Get to Know the RAs

Alicia Tran, PharmD ’21 and Alessandro Cavaliere, Premed ‘18/PA ’20 know a thing or two about MCPHS.

As Resident Assistants on the Boston campus, Alicia Tran, PharmD ’21 and Alessandro Cavaliere, Premed ‘18/PA ’20 are passionate about positively impacting the lives of students.

Alicia and Alessandro support students by creating a sense of community by sharing advice, coordinating fun activities, and serving as guides and resources for students. For first year students, Alicia and Alessandro focus on helping them transition to life at college and empowering them to make the most of their time at MCPHS.

We sat down with Alicia and Alessandro to learn more about living on Boston campus and their experiences as RA’s.

What made you want to become an RA?

Alessandro: I became a Resident Assistant because I feel that a supportive community is one of the most important components to social success as a freshman. I wanted to be a professional leader on campus and bring the same energy to my residents.

Alicia: I wanted to be able to help first year students transition from their home life to college life.

What does being an RA mean to you?

Alessandro: Being an RA is part of who I am. It drives me every day to not only be a great student, but also to be a great student leader and role model for my residents. I truly enjoy helping freshman develop socially and grow in many other ways.

Alicia: To me, being an RA means being a role model to residents, students, and staff. It means being genuine, hardworking, trustworthy, dependable, and a positive team leader. It means working hard to help others feel welcome at MCPHS and to help provide positive experiences for students and their guests.

What are RA’s responsible for?

Alicia: As RA’s, we are responsible for residents’ safety and ensuring that everyone abides to Residence Life policies. In addition, we are responsible for helping residents transition and be aware of what resources are available to them at MCPHS. I also do my best to help develop a community on my floor and guide and educate my residents to help them become more academically and socially successful.

Alessandro: In addition to supervising a floor of more than thirty students, we also host various holistic, professional, social awareness, and health and wellness programs, in addition to many community-building programs, in order to develop our floor’s community. We act as not only a residence hall leader, but also as a campus presence.

How do you create a sense of community on your floor?

Alessandro: It's important to keep an open door, both physically and mentally, as an RA because residents follow my actions and behaviors. In addition to being a role model and being outgoing, I try to make my students feel comfortable and open up to each other.

Alicia: I plan to create a sense of community among my floor by ensuring that Residence Life policies are followed, with regards to everyone respecting one another and making sure that there is no discrimination or negativity among residents.

Alessandro: Usually students build their friendships during the first six weeks, so it is essential to encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.

Alicia: I hold community events that give residents an opportunity to relax and get to know one another, such as Star Wars movie nights, field games, and trips to places in Boston like the Museum of Fine Arts.

Tell us about your own RA’s during your first year at MCPHS. Did they inspire you to become an RA?

Alicia: My RA Christina was one of the first people I met when I was moving into my room in Matricaria. She was so kind, very genuine, and made me feel so welcome in Boston. She even walked me and my Dad to Il Mondo, a local pizza spot, since we didn’t know where to eat because it was our first time in Boston! My other RA Joe was as kind and encouraged me to apply to be an Orientation Leader, which was easily one of the best experiences of my life.

Alessandro: When I was a first year student here at MCPHS, my RA not only hosted entertaining and meaningful programs, but she was also my role model. My RA is still one of my motivating factors for my success here at MCPHS.

Alicia: I definitely carry my experiences with my previous RAs with me, since they were so easy to talk to and so friendly when I was a freshman. They always encouraged me and gave me great advice, whether it was regarding academics or work. They also hosted such creative and fun programs. I learned so much from them, whether it was regarding opioid abuse awareness, job interview skills, or even how to make food in a mug!