort zone and applied for the desk attendant position. She got the position and will be going all over campus for the job. This allows Melanie to continue to grow as an individual and get even more involved in the community. Although Melanie has had some bumps in the road, she has not let anything stop her. She has proven to be a hard working determined individual.
Jackie Oleksak-Holy Cross Center
Jackie deserves resident of the month because she is always going out of her way for others and putting them before herself. She is constantly doing kind things such as writing encouraging notes and leaving inspirational quotes under people's doors. She is one of those people that will always stop when she sees you and ask how your day is going with a genuine interest. Her smile could make anyone's day and if you get to know her you'll find out that she is one of the most humble people you'll ever meet. Jackie is a perfect example of the type of community that we are all about here in the Sem.
Tara Daniels- New Hall
Tara's hard work for Relay for Life is hard to go unnoticed. Tara is constantly talking up the events for Relay as well as helping organize the ins and outs of the events to make it the most successful week it can be. Despite her busy schedule and work load, it is rare to see Tara without a smile, brightening someones day whether it be in her suite or just in the hallways. She is always quick to help a friend in a crisis or use her connections to help make someone else's life easier. Tara's suite mates have expressed their thankfulness for her organization of suite dinners and her RA said, "Tara is the type of resident every RA prays for."
November Stonehill Star Winners!
Community Assistant of the Month: Jatnna Amador
Jatnna Amador embodies all that a Community Associate possesses and more. She exemplifies a willingness to be present and to assist in any task that arises. Jatnna has certainly expressed genuine support of myself and the residents of Villa Theresa first South. After our first hallway meeting Jatnna made it a point to reach out to all of the residents in Villa Theresa first South. Many believe that actions speak louder than words and Jatnna continuously lives up to her invitation and genuine desire to be there for our residents in her attendance at EVERY single one of my programs. Jatnna is always available to talk about the program beforehand and offer her advice on ways to better improve it so that residents can get the most out of the program. However, she does not stop there; Jatnna has picked up items for programs, always shows up early to offer a lending hand in program preparation, and faithfully participates in the activities and discussions that take place as a result of the program.
This month in particular Jatnna attended my program Chicken Soup for the College Soul. Jatnna arrived with a vibrant attitude that rubbed off on each of the residents who entered the Villa Theresa Common Room that night. As I continued to ensure that everything was present for the program to run effectively Jatnna took the lead and made sure that our guests felt welcomed and loved. She modeled everything the Community Associate Program seeks to accomplish; she physically established that connection between the Residence Hall and the greater Stonehill community outside of the academic workroom. As she exchanged laughs with our guests, I know that residents were watchful of her actions and it was clear that the responses from our residents and willingness to participate in the program was largely in part of having witnessed the way in which Jatnna interacted with our guests beforehand. For these reasons I believe that Jatnna Amador should be Community Associate of the month.
Program of the Month: Lisa Edwards
Lisa Edwards had a campus wide event about the Sandy Hook shootings that occurred last December. This event was perhaps the most inspiring program that has been held on campus thus far. The event called for reflection and action on the part of the audience rather than mourning for the loss of 28 individuals. We engaged in thoughtful discussion about the event, but also learned about what we can do to continue and carry on Daniel Barden's legacy. Lisa's program was incredibly well planned and insightful and called for students to take action and pass along the kindness and compassion that Daniel had exemplified during his life. The residents from O'Hara that attended had nothing but kind words to say after the event and revealed that they had never reflected on the Sandy Hook shootings since the day it happened. It was incredible to hear how the news of the event spread, and how it reached students who lived in all different areas of the US. Though everyone may not have been from Connecticut, this incident was still very close to home and our hearts and Lisa emphasized this very well. Ultimately, this event was flawlessly executed and was truly an inspiration for all students.
Resident Assistant of the Month: Alex Patturelli
The month of November is a difficult month for everyone in school. Classes are starting to wind down and most students are ready to throw in the towel. What residents (and RAs) need, especially in November, is extra support and encouragement, which is exactly what Alex has been this month. Amidst all of his responsibilities, he still has found time to get close to residents, hold great programs, and be a support to lean on for his staff.
