Does serving as a Resident Assistant (RA) in college impact students’ identity and long-term leadership skills? This article details a grounded theory qualitative research study where alumni are interviewed about their RA experience five to ten years post-graduation. The study revealed that a profound change (labelled a pivotal point) occurred in participants’ lives while they were serving as RAs. These former student leaders unanimously identified the role as important to their overall identity development and leadership skills. Even though the RA experience often caused a significant disruption in self-perception, it was also a catalyst for significant change in areas such as self-awareness, empathy, communication, community development, and stewardship. Being a former RA holistically contributed to participants’ current identity as professionals, friends and family members, and community liaisons.
Huffman, Levi C. and Lefdahl-Davis, Erin M.
"A Pivotal Point in Identity Development: The Impact of the Resident Assistant Experience,"
Growth: The Journal of the Association for Christians in Student Development: Vol. 18:
18, Article 4.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/acsd_growth/vol18/iss18/4
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