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Graduate RA profile: Courtney O’Connell

Courtney O’Connell has a special nickname for her job: “GR.” She lives in Eagle Hall as a graduate RA. She is also studying for her masters in international development at the Campolo College of Graduate and Professonal Studies. As a graduate RA, she is encouraging RAs and assisting RDs to better serve Eastern students.

The graduate RA position is new to Eastern this year. Daryl Hawkins, dean of students, saw the graduate RA program at other universities. He decided to bring the program to Eastern because he found that it has a positive effect on student resident life.

Courtney is having new experiences not only as a graduate RA, but also as an Eastern resident. This is her first semester so Eastern is a fresh place for her.

“It is a beautiful campus, and I like being in the East,” Courtney said. “I grew up in the Midwest. It is nice to be here.”

Courtney was an RA for two years at Cedarville University in Ohio. She fell in love with her job working with college students. She likes to spend time with undergraduate students and get to know them personally.

In addition, she mentioned that she has a good relationship with Eagle RD, Kelechi Ekeh.

“I love campus life,” Courtney said. “I think of it as half job and half ministry. I love to encourage and pray for RAs. I love caring for people and supporting them.”

Courney has a passion for her work.

“I live at the library,” Courtney said. “I have to work here because I want to be relaxed and socialize with people in my room.”

Courtney is a hard worker as well. She mentioned that it is challenging for her to keep up with school and work together, but she tries to balance the two.

“I am thankful for the position I have because I feel that I am blessed, and I hope I bless people too,” Courtney said.

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