ComJour333: Story #4- Profile

Outline:
I). Background on Griffin Uchida
· RED duties
· Motivation
· Hice opinion
II). Managing Issues
· Proudest moment
· Response
· Overall Experience
III). Legacy
· Kiambuthi perspective
· Lasting impact
· Close

Helping others is contagious: Griffin Uchida Profile
Griffin Uchida wakes up every morning with the mindset that he’s going to help somebody and to make a difference in the community he has come to know and love.

As the residential education director (RED) of McEachern Residence Hall at WSU, Uchida makes a career out of offering assistance and his expertise to students in a myriad of ways.

“My job is two-fold in the sense that I primarily manage people be it supervising resident advisors or dealing with residents that are having issues,” Uchida said.

“I also mange the building to make sure the hall is running effectively while properly utilizing its resources so students are getting what they pay for.”

Uchida knew he wanted to get involved in the field of education ever since he was five or six years old.

However, it wasn’t until he attended undergraduate school and became an RA at Western Washington University that he discovered his true calling and future profession.

“What interested me most was the experience and opportunity to get a more holistic view of the student and see them outside of class in their living situations,” Uchida said.

“I enjoy witnessing the growth of these young adults to a more traditional view of adulthood and prepping them to become responsible citizens.”

Sophomore Marissa Hice enjoyed her time working for Uchida and viewed him as a mentor that helped prepare her professionally.

“Griffin is one of the most phenomenal leaders I ever had the pleasure of encountering,” Hice said.

“I learned and grew so much as a person due to his guidance and he helped everyone stay enthusiastic and ready to work.”

Uchida said each passing day brings new challenges but the most trying time of his career occurred last year in which a resident of his hall accidentally set off the sprinkler system in their room.

The incident caused a great deal of personal and property damage and quite a stir among residents.

“That was one of those times that really encapsulates what I do,” Uchida said.

“The situation called for a quick response and I had to utilize a lot of different skills to connect with the various departments that were going to help solve the problem.”

Junior Kariri Kiambuthi, an RA at McEachern thinks highly of Uchida’s leadership skill and managerial abilities.

“Griffin’s communication skills, clarity on his expectations, and his ability to challenge us on multiple levels are all characteristics that make him a good hall director,” said Kiambuthi.

Uchida also works part-time in the dean of students’ office and engages himself in any odd-jobs they ask of him.

He is currently coordinating a volunteer project to aid students in moving into the residence halls in the fall and is also working on a new electronic version of the student handbook.

Uchida admits to getting embarrassed regarding any sort of public acknowledgement or praise for his achievements.

However, he said he wants to be thought of as part of the bigger picture, a legacy of educators who’ve made a difference in Pullman.

“If I am able to leave my community in better shape than it was when I got here, regardless of how well off they were functioning before I started then I will be satisfied,” Uchida said.

“I truly want to see students succeed and if I can know I had a part in that then that is definitely the kind of lasting impact I’d like to have.”

Helping others is a reward in itself as showing compassion for one’s fellow man can be a therapeutic experience but to Uchida, it means a whole lot more. it’s a career and his ever-lasting legacy.

Video:

Sources:

-Griffin Uchida: griffin.uchida@wsu.edu
-Marissa Hice: marissa.hice@email.wsu.edu
-Kariri Kiambuthi: kariri.kiambuthu@email.wsu.edu

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