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Majors & Degrees

Student RAs take first place in case study competition

February 13, 2018

Two Dakota State University resident assistants (RAs) won first place in a case study competition at a recent conference.

Alexis Hanson and Haley Asimakopoulos were part of a DSU delegation who attended the University of Northern Iowa RA conference in late January. Hanson is an RA at Courtyard Hall; Asimakopoulos is an RA in Emry Hall.

“It’s a very impressive achievement for these two young ladies,” said Aisha Lee, residence director of Higbie Hall, and an advisor for the conference. “Alexis and Haley put much thought and effort into this competition, studying prior to the conference, and taking time to prepare during the conference as well.”

Only about half of the 142 student RAs registered for the competition were chosen to compete.  “We were thrilled to be able to represent DSU at the UNI RA conference,” said Asimakopoulos, a junior elementary education major from Woonsocket, S.D.

The two received the details of their case study a few days before the conference and were able “to create a well thought-out and practiced presentation,” said Asimakopoulos. Their study dealt with a theoretical situation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“Haley and I took an approach to bond our residents through trust-giving projects and discussion,” said Hanson, a junior computer graphics major. “Through this experience I learned how to present problems with a follow-through solution. It was a great opportunity to present my leadership skills.”

The skills developed as an RA will be valuable in their future careers, such as experience with interpersonal relations.

“As an RA, I plan activities, schedule programs, help people deal with their emotions, help them work together, and make sure that everyone stays safe,” said Asimakopoulos, all tasks she will use in her future classroom. “I would recommend any aspiring teacher to seek out a position like this.”

In a technology career, Hanson stated that her RA skills will give her an advantage. “Being an RA has helped me connect to more people and become more outgoing, and to become a dependable and relatable leader. These skills will definitely help me in the future in both my career and personal life.”