When Jessi Ruckman ‘11 ran for Aponivi House President (HP) at the end of her sophomore year at Graceland, she was just hoping for the chance to lead her house and provide others with help and support. She was looking for a year filled with the sisterhood and warmth of her housemates.
Now, what began as a year long investment has turned into a career devoted to Residence Life.
After serving as Aponivi HP, Jessi went on to take the position of Council of House Presidents (CHP) President. After a second year of working with Graceland Residence Life, Jessi began looking into graduate programs where she could turn her college experiences into a lifetime profession.
Jessi is now in a two-year program as a Graduate Assistant for Residential Life at Northwest Missouri State University. She serves as Hall Director for Phillips Hall, which houses 270 co-ed freshmen. Jessi’s program allows her to work part-time in this role while attending graduate school full-time for a Masters in Higher Education Leadership. The degree will empower Jessi to go into a career of higher education administration.
"The opportunities I had to work with Graceland Residence Life has become the foundation for my career goals"
“The opportunities I had to work with Graceland Residence Life has become the foundation for my career goals,” said Jessi.
While at Graceland, Jessi was involved in a number of organizations outside of her Residence Life commitments. She ran Varsity Cross Country for two years, was an Intramural Representative, participated in SIFE, was a member of the Art Student Society, and worked at the Layout Editor for The Tower. She was awarded the Area Contribution award for Residential Life her senior year, and the Visual Communication and Publication Writing and Design double major received the Gold Seal graduation award for her perfect 4.0.
“Jessi has the personality that’s ideally suited for working with students in Residence Life,” said Deb Skinner, Director of Residence Life. “She is humble and operates without ego. Whatever it takes for things to be done well, she is willing and able to do. She is calm, intelligent, resourceful, organized, responsible, and a quick learner.”
After completing her degree, Jessi plans to continue working in college/university housing, eventually seeking a position as a Director of Residence Life. She says that returning to Graceland Residence Life is something on her bucket list.