Rookie Award winner Brewer was key to new program

The Administrative Staff Rookie of the Year Award recognizes an employee who has been with BGSU between one and three years and who has played a key role in implementing a new idea, program or procedure designed to enhance student recruitment, retention or engagement. That description could have been written to describe this year's winner, Centennial Residence Hall Director Kristen Brewer.

As a new employee, Brewer found herself also pioneering a new model for student interaction. Centennial Hall, for first-year students, would be the test residence hall for a new programming model, the Falcon Success and Retention Curriculum (FSRC), based on intentional interactions and faculty programming.

"This was a huge difference from the traditional residence hall programming that has been in place on BGSU's campus for a number of years, and meant Kristin was on her own since the rest of the residence halls were maintaining the traditional programming model," said her nominator Melissa Webb, also a residence hall director. "Though this was a big task, Kristin accepted this appointment with great enthusiasm."

The basis of the new interaction model that Centennial resident advisors (RAs) were responsible for facilitating involved having very intentional conversations with residents and logging the general conversations in a large document that would help hall directors and other Residence Life staff members to track student issues and concerns. In addition, faculty mentors were assigned to each RA to sponsor meaningful programs in the hall and increase students' comfort levels with faculty.

"Without her extra effort and hard work during her first year as a hall director at BGSU, the FSRC may not have come to fruition," Webb said. "Kristin was a driving force behind researching this type of a programmatic model and finding a way to make the intentional interaction model work on our campus so students living in the residence halls are holistically supported, engaged, and retained at a higher rate. The journey is yet to be over, but Kristin has provided a solid foundation to the Office of Residence Life while moving forward with refining the Falcon Success and Retention Curriculum. Kristin is an excellent role model for all new staff members, showing you can make a difference from the moment you step foot on this campus."