Meet Current and Former Resident Assistants

Meet Current and Former Resident Assistants

Meet Current and Former Resident AssistantsMeet Current and Former Resident Assistants

Meet Jae-Anne Smith

University:  University of South Florida (2017-2021) 

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Hometown/Place You Call Home: Kingston, Jamaica 

How long have you been an RA? Since Fall 2018 to present (October 2019).

In which building(s)? Castor Hall and Beacon Hall

Favorite thing about Castor Hall: My favorite thing about Castor is that the set up of the building is very warm and cosy and makes it easier to build community. 

Why did you apply to the resident assistant position? I applied because it seemed like a good way to get over my fear of having a conversation with people and to be a role model for other residents at USF.

What have you learned as an RA? I've learned that if you care enough to really find out how someone is doing, they will be willing to tell you and it makes a world of a difference to them. 

What motivates you while in the job?  The fact that this job was mainly for the benefit of others was what motivated me most.

What skills do you currently use in your life that you gained from being a resident assistant? I definitely think networking is the biggest skill I've gained. In trying to implement different programs I've had to interact with other RAs outside of my building and even the Residential Education Staff for various events. Being an RA has helped me to develop a level of comfort with reaching out to people and making connections with those around me which is essential to having good working relations in the workplace as well as forming lifelong friendships.

What is your favorite memory from being an RA? In Spring 2019 I had a mock paint and sip event with my residents where I allowed them to paint away their stress before finals came around. It was very calming and got people talking about their lives and their struggles and some residents said it helped them to feel better. 

What is one thing you have changed from your 1st year as an RA? This year, I focus a lot more on having informal interactions with my residents such as games nights and movies nights as I realized that the more frequent your informal interactions are, the easier it is for residents to trust you and be willing to reach out to you when they need help. 

What advice would you give for current and/or future resident assistants? I would say to trust yourself. Don't be too afraid that you won't do the job correctly. Resources are there if you need them and everyone around you is willing to help you succeed. You were also hired for a reason, so trust that you are equipped with the skills needed to tackle the task at hand.

What are your goals after graduation? My goal to work in Policy Implementation in a University as well as own my own business.

What is it like to be part of the team in Residential Life? It has been great. The best part about having a team of RAs is that everyone can relate to each other in terms of the different challenges or joys that come with the position. It's also nice to have a group of people who know how to facilitate conversation with those who are stressed and know how to assist those in need, so that whenever one of us needs motivation, there's a whole team of people who are willing to give it. 

If current students or resident assistants want to connect with you, how can they find you? They could always email me at or follow me on instagram at jaedanae_

Jae-Anne's Top 4

  1. Favorite place at USF: Definitely beside the big pond behind the art buildings and across from Juniper Poplar.
  2. Favorite place in Tampa: The Cheesecake Factory in International Mall or Tampa Riverwalk.
  3. Biggest accomplishment: Being able to pay the majority of my school fees on my own.
  4. Favorite Movie: Pearl Harbor