Alex's creativity with programs this month have not been overlooked. Alex coordinated a passive "Karaoke Night," and had over 30 residents attend on a Friday night. The residents who attended appeared to have a wonderful time, as the program lasted for over an hour. The next night, while on duty with Kyle Ryan, the two of them coordinated a Poker Night program to hold while in-between rounds. Alex and Kyle printed out advertisements beforehand and put them on every door around the building to encourage residents to attend. This passive program was also highly successful, and provided multiple opportunities for residents to participate in fun, safe activities during the weekend.
November is a month meant for giving thanks. Two residents of the area have decorated their door with a variety of things/people that they are thankful for, and it is no surprise that Alex was listed as one of these people. The O'Hara staff would agree that we are very thankful to have Alex as a part of our family, and this is why he deserves to be the RA of the month.
Residents of the Month
Nicole Gilcoine: O'Hara Hall
Nicole is a very helpful, fun person. She's a great friend, she always says hello in the hallways, and she's just overall awesome to be around. She's really taken it upon herself to work hard in her first year here at Stonehill, which is evident in her starting her own club!
Tara Hurley: New Hall
Tara Hurley’s bright smile and bubbly personality has been lighting up New Hall every day since she moved into the building. From day one, Tara made an active effort to be friendly and outgoing towards everyone she interacted with. She has an ability to make everyone feel loved and appreciated from even a simple conversation. You can also count on Tara to always be proactive in making sure that her suite always gets things done as they need to be. There have been multiple occasions where Tara has come to her RA to advocate for her suite when they have a question or need to get something done. Overall, Tara’s hard work as a graphic design major, her involvement all over campus, and her wonderful energy make her a standout individual both in New Hall and the Stonehill community.
Anita Bela Goncalves: Villa Theresa
Anitabela is a remarkably friendly and outgoing person who plays an integral part to building a close-knit community. She always has her door open and greets everyone with a cheerful hello and a radiant smile. This month Anita has offered a fellow hallmate who is too far from home to come and spend Thanksgiving break with her and her family. Anita has a great relationship with each of the RAs in Villa Theresa, on their rounds or in passing Anita always makes a point to talk to them share a few laughs and even make lunch dates. On top of that all Anita also dedicates a weekend every month to her duties as a member of the United States Military. Although she will be away for basic training for the United States National Guard next semester there will always be a place for Anita in Villa Theresa.
Hattie Pipes: Corr Hall
Since the beginning of the year, Hattie has emerged as a role model on Corr Second floor. Hattie is very friendly and always eager to chat with others in the hall. Hattie's door is always open and she stops by other open doors every time she walks down the hallway. She is quick to offer encouraging words to all of those around her. After talking to Hattie, it is hard not to feel more positive yourself, as her positivity is contagious. Her kind-hearted nature has made Corr a better community. When her RA was creating Halloween goodie bags for the hall, Hattie saw and offered to help without hesitation. This simple act, done just because she wanted to, was small, but made a big difference. Hattie's welcoming demeanor and friendly personality make her a standout Stonehill Star.
Laura is absolutely AMAZING. She is always so friendly and outgoing! I don't think I've ever seen her without a smile on her face, even under a lot of stress. She is very involved in the hall. Laura is the 3rd East hall rep for Hall Council and helps out in any way possible. She also makes a point to stop by and hang with the RAs on duty on weekend nights. When she's not busy with dance practice or school work, she is seen around the hall laughing and talking to everyone that walks by. She really makes an effort to get to know as many people as she possibly can. She has also attended many of the RA programs when she is free. She is just a wonderful person and resident and that is why Laura is this month's Stonehill Star!
Alison Smith: Holy Cross Center
Allie is a very active member of the Sem community. She serves as our hall council senator and takes on a lot of responsibility with this position. She does a great job of listening to residents' concerns during hall council and bringing these matters to SGA. For instance, this past month she brought to SGA that a lot of Sem residents were concerned that it was unsafe for them to cross from the Sports Complex parking lot to the path near Martin Institute without a cross walk. Allie brought this concern to SGA and because of her a cross walk has been installed in order to ensure the safety of Sem residents. Her great listening skills, confident communication, and enthusiastic attitude make Allie a great senator and a great friend to all those in the Sem.
October Stonehill Star Winners!
Community Assistant of the Month: Norah Esty
Professor Esty is always excited to get to know more residents and makes every possible effort to help out during a program in any way that she can. This month during a program in Villa Theresa that she attended, Professor Esty spent time with students making pizzas and even helped out with the clean up after the program was finished. She always can find a way to relate to the residents of the hall and engage them in meaningful conversation. And on top of that, she keeps the conversations lighthearted and fun! For these reasons I believe Professor Norah Esty deserves Community Associate of the Month.
