College Student Affairs student presents at conference
Learning just minutes before the start of the presentation that she was on her own, Ruth Green delivered flawlessly.
Presenting at a conference for the first time is a daunting task, but for RuthAnn Green, a graduate student pursuing a master's in educational leadership, her first presentation took a turn when she learned she was suddenly presenting by herself, just minutes before her session.
Green presented at the 50th annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers in October. Her session was on the topic of setting professional boundaries in residence life and housing, a subject that as a graduate hall director, Green is passionate about. “When someone has a live-on position in residence life, it can be very difficult to set a healthy work/life balance... particularly due to blurred lines of living where you work,” explained Green.
As the time for the presentation neared, Green learned that Dr. Denise Davidson had taken ill. With just 15 minutes notice Green had to make the presentation of Davidson’s research with some of her own added insight as a GHD in the Jessica Kozloff Apartments at Bloomsburg, a Commonwealth University.
“When I became ill, RuthAnn immediately offered to take on the entire presentation, although she was less familiar with the material I planned to present,” said Davidson. “I was blown away with RuthAnn’s willingness to implement the entire presentation, her calm demeanor and quiet confidence, and her positive attitude.”
Attendees to Green’s session also commended her work. “RuthAnn did a wonderful job and handled all parts of the presentation with skill,” commented Susanne Ferrin, executive director of campus life at Arcadia University.
Despite having to rework her presentation at the last minute, Green feels that the whole experience was overall a positive one. “Presenting was surreal for me because I had never felt so confident in myself before,” said Green. “I was happy to see so many people in attendance to offer perspective, ideas, and to discuss important topics for those of us who live where we work. Though I was not as prepared or experienced as Dr. Davidson, I was thankful to be trusted with her research and presentation.”
Green says that being able to attend the conference solidified her decision to continue her career in residence life after graduation. She started her journey in residence life in the summer of 2018 and has stayed there ever since. “It can be difficult to set boundaries with others and balance work, life, and school, but I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
Studying in the College Student Affairs program allowed Green to stay involved in the field she loves. “I chose this program because I found a purpose and a passion in helping college students,” said Green. “I have had many mentors who have completed this very program here at Bloomsburg, and I knew it was a good fit for me from the moment I sat in on one of Dr. Davidson’s classes as a sophomore.
After completing her master’s degree, Green looks forward to continuing to work with students in residence life at an institution where she can help create change.
Green looks back on all her time in residence life at Bloomsburg fondly. “If someone had told me in my freshman year that I would have the opportunity to go to graduate school, have an incredible position as a GHD on campus, and present at a conference one day, I would never have believed them,” said Green. “I wanted to find my purpose in college, and I am so very lucky that I did.”