By Caroline Ponseti ′15
On April 7th, members of the Rhodes community gathered to celebrate the 10th year of the Rhodes Student Associate Program (RSAP), which was founded in 2004 as an initiative to ensure a viable college funding option for students while giving them career experience suitable for inclusion on a résumé.
RSAP provides invaluable professional opportunities for students by offering junior staff positions in departments across campus. The program, which hires students to work between 10 and 15 hours per week at a starting rate of $10.75 per hour, helps the college operate with a lean staff and saves the college about $750,000 every year. The highly successful initiative began with 19 students and has expanded to include more than 100 student associates working in more than 40 academic and administrative departments.
“It is impossible to define the ‘typical’ RSAP experience,” says RSAP Coordinator Amy Hendricks ’14. “The program embraces a wide variety of singular positions and individuals, and this gives each student associate the chance to define his or her own path. We wanted to take a little time to celebrate all the students, supervisors, and administrators who help make it so successful, and we felt that the RSAP Birthday Party was a great way to do so.”
The birthday celebration began with Bob Johnson, vice president for student and information services, explaining the history and significance of the program. The program also featured reminisces from several Rhodes student associates and their advisors, and allowed for the program’s participants to chat about their employment experiences over birthday cake and hors d’oeuvres.
However, the anniversary held greater significance than just a party. “This year′s 10th anniversary celebration has encouraged those involved in RSAP to reflect on the benefits of the program,” adds RSAP Coordinator Sarah Koehler ’15. “It also challenged us to analyze the program so that the next 10 years can be even better than the first.”