It’s a long way from Australia to Youngstown State University, but Olivia Arnold found her way here and is now glad she made the trip.
“The weather is the biggest thing I’ve had to get used too… I’d never seen snow before,” grinned Arnold.
The vivacious Aussie was recruited onto the YSU swim team in 2006 where she set school records and was a standout earning 2008/2009 Student Athlete of the Year accolades.
Arnold has been recognized again, this time receiving the 2011 Outstanding Graduate Student Award presented by the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers.
“It’s something I didn’t know I was nominated for,” confessed Arnold with a smile.
Only one nominee in each of four states (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan) is selected annually and is scored on criteria, which include, among others: academic success, significant contributions to the student’s area of study and faculty recommendations.
Arnold, who is set to graduate with her master’s degree in May, is majoring in Health and Human Services with a concentration in healthcare promotion.
“At one time I filled in for a full-time, professional staff member for three months as a coordinator managing Kilcawley House,” said Arnold. “I also served as supervisor for six resident assistants here. I loved the role, and this is what I am hoping to do full-time when I graduate.”
Expanding her role as graduate assistant, Arnold has helped implement campus programs for Safer Sex Week and Alcohol Awareness Week. She has also done extensive research on how international student’s health and well-being is affected by current university programs. Her master’s thesis examines how sleep impacts the academic success of undergraduate students.
Arnold hopes to stay here right here at YSU after graduation. “I would love to be a coordinator for housing and residence life,” she said breaking into a broad smile. “I feel I’ve come so far and that I’m at a really good point in my life; I’m happy where I’m at.”