Liz KaebStaff Profile

LAUREN NIELSEN

Staff Member of the Week 

March 31, 2014

Major

Psychology

Dream Job

Anything where I can help people (and pay off my student loans!)

Your favorite quote

"Deep down, everyone wants to believe they can be hardcore. But being hardcore isn’t just about being tough; it’s about acceptance. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to not be hardcore for once. You don’t have to be tough every minute of every day. It’s okay to let down your guard. In fact, there are moments when it’s the best thing you can possibly do… as long as you choose your moments wisely." - Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy)

How do you reward yourself for a job well done?

A night off of homework by relaxing with friends or scrapbooking.

Campus and community involvements beyond ORL

I’ve been involved in a little bit of everything the past four years. I’ve been actively involved in RHA (on exec board for 2 years), I go to a bunch of regional and national conferences on behalf of the halls, I was a Titan Orientation Leader and a Sodexo student manager, I’ve been involved in Titan Band, Psi Chi (International Psych Honor Society), Habitat for Humanity, Alpha Sigma Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta, the Titan Leadership Program, Student Senate, Financial Advisory Board, First Year Advisory Board, All Campus Events committee, the Alcohol Task Force and Ambassador’s Club to name a few. I also have volunteered for the PATH crisis hotline, worked in the Aging in Context lab, was a Case Manager on the addiction unit at BroMenn and have been doing independent research for a senior thesis with The Baby Fold in Normal. Finally, I work as a psych TA and have two outside jobs as a bartender for both the Chateau Hotel and the newly opened Tony Roma’s restaurant!

Describe your residence hall floor or community.

In Pfeiffer we’re a pretty tight-knit hall I’d say; definitely not as rambunctious as some of the halls I’ve lived in. My staff of RAs is full of absolutely wonderful and compassionate people who I know I can count on for anything and really enjoy doing programs with. They’ve definitely made my life as an RCA a lot easier this year.

What’s something you’ve learned from your residents?

They’ve taught me the importance of slowing down and breathing every once in a while. In Martin last year especially, my residents learned to read me and knew when I was stressed and would always find some way to drag me out of my room and cheer me up.

What do you love most about your job?

Honestly, this is going to sound cheesy but I freaking love spending an hour or so every week in staff meetings with my RAs and Ann. They’re seriously all such great people and I love hearing about the amazing things they’ve been doing on campus and in Pfeiffer!

What is an important campus resource you wish more students were aware of?

Definitely the Career Center. I feel like they are advertised a lot but that not enough people take advantage of what they have to offer students. Robyn Walter has been an absolute godsend this year with helping look over my resume and proofread my grad school essays.

What program have you been a part of planning that you’re most proud of?

I’m actually planning an all-hall RCA program for later this semester that I am super excited and passionate about! I don’t want to leak too many details about it before we can really get the ball rolling with it, but it involves oppression and it a really in-depth program that will force residents out of their comfort zones and into other people’s shoes for a chunk of time. I can’t even put into words how excited I am to try and pull it off, and I think it will be a wonderful and meaningful program that ORL will hopefully want to continue in future years!

Have you received any programming awards or departmental recognition?

I received an individual award (I think it was the “Big Bang” award) last year as well as an award for a hall-wide program for Martin. I’ve also achieved a staff leadership competency and was promoted to the RCA position in the fall!

Advice you have for students looking to increase their leadership skills?  

Definitely just get involved in any way possible! There are great resources available for anyone looking to expand these skills; the biggest one for me was joining the Titan Leadership Program my sophomore year. I wasn’t in any leadership roles then but the program taught me how to come out of my shell and really hone in on those skills I had buried within me. If you aren’t sure of other resources available to help with leadership, as your RA or RCA! That’s what we’re here for.

Lauren's RD, Ann Romei, shared the followingLauren is an outstanding team and community builder.  I have seen that on the staff level, desk level, and know that was a part of her time in Martin as well.  Lauren has done this by developing personal relationships and finding connections with every person she comes in contact with.  She is a rockstar in her programming, support, and motivation!  I have loved working with Lauren. She has been an incredibly important part of our staff!"

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