Staff Spotlight: Franklin Smith
March 05, 2020
“Never forget where you came from but never lose sight of where you’re going.”
That statement is one of the many inspirational quotes that Franklin, a Public Relations major and resident assistant in the East Campus Village community, lives by. He aspires to be a motivational speaker later on in life, but for now, he’s focused on lighting that spark in his residents.
Franklin applied for the position because of, “three simple words - make a difference. Part of me is that I like to help people.”
As a sophomore with a year of experience under his belt, he feels compelled to use that experience to guide his residents in the right direction and “strive to be the positive in people’s lives.”
“As an RA, I’m not here to be a tattletale, I’m not here to be your parent… I’m here, especially for my freshman, because some of the things you’re going through now, I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. I don’t want you all to go through what I did.”
With his insight, he has already been able to see a difference in the lives that he has touched. When a conflict situation arose between two roommates, Franklin encouraged them not only to come to a friendly compromise but to incorporate a value that has been instilled in him since his childhood - gratefulness. He told them that although the living situation may not be exactly how they had hoped, they both have each other and that they can come together to make the best of the experience.
“It could always be worse. There’s always someone that has it worse than you.”
From this interaction, over time, Franklin was able to see the two roommates go from being foes to friends which has been his most rewarding experience in his RA career so far.
When he’s not teaching his residents something new, UGA is - even outside of class.
“I look at UGA as a life teacher. It’s teaching me how to become more of a man and how to be an adult so that when I do come out of college, I’m ready for the world. I’m ready for whatever it’s going to throw at me.”
As an active member in the Athens community, Franklin is determined to be successful. As the Vice President of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a member of the Black Male Leadership Society, he says that the connections and resources the university has to offer along with the healthy academic challenges is a reminder that he chose the right school for him. As a first generation student, Franklin also strives to create a legacy in his family, demonstrating that you can obtain anything you work hard for.
‘I’m going to be something. I’m going to make it further than what the stereotypes say we can.”
His humble beginnings stems a little farther from Athens, though. Born and raised in Lithonia, Georgia, Franklin developed his work ethic early through football, basketball, and baseball.
“I’ve seen situations in athletics where I’ve been down, I’ve been close to rock bottom, but then I’ve clawed back [to the top].”
His resilience and relentless positivity is what lead him to becoming his high school class’s valedictorian and what keeps him going.
The moments that you don’t catch the local icon working in his community, you may find him catching re-runs of the hit show Drake and Josh or his favorite pastime - the WWE.
While he takes his roles very seriously, Franklin Smith’s easy-going personality with a heavy dose of goofiness is something anyone who has had contact with him can attest to.
“His energy is such a positive experience to be around,” his supervisor noted.
Staff Spotlight: Miranda Moore
February 27, 2020
“I’d say that’s probably gonna be the coolest thing I ever do… one day when I’m really old,” Miranda Moore, a University Village Resident Assistant, says about her upcoming study abroad trip to Antarctica. Studying abroad has been a dream of Miranda’s ever since she learned about sustainability and the idea of caring for the Earth. As an environmental engineering major, she’s excited to study how the actions on one side of the globe influence the other. Her post-graduation dream is to work for the Environmental Protection Agency and to focus her efforts on how air quality affects the construction of a building.
In the meantime, while she’s still here on campus, Miranda hopes to build intangible things like organic relationships with her residents and extend the same friendly energy she felt brimming when she first visited during a high school campus tour. As an Arizona native and previous Iowa resident, Miranda is fond of the Southern hospitality she’s experienced since she’s moved to Georgia. Living in multiple states over her lifetime has helped her to realize that everyone is raised differently, and this understanding has informed how she helps her residents navigate difficult situations. She emphasized that for her, it’s all about helping residents at their own comfort level while also encouraging growth.
This is Miranda’s third year as an RA and although she says that “you have no clue how much you don’t know until you’re thrown into this position,” she emphasizes that the rewarding parts will always outweigh the strenuous. In this role, Miranda has also been able to develop professionally and personally; the position has given her the opportunity to practice professional communication and working as a team with other University Village RAs.
“One of the most rewarding parts of being an RA is when your residents can come to you beyond issues for housing and they see you as friend and a mentor outside of that.”
According to her supervisor, Miranda has a history of going above and beyond in her role. She has served as a great example and resource to all of the new UV RAs.
“It’s really fun to know that you are the person who’s taking this opportunity that housing has to create community. It’s put in your hands and you have the opportunity to make that look whatever you want it to look like,” Miranda says.
Outside of work and school, you can see the sparkle in Miranda’s eyes as she talks about the fun she has in various organizations on campus. She serves as a member of the UGA Redcoat Marching Band and has found sisterhood within her sorority. Among many other leadership positions, she also served as Dawg Camp counselor and helped first-year students transition into college life.
