Millersville’s Department of University Housing and Conference Services is proud to showcase our staff and all of the incredible work they do to make the residence halls at Millersville safe and a great environment for students to live and learn in. This week’s staff spotlight pick is graduate assistant Gabby Vaxmonsky. Continue reading to learn more about Gabby, what she loves about being a graduate assistant in South Village, and her advice to students.
Q: What made you want to become a Graduate Assistant (GA)?
Gabby: I’m originally from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of PA so coming to grad school, I knew no one and I wanted a way to not only feel more connected to the University but also build stronger connections to fellow students. I felt becoming a GA would provide that opportunity and what better way than working with a team of students and professional staff members like that in Housing!
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of being a GA?
Gabby: By far the most rewarding part has been building connections and friendships with my fellow team members in South Village. Especially this past year, I think we have all been able to lean on and support each other through these challenging times. Building those connections and being able to learn and grow together has been both rewarding and also something I am extremely grateful for.
Q: How have you been handling everything caused by COVID-19?
Gabby: I have been leaning on my friends and family, but also my teammates in Housing. We are working in-person within the safety guidelines of COVID-19 so having others around that know what that is like can be beneficial if you need someone to talk too. I have also been remembering to be kind to myself and give myself/others grace when it comes to certain things. I keep myself accountable but also don’t beat myself up if I don’t get to something in a day. It is important to remember that we are all just doing the best we can with what we have.
Q: Do you have any tips for succeeding academically given the various changes?
Gabby: Most important is your mental health. If you aren’t taking care of that, and your basic needs, you won’t be able to be successful academically. Reach out early if you know you are starting to struggle and communicate that with your professors. They are more likely to be able to help if they know of concerns sooner rather than later. Also, even though the University is predominately virtual, there are still a wealth of academic and mental health resources available. As a plug for our amazing RA’s, they can connect you with any number of those resources.
Q: Why should students consider working as a Resident Assistant (RA) or GA in the residence halls?
Gabby: You will gain a rewarding experience and long-lasting relationships that will follow you into your career. Coming into Housing I wasn’t sure what to expect because it’s a new experience for me. I am constantly surprised with how much I learn with my GA that transfers over to my area of study, School Psychology. Additionally, you will gain and develop valuable skills that carry over into any career path, such as leadership, flexibility, responsibility, and time-management.
Lydia Shaloka is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. When she graduates in May 2021, Lydia hopes to work for a digital marketing agency either in or near her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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