Amanda Rosenberg: Fostering a sense of community in McGill residences

"Being able to play a small role in the success of students in residence is one of the real highlights of my job.”

The Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff are a University-wide program that recognizes the outstanding contributions of McGill staff members who, in some cases, rarely get the recognition they deserve for their contributions to the McGill Community. The annual program provides staff members the opportunity to recognize and promote those staff members who go above and beyond.

The winners’ accomplishments must be in line with the strategic direction and mission of the University, with particular emphasis on criteria such as quality of work, customer service and service excellence, initiative and innovation, teamwork, service to the community, and sustainability.

Amanda Rosenberg, Administrative Coordinator, Admissions & Customer Relations, Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS), is the winner of the Principal’s Award in the Clerical category.

A few weeks ago, Amanda Rosenberg got a thank-you message from a student who had once requested a room change in a McGill residence.

“Changing a room is really nothing, we do it all the time,” said Rosenberg.

“I genuinely love my job and I love all of our students,” says Amanda Rosenberg. “I want to give them the best possible experience.”

“But she sent me this really sweet text thanking me because after I changed her room, she became best friends with her new next-door neighbour. They now live together in an apartment on their own. It’s one of those things where a tiny grain of salt tips the scale.”

Rosenberg has been making a difference in the lives of McGill students since 2009, when she was pulling double duty at McGill, pursuing her BA in History and Political Science while working at the front desk of New Residence Hall.

Today, she is one of the talented trouble-shooters at SHHS always looking for ways to tip the scales in favour of students in need.

“On a day-to-day basis there’s a lot of problem-solving. Depending on the time of the year, that can mean anything from roommate conflicts to accommodation issues,” says Rosenberg. “I’m a variety-is-the-spice-of-life person. So, I like the fact that this is a very dynamic job. We cater our services to the needs of our students, and those needs are always changing.”

Rosenberg’s problem-solving skills were put to a real test last year when her office was short-staffed at the height of the pandemic. Stepping up, Rosenberg filled whatever void presented itself, never calling it a day until every issue was resolved. Her colleagues praise the way she shouldered extra duties and responsibilities, always with a smile and always with an eye on making students feel safe and cared for.

“I was very happy to do it because I genuinely love my job and I love all of our students,” she says. “I want to give them the best possible experience.”

That experience extends beyond students’ time in Residence. In 2019, Rosenberg and colleague Gilbert Lin won the Outstanding Team category as part of Student Life and Learning’s Employee Recognition Awards. The project, Life Beyond McGill Rez, is a one-day work shopping and re-orientation event that prepares student for off-campus living. “I’m actually very excited because we’re going to be able to do it in person again this year, which is really fun,” says Rosenberg.

In the end, all that counts for Rosenberg is that “little burst of joy” she gets when she can solve a problem and put a student’s mind at ease.

“Everybody in residence shares one common attribute – they are all away from home. Our job is to recreate the feeling of comfort and safety that these students enjoy at home so they can succeed in all facets of their lives, not just academically, while they are with us. Being able to play a small role in their success is one of the real highlights of my job.”

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Linda Quinn
2 years ago

Congrats Amanda!

Jim Ghoshdastidar
2 years ago

Congratulations Amanda and so well deserved!