These experiences are some of the things Miranda treasures most about her time at UGA, and her dedication to serving the UGA community has landed her as this week’s celebrated Staff Spotlight! Thank you, Miranda for the time and energy you invest into your residents. Your hard work does not go unnoticed!
Staff Spotlight: Sajan Patel
February 20, 2020
Last week’s Staff Spotlight brought us to the Creswell front desk to meet a desk assistant with a passion for helping others. This week, we’re back at Creswell, behind the access doors, to meet another exceptional student employee: Sajan Patel. Sajan is a sophomore finance and management information systems double major from Marietta, Ga. While this may be his second year as a student at UGA, Sajan has wasted no time getting involved on campus. In addition to being a first-year RA, Sajan is also involved in the Kennedy Program and the Apollo Society. The Kennedy Program is an organization that fosters interest and passion for how the global economy functions and how it impacts investments. The Apollo Society serves as the parent organization to the Kennedy Program and strives to give students a competitive foundation in business and finance careers.
When asked about his experience thus far as an RA, Sajan explained that the transition from being a resident to a resident assistant was a strange one at first but has since been accompanied by tremendous growth. Sajan explained that one of the most rewarding aspects of being an RA is having the chance to watch his residents change and grow. By living on the same hall as his residents, Sajan is able to practice being a positive role model, something he greatly enjoys. One particular skill he tries to exemplify is good time management, something his RA position requires of him and that will be important to future employers.
Sajan isn’t all business though, he also makes time to be active and make new friendships. One of Sajan’s favorite parts about being a UGA student is that “you can make so many different friendships with so many different people. I really enjoy living in that type of large atmosphere.”
When asked why Sajan should be nominated for a Staff Spotlight, his nominator had this to say:
“Sajan is a new RA in the community and has hit the ground running. His kind spirit and willingness to always help out is so refreshing. He’s been exceeding my expectations as a new RA while also juggling all of his other commitments!”
Thank you, Sajan, for being an excellent addition to the Creswell community. We appreciate all that you do to make housing feel like home!
Staff Spotlight: Danielle Davis
February 13, 2020
In University Housing, we have the pleasure of interacting with a multitude of bright, talented students when they come to live in one of our residence halls. When it comes to our student staff, there’s no shortage of excellence here, too. This semester, we’ll be highlighting some of our student staff members who have gone above and beyond in their roles. This week, we’d like to introduce Danielle Davis, a desk assistant (DA) in Creswell Hall.
Danielle is a sophomore from Douglasville, Ga. studying microbiology with a pre-med intent. When asked about her favorite part of being a UGA student, Danielle couldn’t choose just one thing, saying, “Everything! the school offers so much and allows me the freedom to switch my major and explore new things.” Outside of being a rockstar DA, Danielle has many accomplishments under her belt including a published book of poems, Tales of the Soul, which won a writing contest a few years ago. She also serves as the secretary for the Black Educational Support Team (B.E.S.T.), which allows upperclassmen to mentor freshmen students and has an impressive pin collection back in her room.
When it comes to serving the Creswell Community, Danielle’s nominator had this to say:
“Danielle was hired over the summer and has been a great team member. During a time of change, this is a great thing to have! Her sweet self always does her best and is always willing to cover shifts and help others out. I know I can count on Danielle to do a great job.”
When asked why she applied to be a desk assistant, Danielle explained that she saw this position as something fun and an opportunity to help other students. She didn’t expect to be as comfortable as she is in her role when it came to answering questions and phone calls as she is a shy person by nature. Danielle says she’s learned a lot about communication and team work in her role as a DA – especially when it comes to communicating shift changes and managing coverage at the front desk.
Thank you, Danielle, for all the hard work you do to keep our communities secure and welcoming. Next time you’re around Creswell, be sure to stop by the desk and say hello to this week’s Staff Spotlight, Danielle Davis.
#OneUGA Chats: Continuing the Conversation
September 29, 2016
You’re invited to join us for the #OneUGA Chats as we continue the conversation. Chat through the #OneUGA in a series of virtual AND in person conversations hosted by University Housing and Multicultural Services and Programs meant to engage students in conversations about campus life, diversity and the challenges and excitement facing students on campus. Click here and here and here to see past chats.
This Fall’s chats will be held in the Myers Hall programming room from 6-7 p.m. on the following dates:
What will be talk about? This week, join as we discuss ACTIVISM with #UGA students, staff, and faculty. Join in on the conversation using #OneUGA or come and join the in-person discussion at Myers Hall.
If you’re interested in taking part in our conversation, please review our ground rules for discussion, listed below.
1.) Use I statements. No accusatory language or combative comments will be tolerated.
2.) Express your opinions in a courteous manner.
3.) This chat is being monitored by university officials and any violations of the Code of Conduct will be reported.
4.) Be open to dialogue that is outside of your comfort zone.