An SVSU student was recently awarded for his work as a residential assistant.
Jarod Morse, a biology junior, won Student Staff Member of the Year from the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls. To win, students create a bid presentation for the student they believe deserves the award.
Abbey Sura, a social work Senior, made Morse’s bid presentation. Sura and Morse have known each other for three years and were members of the Residence Housing Association.
“His willingness to be an advocate and leadership abilities as an RA at SVSU are what encouraged me to nominate him for the award of Student Staff Member of the Year,” Sura said. “Jarod is a genuine person who is not afraid to reach out and bring awareness to social injustices.”
To be considered for the award, students must be employed by the institution they attend, have good academic standing and demonstrate commitment to the campus and residential community.
Chelsea Brown, the resident director of MJ Brandimore, said Morse excels at building a sense of community and goes above and beyond his programming requirements.
“Jarod always has a way of approaching even the most routine parts of the job and making them fun and enjoyable,” she said. “That sort of positivity is infectious, and it really benefits the rest of our staff and our residents.”
Morse has won several awards as a student at SVSU, including: the SVSU First Year Experience Award, 2017-2018; SVSU Student Staff Member of the Year Award, 2018-2019; and RHA Most Positive Person Award, 2019-2020.
Morse also creates several programs that give students something to do and a place to be included. He hosts “Time to be Involved Tuesdays,” where he knocks on the doors of his residents to check on them, encourage them to participate in RA programs or attend RHA.
Morse said he was elated when he heard he was selected by Sura as a nomination and even more so when he discovered he was the winning nomination.
“It made me recognize that the pride I take in my work doesn’t go unnoticed,” Morse said. “I strive to challenge people to think of the RA position as more than just a job. To me, it is a role or a lifestyle.”
Morse said he won the award because of the hard work Sura put into writing about him.
“She shared my experience running for homecoming, some of my programs that I have done in the past and showed how I offer opportunities for students to connect with each other,” Morse said.
Brown said that being a freshman RA can be difficult because students are still transitioning into college life and being away from home. She believes Morse tackles these challenges head-on.
“Jarod’s residents love him, because he truly cares about them and connects with them on a personal level,” ] Brown said. “He always takes the time to make sure his residents feel safe, comfortable and connected – really listening to them and what’s going on in their lives. Due to his efforts, I know that his residents feel like MJ Brandimore House is their second home.”