Program of the Month: Victoria Mello
Victoria has been an outstanding RA from the moment she started. She brings a wonderful variety of skills to the Sem staff including both her organization and creativity. She really exemplified these skills in her October program which turned out to be a tremendous success. Her program was called "Tricks, Treats, & Traditions" and while none of the residents nor myself really knew what would be involved it turned out to be more fun than I believe any of us had anticipated. Victoria put a lot of time and effort into her program which was obvious being that she had spent the entire night prior to the program baking sugar cookies and making homemade frosting and sprinkles for her program. Once residents heard that cookie decorating was involved the event drew a large crowd but Victoria also incorporated an educational component, which no one but her could have ever thought of. Before any of the residents could decorate their cookies they had to do a scavenger hunt that would teach them about the way in which Halloween is celebrated in cultures all around the world. Once they had completed that they were finally able to enjoy decorating Halloween cookies and at this point I don't think anyone minded too much that Victoria had tricked them into doing something educational because they were all content with her delicious cookies. Victoria never fails to impress me with her ingenious ideas for programs or her remarkable creativity or her unending kindness. I feel truly honored to have Victoria on my staff and I look forward to seeing all the other amazing things she will do throughout the year.
Resident Assistant of the Month: Amanda Nagim-Williams
The month of October seems to be one of the most stressful for first year students who are still adjusting to academics, a new social life, and homesickness. Amanda noticed this and tailored her October program to be a stress relief night at the spa where residents had the opportunity to get their nails done, have an all-natural facial, and learn tips for stress relief. Unsurprisingly, over 50% of her residents attended this program and even a few male residents were there! To further make her residents feel at home in their hallway, Amanda’s October doortags were personalized for each resident with their picture and a quote that describes them.
Amanda has gone above and beyond to make sure all of her residents feel comfortable in their living environment, as shown with her doortags. She has made herself available to residents and staff as a resource for unbiased advice and is respected by everyone in CVT, as proven through resident praise for her. Her awareness of the needs of the community is reflected in her October stress relief spa program. For these reasons (and many more), Amanda deserves to be RA of the month.
Residents of the Month
Brendan O'Connor: New Hall
Brendan is a model resident. He always has a positive attitude, smiling in the hallways, and making everyones day brighter. He is always recruiting people to attend mass in New Hall on wednesday nights and has such a strong presence as a crossing minister. He truly is concerned for everyone's well being and I think for that he deserves resident of the month.
Emily Broe: Boland Hall
This nominee should be chosen for this category because she has gone above and beyond this past month to help with both Hall Council events and Haunted Sem. She was more than willing to go shopping whenever it was necessary. Emily was so willing to take charge of the haunted sem completely to make sure that it went smoothly and everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing. She also knocked door to door to get more people involved in the Haunted Sem, in her scary practice makeup no less. She made everyone who was participating feel more than welcome and was open and compassionate to everyones idea. She is always friendly and is a very easy person to get along with. Emily Broe is overall an amazing resident and deserves this recognition.
Kayla Andrade: Notre Dame DuLac
Kayla has played an integral part in helping get New/Du's hall council off the ground. She helped select a theme for Haunted Sem and has been working hard to ensure that her area has lots of participation in the event. Kayla is also a friendly face who interacts with most people she sees!
Olivia DiMaio: O'Hara Hall
Olivia is an incredibly friendly, sweet person who is always looking to lend a helping hand. She is extremely active within SGA and within Hall Council. In fact, she ran O'Hara Hall Council's first ever program! She is a dedicated student an an enthusiastic participant in her community.
Sam Frykenberg: Corr Hall
Sam Frykenberg has been a constant source of positive energy this year in Corr Hall. He is always happy, and has an ability to spread his happiness to those around him. His positive attitude is infectious and he always has a kind thing to say in passing. He has done a great job making others feel welcome in this community simply by his consistent kindness. He shows genuine care and concern for everyone, and is great at offering a helping hand during a time of need. Many in the Corr community would agree: Corr Hall would not be the same without him.
Daniel Besser: Holy Cross Center
He attends every single program, including all purple and white games. He always has a smile on his face and invites other residents to impromptu programs. He is always willing to help out with anything and is a key contributor to tight-knit community of the Sem. His is always open and he is always welcoming.