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Housing students, staff earn top marks at state conference this November

Erin McFerrin, Casey Weaver and Kayla Simpson earned recognition at the GCPA & GHO conference this November.


This November, members of Georgia Southern University Housing took home several awards at the annual Georgia College Personnel Association (GCPA) and Georgia Housing Officers (GHO) conference in Atlanta.

The conference, Facing the Future Together as Professionals and as a Profession, was held at Georgia State University Nov. 8-9.

Assistant Director for Residence Education, Casey Weaver, took home the Contribution to Campus Award for his meritorious service to the institution by supporting the goal of serving students beyond his departmental job responsibilities. Weaver supervises one half of the Statesboro Campus residential population while carrying out a litany of other duties in management and leadership.

“In working with Casey over the past two years, I admire his ability to approach our colleagues from across campus with a welcome, positive attitude,” said Associate Director of Residence Education Ben Wicker. “Casey has always seemed to me to possess the desire to genuinely want to work with other departments to create experiences for our students that showcase the results of what a strong collaboration can bring to a campus.”

Not only did Georgia Southern professional staff earn recognition at this conference, but Graduate Assistant Kayla Simpson did as well. Simpson, a Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate, took home the Graduate Assistant Award of Excellence for her significant contributions to the residence hall students and University Housing. Simpson joined the University Housing team in the fall of 2017 and helped to establish a strong system for tracking the student activity fees budget. Her implementation of organizational strategies and residential curriculum have been invaluable to the team.

“Kayla has been instrumental at providing resources for our staff to be effective in their curricular efforts, has helped us to create a game-changing training document call the Curriculum Playbook,” said Assistant Director of for Residential Learning, Erin McFerrin. “Kayla’s desire to learn new things, accept challenges, and seek to develop skills in which she feels lacking is impressive and refreshing.”

Simpson’s role in the Curriculum Playbook also helped the team of Residence Education department staff and students take home the Georgia Gee Whiz Award for that very document. The award recognizes and honors excellence for an innovative program, project or service from the past year. The Curriculum Playbook demonstrated improvement in the quality of life for students, the efficiency in the department and the effectiveness in service delivery. The editorial team of this Playbook included Simpson, McFerrin, Assistant Director of Residential Learning on the Armstrong Campus Katie Fester, and ACUHO-I Summer Graduate Assistants Anastasia Chaky (Old Dominion University) and Marie Silver (Clemson University).

In the midst of consolidating two universities with residence halls on both, University Housing faced the challenge of combining staff, resources and student life for the best experience possible for all parties; thus, the Residential Curriculum Playbook was conceived.

“The Playbook is a way to give our staff members a hands-on product that trains our staff on curriculum methodology, outlines common terminology and new strategies being utilized within our curriculum model, and provides resources to staff to maximize their effectiveness,” said McFerrin. “This amazing piece of work takes what could be a very loaded and lofty concept and breaks it down into smaller, easy to process components in three sections: Curriculum Overview, Educational Plan and Resources.This Playbook is game-changing for our department and it truly places Georgia Southern as a top-tier institution when it comes to implementing a Residential Curriculum Model.”

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