2020 Outstanding UDR Award Recipient
Theater Arts UDR
It has been a pleasure contributing to the Department of Theater Arts as a UDR these past two years. More than anything, it has been an honor to represent my fellow students and to serve as a liaison between the vibrant Theater Arts student body and the supportive staff and faculty.
Some of the work I am proudest of as a UDR have been initiatives I inherited from UDR’s before me, such as running the Weekly Newsletter to increase engagement with the Theater Arts students, coordinating a free headshot event to provide graduating seniors with photos they can use as they begin their professional careers, organizing fondue events to promote the department’s theatrical productions, and participating in the selection of the Theater Department’s annual seasons. Other exciting initiatives included updating the vanity lighting in the theater to more sustainable LED’s (made possible by the support of costume director Mary Hurd!), meeting with campus facilities departments to coordinate increasing accessibility to the Spingold building, organizing a new play reading with a local playwright, and coordinating with academic administrator Alicia Hyland to create a Climate Change Theater Action potluck event, where we discussed the capacity of art to inspire global change.
While I am proud of all these initiatives and events, what I have most enjoyed about my time as a UDR have been the more informal contributions. I have loved meeting with majors and minors to advise in course selection, giving tours of our building to prospective students, assisting in theater department auditions, and meeting with our department chair and other staff and faculty to work towards improving the student experience.
If I could impart a few suggestions to future UDR’s, I would start by advising not to come to this position expecting a “correct” path to follow. People will rarely just tell you what to do. Rather, a great UDR is the type of person who jumps to assist within their department, who volunteers their participation without being asked.
I would advise you to speak your mind. Present the initiatives you would like to get off the ground and be ready to communicate and compromise. You are in a unique and exciting position where you have the capacity to create the changes you would like to see!
Also, as simple as it sounds, talk to your fellow majors and minors! You can’t represent the students unless you know them and their wants and needs. And talk to your fellow UDR’s! This position requires a lot of teamwork and communication. I am incredibly thankful for the support and collaboration of my fellow Theater Arts UDR, Haia R’nana Bchiri, as well as last year’s UDRs Emily Politi and Andrew Child. Working with them, as well as with the wonderful staff and faculty, has been a huge part of what has made this experience so incredible.
Thank you for this award and for this chance to share my thoughts. And thank you to the UDR program and the Department of Theater Arts for all the opportunities I have been given in the last two years.
Congratulations to the incoming UDR’s, and best of luck to you in the upcoming year!