November 29, 2018
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Jim Day Housing Scholarship
For the fourth year in a row, University Housing offered two $500 scholarships to returning residents for the fall semester. Both scholarship recipients attribute much of their personal growth to their experiences living on campus. “An advantage of having roommates is that I became a better active listener when it came to hearing others ideas and opinions. It also gave me a better understanding on how to correctly convey my thoughts to others,” one winner said in the application.

The scholarship is named after Dr. James “Jim” Day, who served as executive director of University Housing from 1990 to 2006. Dr. Day conceived and initially funded the University Housing Scholarship Fund to offset the cost of on-campus housing for students with financial need. 

The housing scholarships represents a commitment to improving access to the university by alleviating some of the financial burden students face while attending UGA. Only funds from private donations can be used to fund the Jim Day Housing Scholarship. We’re working hard to ensure we can help students pay for housing for years to come and your donation can make a huge difference.


Make a donation today!
What do you know about University Housing?
Alumni Spotlight: Danielle McDonald
Current occupation: Assistant Vice President/Dean of Students at the University of South Florida

Tell us about your experience/involvement in University Housing. As a first generation college student, I did not know how to prepare for interviewing for a graduate assistantship. I came from Florida in March and did not own a coat or suit. I had on a short sleeve dress for interviewing. I felt so overwhelmed and out of my league. The Housing staff that interviewed me made me feel comfortable. UGA was the only school I interviewed with. When they offered me the assistantship, I cancelled my other interviews because I knew this was where I wanted to be.
   
What is your fondest memory about your time in University Housing?   There were so many. I remember Jim Day's love speech and still share it with staff today. I supervised the desk and night security staff. Every semester we had to assign shifts. Trying to make it fun, I got jeopardy buzzers for them to buzz in to claim their shifts. We had a great time with that. One of my RA's Chris McWhorter wrote a poem for my wedding that we used for our wedding program. Another of my RA's Dustin Aide's parents always hosted a tailgate for the UGA game. They would feed all his friends and always invited me to join them. It was fun to see and be included in their family tradition. Going to UGA Gymnastics meets with my fellow housing staff. We loved our GymDogs! As housing staff when we wanted to go out, we didn't want to go where our residents might be. So our place to unwind was Applebee's for $1.99 frozen margaritas. Spent a lot of time there! Two of my colleagues from that time have since passed away. Many of us came from all over to attend those funerals because we have such great memories together and wanted to be with each other to mourn their passing. They would have loved to have seen us all together, laughing and sharing memories of GymDogs, $1.99 Applebee's margaritas, and living and working together. 

How did your experience in University Housing contribute to your success?
University Housing taught me professionalism and how to develop graduate students. My first day on the job, Derek Jackson told me that half of my staff were asking to be excused from training and wanted to know what I wanted to do about it. I thought, "how should I know, I just graduated Undergrad". But he said it was my decision. I ended up firing half the staff that day and earned the nickname "Hatchet" from my family. What struck me was his immediate faith in me and support for my decision making. I did let the staff reapply for their jobs, by the way. When I was applying for my first professional job, Derek also let me see the evaluations from my graduate assistant interviews two years previously. This allowed me to see how others perceived me at the time and to see my growth in those two years. The funny thing is that the feedback from many was that they weren't sure that I could hold others accountable and make the hard decisions. Two months later I was firing half my staff and am now a Dean of Students. I guess I learned how to do those things. I remember UGA Housing providing us with training opportunities, developmental opportunities, and collegiality. I never felt dismissed as a GA. I felt part of a team. I try to continue that leadership philosophy with my staff today.

What did you like most about where you lived and/or worked in University Housing?   The Hill Community operated as a community. The front office, maintenance and custodial staff all worked together. We gave people opportunities to grow and develop and gave second chances. One of our RA's was at one time told to take some time off to mature, and we hired him back when he did and he went on to be a great RA and then professional in the field.
I love that I now have colleagues that I respect because we all had the same foundation at UGA Housing. Many of us are in higher leadership roles today and call on each other for advice or support because we know we have the same work ethic and care based on our experiences.
Do you have stories or insights about your time in University Housing?
2018 Hunger Bowl
University Housing and Recreational Sports won divisions for the 2018 Hunger Bowl. University Housing received the Overall Winner for Pounds per Person contributed at UGA for the second year in a row. At the end of the drive, Housing students and staff had collected 15,150 lbs. of food (that is equal to 12,500 meals).
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