RA continues a leader’s legacy

Junior Josh Chave takes a moment to fill out RA paperwork. Chave was awarded the John Kostic Community Builder Award for his involvement at Rider.By Amanda Thorogood

He may not have X-ray vision or the ability to scale a building in a single bound, but junior radio and TV production major Josh Chave does seem like a superhero, or at least super busy.

“I work in the TV studio [and] I also was on orientation staff over the summer,” Chave said. “I have been an RA in Conover for two years, I am also active in the GSA [Gay and Straight Alliance], I try to swim 20 laps a day and have taken karate lessons. I’m all over the place.”

If he were a superhero, Chave’s cape would definitely be red. It would go perfectly with his red shoes, the red belt he earned in karate and the red plaque hanging on his wall that signifies that he is the recipient of the John Kostic Community Builder Award, which is given annually to an RA who demonstrates a sense of community and has a strong, supportive relationship with fellow staff members.

“He is far from being just an RA,” said Associate Director of Resident Life Stephanie Polak.

According to Polak, Chave was also inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a freshman honors society for students who achieve a GPA of 3.5 or better in their first semester. Chave became the president of the group that same year, adding to his list of accomplishments.

Polak also said that being an RA in Conover for a second time is a big deal in itself.

“You have to be a kind of step-up RA to stay in an all-freshman building two years in a row,” she said.

The John Kostic Community Builder Award is in memory of John Kostic, a Rider student who passed away in 2005. Kostic was a beloved member of the community and a dedicated RA as well.

“I didn’t personally know John but I know that they named the award after him because he was really good at community development and he was really close with his residents,” Chave said. “So I think it is just not an award based on him but based on his honor.”

There are currently three other awards in Kostic’s honor: the John Kostic Balanced Man Award, awarded each year by members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity (Sig Ep) of which Kostic was a brother; the John Kostic Gentleman Award, also given out each year by members of Sig Ep; and the John Kostic Community Service Award, awarded by Greek Life.

Specifically, the Community Builder Award is awarded to an RA who has developed programs to meet the residents’ needs, plays a facilitative role in solving conflicts between residents and has established relationships with residents.

Additionally, the John E. Kostic Memorial, between Fine Arts and Gill Chapel, is dedicated in loving memory of the son, brother and friend.

According to the anonymous statement that was submitted as Chave’s nomination for the award, “Josh is an RA that I can always count on to accomplish my many administrative tasks.

“He is determined and motivated … he is an extremely positive influence for residents and other RAs on campus,” the statement goes on to say.

Besides being respected by his fellow RAs, Chave calls the students who live on his floor some of his closest friends.

“My residents and I hung out all the time,” Chave said. “I could walk down the hall at any time and feel perfectly comfortable walking into somebody’s room when their door was open and hanging out and talking to them for a while.

“I feel like I was respected as well as their friend. They knew I was their friend, but they also knew I had to be the disciplinarian some of the time.”

Although he is not eligible to receive the award for a second time, Chave is grateful for his recognition and thinks of this award as being especially unique.

“I remember being around RAs when we got the news about John and it was a blow to everybody,” Chave said. “I think this is a great way to remember him because he was so good at everything he did.”

The individual who nominated Chave also saw some of Kostic’s characteristic shine in Chave as well.

“I can’t help but recognize Josh’s ability to relate to his residents just as I have witnessed John relate to his own,” the nomination statement said.

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